Any Advice On Backing In To Tight Spots

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Zach 's Comment
member avatar

As most of you probably know backing is something I have been struggling with. If its just trailers and I have room to pull up then I am fine but when I have no pull up room room, the spot is tight and I have 2 noses sticking out next to me and a ****ed off truckers flashing there high beams at my face, blowing horns,flipping me the bird, and cutting in to my blimd spots real fast to get around me its a whole other story. My trainer only let me back twice and that was because I wouldn't shut up about asking him to let me practice backing, he usually didn't let students back. When I went back to the terminal I told the DM and safety guy I didn't feel ready because of my lack of backing skills and there resposne was "you will get it in time" and that was that they refused to let me go out with another trainer since I had already passed my upgrade test. I've tried watching every YouTube video I could find and watching other truckers back as well as practicing on my 30 minute break with easy spots but none of that seems to work and I'm scared to death of hitting something and being fired and black balled on my DAC report for having an accident. I'm sure I'm on bonehead truckers already, I've definitely had drivers get a kick of watching me struggle getting it in the hole, and I'm pretty sure I've been filmed more then once

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Anne A. (momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

As most of you probably know backing is something I have been struggling with. If its just trailers and I have room to pull up then I am fine but when I have no pull up room room, the spot is tight and I have 2 noses sticking out next to me and a ****ed off truckers flashing there high beams at my face, blowing horns,flipping me the bird, and cutting in to my blimd spots real fast to get around me its a whole other story. My trainer only let me back twice and that was because I wouldn't shut up about asking him to let me practice backing, he usually didn't let students back. When I went back to the terminal I told the DM and safety guy I didn't feel ready because of my lack of backing skills and there resposne was "you will get it in time" and that was that they refused to let me go out with another trainer since I had already passed my upgrade test. I've tried watching every YouTube video I could find and watching other truckers back as well as practicing on my 30 minute break with easy spots but none of that seems to work and I'm scared to death of hitting something and being fired and black balled on my DAC report for having an accident. I'm sure I'm on bonehead truckers already, I've definitely had drivers get a kick of watching me struggle getting it in the hole, and I'm pretty sure I've been filmed more then once

Zach, SO WHAT if you are on some stupid YT or FB channel ?!?!? IGNORE those truckstop blowhards!!!! 'SUPATRUCKAS' .. kiss your arske!

Look at Rainy (Kearsey) for instance. . . she's got her OWN proLIFerous YT channel now; yet 5.5 years ago, she WAS A HOT MESS also!

Wish she'd stop by more often. If you have spare time; go thru her diary stuff. She lost a WHOLE AXLE! Yeah.. and I'm not raggin' on a fellow female; hell I'm not even a trucker; only tried to be 2x with a permit, pulling a tank w/the husband person. Never took the quantum leap. Teens at home prevented that. Pulled hotshot boat stuff in my early 20's is as close as I got, but even w/a 28' i was hating my life on days in/days out.

YOUTH is ON your side. It was on mine hotshot; now i'm 50'ish.. dang me.... but I won't give up ~ learned THAT much.

You're young enough to BE one of my kids.. and I almost feel like talking TO you like one'of'em.. tbh. (But I won't...lol.)

Have you seen my thread on 'quotes?' << Go check it out; there's actually some pretty good info to glean, in there.

I'm pulling for you, I truly am.

~ Anne ~

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

JakeBreak's Comment
member avatar

Exactly what momcat said dude. You just gotta tune it out. Turn off your cb, if you have one and focus. Backing is the one part of trucking that no matter how many times you do it you just gotta accept that sometimes your gonna look like a monkey screwing a football. I cant tell you how many times I've had to go around and reset to try to get into a spot. One day it will just click and you'll get better.

Rob D.'s Comment
member avatar

Truckers will be *******s . Do your best and don't let them get to you. In fact, I would wear it like a badge of honor. Obviously, they are so pathetic that you are their source of entertainment. So, after you take a while getting in the spot, take a bow in front of your truck. I stole that from Packrat BTW.

SRJ's Comment
member avatar

Zach I can just share my limited experience with you and it is definitely limited and recent. I just obtained my CDL a week and a half ago. What I found to be beneficial was watching a few YouTube videos and then putting that particular technique into practice. I found the one that seemed to work the best for me and then I continued to practice that particular technique. If I went and tried something else, that is when I started to mess up. I would go back to what worked for me. In the 1 1/2 weeks of driving with my trainer and mentor, I have had some really tight spots to back into. Here is what I focus on. 1. Prior to backing, I look at what I have to work with and try to start with the best set-up. I run my plan through my head before I ever start the approach. 2. I back up slowly. 3. I get out and look. 4. If need be I do multiple pull-ups. (Once you have your CDL you can do as many pull-ups and GOALS as you wish).

I’ve really focused as well on forgetting about the, “OMG I’m holding some up. OMG someone is watching me and saying look at this rookie back up.” Who cares. They don’t know me and I don’t know them. Also, they were a rookie once as well. I’m ok with playing the rookie card for as long as I can. Anyway, hopefully this may be of assistance to you.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Zach 's Comment
member avatar

Zach I can just share my limited experience with you and it is definitely limited and recent. I just obtained my CDL a week and a half ago. What I found to be beneficial was watching a few YouTube videos and then putting that particular technique into practice. I found the one that seemed to work the best for me and then I continued to practice that particular technique. If I went and tried something else, that is when I started to mess up. I would go back to what worked for me. In the 1 1/2 weeks of driving with my trainer and mentor, I have had some really tight spots to back into. Here is what I focus on. 1. Prior to backing, I look at what I have to work with and try to start with the best set-up. I run my plan through my head before I ever start the approach. 2. I back up slowly. 3. I get out and look. 4. If need be I do multiple pull-ups. (Once you have your CDL you can do as many pull-ups and GOALS as you wish).

I’ve really focused as well on forgetting about the, “OMG I’m holding some up. OMG someone is watching me and saying look at this rookie back up.” Who cares. They don’t know me and I don’t know them. Also, they were a rookie once as well. I’m ok with playing the rookie card for as long as I can. Anyway, hopefully this may be of assistance to you.

I have my CDL and have already upgraded from my mentors truck

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Just keep working at it, Get out and look anytime you have even the slightest doubt. Who cares if you end up on some stupid videos. We've all struggled with backing early on and even after 3 years I have some days it takes me longer than it should. Would you rather take a while to back in or rush it and hit something. Hitting something will be far more embarrassing. Unfortunately there's really no formula on how to back into a tight spot because setup depends on available space. The people making all sorts of trash available online says more about who they are as a person than it does you. Instead of being a decent "professional" and jump out to give you a hand they'll record it and laugh because the name on your truck. Personally I've taken pictures of certain things drivers have done to help educate newer drivers on here why its important to do things a certain way.

You're doing well Zach, just G.O.A.L. everytime that it's needed and don't hit anything. If it takes you an hour to bump a dock but you didn't hit anything thats a success. Let the super truckers show their true colors, they were at one time in the same boat as you are. It'll likely take 6 months to a year or more to be confident to hit any spot. Take advantage of backing between objects when you can. Don't always take the easy spots, challenge yourself within reason.

SRJ's Comment
member avatar

Yes I am aware that you upgraded, but felt my approach may be of some assistance to you.

SRJ's Comment
member avatar

I re-read my post and should have clarified what I said about using GOAL’s and Pull-Ups. I wasn’t referring to you, but just stating that in general. Sorry about that.

KH's Comment
member avatar

I'll put in my 2 cents in case anything helps. I apologize in advance if you know this stuff already. Anyway, if this is a shipper or receiver and they tell you to slide your tandems all the way back, don't do it until you've got it going in to the space. I look at guiding the trailer tandems along an imaginary line. If the space is narrow, then they have to go around an imaginary "corner" that is somewhere in front of the near-side truck. If you're coming in too close to the driver's side, then turn left before you pull up, but straighten out the wheels before you start to back again. If you're going too far past, try to pull up straight (the direction the trailer is angled), or if you can't you may have to set up again. And don't let the trailer go past the point where it's aligned with the space.

Anyway, people gave you good advice above. Yeah, it's hard, it takes time unfortunately.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

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