Walmart Isn't Always An Easy Back

Topic 29767 | Page 1

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Dean R.'s Comment
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My first week on Walmart Dedicated I ran into a problem. I had a Cascadia Evolution and a 53' reefer. This store, located on Harlem Avenue near Bridgeview, IL., was preparing for a remodel. I'm not good at graphics so bear with me. Also not to scale - there was less room than I'm showing you.

The boxes with the red "x's" are where shipping containers and construction trailers are now located. Not knowing this, I followed my instructions to enter the dock area from the South (bottom of the pic). I had to maneuver myself between cars and some empty trailers, making a hazardous button-hook turn into the rear area of the lot. On the West side of the MT's were barricades. When I got to the North end I was surprised with a yellow pole on the passenger side and a 20-foot construction trailer on my driver side. I managed to squeeze thru but wasn't able to back into the dock. There just wasn't enough room. I took a sharp right back out to the North end of the parking lot and re-entered the dock area to make a 90 into the dock. What you can't see is a short wall on the South side of the dock are that juts out about 10 feet. That was tricky and I made sure that I "watched my wagon" and didn't hit any barricades, shipping containers, or anything else. They made this store a day cab run for the time being since the contractor has added more things in the way.

That 90-degree back took me a bit. I was so careful that by the time I got in a small audience had gathered by a back door. It was a long 15 minutes but I got it in there safely. Not every Walmart dock is a piece of cake.


Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.


A refrigerated trailer.


Operating While Intoxicated

Errol V.'s Comment
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You did the right thing, Dean. Checking Google Satellite View is a great way to check out almost any dock. But often retail stores can have container storage cluttering up the truck maneuver areas, most often in the fall, as they stock up for Christmas.

I had one delivery where Satellite view showed that you simply pull in, drive across the dock area to the back wall (all the doors on the left) and do a (ahem) simple alley dock. But the company had a bunch of boxes and stuff filling that far end. The only solution was back in from the street with two blind-side backing turn - basically a blind sided U-turn.

Fortunately for you, on your first try you could simply pull through to the big parking lot to turn around. Though Walmarts usually have full drive around lanes, many have one corner in back too tight to pull a trailer around.

Turtle's Comment
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Welcome to the wonderful world of Walmart docks!

Not every Walmart dock is a piece of cake.

Very few, if any are a piece of cake. As you deliver to more and more stores, you'll see that the amount of hazards and obstacles is constantly changing.

Tight docks, containers, pallets, bales, empties, you name it and it'll be in your way. Add to that a handful of vendors parked everywhere, tire shop guys doing laps around the lot, customers rippin through the "trucks only" lanes to get to the side exit, and store employees blindly pushing dumpsters in your back path with their faces glued to their phones. Good times.

Keep your windows down and your eyes and ears open.

PackRat's Comment
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I've been there, before the remodel. Some stores set up a hair raising obstacle course thoroughfare with no thoughts ahead of time.

Dean R.'s Comment
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Here is another example, Tipton, IA. Following the green line is easy, if it weren't for cars, bundles of cardboard, piles of broken pallets, etc. The Google Earth view makes it look like a straight back. It's more like a double-twist motion while avoiding moving cars and pedestrians. And the manager wants the trucks to drive across the front of the store to get in position. The city looks you get...

This store had piles of stuff in the way. While I was backing a car pulled in, but didn't move all the way forward in the space. Thanks. They looked at me like I could wait a while. Luckily an employee walked by and asked them to move all the way forward in their space.

It's a single dock, at an angle. The dock also sits high. Even with my tandems to the rear I was a good 7 inches above the deck plate. I dumped the air and made it soon to 5 inches. That was barely doable. Notice the MT in the parking lot near the street. There's no other room.

The staff told one of the TE's that this store should be on one of the training runs. I agree. Turning the front end side-to-side with cars on both sides getting the angle does cause some butterflies in the stomach. Like I mentioned, the view shows. Straight back but in person it's tricky. My green line near the dock is on an incline to the door. The dock is actually below the green line.



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 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".


Operating While Intoxicated

Papa Pig's Comment
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I feel your pain Dean. Good job on figuring out the puzzle. I hate when I get a D.G. Store that is part of a shopping center. I’m always suprised at the things they manage to put in the way. Dumpsters are the worse. The trash guys over time move them inch by inch until they are completely in the way and not where they are supposed to be.

One thing that I have started to do is before I turn a blind corner, I will get out and see what is back there before I get into the hornets nest. Remember. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

Generally I will only back 90/45 until I have enough room to pull up and do a straight line if possible (not always possible 🤷🏻‍♂️But I look for it)

Take your time, don’t get rushed. Stay safe!

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Dean, I agree with Turtle. Things change quickly on a WM grocery dock.

Use Google earth to get the most up to date satellite view. Best to have a good ida of what you’ll be facing, before you arrive.

One other thought; what seems difficult won’t be 9-12 months from now. It’s all in how you setup...

Safe travels!

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Theres one WM on the dedicated account in Maine that has a sign.....

"Yes we know it is tight. Yes you can do it. Not we wont help you."

Another up there you have to back into the building and do a sort of an offset with a wall to o w side of you.

Go slow GOAL and be safe Stay calm

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