Setting Up For A Straight Back

Topic 30745 | Page 1

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Andrey's Comment
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Some docks have so much room, that drivers make a wide circle, at the end of which their trailer sits perfectly straight, so all they do is back to the door. I am trying to use this trick (instead of making a common 45 backing), but I start circling either too late or too early - the trailer ends up straight, but it is a few feet to the right or left, so I have to wiggle it into the hole, eventualy spending the same time as I would have spent doing a 45. Is there any way, maybe a reference point, to know when exactly to start a turn?

Davy A.'s Comment
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I always forget too lol. I end up a couple feet off half the time or more too. I think its pull ahead past the hole, but not quite as much as a 45. Sometimes when I do it, its dead on and sometimes its a couple feet off. I actually ended up doing one wrong where I set up for a 45 at first then went straight and that was too late. The next pass around I turned right where the hole was and it ended up right in place in this video (there was a truck in my way the first time, and I didnt like how little room I had forward for a 45) goofy straight back

NaeNaeInNC's Comment
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I think I saw a video somewhere, where it was "go past your hole slightly, make your turn, and go past it again, in an *s* form," and it should point your trailer in the right spot. I can't comment on the effectiveness of this, as I haven't been in a position to try it, but it did seem to make sense via geometry.

Pianoman's Comment
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I think it’s easier to back at an angle. I would usually pull past the spot and straighten up like you were saying but leave it so I was still at a slight angle to the spot and I’d turn my tractor left at the very end of my setup before I started backing. I think that’s the easiest way to set up to where you can do it in one shot. Even after yard hostling for almost a year I was never consistent enough with my setups in the truck to be able to setup for a straight back every time without messing it up. I could do it in a yard hostler but I seemed to mess it up half the time in the truck. If you do it at an angle like I like to, even if you screw up your setup a little you can usually still do it in one shot easily

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Pete E Pothole's Comment
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The set up for a straight begins for me when my drives are at the center of the spot I'm trying to hit. Dragging the trailer to nearly straight then driving a small serpentine. Seems to get me close enough without ending up in an offset position.

Andrey's Comment
member avatar

I think it’s easier to back at an angle.

That's exactly my point! I think though that backing at an angle is easier because I practice it all the time. I feel quite confident in this skill, so it's time to learn something new :-)

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

If I have room to Make a U turn, then I have enough room to do what I started doing.

I used to always set myself up for a driver side back at an angle. Then I saw guys doing a blind side back and watched what they did.

I get my truck over parallel to the docks about 3 feet in front of all the trucks waiting at a dock. I drive past at about 5-10 mph noting what truck or trailer is to the left of my spot, and when my passenger door passes the edge of the trailer or truck to the right of my spot, I turn hard left until my cab extenders are about to hit the trailer and keep going at max turn, looking back on my left side until I see the trailer or truck to the left of my spot come into view.

When it does, turn hard right, and you should end up right in front of your spot ready to back in with a minimum of adjustment.

If you are off a bit and have room, you can pull forward and adjust as you back in. If space is tight, make a u turn, go back and start over, varying your starting point for the turn to find the spot that works for you. Once you get the right reference point it is simple.

It also works starting on the driver side but you can’t watch for your spot as easy.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

If you have time to kill at a drop lot you can practice until you’ve got it down.

If I have room to Make a U turn, then I have enough room to do what I started doing.

I used to always set myself up for a driver side back at an angle. Then I saw guys doing a blind side back and watched what they did.

I get my truck over parallel to the docks about 3 feet in front of all the trucks waiting at a dock. I drive past at about 5-10 mph noting what truck or trailer is to the left of my spot, and when my passenger door passes the edge of the trailer or truck to the right of my spot, I turn hard left until my cab extenders are about to hit the trailer and keep going at max turn, looking back on my left side until I see the trailer or truck to the left of my spot come into view.

When it does, turn hard right, and you should end up right in front of your spot ready to back in with a minimum of adjustment.

If you are off a bit and have room, you can pull forward and adjust as you back in. If space is tight, make a u turn, go back and start over, varying your starting point for the turn to find the spot that works for you. Once you get the right reference point it is simple.

It also works starting on the driver side but you can’t watch for your spot as easy.

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