45 Degree Alley Dock HELP

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Bruce K.'s Comment
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I passed all my tests at Schneider, but failed the 45 degree alley dock. I have to re-take the test on Monday. Can anyone help me with some advice about this? All my setups are fine but I'm having trouble when I start backing in determining when to end the straight back and to start chasing the trailer. My instructor teaches differently than I originally learned and I'm not allowed to depart from his exact method, if that makes any sense. If I fail a second time, I will be sent packing.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

This is hard to answer without knowing your exact setup, or even the exact method your instructor teaches.

The method I taught and still practice today is to begin fully chasing the trailer as soon as my rear tandem tire aligns with the imaginary line extending out from the box.

As always though, it depends on your exact setup.

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".

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

I passed all my tests at Schneider, but failed the 45 degree alley dock. I have to re-take the test on Monday. Can anyone help me with some advice about this? All my setups are fine but I'm having trouble when I start backing in determining when to end the straight back and to start chasing the trailer. My instructor teaches differently than I originally learned and I'm not allowed to depart from his exact method, if that makes any sense. If I fail a second time, I will be sent packing.

Thanks, Turtle. The setup I'm doing is to run perpendicular to the trailers I want to park between, about 3 feet away from the fronts of those two trailers. At this point my tractor and trailer are aligned and straight. (53' trailer) . Get my tractor drives centered on the hole. Tractor pointed at 9:00. Then hard right until tractor is at 12:00. Then hard left until tractor is again at the 9:00 position. Stop with steer wheels straight. Reverse until the rear corner of the driver's side of trailer is at the imaginary line extended out from the first line of the space. Then begin a hard chase of the trailer. If I understand your method, Turtle, you back straight a little further, until your rear driver's side trailer wheel meets the same line before you begin your hard chase.

One of my problems is that I've had at least 5 instructors, at various times in my career teach this maneuver in different ways. Sometimes the differences were only slight, but still confusing. Early on, one instructor didn't like the 45 degree back, so he taught the 90 degree back.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

That the back I use the most, if I have room, I roll forward about 3 feet in the 12:00 position, It puts the trailer at more of a straight relationship to the hole. I use the rear driverside tandem near the line too. But honestly, most the time I start getting under it almost right away and chase it in an arc while adjusting it tighter or shallower if that makes sense.

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".

Turtle's Comment
member avatar
One of my problems is that I've had at least 5 instructors, at various times in my career teach this maneuver in different ways.

That can definitely be a problem. Your current method is unlike any of the methods I practice. But it does sound like it has consistent maneuvers that can produce predictable results, so I won't be the 6th instructor to try to teach you otherwise.

Instead, let's try to figure out where you are having the problem. What exactly are you having trouble with? Is it just knowing when to chase the trailer? Are you coming in too close to your sight side, or blind side?

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

What I have done, is get about a door and half space away from the other trailers, and set up to back. Sometimes I have to adjust due to tighter space in front of me.

Good luck Bruce on your next test !

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Definitely having an issue with when to start chasing. And getting the back of the trailer centered in the hole consistently.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Sometimes the back of the trailer is too far left or two far right.

Bird-One's Comment
member avatar

Something a driver told me was to stay hyper focused on the tandems. And while doing that draw an imaginary line on the pavement and follow it. Slow it down as much as possible and try and wait and see where the tandems are going to go. I was making adjustments way to quickly.

By slow it down he meant use the clutch but I’m not sure how you would do that assuming you are in an automatic.

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".

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Something a driver told me was to stay hyper focused on the tandems. And while doing that draw an imaginary line on the pavement and follow it. Slow it down as much as possible and try and wait and see where the tandems are going to go. I was making adjustments way to quickly.

By slow it down he meant use the clutch but I’m not sure how you would do that assuming you are in an automatic.

it's very easy to go slow in an AMT. The driver might have to paddle down to R1 and on a flat surface the truck will creep at idle. Same thing for Drive mode.

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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