How To Parallel Park

Topic 3853 | Page 1

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Randall H's Comment
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Many students struggle with learning the backing maneuvers to take their CDL exam. To complicate things, with no prescribed method to follow, it becomes a hunt and peck search for getting the big rig into the box. Many instructors teach a "formula," as mine did. Is it an exact thing that automatically puts the rig into the box precisely the same way every time? Of course not. Little things like exactly where the truck is lined up, where you start the next move, how fast you move, etc. will cause differences that require adjustments to get it right. BUT, it serves as a very good starting point and something to work with to minimize those needed adjustments. What I am posting is that formula for doing a driver's side parallel park.

Once I learned to see the points of when to make the next move, I consistently put the rig into the box successfully several times in a row on the first day. Now I KNOW I can put it in there and pass the test. There is a similar formula for the off-set and the alley dock. The instructor showed me each of them one time and I was able to do them both successfully the first time I tried. I will post those formulas in the future.

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To do the blind side (from the opposite side), just reverse everything.

GOOD LUCK!!!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Randall H's Comment
member avatar

Well I don't know why but some of the pictures loaded sideways. Sorry. What you can do it save each picture to your computer and then you can open it and rotate it to see it right side up.

Randall H's Comment
member avatar

Well I don't know why but some of the pictures loaded sideways. Sorry. What you can do it save each picture to your computer and then you can open it and rotate it to see it right side up.

Ignore that....at first it appeared that way, but after I made the second post, all of the pictures showed right side up.

Gary A.'s Comment
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THANKS Randy! While I'm still a LONG ways off from training, at LEAST I can have the general idea and remember this when the time comes..CAN NOT imagine doing it from the 'blind' side!!!..looking forward to more tips!

Old School's Comment
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In Texas you've got to do a blind side parallel park to pass the test. It is usually the main maneuver that gets people in trouble on the test. While I never really liked the so called "formulas" for parking maneuvers, for some people it makes it much easier to get it in the box. If it works for someone then I'm all for them using it, but once you get in a truck as a solo driver you will find that every time you have to park or back that rig into position it is a different scenario each time. You will eventually learn to "read" your trailer and know what you've got to do to make it go where needed. At the beginning if the formulas help you secure that CDL then by all means use them, but just realize they are kind of like stepping stones to help you advance to a higher level of driving as your career advances along.

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.
Randall H's Comment
member avatar

THANKS Randy! While I'm still a LONG ways off from training, at LEAST I can have the general idea and remember this when the time comes..CAN NOT imagine doing it from the 'blind' side!!!..looking forward to more tips!

It sounds awful....the blind side, but by using this formula in reverse, it will get you to where you are backing up towards the 2 target cones and then you can use the driver side mirrors which is actually easier than the reverse. So I actually prefer the blind side. With either one, knowing the points to do the next move........when the front trailer tire is on the line and when the drive tire just gets inside the box...........those were the two things that made it all come together for me. Even if I were to violate a barrier....2 points.....and then pull forward to in the box.....that's a pass!!! If I had 1 violation of a barrier on the off-set and 1 on the alley dock.....I would still pass the entire test. I know I can alley dock and off-set with ZERO points. So if I did get points on the parallel......there is no way I would fail. It is not required to get them all perfect, just to get them without exceeding the allowed points.

Learn the formulas and the adjustments to make them work and you will pass the test.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Randall H's Comment
member avatar

In Texas you've got to do a blind side parallel park to pass the test. It is usually the main maneuver that gets people in trouble on the test. While I never really liked the so called "formulas" for parking maneuvers, for some people it makes it much easier to get it in the box. If it works for someone then I'm all for them using it, but once you get in a truck as a solo driver you will find that every time you have to park or back that rig into position it is a different scenario each time. You will eventually learn to "read" your trailer and know what you've got to do to make it go where needed. At the beginning if the formulas help you secure that CDL then by all means use them, but just realize they are kind of like stepping stones to help you advance to a higher level of driving as your career advances along.

I totally agree. In fact, without any formula, before I even tried the maneuvers for the test......I alley docked at a store and nailed it the first time. The biggest thing in real life is learning how to set it up. Only experience with the vast multitude of real life situations can make one a master. But for a tool to pass the test, these formulas help and in the process you learn things that can be applied to real life.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
The biggest thing in real life is learning how to set it up.

Randy, you couldn't say it any better than that! It sounds like you are doing real well in school, and I'm glad for you. Most things in life are accomplished one step at a time, and in this business that first step is to obtain the license. We tell people all the time to stick with their first driving job for one full year, and one reason for that is just the learning process that goes on during that first year.

There is no greater feeling than passing that driving test, and I'm all for anything that helps someone get themselves to that point. Once we get there, we have a foundation we can build on for many years to come.

Bill S.'s Comment
member avatar

I for one appreciate the formulas. Thanks Randall !

Paulette B.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the all the tips!!! Ok...now my instructor showed and told me twice what to do, but he's retired and been driving for years... So I was like "huh?" So one instructor kinda broke it down for me (blind side parallel parking). He told me to do one full turn with the steering wheel to the left. Then "drift" it in there (motioning his hands in an "S" fashion)....ok I'm sorry but I need more of a detailed explanation at first so I can picture it in my head...

Like this: (1) turn the wheel one full turn to the left (2) as the back of the trailer goes in, then stop when you see your landing gear (about half way of the trailer) is even with the first cone (3) stop...pull your parking brakes if you have to get out and look to see where you are (4) turn the wheel in the opposite direction (to the right) all the way until the wheel locks.... Release the parking brakes... And your tractor will line up straight with your trailer (5) go straight back slowly (you will see the cones in both your driver's side and passenger side mirrors (6) stop when your splash guard is even with the first cone (7) turn your wheel to the hard right (8) then turn your wheel to the hard left quickly (9) straighten up and adjust (tweak it) once you're in the box

Ok.... So this explanation I just wrote came from one of my peers in school that he got it in the box this way.... I lived at the YouTube videos and most just show it, not really "saying" things like a reference point with the tires, splash guard, landing gear, front cone, etc. for the blind side parallel parking... The camera man is talking, but I to know what the driver himself/herself is doing with the steering wheel and referencing points with the tractor, trailer and cones... Yesterday I was so frustrated... I got it barely in the box with my tractor at a funky 35-45° angle with my trailer 😒😫....

My instructors who have been driving for years, don't say to "stop" at any point.. they just tell me to drift it in there... But I see some students actually stop and get out and look, or just stop, turn the steering wheel and then continue to proceed to back up.... Randall did an excellent job at explaining the driver side parallel parking and he said to do it the opposite way for the blind side....

But at first, do I turn the steering wheel to the hard left until it locks or do I just turn it one full turn? On one YT video, I believe the driver said one full turn in the beginning.... But others say turn the steering wheel hard all the way (to the right or left.. Whichever side you're backing on).... I'm more of a thinker and I'm visual too... I just got to read it, visualize it in my head and process it... Then it'll come out smooth....

I went in my car and cried yesterday in frustration bcuz I want to get this.... Somebody PLEASE HELP ME!!! Can you give me a detailed, step by step instruction for this????

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.

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