How To Alley Dock For The CDL Exam (as Done In Missouri)

Topic 3854 | Page 1

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Randall H's Comment
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The set up..... From inside the middle lane (there are 3 side by side lanes used for off-sets and the straight line backing), you sill pull forward straight forward to the barrier ahead, with the front of the truck right up to the barrier. When doing so, stay as far to the left side of that lane as possible. This is the set up......the alley dock box is to the back left for this maneuver.

I am going to guide you through some steps without pictures because if you follow these first steps your trailer will be heading right towards the open box. If you do not end up going right in, a pull up will certainly set you up to do so. My instructor showed me this ONE TIME and then turned the truck over to me. The first time I did it I missed the target opening a bit and had to do a pull up to adjust. On the next one I did use a pull up but only to be sure I was not crossing a blind barrier. On the next two I knew I had it within the box and used NO PULL UPS and only got out to look when I was fully in the box, to verify I was in the proper position to end it. Here's how it goes.

1. Turn the steering wheel hard right. Back up slowly until you see the landing gear leg on the far side of the trailer. First you will see the near side leg, then the "V" and then the far leg. STOP. DO NOT MOVE.

2. Turn the steering wheel hard left. Back up slowly until getting back to the center of the "V" (at the edge of the mud flap). STOP. DO NOT MOVE.

3. Turn the steering wheel hard right. Back up slowly until you see the landing gear leg on the far side of the trailer (at the edge of the mud flap). STOP. DO NOT MOVE.

4. Turn the steering wheel hard left. Back up slowly until getting back to the center of the "V" (at the edge of the mud flap) STOP. DO NOT MOVE.

5. Turn the steering wheel hard right. Back up slowly until you see the landing gear leg on the far side of the trailer (at the edge of the mud flap). STOP.

(The reason this is done in these steps instead of taking it hard all the way is to avoid putting the front of the truck all the way out to the right side barrier. By taking it in pieces it leaves plenty of room for when you need to follow the trailer in.)

6. Now back up and hold that leg in your mirror as the guide (at the edge of the mud flap), also watching the back of your trailer as it moves towards the opening. You can adjust as you go, but using the leg of the landing gear as a guide should send you very close to the right place.

7. If you get the trailer back towards the opening and it is NOT on target, before you violate a barrier, you can pull up. Steer out to the left and swing back to the right and out towards the barrier in front of the truck. Stop and then turn the steering wheel to the right and complete the move towards the opening, watching the trailer out the window.

8. Whether as a result of step 6 or step 7, once the trailer is going into the opening, turn the steering wheel to the hard left and bring the truck around to align it with the trailer, adjusting to keep the trailer between the barriers. Another pull up could be used here if needed to make it a straight line back in.

9. Back it in slowly until the front trailer tire is at the third cone from the back. STOP. Put on the Parking Brake, Get Out And Look to make sure you are in the box all the way around. If necessary make an adjustment. STOP, put on Parking Brake and honk the horn to let the examiner know you are done.

You might not nail it the first time, but you will quickly see how it works and be able to build on it. This technique can be used effectively where the radius for the truck has limiting barriers. Should your set up in a different state be slightly different, the technique would still be helpful in making the major move towards the opening, with the adjustments being different.

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