Don't Let Other Drivers Get You In A Hurry

Topic 5792 | Page 1

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Chris M's Comment
member avatar

I just felt like I should share an experience from today. Now I've only been doing this for almost 5 months now. But I've gotten to the point where I know that I have the ability to back my trailer into any spot I'm asked. Does that mean that I'm an expert at the art of backing? Not in a loooooooong shot. It means that I know that if I just focus myself and keep calm I can get the job done.

The reason I say this is because of what happened this morning.

I was at the family dollar DC in Marianna, FL and just shooting the breeze with a fellow driver while we were waiting on doors to become available. This driver shared with me the fact that they have been driving for 8 years now. Well we get assigned doors along with another driver and all proceed back to our trucks to get into our respective docks.

Now the yard at this DC is fairly tight due to a row of empties directly across from the docks and the fact that they require you to disconnect and pull forward from the trailer but stay in front of it.

So I get to my door and there is a huge hole in the pavement right where I need to setup for the back, and this coupled with the fact that I'm having to back in with my doors already open makes me a little uneasy. So I setup and start to back and quickly realize that I'm too far back. Pull up and reset and start again. Now I'm too close to the row of empties with my tractor.

At this point I'm beginning to think about the 2 drivers sitting there waiting on me to get backed in so they can do the same.

So finally I reset and was able to back in after doing 3 pullups in the hole. It took me 15 minutes to get backed into the dock. I was glad I was in but upset that it took so long.

So now comes the 8 year veteran. He proceeds to do 2 pullups and..........

Hits the trailer on his blind side.

I will never make fun of someone for making a mistake like this. The whole point of this long post is to help reassure EVERY driver out there that it doesn't matter how long you've been doing this. If you keep your focus on the task at hand and not the other drivers around you, you've got the abilities to do it.

I think a lot of people fail to see how much of a mental game backing is. Focus is the biggest key.

Have a safe day everyone!!

David's Comment
member avatar

I just felt like I should share an experience from today. Now I've only been doing this for almost 5 months now. But I've gotten to the point where I know that I have the ability to back my trailer into any spot I'm asked. Does that mean that I'm an expert at the art of backing? Not in a loooooooong shot. It means that I know that if I just focus myself and keep calm I can get the job done.

The reason I say this is because of what happened this morning.

I was at the family dollar DC in Marianna, FL and just shooting the breeze with a fellow driver while we were waiting on doors to become available. This driver shared with me the fact that they have been driving for 8 years now. Well we get assigned doors along with another driver and all proceed back to our trucks to get into our respective docks.

Now the yard at this DC is fairly tight due to a row of empties directly across from the docks and the fact that they require you to disconnect and pull forward from the trailer but stay in front of it.

So I get to my door and there is a huge hole in the pavement right where I need to setup for the back, and this coupled with the fact that I'm having to back in with my doors already open makes me a little uneasy. So I setup and start to back and quickly realize that I'm too far back. Pull up and reset and start again. Now I'm too close to the row of empties with my tractor.

At this point I'm beginning to think about the 2 drivers sitting there waiting on me to get backed in so they can do the same.

So finally I reset and was able to back in after doing 3 pullups in the hole. It took me 15 minutes to get backed into the dock. I was glad I was in but upset that it took so long.

So now comes the 8 year veteran. He proceeds to do 2 pullups and..........

Hits the trailer on his blind side.

I will never make fun of someone for making a mistake like this. The whole point of this long post is to help reassure EVERY driver out there that it doesn't matter how long you've been doing this. If you keep your focus on the task at hand and not the other drivers around you, you've got the abilities to do it.

I think a lot of people fail to see how much of a mental game backing is. Focus is the biggest key.

Have a safe day everyone!!

Completely agree. Doesn't matter how many years or days you've been driving.. Even the best sort trucker makes a mistake..

When backing, you're career is on the line, IMO even more than just driving straight.

Any time I back, I turn my cb off, for soon reason, drivers at truck stops think it's a good idea to make fun of another driver for not being able to hit the hole first time.

Take your time, do it right and GOAL.. (Get Out And Look).

Matt S.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

I just felt like I should share an experience from today. Now I've only been doing this for almost 5 months now. But I've gotten to the point where I know that I have the ability to back my trailer into any spot I'm asked. Does that mean that I'm an expert at the art of backing? Not in a loooooooong shot. It means that I know that if I just focus myself and keep calm I can get the job done.

The reason I say this is because of what happened this morning.

I was at the family dollar DC in Marianna, FL and just shooting the breeze with a fellow driver while we were waiting on doors to become available. This driver shared with me the fact that they have been driving for 8 years now. Well we get assigned doors along with another driver and all proceed back to our trucks to get into our respective docks.

Now the yard at this DC is fairly tight due to a row of empties directly across from the docks and the fact that they require you to disconnect and pull forward from the trailer but stay in front of it.

So I get to my door and there is a huge hole in the pavement right where I need to setup for the back, and this coupled with the fact that I'm having to back in with my doors already open makes me a little uneasy. So I setup and start to back and quickly realize that I'm too far back. Pull up and reset and start again. Now I'm too close to the row of empties with my tractor.

At this point I'm beginning to think about the 2 drivers sitting there waiting on me to get backed in so they can do the same.

So finally I reset and was able to back in after doing 3 pullups in the hole. It took me 15 minutes to get backed into the dock. I was glad I was in but upset that it took so long.

So now comes the 8 year veteran. He proceeds to do 2 pullups and..........

Hits the trailer on his blind side.

I will never make fun of someone for making a mistake like this. The whole point of this long post is to help reassure EVERY driver out there that it doesn't matter how long you've been doing this. If you keep your focus on the task at hand and not the other drivers around you, you've got the abilities to do it.

I think a lot of people fail to see how much of a mental game backing is. Focus is the biggest key.

Have a safe day everyone!!

double-quotes-end.png

Completely agree. Doesn't matter how many years or days you've been driving.. Even the best sort trucker makes a mistake..

When backing, you're career is on the line, IMO even more than just driving straight.

Any time I back, I turn my cb off, for soon reason, drivers at truck stops think it's a good idea to make fun of another driver for not being able to hit the hole first time.

Take your time, do it right and GOAL.. (Get Out And Look).

That's a fantastic idea to turn off the CB radio!! smile.gif

mountain girl's Comment
member avatar

Chris, this is soooo, so true. I'm glad you posted this. Thank you. I cannot tell you how many times I went into the city with driver-trainers and with me in the driver's seat, they got soooo incredibly nervous about what the "other drivers" might be thinking, waiting for me to back in to the dock. I thought it was a bit much. I know, especially when you pull up to a customer that has one little building for an office and one single dock, that time is of the essence and you have to make your delivery and quickly move on for other drivers to have their turn, but it was a little ridiculous. The trainers seemed more concerned about the other drivers having to wait than my doing my job properly, or even more importantly, getting the chance to learn my job at all. They'd either coach me through the backing really quickly, so I ended up not really learning anything, or they'd have me give them the wheel so they could do it, all because they were so worried about the other drivers.

One delivery comes to mind and it was towards the end of the day, on a Friday when we pulled up just before 2 or 3 other drivers. The dock, parking lot, and street were small enough that my pull-ups took up the whole street, so any time pulling forward, blocked the street in both directions, with 4-wheelers buzzing around you just as you'd turn your eyes reward to start backing. It was a little dicey but not horrible. I believe it was our last drop and frankly, had I been alone without a trainer, I might have just let the others go ahead of me, watch and learn, and then not worry about their time on the clock.

I can't drive safely, let alone concentrate at all, if I'm imagining what stupid comments other drivers might be making about me, under their breath or over the radio. Everyone has to learn at some point, be safe at all times, and frankly, what they think of me is neither my business nor anything I really give a darn about.

I like your idea of turning off the CB.

-mountain girl

Heavy C's Comment
member avatar

You hit the nail on the head sir! I say that's a huge point you're making here. I myself have been blessed with the "i don't give a dam what you think" trait so it has literally never bothered me when I'm making people wait or having them become impatient. Now don't get me wrong, I will be considerate when I'm able to. You know letting people through first and so on. But when I begin backing or doing whatever I have to with that truck I forget all about them. This is my job, my licence, my livelyhood on the line and there's nobody that's going to screw that up.

Chris L.'s Comment
member avatar

I agree don't let other drivers make you rush and lose your focus. But I never turn off my CB when backing, there may be those few that will complain, but some will be helpful and could possibly warn you if you get to close to something.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

I never turn off my cb when backing for the same reason as Chris. I ignore the chatter.

I consider myself well above average when it comes to backing. But it's dangerous cause the most difficult driving we do is backing up and it's only done 1% of the time. While I am a Backing God I still get out and look. It's why I can put a trailer into any spot as long as it can physically can fit in the hole. G. O. A. L.

mountain girl's Comment
member avatar

It's more than 1% of the time for city drivers; and city and linehaul drivers with day cabs often don't drive for companies that equip their trucks with CBs.

-mountain girl

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.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
Pat M.'s Comment
member avatar

As a kid, my dad was teaching me to back the camper and the two things that stick with me to this day is.....

1. Turn off the radio. This does two things, it removes that processing of the music from your brain and allows you to concentrate on the task at hand.

2. Roll down the windows. It allows you to hear someone yell (he said it was so I could hear him scream if I run him over) and it also gives you a clearer view of your mirrors. Even a little bit of dust on the window can effect the use of the mirror.

Pat M.'s Comment
member avatar

Came up with a little something that may help someone...

I got back to the yard well after dark. There are lights but not where I needed them. Had to back the RGN between a stepdeck and another RGN. Not bad except that I had to come at it from an angle and in the day there is no problem. The worklights were useless because I had to back around the corner into the spot soooo.... I put my flashlight on the corner of the stepdeck cranked her right in there. Think about that the next time you have to back in a dark location with no spotter, you can even put the light on the ground as a reference point.

Stepdeck:

A stepdeck , also referred to as "dropdeck", is a type of flatbed trailer that has one built in step to the deck to provide the capabilities of loading higher dimensional freight on the lower deck.

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