I Just Start Driving Truck...and Got Problem Backing..

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Sung Y.'s Comment
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Hello everyone... First I had problem with shifting gear...now no problem.. But..new problem comming...it's backing the truck..anybody has good advice. .. Please help me..

Daniel B.'s Comment
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Backing will always be tough. Especially at the beginning of your career. If you're having trouble backing then just keep practicing. You shift better with every mile driven. You also learn something new with each back up. Just absorb and learn. Don't be afraid to ask your instructor or trainer for help. Remember, learn now so you don't forget the hard way later.

Don't let this bring you down, keep your head up. Backing isn't something you immediately master.

Tracy W.'s Comment
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The two things I learned when backing using the mirrors that helped me the most is 'turn toward the problem' and 'a pull-up fixes everything' ... the other is learning exactly when to start 'chasing' the wheels of the trailer.

Pretty soon, the light bulb comes on, and it gets a lot easier. Practice, practice, practice ... don't be afraid to take a pull up and straighten the truck out, even on your CDL exam. It's always better to pull up than hit something. Use your 'get-outs' on the exam, and use even more when backing for real: 'G.O.A.L - Get Out And Look'

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.
Starcar's Comment
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I had to learn to back up totally different than anything anyone could tell me. I put my hands palm up, on the bottom of the steering wheel. I watch the Tandems , not the end of the trailer. I start backing SLOWLY...when I want the trailer to go to the left...I turn the steering wheel with my left hand, going up. When I want the trailer to go to the right, I turn the steering wheel up with my right hand. This hand position will keep you from over steering. And your brain doesn't have to do the double twist to remember which way is which. I know it sounds weird, and it feels weird when you try it. But I've been using this method for 15 years...and I can back a trailer anywhere I need it to go. And as usual, its always wise to..when in doubt, get out and look, and pull up when you need to. Good luck...

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".

Traffic Jam (SunnyWalker.'s Comment
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Yip. I learned the same way years ago. However, in trucking school they wanted my hand on top of the wheel. So I accomodated them and made the change in my mind. However, I think I'll go back to the first method.

-Traffic Jam

Brock Monday's Comment
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I taught drivers training in the Army. Generally peoples biggest problem was oversteering. Keep your right hand at either 12 or 6 o`clock. Keep your left arm on the window (it will make it easier to look back at the trailer). Do not turn the steering wheel more then 25 degrees. Which means you only use half the steering wheel while backing. If your hand is at 12 then you will go no further then 9 while turning the wheel left and no more then 3 while turning right. Plus the slower you go the easier it will be. You dont need to fully come off the clutch until you master backing. I hope this helps. It is the best I could do without watching you back up. Remember when you back up you turn opposites.

Troubador222's Comment
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Heh, after school, and 4 months of being a driver, I back as slow as I can, get out and look unless my co driver is up and helping. (that makes a big difference too, having someone to spot you. If you dont have that GOAL.)

There are some days I back right in. Some of those days they are tight spots, with little room. The other day, I went in a truck stop to take my 30 minute break, and backed into an empty rwo of spaces and ended up in 2 spaces. Had to pull forward and take one, just in case the place got busy.

Bottom line is go slow! Do NOT worry about how many times it takes you with pull ups. GET OUT AND LOOK if you are by your self. If you have a helper, make sure you understand the signals he/she wii;; be giving you. If you dont hit anything, it is a good back up.

Its also important to ignore anyone who might be giving you grief about your backing skills. Seriously, just ignore those people. If you have a CB turn it off. Just concentrate on doing what you have to do, and getting it done safely. If you have to pull up a bunch of times, but you end up backing in with out hitting another truck or trailer, you did it well.

The other night, i was at a truck stop in CN just outside of RI. My co driver was asleep, and it was not a big deal backing in. Right in the middle, some guy started banging on my door and screaming at me. He was in the row ahead of me. I stopped of course, and woke up my co driver and asked him to spot for me. Turns out, I was a mile from the the guys truck, and just fine. He kept saying I was going to catch the back of his truck with the front of mine. He even got in his truck and pulled forward. I never came close and backed right in. The guy was paranoid and loopy. My biggest concern was, they had the old Idle Air systems, and there was a concrete island with that in between every other parking slot. The guy ended up screaming and pulling out of the truck stop. I never came withing 10 feet of the rear of his truck when I pulled my tractor around. He was just messed up. I just waved bye bye.

Though, when he first banged on the truck, I did take him at his word, and woke my codr. iver up to spot. That is the important thing. Someone may be wrong on their perceptions, but if I am worng on mine, I will damage something and lose my job, so it is worth stopping, even if they are wrong.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jackie H.'s Comment
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Tracy W. said "turn toward the problem". What exactly does that mean ? Please clarify.confused.gif

Daniel B.'s Comment
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Tracy W. said "turn toward the problem". What exactly does that mean ? Please clarify.confused.gif

When backing a trailer, everything is opposite.

So if I'm trying to back up as straight as possible and my trailer starts to move toward my right (passenger side) then I will turn the steering wheel to the right to make the trailer move back left.

So if the trailer is moving left (drivers side) then I will move the steering wheel left to make the trailer move back to the right.

Envision yourself on the drivers seat. All you have is 2 mirrors. One on your left and one on your right.

If you start perfectly even and and then you start to see more of the trailer on your right side mirror then that means the trailer is moving to the right (obviously). So if you turn the steering wheel to the right it will make the trailer move to the left. In this example, the "problem" was in the right mirror so we turned the steering wheel towards the "problem" to correct it.

Jackie H.'s Comment
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double-quotes-start.png

Tracy W. said "turn toward the problem". What exactly does that mean ? Please clarify.confused.gif

double-quotes-end.png

When backing a trailer, everything is opposite.

So if I'm trying to back up as straight as possible and my trailer starts to move toward my right (passenger side) then I will turn the steering wheel to the right to make the trailer move back left.

So if the trailer is moving left (drivers side) then I will move the steering wheel left to make the trailer move back to the right.

Envision yourself on the drivers seat. All you have is 2 mirrors. One on your left and one on your right.

If you start perfectly even and and then you start to see more of the trailer on your right side mirror then that means the trailer is moving to the right (obviously). So if you turn the steering wheel to the right it will make the trailer move to the left. In this example, the "problem" was in the right mirror so we turned the steering wheel towards the "problem" to correct it.

Thanks for the awesome explanation. That's exactly what I was thinking it meant, but, of course wasn't sure. thank-you.gif

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