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  1. #1
    Bobtail Member
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    Questions about backing and parallel parking on cdl (a) test

    I am currently training for a class a cdl with a personal trainer. I won't be driving 18 wheelers, but rather smaller trucks pulling 28' trailers, and straight trucks with flatbeds. Local route driving only, and no freeway driving. I already have several weeks experience on a past job driving 30' straight trucks all over Texas.

    In training, I am of course using a truck and van-type trailer. It' a six speed. The trailer is 28' long.

    I just returned a 5'x10' utility trailer that I rented and hitched to the back of my pickup. I practiced straight line backing and parallel parking with it for a cumulative total of maybe 6 hours in a large empty parking lot. I now know how to back and parallel park a pickup pulling a small utility trailer, but I don't know how much this new knowledge will help me with backing and parallel parking a much larger truck and trailer.



    Anyway, I am trying to find out a couple of things about the cdl driver test.

    Anyone know what the margin of error on the straight-line backing portion is? Is there a minimum speed you must travel at during it, or can you go as slow as you like? Also, does anyone know how far away from the curb you can park and still pass the parallel parking portion of the test? Margins of error on the parallel parking test?

    I have consulted the manual I got from the DPS, but if the information I seek is in there, I am overlooking it.

    Help?


  2. #2
    Road Train Member
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    Usually the rule of thumb is back at idle speed and I would suspect thats what your tester would want to see, that way you dont have to mess around with any of the peddles while trying to back, just be ready with the clutch and brake in case you have to stop. As far as the other I have no clue but you could probably just ask your tester and he/she might appreciate the fact that your are inquiring about it.

  3. #3
    Road Train Member
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    I don't remember doing any parallel parking for my cdl test.

  4. #4
    Road Train Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roadmedic View Post
    I don't remember doing any parallel parking for my cdl test.
    Lol I dont remember either, but I didnt want to bring my memory (or lack of) into question

  5. #5
    Bobtail Member
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    Hi guys. Thanks for your replies.

    I'm in Texas, and here we have to do parallel parking on the test. It's a goocher, but I can't get around it.

  6. #6
    Road Train Member
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    That can be bad.

    But the characteristics of backing a short trailer compared to a long trailer and truck are very different.

  7. #7
    "I Love that Cushaw Pie" poppy's Avatar
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    in ky. i think i remember right. 12 feet wide box of cones to park in, of course one side open. 15 feet longer than you rig.

    seems like when your trailor tandems clear the first cone cut it, then when the far corner cone comes in view cut it back.

    the straight line back is easy.

  8. #8
    Road Train Member Bayle's Avatar
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    In Ma. we have to do straight back, sight side and blind side parallel park and an alley dock for our test.

  9. #9
    Bobtail Member
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    Thanks for your replies.

  10. #10
    Light Load Member Big Poppa's Avatar
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    Just did my test in Irving, TX a couple weeks ago.

    Idle speed is fine (make sure you are in low range though....hehe). Control speed with the clutch. On straight backing, try not to make large corrections if you start to get sideways, small corrections are fine. Large corrections will lose you points on control. As for parallel, stopping each time you make a change in steering is fine at most DPS', but there are a few that require you do the parallel in one smooth motion without stopping while making steering changes (I believe Burleson is one of those). Don't forget that you are allowed to make your last manuever a pull-up to straighten out. You can't be more than 18" from the curb. They'll just eyeball it though. Oh, just one more thing....If you come to a right hand turn where you absolutely must make a buttonhook to make the turn, you will lose a few points. Sucked for me as the very last turn back to the DPS has a turn which you must buttonhook and only got a 91 on my test.

    Good Luck!

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