Love all ya truckers out there! Yesturday as I was coming home from work I watched a truck back into a NARROW space in front of a liquor store where he was scheduled to deliver. I am always in awe of the skill they have that a lot of us folks in our little gadget cars don't ever have to worry about. I am grateful that I have been educated about the life of truckers.
P.S. And thank you for all the goodies in the stores!
45 degree alley backing help please
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It has been quite a few years since I went through driving school and done any driving. So I'm bound for school as a refreshers. Like most "newbies" I've thought about the whole backing issue and even worried about it. I just wanted to thank you for you post on how to back. It totally brought back my memory and I could actually hear my old instructors voice in my head explaining it to me. how funny! Great Post!!
There are various techniques in order to get the proper set up for the 45 degree angle or "Alley Dock" parking position and to finally accomplish It.
I have seen that in a lot of places like small Truck stops and Distribution centers that You may have to do closer to a 90 degree angle back up in order to park Your rig. You have to make an angle in these types of places. If It is kind of difficult in a particular location It is always advisable to ask a Dock worker to help You in Your backing attempt or to give You some advice.
There is nothing wrong with doing a few long (effective) pull ups in order to better center the Semi within the parking box.
Some Trainers will ask You to take Your foot off of the brake while You are doing this process and some trainers will tell You to ride the clutch and to make definite stops while You are doing Your set up and still other Trainers will ask You to try to keep the Semi rolling while You are doing the set up and also the final parking inside of the box. I think that It is best to just remember to let go of the clutch first or to push in the clutch first and only then use Idle power from the reverse Low range and not to use any Throttle at all in order to perform this maneuver.
SETUP IS EVERYTHING! Get as close to a 45 deg angle to the parking spot as possible and far enough back and the proceedure will work much like parallel parking.
I have seen that the best way to do either 45 deg Parking or Parallel parking with a Semi is to make a set of points where steering inputs are required, just the same as a missle being steered by offset thrusters (bang Right, bang Left). It is much easier to steer in this manner by using the front of the Trailer as a reference until You reach the final parking adjustments into the parking box.
If You look at a reference mark on the headboard of the Trailer or the number of feet inward from the Landing gear sand feet (1,2 or 3) You can make a more accurate set up towards getting inside of the parking box.
The first thing that You would do after being in a fairly good 45 deg angle to Your box and 10 to 20 ft. away from the box is to start turning hard to the right on the steering wheel in order to get Your reference point from the front of the trailer, say 2 ft. of landing gear, from the sand shoe to the middle of the Landing gear bar, visible in the Left flat (plane) mirror
When You have the front of the Trailer steered to Your reference point on the landing gear or trailer headboard by turning hard right then
turn the wheel to the left all of the way in order to completely straighten out the Tractor and the Trailer and then start
straightline backing for about 10 to 20 feet until You are close to the parking box.
Now You have to focus on the rear of the trailer, particularly the Tandems and use them for Your reference point.
Turn Your wheel from Tractor wheels centered to a little bit to the right gradually to harder until the Trailer starts to enter the parking box, along the line to the Left side.
Turn the wheel completely to the Left and slowly move backwards into the parking box. This should push the Trailer completely into the parking box about half way.
The main thing to remember at this point is not to oversteer. There is a balance point of about half a turn of the steering wheel required to make the final parking adjustments for Alley docking or parallel parking.
Use both the Right and the Left mirrors for reference to the position of the Trailer in the parking box whenever possible. The Left mirror is the more accurate POV while You are performing this maneuver so watch with It as You are gradually turning the steering wheel to the right in order to completely center the Trailer into the box.
You will need to center the Tractor wheels at this point and slowly roll all of the way back into the parking spot to the area where You have to Dock or to Stop.
Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Discuss:45_degree_angle_backing_for_a_semi-trailer#ixzz1VcuEcjEf
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