90 degree backing...

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by teachmebouttrucking, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. teachmebouttrucking

    teachmebouttrucking Light Load Member

    Feb 6, 2008
    Asheville, NC
    Ok I have got the hang of driving, double clutching, watching trailer down and up shifting excetra but I am haveing a hard time with the 90 degree backing. Can anyone give me some tips to make it easier.
  2. Brian22

    Brian22 Light Load Member

    Aug 21, 2007
    Dallas, Tx
    one thing i've always done, pull foward till the very end of your trailer is about 10-12ft past the spot you want to park into, then turn the wheel all the way right and start backing up, straighten the wheel to avoid smacking the trailer into the side of the cab and as soon as you see the trailer tires stop rolling and almost start dragging, turn the wheel all the way left and do it quickly, depending on where the trailer tandems are, it will go in almost perfectly every time.

    just remember, the best thing you can do while backing is take it slow and if you are unsure, set the brakes and get out and look.
    bornagaintrucker Thanks this.
  3. kaydriver1

    kaydriver1 Light Load Member

    Oct 6, 2007
    Too bad you can't get out and look when your taking the test.
    That's one of the first things the instructor told me when I was testing. It sure would help to be able to. It may differ from state to state, I don't know.
  4. teachmebouttrucking

    teachmebouttrucking Light Load Member

    Feb 6, 2008
    Asheville, NC
    Thanks Brian. I will try that this weekend.
    Kaydriver I know what you mean were not allowed to get out and look either.
  5. Working Class Patriot

    Working Class Patriot Road Train Member

    Jan 17, 2008
    Wherever and Whenever...
    So when you have your CDL and working Just get out and look:biggrin_25519:

    I only use the clutch to get into 1st or reverse in practice. When I tested, I faked double clutching.:biggrin_255:
  6. DeMorcan

    DeMorcan Bobtail Member

    Nov 8, 2007
    Peoria, IL
    I have had trouble with this in 2 placves so far. One was in Chicago with a 24' wide street and a 9'6" wide underbuilding garage to go into. I finally got it, but had no idea how to set it up with a 53' reefer. The other one was the similiar. 90 degree backup again, but with only 20' in front of the truck once in. Alll the other trucks had shorter reefers. I had a good 2 feet each side to work with. However the 20' in front did not have a street curb. It had an 11" high curb (I meaqsured it while waiting to get loaded as well as measuring the 20'). My right turn kept hitting the the curb and then straightening out, went way past the slot. It took me a darn half hour to park the thing. I shortened up the tandem as far as possible which did help. Had no idea which way to move the 5th wheel. Could not figure out if I wanted shorter length or a sharper turn. Ended up with it pulled up to shorten my length.

    Can anyone help me with the setup and procedures for a 90 degree backup when there is no room for anything else and a short area in front of the dock to work with?

    Thank you,
  7. chief

    chief Heavy Load Member

    Jul 15, 2007
    Flavor Country, NC
    if you're talking about 90 degreeing in between 2 rigs at a truckstop -good luck! I've driven almost 3 years and I still won't attempt that! of course they make the steering on these flatbed trucks where they won't turn as sharp as on a trailer that doesn't have a spread axle. if they didn't, you'd be trying to get it at too sharp of an angle to get it in the space, then risk tipping the trailer over.

    demorcan - you have to go really really really REALLY slow! but if you determine there simply isn't enough room to manuever - tell them there isn't room and tell them to unload you in the street.
  8. Hub City

    Hub City Bobtail Member

    May 25, 2007
    New England
    You guys should try P/D here in NE (Boston, NY, etc.) Most every stop is at some old mill built a hundred or more years ago!
    Gettin' OUT is almost as bad as gettin' IN!
  9. tuckerndfw

    tuckerndfw Light Load Member

    Mar 16, 2008
    Dallas, TX
    I once delivered to a paper warehouse in New Orleans and that was a nightmare.

    They were beneath a bridge and there was no wiggle room to do anything. You either put it into the dock (inside the building) the first time or you started all over again.

    One of the bridge poles was directly across from their dock preventing a straight in back.

    And, I used to run the east coast on a regular basis and I can say with some degree of certainty that warehouse was about as hard as anything I encountered on the east coast, including the meat market that required backing two blocks the wrong way down a one way street.

    And, when you left, you could not turn right so you had to turn left and then back about 100 yards down the narrow access road and then onto a major throroughfare (on the blind side) to get out of there.


    So far as answering the original question: PRACTICE and then MORE PRACTICE.

    Just relax and don't get in any hurry and you'll do just fine.
  10. tuckerndfw

    tuckerndfw Light Load Member

    Mar 16, 2008
    Dallas, TX
    Excellent advice to all drivers, especially newbies.

    Do not be afraid to tell the shipper or receiver that you cannot get into an assigned dock if you sincerely believe you cannot do so safely.

    I have done that on more than one occasion when other trucks prevent safely backing into a dock.

    Better to wait than to be charged with an accident.
    bornagaintrucker and Lynchmob Thank this.
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