Alley dock

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Mr. EastCoast, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

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    One thing that causes a lot of problems for students and new drivers is they either forget or ignore that delay that a long trailer will have. I can't fully explain this in words. I always used an imaginary line that I aimed for. I did this from muscle memory, it accounted for the delay.

    If you are docking a 53-foot trailer by the time that trailer tire hits the line its already too late IF YOU HAVE NOT GOT OUT OF THE TURN and it will go past the line no matter what you do. When this happens you have to pull up and do it again. Takes a while to master.
     
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  3. Mr. EastCoast

    Mr. EastCoast Bobtail Member

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    Yeahhh I am. I just started learning alley dock today
     
  4. Dockbumper

    Dockbumper Heavy Load Member

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    Watch the video I linked to. You'll figure it out. Good luck. CDL school is stressful. Just take your time and watch others back. Try to learn what they are doing WRONG! There will be lots of WRONG going on! LOL
     
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  5. seagreg

    seagreg Light Load Member

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    7-10 feet is how far the tractor moves before the trailer starts to react.

    Take some time in the offset and learn how long it takes to react. Even intentionally get yourself in trouble in the offset and learn to recover.

    In the alley dock set-up you can be past recovery before you notice it when you are new. Being too shallow is easier to recover from too.

    Also remember to be in the middle of course when starting and pull up as far as you can.

    Pay attention and follow your trailer wheels and learn to think of their frame of reference. Don't focus on the tractor as much except for paying attention to the boundaries and your bat wings.

    IMHO the alley dock is the one that the formulas doesn't work for and you need to focus on building your intuition.

    It weeds out those who are looking at the mirrors vs looking in them.

    Also remember if you get the straight back and offset perfect you can just back the truck a few feet and say you are done and pass IF you don't rack up a lot of points trying to get in the dock.

    When you are with a trainer you won't have limited GOAL or pull-ups and you will progress faster in learning. Just remember to actually get out and look before you hit anything.
     
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  6. seagreg

    seagreg Light Load Member

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    One more thought.

    I think most schools teach to steer to the side with the most trailer on the straight back, there is a similar rule on the alley dock.

    Steer towards trailer danger. At least while you have a lot of distance to still go if you are too close to the left side of the box, steer towards that side of the box. Obviously you will have a turn the other way to straighten up but the initial turn for the correction will be in the direction of the danger when you are reversing.

    On the straight back you only want to move the wheel about a fist width and on the alley dock you may have to steer more but it shouldn't be more than 1/4 of a turn for corrections.

    Obviously if they have you grabbing the bottom of the wheel while backing this doesn't help but IMHO keeping fingers and thumbs out of the inside of the wheel is a good habit to build from the start. If you hit a road ruts, potholes, or an air-compressor dropped out of a pickup bed and your fingers are inside the wheel there is a good chance that they will be broken. So fingers and thumbs on the inside of the steering wheel should always be avoided. The steer towards trailer danger when backing rule helps prevent that and helps build your intuition in backing in my experience.
     
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  7. nredfor88

    nredfor88 Medium Load Member

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    Yep, the CDL mill that I went to in AZ did the same three you mentioned. They didn’t cover the alley dock at all. It was YouTube and the my lousy arse mentor that refused to help in any way. Got though that and then figured it out myself once I went solo.
     
  8. Six9GS

    Six9GS Medium Load Member

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    I always use the 45 type back, where when I set up before I start to back, I am at about a 45 degree or so angle from where I'm trying to back into. I see folks at truck stop use the 'alley' dock where they are at a 90 degree angle to the slot they are backing into when they start to back. I just don't understand why they do it that way. It doesn't save any room and it seems more difficult. IDK. Can anyone explain why you'd have to start a back from a 90 degree angle instead of about a 45ish angle. I've been on the road a year and came across several difficult backing situations, but never had a situation yet where I needed to do a 90 degree back in lieu of a 45.
     
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  9. Dockbumper

    Dockbumper Heavy Load Member

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    It has nothing to do with the school or "mill" you go through in Arizona. The STATE OF ARIZONA requires those three backing maneuvers in order to get your CDL, therefore, the Schools teach you those three.
     
  10. Dockbumper

    Dockbumper Heavy Load Member

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  11. Dockbumper

    Dockbumper Heavy Load Member

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    I think the term " Alley Dock" is used to describe either a 90° OR 45° "back into the hole" maneuver. Some States require that particular maneuver to pass the Skills test and some don't. It doesn't make sense that one of the most common backing skills is not taught, but........well...... it's the Government "rules".......They always make sense! Lolo_O:confused::D
     
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