Alley Docking tips, how can I get better at it?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Kingty9183, Apr 17, 2021.

  1. Kingty9183

    Kingty9183 Light Load Member

    Jul 19, 2019
    So im taking my test May 15th. I have all the maneuvers down well except for Alley Docking. Today was my first day attempting it and although I failed I did learn a lot and I feel confident I will have it within the next couple of days however I'm curious what tips can the guys who have been doing it for years give me.
    austinmike, Puppage and Trucker61016 Thank this.
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  3. Qbf594

    Qbf594 Road Train Member

    Aug 15, 2019
    Southern Canadian annex, NY
    slow.rider, alds, Puppage and 2 others Thank this.
  4. dptrucker

    dptrucker Road Train Member

    May 14, 2012
    0 drivers tend to oversteer when backing.
    4.... don't get in a hurry. take it slow
    slow.rider Thanks this.
  5. Linte_Loco

    Linte_Loco Road Train Member

    Apr 24, 2011
    LA (lower Alabama)
  6. RunningAces

    RunningAces Medium Load Member

    Jul 2, 2017
    Stop giving a rats ### about what other drivers think of your backing skills. I'm not saying block a lane for an hour if you can avoid it, just don't let the "trucker gaze" make you uncomfortable when trying to get it in the hole.
    slow.rider, Kingty9183 and alds Thank this.
  7. Allow Me.

    Allow Me. Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    May 28, 2009
    Rancho Mirage, Ca.
    Generally in school, you won't get enough "seat time" to practice backing. So, go rent a u-haul trailer (6X12) and spend the day practicing somewhere backing. Same concept as a 53' trailer. A big part of backing is which way to turn the steering wheel and how much to turn the steering wheel.
  8. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

    Dec 17, 2010
    Hampton Virginia
    I agree with you in theory. The thing to watch out for though is getting used to that 53' delay! You can't practice this with a short trailer.
    Kingty9183 Thanks this.
  9. kemosabi49

    kemosabi49 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Jan 13, 2013
    SW Arkansas
    Winner^^^ Setting up with the trailer already pointing in the general direction you want it to go makes a big difference.
    Linte_Loco Thanks this.
  10. Powder Joints

    Powder Joints Subjective Prognosticator

    Sep 25, 2007
    Rosamond, SoCal
    Alley dock, pull parallel to ( parking space on your left ) about 5 feet out. slow down as you approach the space, stop with your drivers door at the edge of the space your going to back into, GOAL, get back in your tractor slowly pull forward till the middle of your drive tire are at the edge of the space, cut hard right drive out till your tractor is at 90 degrees or 12:00, then hard left till your tractor is at 09:00, stop, start to push the trailer around into the parking spot, gradually turn to the left and get in front of the trailer to finish pushing it into the hole. Stop and pull up if you need to, do not back into anything, pull straight forward if needed then start backing again. Above all practice, till your school you need more time backing, speak up being quiet will get you no help, so learn about trucking, you have to speak up. Squeaky wheel gets the grease, and all that. There's so fair videos on utube,
  11. Six9GS

    Six9GS Medium Load Member

    Dec 3, 2012
    Yuma, AZ
    In reality, some of the distance stuff depends on where your tandems are. The farther back the tandems are, the farther forward you need to pull up before you start to turn. But, that's in the real world, not the test environment. You probably will always have the same tandems spacing while in school and testing, so don't worry about it for now, just know once you get out there, it's a thing.
    Getting that setup is at least 90% of it. I've gone around as many as 5 times till I got a workable setup on a tight dock. I find watching both the rear of my trailer and my trailer wheels helpful. Also found it better to turn around and look instead of just using the mirrors. I found that the mirrors can make it look like I have more clearance with the trailer on the driver's side than I actually do. So, important to look at it directly.
    And, although you won't be tested at night, one thing I found helpful when backing in at night is to lower both my windows. Not having to look through the passenger side window at night will help you see that side easier and better.
    Big thing is to get through the test. Understand you'll probably suck at backing for awhile. It simply takes practice and more practice to figure out how it will work for you. But, realize that all of us went through what you are, survived it and passed. So, have a bit of faith in yourself. I was guilty of trying too hard when I was in training. One of the instructor's pulled me aside, told me to relax a bit and ease up on myself. It helped! I gave myself permission to suck at backing for the time being and without putting the undo pressure on myself, I think it was easier to get past the sucking part (although on occasion EVERYBODY will suck at backing and if they don't admit it, they're lying!).
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