HELP!!! Tight Spaces

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by Josherd87, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. luvtotruck

    luvtotruck Road Train Member

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    Jul 30, 2013
    Phoenix Arizona
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    Just be careful, There was a post in here a while back that hit home for me, It made total sense and that was keep a hand at the bottom of the wheel and the way you go with that hand on the steering wheel is the way the trailer will go, It made total sense to me and has help a bunch. Just take your time, if anyone gets frustrated or upset with the time it is taking tell them your license is dated for the 14th of whatever month it is or was, Or you just started last week, I've told folks that over the whole time I have been driving, Tell them you just started and if they want to show you how to do it then get in the truck. I'll back in a hole at a T/S and a Driver will come over and say to me "Man you put that in there like it was a shoe on your foot, How long have you been driving?" I'd say my licenses isn't even dried from the machine, I just started on Friday! They are amazed with my ability to get the trailer in the spot, I talk it all away with my response, "I left out on my first trip on Tuesday!" Then they would say "Dang you did that like a pro" I think to myself that it was easy as I pulled right up and backed straight back in, but they thought I came from an angle or something. Take It easy It will come, just don't hit anything.
     
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  3. Josherd87

    Josherd87 Light Load Member

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    Feb 19, 2014
    Columbus, Ohio
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    HAHA, That is funny stuff. I heard a story of a women who drove for 4 years and never backed her truck in once because she would ubutton her shirt a little and have another driver do it..

    But i will keep that in mind, a feew drivers giving me pointers instead of getting madd can only help,
     
  4. S M D

    S M D Road Train Member

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    Its all about how you set your self up. Dont go for the swifty special where you jackknife the hell out of it with a bunch of space around you
     
  5. dieselfuelonly

    dieselfuelonly Road Train Member

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    Nov 12, 2012
    Chapel Hill, NC
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    Yeah you'll run into a fair number of places like this, where there isn't enough room to get everything straight before you put the trailer into the hole.

    When I'm going into a tight spot, the thing I try to do the most is leave myself room on my passenger side of my tractor, about a truck and a half width or so, because remember that you're going to have to swing out the front end of your tractor to pull out of the turn. Remember that you'll always have to leave room to get yourself out of the "jackknife" which will require the front of the tractor to swing out a bit. I like to have the trailer pretty darn close to whatever is on my sight side, since I can always pull out and shift the trailer over to the side more later on once I'm in the hole, if need be. Remember that depending on the type of the trailer you are pulling, the overhang has the possibility of working its way out of the lane , even if your tandems look like they are going in fine. I still GOAL all the time to make sure I'm not going clip anything with the the overhang swing of my trailer.

    On the tightest of spots, sometimes you'll have to get the trailer going into the hole, then work yourself back and fourth a couple times in order to be able to get it straight again. When I'm trying to get into that last parking spot at the truck stop in the middle of the night, when I have a really light or empty trailer I'll have the tandems slid up when I first start putting the trailer in, then I'll slide them all the way back so I don't ram into the guy on the blind side with the overhang. Don't have to do this often but from time to time I still do.

    Also remember that its not just backing you have to be careful with, in these really tight areas when you are pulling the trailer out... it can still swing!! Also, don't be afraid to GOAL and check to make sure that you're not going to run over the front of another truck or trailer when coming out on your blind side, either.

    I've only been driving for a little over a year now, so sorry if my descriptions of how I do things aren't very helpful, but hopefully you can get the idea.
     
  6. paul 1052

    paul 1052 Heavy Load Member

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    Its just practice, DO NOT feel pressured to hit the dock fast if you're blocking someone they can wait til you're done also don't be afraid to get out and look as many times as you need to...would you rather feel silly about looking 10 times or hit something? Pull up as many times as you need to, after 30 years of doing this I still do.

    Just don't let the pressure push you into hitting something.

    I've had docks in NYC start me out with the tractor pointing north but after all the pull ups and jacking around when I finally hit the hole straight the tractor was 90 degrees to the south.
     
  7. rockee

    rockee Road Train Member

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    Generally speaking, when backing in, usually the straighter you are before you start backing the easier it will be to get it in the hole but no matter what direction you are pointed just stop for a second and think about how you want to set yourself up before you start making things happen. If you are still driving now.....you should be able to practice some and it don't really matter if it's a flatbed or not.
     
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  8. CargoWahgo

    CargoWahgo Road Train Member

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    Somin bout backing in between two trucks and trailers gets to ppl.

    You can have all the room in the world but you still wonder bout that blind side.

    Meanwhile you go into a cluster of inanimate telephone poles dumpsters and conveniently placed racks and could care less though its a 1000 times more of a challenge.

    Its mental op.

    It'll never go away completely.

    Quit over thinking it settle down and just drive the truck.
     
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  9. BigPerm

    BigPerm Medium Load Member

    And..do everyone a favor when you're in a tight space...take some time & make certain you are aligned & straight on a parking space. If one person screws up, it gets worse down the line. I always assume I took the next to last space. I'm kinda anal on docks too...I try to get as absolutely straight & aligned as possible. Some places are so tight you can barely get between trailers to crank up the gear. Basic consideration...and yes don't be afraid ask OR volunteer helping someone back in.

    Caio'
     
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  10. Cranky Yankee

    Cranky Yankee Cranky old ######

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    Green Bay Wi
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    you already have a sense of how big your truck is
    and how much area it takes up
    when backing in to docks remember your tandems on the trailer is the pivot point
    not the back of the trailer
    no matter what else is going on slow and careful and GOAL

    be careful taking directions from other drivers
    you go hit something they just shrug and walk away
     
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  11. chicknwing

    chicknwing Medium Load Member

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    Jan 4, 2014
    Charlotte, NC
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    Provided you are pulling a trailer with tandems and not a spread axle try this:

    Set up in a 45 whenever possible, this gets your trailer pointed towards the hole from the beginning. Before you start to back it up make sure the last trailer tandem is approximately 12 feet past the hole you intend to back into (reaction distance). once you cut the wheel to the right back up and watch the trailer tandems. You will notice that they start to slow down before they begin to pivot. The pivot is not what you want. Learn to read the tandems, when they get almost to the point they are going to stop crank the wheel hard left and hold it. The idea here is to keep the tires rolling backwards. If you see the back end of the trailer is close to hitting something STOP! Turn the steer tires straight and pull forward approximately 12 feet. Before you back turn the steers towards the side you were about to hit on. (Steer towards the trouble)

    Don't forget that it is OKAY to use GOAL and it is okay to take as many pull ups as you need. I have taught many students to back into a hole between trailers using that method. Hope it helps you out, and like everyone else said, practice, practice, practice. In no time you will be a pro!
     
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