Help with Setting up trailer!

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Theguy24, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. Theguy24

    Theguy24 Bobtail Member

    Jul 18, 2011
    I'm in trucking school right now ...doing well in alley docking, offset etc ,but If I have to set up truck the instructor always has to take over to make sure tires and trailer is straight in line

    I have tendency to have a crooked trailer mostly to the left ,but some times to the right also or my truck not staying in lane completely at times .. I'm just starting,but once I get this down with help... I'll be a pretty decent rookie

    I want to get to the point where I can move the truck and tractor to one if I want the back trailer wheel by a cone maybe two feet apart... my truck wheels would also be there.. instead of pulling up and then losing that spot and having trouble getting back there again

    I'm also in truck many times and it looks crooked from mirrors ,but when I get out and look it's perfect... messing up my judgement even more
  2. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2011
    Henderson, NV & Orient
    Make sure the mirrors are vertically straight; if they are not, the view may be distorted.
    Theguy24 Thanks this.
  3. STexan

    STexan Road Train Member

    Oct 3, 2011
    Longview, TX
    And you may be focusing too much (or only) on the nose of the trailer as you're backing up to it. Equally divide your attention to the nose of the trailer as well as along the side of the trailer to the rear. If you can see the rear of the trailer in one mirror but not the other, you're not aligned parallel with the trailer.
    Theguy24 Thanks this.
  4. Wingnut1

    Wingnut1 Light Load Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    The Mitten
    Use your convex mirrors, not the flat mirrors.
    Theguy24 Thanks this.
  5. Bayle

    Bayle Road Train Member

    Aug 30, 2007
    Cottage Grove, MN
    The best way I have found to make sure all is straight if there are not lines. Make sure the drive tires are straight with the the trailer. Same goes with hooking as well.
    Theguy24 Thanks this.
  6. Theguy24

    Theguy24 Bobtail Member

    Jul 18, 2011
    Thanks for the tips... will use them!

    Also when I see my instructors straighten the trailer they do it pretty quick... while for me I have to drive completely forward... they might fix the crooked left side trailer by going I think right a little then going left.. and bam or they can reverse the tire where ever they want it to go and then end up with a striaght trailer ... while... my trailer ends up at an angle mostly towards the left

    I got to work on set up... especially when I want tires by cone not to far off it... they're able to back up and get truck and trailer aligned perfectly straight and correct distance from cone... to do offset, and parallel
  7. Allow Me.

    Allow Me. Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    May 28, 2009
    Rancho Mirage, Ca.
    When you say the instructor "takes over", do you mean he gets in the drivers seat ? If so, how are YOU to learn anything with him doing the deed ? Ask him.
  8. cheeseburger

    cheeseburger Medium Load Member

    Mar 23, 2010
    southeast KY
    be careful not to "overcorrect", take your time and learn how the trailer responds with what your trying to do.

    eventually it'll click.
  9. Larryparker

    Larryparker Medium Load Member

    Jan 23, 2010
    Boynton beach, FL
    Experience, practice, take your time, its not a race.

    Happy Holidays.
    Numb Thanks this.
  10. Numb

    Numb Crusty Curmudgeon

    Jan 30, 2012
    ever play with a toy tractor trailer and back it up. seriously! lol

    it gives you an idea of the dynamics. then just have the image in your head of what should happen.

    even us old veteran drivers have trouble sometimes, so don't beat yourself.

    had it happen last week. dock was off center to building and had me all screwed up !!! lol
    all it was is an optical illusion of straight, but,NOT.
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