Mountain Driving with 53' trailer and tandem positioning

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by baby, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. baby

    baby Light Load Member

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    QUESTION for experienced drivers! when i drive in mountans with switchback turns i slide my tandems FORWARD to keep from having to enter opposing traffic lane as little as possible by shortening my total wheel base. A student just told me today his trainer told hm to EXTEND the wheel base on switchback roads and slide tandems BACK to avoid trailer swing so as not to hit rear of trailer on cliff overuangs. Me??? i just WATCHED my trailer! but this student is adament that his trainer with 19 years drivng experience is correct and the way i do it with a 53' trailer is wrong. i told him it was really a preference anyways..but that i still felt that shortening the wheel base amd watchng trailer swing was the best way. Any opinions here??? ive only been driving for two and a half years...i do ALOT of mountain driving and thats the way i like to roll and i thought it was the SAFEST way.
     
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  3. Pahrump

    Pahrump Medium Load Member

    Many trainers don't have a clue how to drive a truck and for sure don't ##### about training..
    Shorten up as much as possible but keep your weight on you axles legal..

    Here is a scary mountain moment,

    I was headed west going down Cabbage in Oregon,, Came up on a Schneider tanker in front of me with heavy smoke going out of his trailer brakes. Turned my CB on and advised the driver about his over trailer brakes and his reply was "Oh I know my trailer brakes are smoking,,,I am using the hand valve going down the mountain,,I am saving my tractor brakes for when I get to the bottom, My trainer taught me to do this"
     
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  4. Nukem

    Nukem Road Train Member

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    That has to be the most idiotic person to be driving... COMMON SENSE even says not to do that... But the it's not that common these days, huh? :biggrin_25523:

    But shortening the wheel base for tighter turns (if your load will allow), using the jake brake, and NOT SPEEDING in the first place make more sense...

    Get the load there on time, but more importantly... SAFELY
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2014
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  5. TripleSix

    TripleSix God of Roads

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    Ah yes, the godlike trainer. The person with a rookie' driving future in his hands. Beyond Supertrucker, because he has a disciple. Thinks of himself as some sort of messiah. Gets a rookie and tries to convert his teachings to worship. Stays far away from the heathen troublemakers at the lunch counter for fear that they will tell the little disciple that his master is an idiot. Keeps the radio off too because everyone he encounters, even drivers that run for the same company as him will call him out and declare that he is an idiot.

    Nothing wrong with being a rookie. Contrary to what some drivers may say or how they speak, WE ALL WERE ROOKIES at one time. As I said, nothing wrong with being a rookie. There's something terribly wrong with being a Truckin Disciple. How do you identify a Truckin Disciple?

    And the dumber part of the "Dumb and Dumber" program has just spoken up. What happens when he becomes a trainer in 6 months? He spreads the gospel of the godlike trainer. All unbelieving trainees are excommunicated off the truck.



    A driver was running through some thick fog when he saw tailights and hazard lights flashing in the right lane. As he passed the truck, he sees the reverse lights on the bobtail.

    "Driver, what the hell are you doing? You're going to kill someone!

     
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  6. TripleSix

    TripleSix God of Roads

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  7. Big Don

    Big Don "Old Fart"

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    To the OP, I used to run Colorado a lot. Places like Berthod Pass on US 40 and others with switchbacks. I never bothered to change my tandems from the way I had set them for the load. The key is to just take it slow and easy, watch your mirrors and don't let anybody try to hurry you.

    To TripleSix, it really is scary to see rookies thinking they are "TRAINERS" just because the company told them they were. It is more scary to see rookies who can't think for themselves, and believe everything their trainer has told them.
     
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  8. baby

    baby Light Load Member

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    okay. thanks guys! im a west virginia mountain girl...and switchbacks are where i learned to drive cars at...so they dont scare me..but i really thought iy just made sense thatbtuebshorter your wheel base the easier it would be to navigate the turns...and of course keepn your weight legal and watching your tail end! but the rookir said the trainer had been driving 19 years...and i just thought maybe he knew something i didnt...and if that was so..mi wanted to know! thanks for the thoughts! i sure do HOPE that new driver after 4 weeks of training makes it iut there in the mountains! thats a scary place for a rookie to be anyways no matter what tye wheel base is set at in a tractor trailer! good luck to him....
     
  9. baby

    baby Light Load Member

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    sorry about the typos..
    my smartphone keyboard is really baaaaaaddddd.
     
  10. Pahrump

    Pahrump Medium Load Member

    few years ago I met a driver loading for the same destination as me,,He told me he had only been driving for 3 weeks and was running with a trainer, Wished him luck told him to go easy be carful and always remember "He runs the truck and the truck doesn't run him"

    Six weeks later I ran into the rookie again,,asked him how his training was going. He told me "Oh I finished trainer a couple weeks ago and that he has a rookie with him and he is now a trainer"
     
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  11. baby

    baby Light Load Member

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    i dont wanna make fun of the guy either..its just that im WORRIED after only four weeks with a trainer and going out to do a delivery job...that i know he will be doing mountain driving...im worried he will hurt himself or somebody else! as a matter of fact...i dont even believe it is a good idea at all for him to he mountain driving in a tractor trailer after only four weeks training and much less with an extended wheelbase in the montains! the shorter hebis the easier it will be for him to negotiate turns.
     
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