Practicing Manuevers?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Penumbra, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. Penumbra

    Penumbra Light Load Member

    Jul 29, 2019
    stupid question time from your old buddy Justin.

    I want to practice my maneuvers...but how do I do that? It’s not like I just have a tractor trailer available to me in my personal time!

    Any ideas or suggestions?
  2. G13Tomcat

    G13Tomcat Road Train Member

    Jun 7, 2011
    There's only one dumb question, and that's the one that goes unasked.

    Both of these might sound stupid, (initially) but sure helped me teach my wife, a few years back, on the days I didn't bring the rig home.

    1.) Go to a Dollar Store (or better yet, a truck stop) and buy a Toy Tractor Trailer, one with preferably most if not all moving parts. (probably fixed tandems, but... oh well.) Use books or something as dock or cone markers....and back'er in.... over and over and over. You will see how the trailer moves, as the tractor 'pushes' it in the hole. Do every set up you can think of.. offsets, 90's, 45's, straights, etc....even parallels. Trust me, it works. You will learn how the trailer reacts from the motion of the tractor.

    2.) Tie, or cable tie, a broom to the back of your jeans/belt/belt loop. Let it follow you around the house without it hitting anything. You can even use it for backing up, but it works better for forward responses.

    I know, both of these sound lame, but i'm old school country, and THIS WORKS.

    Ask @x1Heavy ... I bet he will agree, and even add some.

    ps: playing with a neighbor's short wheel base mower trailer does NOT help, IMHO.

    Best wishes,
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  3. Lepton1

    Lepton1 Road Train Member

    Nov 23, 2012
    Yukon, OK
    When I was a trainer I bought a RC tractor trailer for my trainees to practice. Even though they had a real tractor trailer to practice with, that little 3' long RC rig made it easier for them to get an overhead view of what's going on. They were able to quickly figure out what it means to "follow a trailer".
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  4. G13Tomcat

    G13Tomcat Road Train Member

    Jun 7, 2011
    See?!? Glad I'm not the only one. It worked WONDERS with the wife. We had two... a dry van and a BP tank (antique...) since we pulled tanks. A bit shorter... Quite the trick of the trade, imho.
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  5. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Nashville, TN
    The only 2 things I can think of

    1 any vehicle with a tow hitch and any trailer can show you SOME of the principles involved in backing and you can practice. It's not really close to the real truck and trailer but it bends in the middle.

    2 without a practice vehicle, watch YouTube videos. Look for the ones from schools, insurance companies, and the like. There are some good videis from individuals, but you will hurt your learning if you hop around to multiple teachers using different terms and techniques. The grainy videos from 1988 by schools are at least consistent.

    It's good to have the idea of what you want to do in your head, but mostly the physical practice and the moment it clicks in your head requires just doing the maneuvers. It also helps to have a trained eye watching you practice
    Practicing the wrong things or doing them wrong is just wasting time.
  6. buddyd157

    buddyd157 Road Train Member

    May 25, 2017
    New England area
    i go along with the buy a toy tractor-trailer set up, preferably one that has steerable tires.

    set up some stones, pencils, what ever, to emulate a lane of sorts, and back her up...!!!!!
  7. Jenn72

    Jenn72 Light Load Member

    Jun 7, 2019
    What helped me was to practice with a toy semi truck to back up. I also would sit and watch trucks at the truck stop. It would show me what to do and not to do.
  8. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2016
    White County, Arkansas
    My family hurt me a little bit (It's a personality disappointment more than just a ow..) by not spending a dollar on full function, it's literally idiot proof RC toys but when you have to back it up for it to run anywhere in a half circle backing up to go in any direction depending on how looser and looser that front end was getting its really bad as a ambassador for radio control.

    I have tasted quality much later in life with RC heavy equiptment, one mixer (What a hoot...) and a couple of other tractors for certain tasks related to mowing in areas where it will flip a man off and kill same. So you hop off "Drive It"

    And the biggest fun to date? There is a Union Pacific GP 38 stripped down for unmanned switcher work. So there is a doodad on your belt and aim a robot to shove a boxcar to the box factory so they can box up and load the boxes into the doors so that its all packed up neatly in many boxes.

    (Anyone care to try for a record or top my number count of a simple word?)

    Someday late in life I will find something full function. stick it into a proper vehicle large enough to do something with it.

    This little tractor is got probably everything we got in the big ones... listen to this little thing carefully.

    Also not too often sweethearts run after it with some motivation. Puts a smile on the face. Poor Baby up there in that car carrier. WTF do I have to sit and look. I never get to touch or play anything. Waaa waass waaa. lolz.

  9. Lepton1

    Lepton1 Road Train Member

    Nov 23, 2012
    Yukon, OK
    I like the "cat catcher".
  10. meechyaboy

    meechyaboy Medium Load Member

    Oct 4, 2018
    I learned the toy tractor trailer tip from the guy in cdl school . And it’s helped the most. He said “You gotta see it”. When somebody messed up. “He’s just not seeing it”. It’s obviously not the same as driving but it helps with seeing what the trailer is doing. Also helps you see how to fix it.
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