Soon-to-be CDL Student

Discussion in 'The Welcome Wagon' started by WakeUpTheEchoes, Jan 18, 2020.

  1. TravR1

    TravR1 Road Train Member

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    Well the thing to keep in mind is most of your backing up learning is going to be done on your own with practice. In my opinion that's optimal learning when you are by yourself and not being distracted by other people's comments. That way you are free to learn on your own what works and what doesn't work. Just don't hit anything while you are doing it.

    Making a delivery and can't get it in? Nonsense, it will just take you longer to figure it out. I saw a guy take almost an hour once. It took me 45 minutes once to hit a wide open dock.

    When you get your truck, show up to the terminal early, hook up to your trailer and drive around the yard and just back it up into random spots. Then keep doing it when you come off home time.

    You are sacrificing some of your home time, but you are also learning a new skill. Its something that not just any person can be pulled off the street and do, which makes it a value to you.
     
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  2. TravR1

    TravR1 Road Train Member

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    It might help you to compare your experience with angles.

    With a straight truck you have the angle of your truck, and the angle of the hole you want to get it in to consider.

    But with a combination, you have the angle of your tractor, your trailer, and the hole you want to get it in. And when you are looking in your one mirror, or out your window (my preferred method), all the angles are... well angled. The spot you want to get your trailer in will not look straight because your truck is so long and your tractor will also have its additional angle while you are maneuvering to get in that hole you want.

    It looks pretty easy when you are watching it done from outside the truck. But when you are sitting in the driver seat, it's an entirely different perspective.

    But I don't tell you that to scare you. I had zero experience backing up anything. Before I started I didn't even back up my 4wheeler much, and I came from an office job. I just tell you that to use care while you are learning and not to get too over confident that you might hit something.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
  3. WakeUpTheEchoes

    WakeUpTheEchoes Light Load Member

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    So basically, take as much time as I need, i.e. get out and look around the area for problem spots, check overhead clearance, check/double check/triple check area as I am maneuvering if needed. Go slow, and to hell with whoever may be waiting. Thank you for the tips. Much appreciated.
     
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  4. WakeUpTheEchoes

    WakeUpTheEchoes Light Load Member

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    We had 3 53’ trailers coming in per shift where I worked before ( same place I learned to maneuver those straight trucks), and I would watch them backing up to the dock. I can visualize what you are saying. One of the spots, the tractor and trailer looked almost jack-knifed as the driver first began backing in because of trucks and dumpsters across the lot from the dock. Anyway, the angles didn’t look like it would get that trailer in square, but sure enough, that driver would slide right by the curb and be lined up perfectly on that dock for unloading.
     
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  5. TravR1

    TravR1 Road Train Member

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    Yes, that's pretty much it. I have spent a lot of time waiting while other people backed up their trailers. Also so far in my experience I haven't see anyone get impatient and honk or anything like that. I am sure it happens, but in my experience it's rare. They will just grab their phone and play around on it while they wait.

    They might push by as you get it close to getting it in the hole. Just let them go by then resume. No biggie.

    The CB radio is a different animal. If you are planning to run with a CB just turn it off while you are backing. You do not need that distraction.
     
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  6. rbrtwbstr

    rbrtwbstr Road Train Member

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    Here's a tip that helped me when I was new. Go get yourself a toy truck, one of those Hess trucks would work. Practice backing it up. Pay attention to how everything moves.

    Sounds corny, but it helped me visualize what needs to happen.

    Good luck
     
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  7. WakeUpTheEchoes

    WakeUpTheEchoes Light Load Member

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    Limit distractions as much as possible. Turn off sports talk radio (in addition to CB), don’t answer cellphone. Pretty common sense.
     
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  8. WakeUpTheEchoes

    WakeUpTheEchoes Light Load Member

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    I saw a comment from another experienced trucker on here x1heavy, I think. He said the same thing. I’ll try that out. Just remember which way the steering turns the wheels.
     
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  9. TravR1

    TravR1 Road Train Member

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    Yes, that's correct. Open your windows while you back so you hear what's going on since your sight will be limited. Turn off your radio so you can hear if anyone hollers at you trying to stop you or honks their horn stop because it might be directed at you.

    But the CB comment was because a lot of idiots use the CB, unfortunately, and there might be some comments about you being new and still learning. They are idiots. Just turn off the CB radio and don't expose yourself to that. If they were good drivers they wouldn't say anything or they would come help you.

    Also there will still be plenty of folks offering you a hand. I have seen it so many times. So it's not all angry negative out there.
     
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  10. WakeUpTheEchoes

    WakeUpTheEchoes Light Load Member

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    Probably just like on here. There are guys and gals on here offering pretty good advice to newbies and people trying to determine if this is a good occupation for them. Then, there are those who seem to enjoy putting the new guy down and generally finding fault because they feel they are better than the next person. Really enjoyed picking your brain. Anytime you want to feed me words of trucking wisdom, I’m all ears — or eyes.
     
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