Struggling to learn how to back up

Discussion in 'Trucking Schools and CDL Training Forum' started by Almendra, Oct 16, 2020.

  1. Almendra

    Almendra Bobtail Member

    Oct 16, 2020
    Today i was trying to back up on a dock and i crashed and feel horrible about it i feel like this is not for me, however i don't want to give up. My boyfriend who has 5 years of experience has been teaching me for 8 months now but he is not too patient he got really upset today and said that he will not teach me anymore to just go to trucking school instead. I have a CDL permit but i have never been to trucking school. I already took the test twice and failed. Did anyone else struggle as much as me or am i really that stupid?
    Lonesome and Chinatown Thank this.
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  3. bryan21384

    bryan21384 Road Train Member

    Sep 18, 2009
    The great state of TN
    You're not stupid. It took 2 tries for me to pass the permit test. I just studied harder. As for the backing, its probably better that you go to a trucking school. Not everyone is meant to teach something that requires so much practice and skill. You'll have several weeks with no pressure to practice and get better. He should not have had you in that type of situation in the first place. Learning to drive a semi truck has layers of development. You have to take it step by step and reading your post it feels like he's trying to fast track you. When you go to trucking school, you won't learn everything, but you'll be able to get the basics and practice. Then you go work somewhere and go out with a trainer. Hopefully you get a good trainer that has patience, experience, and can break it all the way down for you. I struggled with backing for the first 6 months of driving. I'm 11 years in and I still have bad days. With repetition, it gets better, I promise.
    Smut, homeskillet, mitrucker and 4 others Thank this.
  4. Judge

    Judge Road Train Member

    Mar 19, 2014
    Newport, Ar
    8 months, I’d say he’s not a good teacher..
    nredfor88, Cattleman84, alds and 4 others Thank this.
  5. olddog_newtricks

    olddog_newtricks Medium Load Member

    Jun 3, 2018
    People seem to always struggle when learning how to back . Trying to think about having to turn the wheel the opposite way you would a car and such. The best advice I can give is stuff you've probably already heard but here it is anyway. First get as straight as possible with the dock you are backing into. Now put your hand at the top of the steering wheel. When looking in the mirror turn the wheel toward your problem. If the trailer is going left turn the wheel left to correct the problem. That's the basics . If you really want learn to back get a job as a yard jockey. I guaranteed you will be able to back a trailer after a few weeks of that.
    bryan21384 Thanks this.
  6. Whatagal

    Whatagal Light Load Member

    Aug 3, 2020
    North Texas
    I totally agree with Bryan.
    bryan21384 Thanks this.
  7. uncleal13

    uncleal13 Road Train Member

    Apr 9, 2009
    Humboldt, Sk
    When I was 16 I had a riding mower that I towed in a trailer with my pickup truck. after a lot of struggles I eventually got the hang of it.
    Later when I started to drive a semi truck the transition wasn’t very difficult.
    Perhaps next time your home, borrow or rent a small utility trailer and a vehicle to pull it with. The size won’t be so intimidating but the physics are basically the same.
    bryan21384 and AModelCat Thank this.
  8. Whatagal

    Whatagal Light Load Member

    Aug 3, 2020
    North Texas
    Uncleal is right because no matter the size, its all about where your trailer tires are, no matter what or where you're backing into.
    alds Thanks this.
  9. AModelCat

    AModelCat Road Train Member

    Jul 7, 2015
    I hate to say it but the only thing that'll help you get better is practice. Practice in a stress-free environment. Having a manual transmission and low gears helps a lot too. Autos are way too jumpy and twitchy IMO.
    Tb0n3, alds, bryan21384 and 1 other person Thank this.
  10. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2011
    Henderson, NV & Orient
    Yeah, go to trucking school. You'll discover the "Pre-trip" inspection is the hardest part of trucking school.
    If you don't pass the pre-trip inspection at the DMV you won't be issued a CDL, even if you're the best driver in the USA.
    Where is your location; State & nearest city/town.
    alds, bryan21384 and Opus Thank this.
  11. Blue Zombie Trucker

    Blue Zombie Trucker Light Load Member

    Nov 1, 2017
    One thing I learned long ago that helped me a *lot*, but that people don't seem to teach about backing:
    When backing a trailer, steer the trailer with the BOTTOM of the steering wheel.
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