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Old 09-04-2001, 07:19 PM
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Default Backing up a 18 wheeler?

Whats your opinions on handling backing up? The do's and dont's! The one thing that has me more nervous than anything. Is learning to back one of those big ****ers up!
Old 09-04-2001, 08:21 PM
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Default My advice....

Although I am a newbie, the best advice I can offer is practice, practice, practice and oh yeah more practice. You still won't be perfect at it but every little bit helps. I spent and extra two weeks in class mastering my reverse operations and now have complete confidence in it. So just keep practicing. Jen
Old 09-04-2001, 08:36 PM
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Default Backing

While backing; make sure your mirrors are adjusted properly, before beginning. Watch your mirrors, both sides. If you have any doubt whatsoever; pull your park brake; get out; walk around and look.
Old 09-04-2001, 08:37 PM
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Default ccman

One of the most common problems with beginners, and at times even experienced, is oversteering.

When children are around the wife she always cautions them, "little bites, for little people!" Now I'm not saying you are a little person. I'm giving you that saying so it will come to mind when you back. Now I would not say the saying out loud when others are present, unless you want them "to wonder about Mr. Crazy Man!" But when you say that saying in your head you take little bites of the steering wheel.

If you get too big of bites you will be chasing your trailer all over the place. Which would be good if you're doing a serpentine back up, but not too good if you're trying to put it in a door or backing down an alley!

Keep on eye on your trailer tires and know where they are going.

And above all you can take many, many pull ups, but it takes only one time to back up into the mirror of a big yellow KW because you didn't want to look bad, to end up meeting Mr. Fist!!!!
Old 09-04-2001, 09:09 PM
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Default Take your time...

...even if you have to make several attempts! Don't rush your a$$ for nobody! The only ones who will poke fun at you for this will be the a$$holes. Should you get in a hurry and back into somebody's shiney large car, you may get a poke in the face by Mr. Fist!
Old 09-04-2001, 09:48 PM
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Default backing

As a newbie in orientation I kinda hate to utter a word here but I do have this to say...if you can't control the truck in reverse and put the trailer where you're supposed to, you will get sent back home. Getting to orientation does not mean you're home free. A guy that started orientation with me was told today that he has one more day to get control of the truck in reverse or he's gone. Sooooo...if yer in school and you are not driving the truck but letting it drive you, get the problem resolved at school. You will obviously know if you can back it in situations other than the school *perfect* set up positions. I've witnessed a couple of folks that have the misconception that orientation is still school and it ain''s the job, and the carrier expects us to, at the very least, have the basic control skills down. I know some of the experienced drivers are gonna tear their hair out when they see this but some of these schools are sliding folks thru that simply can't control the vehicle and the one I went to is certainly in that catagory. I certainly don't wanna meet Mr. Fist for soundin like a newbie know it all but if yer in a school that is basically a CDL producing money printing operation...don't leave til ya know you can idle the truck into the hole in reverse.
Hope this made some sense.
Old 09-04-2001, 09:52 PM
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Default Backing Up

Backing up is a learned skill. Don't get to wrapped up in the fear of it because you'll spend 99% of your time going forward and the backing will come with time. spend your worrying time on going forward cause you'll spend most of your time going forward!!

The advice everyone gave you is good stuff. On a "normal" dock, I try to remember where my pivot point is (tandems), try not to oversteer, and do like Wally said - - take baby steps backwards.

Don't be intimidated if you have to take more pull ups to get it in there straight. It simply isn't a big deal! Don't let the other guys make you too nervous to do the job. Some say turn the CB off, but I leave it on, just in case someone has "something" to tell me?!?!

Then follow the line back to the dock. If there's not a line there, make your own in your mind and follow it on back following your pivot point on your trailer. You will run into quite a few places without proper room for a 53' and a tractor!! Use your noggin' to plan out your strategy before just slamming it into reverse and having at it. Sometimes a little creativity is good!!

You'll be surprised how easy it will come to you in time. After 7 or 8 docks, or hitting an empty space in a truckstop at dark a couple times and you'll be fine!!

Remember to follow the advice you've already been given...if in doubt, GET OUT AND LOOK!! The other drivers can just get over it!

Old 09-04-2001, 10:18 PM
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Default backing...

use the lowest reverse gear you have,and stay off the throttle. back to the driver's side whenever possible. if you need help, ask someone to guide you, don't let your ego cause an two cents
Old 09-04-2001, 10:27 PM
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Default Always; ALWAYS!!!!

For the Newbies..
As Wyo said, back from the drivers side. Do not; under any circumstances; unless it's an absolute must and you have help; or you're in a day cab with a big window in the back, with help; DO NOT BLINDSIDE THE TRUCK IN!!! Wait until you are proficient with backing in from the drivers side.
Old 09-04-2001, 11:03 PM
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Default Backing up a 18 wheeler?

Thanks everyone. Sounds like some darn good advice!

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