One of the most challenging maneuvers for both novice and experienced drivers alike is backing their rig up. Insurance statistics show that a high percentage of claims involve a vehicle backing up. Yet proficiency at this maneuver is a necessity since that’s how you load and unload your trailer at loading docks. You will also have to back your rig into parking spaces at many truck stops.
Two common backing situations are straight line backing and 90 degree alley docking. Straight line backing is when the situation allows plenty of space to position your truck so that you can back in straight to your target. This maneuver is the easiest but can get tricky when you are backing into a very tight hole (opening) or when it’s night and the lighting is very poor.
90 Degree alley docking is more difficult and the situation (often an alley) requires backing along the alley and then making a 90 degree turn backwards into a hole or dock. You will either be turning into a position on your left or on your right. Backing and turning to the right is by far the most difficult maneuver you will make and is often called blind siding. If at all possible, blind siding should be avoided by approaching your target from the opposite direction so that it will be to your left.
Here are three rules of thumb for the novice commercial or owner operator truck driver in North Carolina:
No matter how tight your schedule, backing must never be rushed because it isn’t worth getting into an accident, ruining your driving record, or damaging your truck and other’s property.
Get Out And Look
Get out and look as often as you need to, even if you have to do it every few feet. With time and experience, you won’t have to do it as often. For especially difficult backing such as a blind side turn, get out and scope out the area, making note of obstacles and distances.
Choose The Best Possible Position Before The Turn
Sloppy positioning before a 90 degree backup turn will result in lots of extra maneuvering and will generally make the process harder to do.
For information on safety, or commercial or owner operator truck insurance and rig insurance, please contact us.