Guideline of Backing up for Truck Drivers

Properly backing up in a variety of situations can be one of the most challenging things in semi-trailer transport.

In this article, we will introduce how to back up at a 45-degree angle and back up with limited space ahead.

However, since semi-trailers are different in type and size, you need to practice repeatedly in advance, adjust them according to the actual situation of your own vehicle, and learn from experienced truck drivers.

semi trailer back up

How to back up at a 45 degree angle?

  1. Move down parallel to the hole, keeping close to the hole.
  2. Stop at the midpoint of the hole.
  3. Observe the opening – make sure there are no obstructions that could interfere with the back.
  4. Drive forward until your left shoulder is centered on the next trailer.
  5. Firmly turn the wheel to the right and hold until the tractor reaches the noon position.
  6. Sharp left to nine o’clock.
  7. When the tractor reaches the nine o’clock position, straighten the wheels and stop.
  8. Get off the tractor and walk around the trailer. Check for obstacles on all sides.
  9. Go back to the truck, re-fasten the seat belt and honk.
  10. Start idling in back upwithout starting to turn the wheels.
  11. Start driving to the left with the steered tires.
  12. Use the wheel to pull forward on the far right end to straighten.
  13. Look back and start backing upat idle speed to enter the angle.

How to back up a tractor-trailer with limited front space?

  1. Stay within about four feet of the hole.
  2. Pull up to the opening and stop at the midpoint of the opening.
  3. Observe the opening – make sure there are no obstructions that could interfere with the back.
  4. Drive forward until your left shoulder is centered on the next trailer.
  5. Use approximately half of the available space to make a hard right turn.
  6. Make a sharp left until you reach approximately 8:30.
  7. When the tractor reaches the 8:30 position, straighten the wheels and stop.
  8. Get off the tractor and walk around the trailer. Check for obstacles on all sides.
  9. Go back to the truck, re-fasten the seat belt and honk.
  10. Turn the wheel to the right and start backing up.
  11. Begin to straighten the steering tires and turn the wheels to the left when backing up.
  12. Get off the tractor and walk around the trailer. Check for obstacles on all sides.
  13. Go back to the truck, fasten your seat belt, and honk.
  14. If you need to adjust the support angle to fit the hole, do a pull-up.
  15. Once seated, turn the wheel to the left and slowly feed the trailer into the hole.
  16. Straighten the wheel and straight back into the hole.

When backing up your semi-trailer, follow these 4 safety tips:

  1. Take your time.

The semi-trailer business can never be a rush job, spend more time practicing and adjusting, which is essential for long-term business. Backing up in a hurry can cause you to lose concentration, skip safety steps, or even cause an accident.

  1. Keep slow speed.

Moving slowly allows you to be as accurate as possible when backing up and reduces the chance of surprises.

  1. Make sure you are seen and heard.

Parking lots, delivery docks and truck yards are busy places with truck drivers coming and going. By making sure other drivers see and hear you, you can avoid accidents in these areas when backing up.

Two easy ways are to use a flash and a horn. Flashing lights will quickly make others see you in back up, and honking your horn will tell all other drivers in the area to steer clear.

  1. Always go out and see.

Before you back up, you should be as aware of your surroundings as possible. You should walk around the truck and check for obstructions above, below and around the truck and trailer. This step ensures that there are no obstacles blocking the road and helps you identify how much space you can use. Also, be sure to use the G.O.A.L. (go out and see) technique before backing up the truck.

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