90 degree backing
How do you mark your reference points from practice on an instruction course to the real course for the CDL test? Our instructors mark the stopping spot for set up. What do you use when you get to the real test?
Response from Vicki:
Hello, thank you for asking your question regarding taking a CDL road test and specifically how to back up a rig in a 90 degree backing configuration.
It could be different where you are, but when my husband Mike and I were student drivers, we had no "reference points" for a 90-degree backing except the white line (indicating what would have been a dock line) and a backboard (which symbolized the dock).
Mastering the 90-degree alley dock backing maneuver was the most challenging for me in truck driver training school.
What I didn't know until I got out on the road was that due to a pretty wide variety in configurations (wheel base of tractor, length of trailer, tandem setting on the trailer and many different types of dock settings), I needed to learn how to back the rig I was driving without reference points. How did I do this?
I finally understood how to do the 90-degree alley docking procedure when I had an instructor named Shorty who told me to "Follow your tandems; they'll never lead you wrong." From that point on, I knew that there was no "magic formula" for turning the steering wheel so much to the left or right at a certain point or time.
Not only this, but there are 45-degree and off-set alley docking situations that you may encounter on the road that you'll need to prepare for. Having reference points for only 90-degree alley docking will fail you in these real-world situations. Remember Shorty's advice: "Follow your tandems; they'll never lead you wrong."
Please let me know how it goes for you on your CDL road test and in getting a job as a professional truck driver. When you get out on the road, we wish you safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities.