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Backing Up a Semi-Truck in Tight Spots

Backing Up: It Takes Time to Learn and Maneuver

For new CDL drivers, it's never easy to make those first back up maneuvers, especially if it involves backing up off a street with limited space into a tight spot. Thanks to today's internet technology, you can get continuous help listening to veteran truck drivers who have been there, done that.

Smart Trucking not only has informative trucking articles, but here is a video, "How to Back Up a Tractor Trailer (+ a Great Truck Story),"  with some advice and tips to help truck drivers think through the process of backing up in a tight spot. 

#1: Park, Get Out, and Access 

The smart thing to do is park your big rig, and get out to access the entire area. Look for all the obstacles that are potential problems, such as other vehicles, fire hydrants, curbs, and more.

#2: Leave Semi-Trailer Doors Shut

Opening the doors may add additional width to the trailer. Leave the back doors shut until you're in perfect alignment for backing up. 

#3: Correctly Position Eighteen Wheeler

Know where to position the truck that will allow the best views from both mirrors during backup. It's probably going to take time to back up and pull forward to continue moving the semi-trailer into the right position to complete the entire backing up process. 

#4: Rely More on Your Eyesight than Spotters

Relying on spotters can be distracting, and it's recommended to get out as many times as necessary to avoid damaging another structure. Better to spend more time backing up than to have to deal with completing an accident report and the financial responsibilities that go along with it.

#5: Open Semi-Trailer Doors before Final Approach

Once the semi-trailer is in alignment for the final approach to the loading dock or spot, it's time to open the doors. Now, complete backing up for loading or unloading. 

One-Stop-Shop for Semi-Trailers just South of Chicago

Country Supply, Inc. has everything you need for semi-trailers. We have been selling and servicing semi-trailers for over forty years.

When you need quality, semi-trailer equipment, parts, and service, we're here in Peotone, Illinois. Back up with safety, always in mind. 


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