Backing up a semi-truck is one of the most difficult maneuvers for a truck driver, particularly one with a bigger trailer. This technique is very challenging and is a prevalent cause of truck accidents and property damage. In fact, this skill is the most difficult to master, given the truck’s size and blindspots. Reversing your vehicle for the first time can be overwhelming, and it takes a lot of time and patience. Here are some tips on how to reverse your truck like an expert.
Identity Your Blindspots
Sem-trucks have much larger blind spots than passenger vehicles. Not checking blind spots is a significant factor in truck stop accidents. Before reversing, walk around your truck and check the area where you will be parking, so you can determine how to position your truck so it takes the least amount of maneuvering. Don’t hesitate to repeat this as often as necessary while backing into your parking spot, even if you have to get in and out of the vehicle repeatedly.
Pull Ahead of Your Spot
Pull a few feet ahead of the parking spot, making sure your turn isn’t too narrow or is in the way of vehicles or other objects. A good rule to remember is that the more space there is between your truck and another car, the easier it will be to straighten your rear end before it gets near other trucks. This extra space may be the difference between scraping another car or parking without issue.
Another essential tip to remember is always to take your time and avoid rushing yourself while you reverse your truck. Moving slowly will dramatically reduce the damage that can be caused by backing up incidents. You should also back up with your window down and mostly use your left mirror and avoid rushing to get into the spot.
Swing the Cab Out Wide
Turn the wheel in the direction of the parking spot so that the front end of the cab swings out in an outward direction. This will allow the rear end to cut in the direction of the parking space. Once the rear end is angled into the spot, turn the wheel a quarter-turn away from the spot until the cab straightens out. If you feel that your angle is too far off, pull out of the parking spot and try again.
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