Tips for Backing Up a Semi-Truck Trailer
Backing up your truck is difficult, but it is a necessary skill for being a professional driver. With a high percentage of insurance claims being due to accidents happening when backing up, it's a skill that can save you time and money. It is an essential skill for truck drivers and must be learned properly and taken seriously. Here's how to do it.
Backing up a trailer means that there's a lot of your vehicle that you just can't see from the cab. The driver-side mirror doesn't always show where the trailer is headed, and your passenger-side mirror will often only show the side of the trailer. This means that staying in your cab while backing up means that you are at a serious disadvantage. If you have to, get out and look at where your trailer is going. Adjust accordingly and keep an eye on everything. While doing this might take more time, it will save you money by avoiding accidents, and over time you'll become more comfortable at backing that trailer in.
Chances are when you're backing in, you'll be the only truck driver there. For this reason, we do not recommend using a spotter. Someone who is not an experienced truck driver doesn't know what to look for when guiding a trailer backward. They'll look at the wrong part of the vehicle and can potentially cause you to run into light posts, guard rails, or even other vehicles.
While you want to get your route done as quickly and safely as possible, only half of this is correct when it comes to backing up. Take your time and move slowly. Get out and check often if you need to. If you happen to overcorrect while moving slowly, you still have a chance to make it right. We can't stress this enough; take your time.
The world of driving trucks is a world built on efficiency and safety. It's your responsibility to be careful and drive properly, and that includes backing up with your trailer. Do you have questions about driver training? We'd love to hear from you. Reach out to Trans Canada College today!