Every driver knows just how tricky it can be to master the different techniques for backing up a big rig. Your fellow coworkers may give you a bit of advice and wish you the best of luck in performing this maneuver, but we’re here to offer some detailed instructions on how to get the job done right without sweating through your t-shirt in the meantime.
G.O.A.L. (Get Out And Look)
Get out of your vehicle and take a good look around the entire area. It can be helpful to stand in the position of the spotter, about 20-25 feet in front of the right passenger bumper. This trick will help you see your blind side and any other areas that may not be visible from the cab of the truck.
Roll Down Your Window
Never back into a space without first rolling down your window to look behind you, and always take a look out your left mirror to guide you.
Use A Spotter
You should rely on the guidance of a spotter whenever possible. Remember, the spotter should be standing about 20-25 feet in front of the passenger bumper at a diagonal view of the tractor. If at any time you lose sight of your spotter, stop and reassess. Make sure you are aligning your tractor in straight with the parking space.
Sound Your Horn
Alert pedestrians or other drivers who may be in the surrounding area by honking your horn at least twice before backing up. Also, be sure to turn on your flashers anytime you are in reverse.
Steer the Trailer, Not the Truck
Remember, if your wheels are turning to the right, the tractor is veering left, and when turning wheels to the left, the tractor will go right.
The best tip we can offer may be to find a pull-through spot whenever possible and avoid backing up unless it is truly unavoidable. However, with the proper planning, you can master the techniques mentioned above and avoid unnecessary incidents, no matter what the situation.