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3 Tips to Backing up a Big Rig

Mastering this Challenging Maneuver

Backing up is one of the most challenging maneuvers for a trailer driver. It is common to find drivers who can move forward competently but who have trouble when they are required to back up. The difficulty is compounded if the trailer has a sleeper bunk. The inability to back up a rig is a common cause of damage to trucks parked vehicles and to loading docks. Here are some tips for safe backing up:

  1. Get Out And Look (GOAL)

    The best way to learn how your vehicle is positioned is to get out and lay eyes on it. Walk around it and look at the spot you are backing into — do this as often as necessary. The extra hassle is worth it if it keeps you from damaging property.

  2. Use a Spotter

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recommends that you use a spotter whenever possible. Spotters can help since they will be able to see parts of the vehicle that the driver cannot. This comes with an important caveat: your spotter has to know what he or she is doing. It is entirely possible for an inexperienced spotter to guide you right into an accident. A truck driver who knows what to look out for will make the best spotter. Make sure that whoever is spotting for you knows to watch the whole vehicle and not just the back bumper.

  3. Be Patient

    Giving yourself enough time and exercising patience are the most important things to do when learning any truck driving skill. Moving too quickly causes accidents. Backing up is difficult even for experienced truck drivers; it will take time to master it.

Along with practice, you will need training. United States Truck Driving School can help you to acquire valuable skills in backing up and other areas of truck driving! Ready to toll? Call today to learn more! 303-848-8443