Set up carefully and find a Tire Target

Video excerpt:

Hey, future truckers!
Shelton here.

As an LTL driver, I deliver to a wide variety of places.
Some of these properties may have been designed and built before 53-foot trailers even existed.

Did you know : 53-ft trailers did not come into common usage until the late 1980s?

LTL stands for ‘Less than truckload’

From the street, looking back, this property doesn’t look very accommodating to longer trailers.
If you have any uncertainty about having enough space, I recommend pulling over safely out of the way and surveying the area on foot.
You don’t want to get yourself in a situation where you might have to back out into the street.

There are many instances where a customer will unload me from the street with a forklift and a pallet jack.

It turns out I will have room to back into this dock as long as I use all of my available space during my setup.

You will get better at judging distances with experience.

I’ll use a modification of the Z setup route.
When my setup is complete, I want the rear of the trailer closer to the dock than the front. Also, I want a slight offset between my tractor and trailer. Because having offset makes it easier to produce more offset.

I need to pull forward enough to get my trailer tires onto this curved path leading to the dock. And the real question here is: Do I have the space for that?
If I reach the end of the parking lot with my tractor and the trailer tires on my driver’s side fall short, I will get stuck and struggle to get into the dock space.
I’d have to rotate the front of my trailer somehow so that it points at it.

How I choose a Tire Target

When I pass by the dock space, I will pause and look at a few things. First, I want to make sure nothing is in the way; sometimes, a previous driver will forget to move wheel chocks and leave them in your path.

There are no yellow lines painted on the ground here, so I need to find something else to reference where I need my tires.
These concrete seams make great reference points.

I know from experience that my trailer tires will usually line up with these small rubber dock bumpers. If I imagine a line straight down and straight out towards me, I can see just how far inside of this seam my driver’s side tire should be.

Also, I want to make sure I don’t miss my tire target to the inside because I have a concrete wall close to the dock space.

I need to be mindful of my steer tires when starting back, so I don’t clip the dumpster with the front of my tractor.

I will take advantage of the Offset Law and let the trailer rotate around its pivot point at the rear tires.

The more my tractor pushes against the side of the kingpin, the faster it rotates.

After getting my tires onto the correct path, my goal immediately becomes squaring the sides of the trailer.

I will nudge the front corners with my steering wheel to get the bottom edge of the trailer parallel with that seam in the concrete.

Ok, guys, remember that when you have a tight setup area, it will be necessary to set up carefully and use all of your available space.

I want to thank everyone for all of the positive feedback. And, if you haven’t already, hit that Like and Subscribe button would help me out a lot.

Thanks for watching, and be safe out there.

Related posts:

Home » Truck Backing Episode 5 : Using all available space

The Secrets of the Set Up – Visualize A Departure Path. Lesson #3

Set-Up paths
Look closely for previous trailer tire paths on the ground.
For best results watch first 3 episodes twice.

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