The Key Backing Strategies Taught in CDL Classes
Backing (reversing a truck) is an essential skill that every driver must master before driving professionally. In fact, backing maneuvers comprise nearly a third of your entire CDL (commercial driver’s license) test score. Thankfully, the key backing strategies taught in CDL classes are more than enough to prepare you for your final driving test. Learn more about these backing tips and what else to expect during your CDL test.
The Main Backing Maneuvers
In the realm of professional truck driving, mastering backing maneuvers forms the bedrock of safe, efficient operations. Individuals need to become proficient in six primary backing maneuvers: straight line backing, offset right backing, offset left backing, parallel site-side backing, parallel conventional backing, and alley docking. Each maneuver requires a unique set of skills, and they’re integral parts of CDL classes.
The CDL driving test puts drivers through the paces by testing them on three specific backing maneuvers. The first is straight line backing, a foundational skill that tests a driver’s ability to maintain control while reversing in a straight line. The second maneuver is the offset right and offset left backing, which assesses a driver’s competence in shifting the vehicle’s position laterally without changing its direction. Lastly, the test may include either driver-side parallel parking, conventional parallel parking, or alley docking. These tests measure a driver’s proficiency in accurately positioning the vehicle in tight spaces.
The 1-2-3 Backing Rule
In many CDL courses, instructors teach the 1-2-3 rule for backing maneuvers. This simple yet effective rule can guide drivers through the steps necessary to successfully align and park their vehicles. The first step involves aligning the trailer with the desired destination. Next, the driver straightens the trailer by pushing the front in line. The third and final step requires steering the front of the truck in line with the trailer and the desired destination. Following these three steps, drivers can execute backing maneuvers confidently and accurately.
Additional Backing Tips
Quality CDL courses aim to not only teach drivers how to successfully execute backing maneuvers but also provide additional tips to enhance their performance. These invaluable tips offer practical advice to make the difference between a good and great driver. These insights often come from experienced instructors who have spent years on the road, ensuring that students benefit from real-world knowledge and expertise.
One crucial tip is to not oversteer when backing. Oversteering can result in the truck or trailer moving in an unintended direction, potentially leading to an accident or damage. Making gentle, controlled steering inputs is essential to maintain precise control over the vehicle.
Another critical piece of advice is to never steer until the bump stops. Doing so can cause extra pressure on the seals around the steering gearbox, which could lead to damage and potential failure of these components. By keeping these tips in mind, drivers can ensure they execute their backing maneuvers safely and efficiently, reducing the risk of accidents or vehicle damage.
Understanding the key backing strategies taught in CDL classes will ensure greater success during your experience and a better chance of passing your CDL test. Thankfully, Toro Trucking Academy is one of the best trucking schools in Oregon. We are ready to launch your career with our invaluable resources and skills—start your professional driving career today!