There are three primary causes of crashes when reversing a truck and trailer: visibility, speed and space. Visibility — or lack thereof — is the biggest, so that’s the section of this 21-chapter lesson we’ve previewed for you, below.
Obviously, visibility is critical and at a premium when backing a truck and trailer. First, there’s that pesky trailer in the way. But when you start turning the trailer, you lose your sight lines on the blind side. Because of that, we recommend always setting up the truck for straight-line backing.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. The easiest way to deal with the 30-foot blindspot is to simply
It’s critical to communicate and emphasize the G.O.A.L. method to drivers. Honestly, it’s just common sense. But put yourself in their seat for a moment: After a sometimes long drive, and then a stressful route over surface streets, then squeezing through a possibly busy parking lot, they’re finally set up to start backing. They want to be done. They’re already thinking about paperwork and who to speak with at the delivery. Now is the time they need to stop, take a moment, hop out and look at where they’re backing. It will literally take them 30 seconds. (You may also want to assign them the Driver Distraction course — rushing is a major distraction!)
Here’s another line to help them to remember: you never want your tires to cover ground that your eyes haven’t covered first.