Safe Driving Tips: Backing Up

Jul 10, 2015 0 Comments in Uncategorized by


Reminder of the week.

Safe Driving Tips: Backing Up

The very nature of most professional drivers’ jobs call for them to back up their trucks frequently. Backing occurs often at shipper’s and receiver’s docks as well as truck stops. Professional drivers who practice safe driving know that backing accidents can be avoided by observing the familiar acronym

GOAL: Get Out And Look.                     

This is especially important when backing in from the driver’s “blind side”.

The position of the tandems under the trailer is a major factor on how tightly a turn can be made. Examine the following illustration, which has been created to show the differences in turning radius between two trailers whose tandems are set differently:

  • the “trailer” on the left has its tandems set all the way at the rear but
  • the “trailer” on the right has its tandems pulled forward.

The lengths and angles of the two lines are the same; only the point at which the lines intersect has changed. The numbers shown on the horizontal lines are in pixels, just for comparative purposes.


Both trailers swing about their pivots. The driver whose trailer has tandems all the way at the rear will always know where the rear of his trailer is as he backs into a spot; however, there may not be the forward space required to make the turn. Alternatively, the driver whose trailer has tandems pulled forward must be certain to clear objects on his right-hand (blind) side because of the pivot point.

In difficult backing situations, it is always helpful to have another pair of eyes “on the ground” (someone to spot or help you see). If you need help seeing, don’t be afraid to ask for it. However, be aware that there may be situations (especially in truck stop parking lots) in which the configuration of your rig simply will not make the turn required and you will need to search for parking elsewhere. We have had this happen occasionally. It is irritating not to be able to park in an empty spot, but it is better to give up trying to fit in where you can’t than risk an accident.


Klemens Kuqi 

Compliance Manager