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Old 04-04-2012, 10:27 PM   #15
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That is most wonderful news - the feeling of independence just can not be beat!
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:43 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrUKToad
Hurrah!

You might need to watch this before you tackle the next dump....

Mary Poppins: A Spoonful Of Sugar - YouTube
...or this
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Old 04-04-2012, 11:41 PM   #17
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I KNEW that would come up sooner or later! hahaha!
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:47 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by zlee
I KNEW that would come up sooner or later! hahaha!
Somebody HAD to, I was just getting it out of the way
I always feel that way when I go to the places that don't have sewer hookups!
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:52 AM   #19
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I think it's hilarious that successfully backing the trailer makes me feel this pleased. I am so uncool.
Not at all hilarious that you should feel so pleased --- you are my "good example." (though some might think it more fun to be the "horrible warning"*

Nancy Mac

*(referring to the Catherine Aird quote)
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:52 AM   #20
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I think it's hilarious that successfully backing the trailer makes me feel this pleased. I am so uncool.
Good for you, I say! What an accomplishment!

Mastering any new learning curve gives us that nice inner feeling of satisfaction.

Not uncool, at all. Take your joy where you can find it, and be proud.


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Old 04-05-2012, 10:47 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Nuvite-F View Post

Congratulations also on a successful dump.
Usually the nurse says that.

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Old 04-05-2012, 11:08 AM   #22
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My late FIL -- also a pilot -- met Doug Corrigan on a commercial flight sometime shortly after the "error". Always a good story to work from when one is "out-of-route".


Sounds good, zlee. I propose we get you to a higher state of proficiency over time for the purpose of gambling:

1] Girl backing
2] Girl on phone while backing (gum chewing recommended)
3] Make-up check midway
4] Stoopid "girl accessories" in abundance (etc; lagniappe to affect point spread).

Of course we're not talking Britney Spears stupid, here, country girls can usually back in/out of the barn before they're 12-years old. Forget it if they were ever barrel racers, etc. Same for plenty of suburban girls whose mama's taught them to back the single-axle trailer with a pair of 4-wheeler ATV's on them with her Grand Cherokee. Some form of protective coloration will apply. Maybe . . emo with fake tatt's that even the Army would have rejected. I leave this to your high observation skills. An unlikely pairing with a somewhat inebriated "partner" to build crowd interest (as to "why" you are backing the rig) is in line with what is believeable.

The rest is practice:

Backing. At steering wheel holder school (truck driver) there were three one-hundred yard "lanes" laid out on the back lot, each with a tractor/trailer. And a lot of traffic cones. Just learnng to back straight, starting and ending in the same line, took practice. No such thing as holding the wheel steady and expecting to keep the same line. Trailers go where they will, even the barest un-see-able angle is enough. And, they're easier than a TV-TT for the most part (the relative height and length is the first hurdle).

In our six-week, six-day, 12-hour day course we started and ended with backing sessions that got harder and harder. A competition on the final day. Pretty cool to watch the instructors compete in R-High.

Important to understand about backing is the level of the mirrors and driver posture. It should all take place without moving from the straight-ahead position. That is, the mirrors are everything, thus, their adjustment is critical. And, prior to that, driver posture:

Shoulder blades comfortably against seat back, with feet on floorboard with no undue stress on thigh from seat bottom. Not feet on pedals, but on floor behind them. This tends to mean being closer to the wheel than most are comfortable with (old bad habits, frankly).

Mirrors, then, showing the barest side of the vehicle combination when in a straight line on level ground dividing sky & earth 50/50.

After this it is the angle of the cut. The longer the trailer (given no obstacles) the easier to back, frankly. The shorter ones go where they want too quickly. Wouldn't bother me to have to start/stop numerous times, but knowing the starting distance is where experience pays off. The starting distance being:

1] from the roadway, to the pad
2] from the pad, down the road (from trailer rear bumper).

That covers most of it. The angle of the curve.

If one wanted to practice then, the above straight line layout is an easy way to become comfortable in posture/mirror use. This is hard to stress enough as most of what happens in backing is small movements. The lack of obstacles and a big cut make this clear. The obstacles and the cut really are the easiest part. Keeping the trailer in the line one wants is the hardest. Doesn't matter if that line is straight or curved.

The mirrors are the tool most difficult to master the use of. A bit of "parallax" (I think) is what throws people. One is always lightly sawing the wheel side-to-side to maintain backing headway, and one must use both mirrors to do this.

Only when the trailer disappears from the mirrors in tight cuts is the need for an observer somewhat important, and only then to the point where the driver again gains his view (though he may not). This is in assuming no obstacles real or potential (side, overhead or a drop off).

Also, some checks of the "wheel cut" (TV; the line taken by the tire) as they are not, counter-intuitively, the same from side-to-side on some vehicles. Some may need more wheel turn to maintain the same wheel cut as the other side. Some ideas on that here.

Of course ones partner needs the qualities of a carnie or shill to help assemble, agitate and lay points for:

a] number of attempts
b] wheel corrections (degree)
c] overall time
d] the "she can't do it again" ploy

Etc.

Real possiblities on paying the per-night park fee with the above.



.
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:07 PM   #23
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Glad to hear from a pro that backing is unpredictable, if that is what Rednax said.

Sometimes slight adjustments make big changes as when backing at small angles. But when getting the angle right to turn close to 90˚ from a narrow road to a pad, turning the wheel all the way gets a little turn at first, then a lot, then too much very quickly. Subtlety is good, but not always effective. Experimenting never seems to end. I try to visualize the angles in my head, but aren't good at it. It should be just plane geometry, but seems much more dynamic than that.

I can go to the exact same parking spot many times (at home) and one time I'll back into the spot in one shot and another time I'll be going back and forth endlessly. Tiredness certainly is a factor, but so is how rusty I am and luck. When we come home we pull in right in front of the house to unload. Then I have to back at about 90˚ and downhill to near the shop. It is great practice and no one is watching except maybe Barb. After doing this for years, I would have thought I'd get it every time by now, but no.

Every once in a while I see someone back a trailer into a tight spot at severe angles fast and smoothly. It can be at a CG or an OTR driver backing into a narrow loading dock area between other trucks through a gate from a narrow road with trucks parked on both sides. I don't see it very often. Most take a slow, get out and look, and eventually get it done.

My greatest backing challenge hasn't happened yet. The road is blocked by an accident, wash out or landslide and there's little room to turn around. Sometimes there's a driveway, but access to it may be very bad—steep and narrow perhaps. Once in central BC the road (Yellowhead Hwy.) was blocked somewhere up ahead by an accident and the local cops were saying the road would be closed for a day while someone came from somewhere sometime to investigate. Cars were turning around, but the big trucks and longer RV's were looking forward to a better outcome. Finally after about an hour someone figured out a way around—there was a side road where traffic was stopped. A narrow series of dirt roads for miles and miles. The dust was so bad, visibility was barely past the hood at times—but we didn't have to turn around. This was a recipe for another accident because no one could see well. Investigations take longer and longer and people may have to back into small driveways. Someone posted on another thread about turning around on the Pacific Coast when there was a landslide—if you've been on those roads, you know there are plenty of places where no one could turn around, but may have to back several hundred yards to a wide spot. Not something I want to do. I'll take a badly planned CG over those inevitable situations.

Gene
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:29 PM   #24
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Gene, taking the unpredictable out would be the point of posture, mirrors and knowing "the cut" as they can all be understood. But I forgot the most important (literally important) rule and that is to get out and walk off the problem in advance of backing. Even the ones that look -- and actually are -- simple. The habit takes precedence over driver judgment.

Of course, for betting purposes, the emo girl with neck tatts won't be looking as if anything is amiss . . she's pissed at her boy-boy being pissed and proceeds at a higher rate of speed than is otherwise advisable . . to the unpracticed. (The idea of recklessness taking the stage, a sort of sleight-of-foot, if you will).

As to accidents, yes, having an alternate route is preferable. The Trucker version of the Rand-McNally Road Atlas has truck routes marked in green. Always good to know the roads with the surface, shoulder, markings and clearances for commercial traffic.

Turning around may be a matter of backing so that the TV can be unhooked and then re-connected from a different angle. Think of this as pioneers crossing the Pecos River at the Deadhorse Crossing: a group effort. Swinging around will put the TT at risk, and the TV at risk, body damage in the first, and off-the-pavement for the DA on the other. Thus a group effort to coordinate all the rigs before any one get's his dumb self stuck so that others can't do the turn-around.
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Old 04-05-2012, 02:29 PM   #25
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I don't always get out first and look it over, but usually do. I need to do that all the time.

I don't recall seeing anyone with neck tattoos backing trailers, but perhaps Rednax hangs around in different CG's than we do. This reminds me of the 2 women who played the lead in the 2 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movies, a somewhat pleasing, but unsettling thought. I'll bet they could back an aircraft carrier into a creek.

The trucker version of the road atlas may be a good addition to our map supply.

And getting all the people with trailers to work together is a good idea. The European versions of the Airstreams would be really good for that since their jacks have wheels at the bottom and can be turned by one person. A wheel that would fit in the jack shaft would be great for this problem (if on grade, block wheels each time you move a few inches). Wheels are easy to find, but the male part for the jack shaft might have to be fabricated. It wouldn't be easy to move a 3 1/2 ton tandem axle trailer around, but the alternative is worse.

Gene
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:12 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene
And getting all the people with trailers to work together is a good idea. The European versions of the Airstreams would be really good for that since their jacks have wheels at the bottom and can be turned by one person. A wheel that would fit in the jack shaft would be great for this problem (if on grade, block wheels each time you move a few inches).
Oooh, what a good idea, if the wheel can take the weight!

I love reading about all the best ways to back up. I find it really interesting, so I suppose I've now completed the first metamorphosis into a towing geek...
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:13 PM   #27
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Gene, that may be because the places you camp are a bit different than the park I'm in at present, replete with refinery & oilfield workers. Others around here will enjoy the description of the view:

North: Flint Hills Refinery (one of the world's largest)
East: Mo' trayluhs (the 2Air spellin')
South: across the main road -- a striptease bar
West: sunset out over the port-a-pottie company (my backyard)

That said (the fun of playing with stereotype) is that it is about the best managed RV park I've been in (credit to a long time manager). And the neighbors, some of them, have mad skillz might put Aerowood to a test (well, . . maybe one or two!) The place is dead quiet. No crowds of kids or drunks. The sound of the refinery late at night is either of a full freight train at 40-mph, or a 747 taxiing in the near distance. Not loud, per se (don't hear it indoors) and happily well downwind.

Really not many tatt's, this is actually a conservative crowd. But were our intrepid gambler done up in some "fashion" (I'll hope she or others puts their own spin and an example pic up; I'm sure having fun with this), we're betting this can generate some $$$ on the outcome of a backing test.

-------------------------

Or, for another spin, what's the best type of music for backing?


I'd choose Western Swing, some boogie:

Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys, Bottle Baby Boogie





There's an angle somewhere that helps take the edge off of backing.

.
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Old 04-06-2012, 12:50 AM   #28
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Your first planked wild King Salmon

As I've probably said before I've been puttung small (40-60) ft fishing vesels into slips since I've been a kid. I've also towed and backed up all sorts of small pleasue boats as well. With all of this experience I am still VERY careful with the AS. I have to put it into a spot beside my house about a foot away from an overhang that would do some serious damage. I never feel foolish about getting out and sizing things up. I would feel very foolish if I creased the entire top of my trailer though. For me its better to be safe than sorry. Having said that zlee the 25 I have has a longer pivot distance which makes for easier backing adjustments. I have a small utility trailer (8) ft which is harder to back than the boat. With the short pivot distance every move you make is magnified. If you ever make it up here and can back into my space I WILL really make you a cedar planked King Salmon, wild of course. Take your time, don't overcompensate and pretty soon you won't even spend any time worrying about it. And don't worry about people making fun of you. Most people who engage in this behavior are usually drunk or stupid or both. Most people are friendly and helpful. I'm a strong believer in Karma and what comes around goes around.

Regards,
Dan
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