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Class 1 reversing - new pass.

Discussion in 'Careers, Employment and Professional Development' started by BartTrucker, 8 Sep 2021.

  1. BartTrucker

    Associate

    Joined: 26 Jun 2021

    Posts: 30

    Location: London

    Hi,

    Just a thread about reversing the artic lorry, has anyone got any tips that would slightly help with reversing onto really tight bay / parking in-between trailers.

    I have been driving the class 2 tippers for nearly 2 years now I’m only 22 years old I have decided to just go for it and pretty much complete my license, and as of recently I have passed my class 1, Since passing I have quit the tipper work and managed to get a full time job on contract with a big company around this area (over 100 units, they only have class 1 units).

    I have been with the company for 3 days now, the first 2 days was just going through health and safety and all this stuff, a lot of paper work to complete.

    The company is willing to help me out and they have offered me a 2 weeks training with a trainer. First couple of days mainly doing reversing and helping with the shunting and the remaining days being out with a trainer and going to the most difficult sites to get the hang of the more difficult reversing and obviously showing me how it’s done in the real world.

    As of today, this morning on the 3rd day they have started my training at the yard, simply reversing onto bays and inbetween trailers, my main problem is oversteering; which then requires me to shunt atleast once or twice to get the trailer and unit straight onto the bay.

    I always manage to get the trailer onto the bay however it does take me a couple of shunts like stated before,

    The main problem is I feel like I oversteer and then when I try to catch the trailer I put the opposite lock on too late or too slowly so when the unit catches the trailer, the trailer is always a bit wonky and not straight like I would like it to be.

    My trainer said there is nothing wrong with shunting as long as the trailer and the load get to the bay in one piece, no matter how long it takes, however I feel like everyone is watching, which makes me feel a bit nervous.

    like I said has anyone got any tips?
     
  2. Culinia

    Hitman

    Joined: 10 Jan 2010

    Posts: 662

    I am reading this and it looks like the company has offered you training for 2 weeks but this is your 3rd training day. To me, it looks like the company is giving you a chance and offering you training so they think you are capable of doing the job.

    I think right now you might be worrying too much. It looks like you have identified the problem (oversteering) but the fact that you 'always manage to get the trailer onto the bay', even if it might take a few tries.

    Have you considered you might just need more practice?

    I think you could read an essay on the perfect way to do this but IMHO your time would be better spent practicing in the real world.


    You remind me a bit of myself when I learnt to drive. If you asked me did my driving instructor teach me to drive (rephrase: did I learn to drive through my driving instructor?). I would answer no. Did I learn how to drive reading all these text books and passing the theoretical exam? No. I learnt how to operate a motor vehicle through my instructor. I learnt the theory / rules (aka laws and general guidance notes) of the road through books/other texts.

    I learnt to drive simply by operating a motor vehicle on public roads. In other words I learnt to drive by driving. Each time I did by my own without supervision I gained confidence and experience. You will too.

    My point is I would just stick with it and keep practicing in the real world. Your trainer will pass to you his knowledge and experience of how these things work. But at the end of the day it will be you doing the doing and getting the job done which you will pick up by doing the job.

    Don't worry about what other people think about you. The moment I stopped doing that I genuinely felt liberated. Easier said than done... I know..
     
  3. Uther

    Capodecina

    Joined: 16 Jun 2005

    Posts: 16,581

    Just relax, we have class 1 drivers who have been doing it for years and still can't reverse in without shunting a few times.
     
  4. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 13 Oct 2006

    Posts: 77,818

    Problem with manoeuvres like this the more you think about them the worse you do :( trick is really to recognise where the tolerances lie i.e. if you are doing a tight turn between 2 gateposts then you'd generally want to leave it as late and as close to the further post as possible, etc. and use that as a guide - some people seem to be able to visualise it better than others.

    Only a subset of our LGV drivers at work manage to do it flawlessly every **** time most have to take 2-3 attempts at it even the ones who've been doing it 20-30 years.
     
  5. BartTrucker

    Associate

    Joined: 26 Jun 2021

    Posts: 30

    Location: London

    Thank you for all the replies guys,

    I’m usually calm about stuff like this, I just hate it when people watch me from let’s say the office, when they clearly couldn’t do it themselves, but are willing to make fun of you for doing something wrong, it puts me off for some reason and that’s one thing I will need to control, as most would say that’s part of the job I suppose, people will judge.

    like I said before getting it onto the bay ain’t a massive issue it’s just the shunting that was putting me off a bit as that gets the people looking at you a bit wonky (especially the ones that can’t drive the bloody things themselves)

    Still got plenty to learn and I’m 100% sure I’ll mess up some of the reverses where I won’t be able to even get on the bay without starting from scratch lol.

    I will probably come back to this thread couple months down the line and laugh at how stupid I actually sound.

    Good thing is most of the drivers at-least at this company are fairly understanding, I have blocked and got in the way of several drivers while reversing as I was struggling a little bit getting into the tighter areas and all they said to me is take your time and as the old saying goes don’t be a c*** take a shunt which’s makes me feel a bit better about obviously shunting the unit.

    All the drivers seem to say the same thing about going out and having a look as well which I totally agree with it’s better to block someone for 5 minutes than spend 2 hours filling out accident paper work and going through all the hassle attached with it.

    It seems to me that every driver had to go through this at one point and now it’s my time to experience the joys of it all lol.

    While I understand the only way to learn it is through practice, practice and more practice I though there would be some tips for people like me to make that experience a bit easier.
    Anyway thank you guys and I appreciate every bit of feedback under this thread.
     
  6. peterwalkley

    Mobster

    Joined: 23 Feb 2009

    Posts: 4,022

    Location: South Wirral

    Paging @Scania

    I have zero experience driving something big like that, but I'm going to say its no different to a car in that the answer is going to be: practise, practise and more practise. Its good to see you're getting support and understanding from the more experienced guys, so keep at it. You're only 3 days in, if it was that easy to master we wouldn't have the ~100,000 drivers shortage I keep seeing come up in the news.

    I want my shops stocked and stuff delivered to my house, so get out there and get to it :D
     
  7. booyaka

    Capodecina

    Joined: 19 Jan 2006

    Posts: 13,969

    Practice/experience will come in time.

    Like the trainer says - so long as you get there in one piece - that's generally fine. The more you do it, the more it becomes natural....

    Don't worry about it
     
  8. BartTrucker

    Associate

    Joined: 26 Jun 2021

    Posts: 30

    Location: London

    It’s a shame the actual test doesn’t prepare you in any shape or form for the real world, your kinda have to figure it out yourself.
     
  9. BartTrucker

    Associate

    Joined: 26 Jun 2021

    Posts: 30

    Location: London

    I’ll try my best haha.
     
  10. tom_e

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 26 Dec 2003

    Posts: 28,042

    Location: Shropshire

    Like others have said overthinking is probably just making it worse. I'm similar in the car to be honest if I sit and think about how to reverse to get where I want to be I just confuse myself, if I just do it then it's fine 9 times out of 10 the other 1 it might be a little wonky.
     
  11. Lopéz

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 28,205

    Location: LE9/OTK

    When I worked at TNT, most artic drivers were so slow and rubbish at reversing that we used to have a whole fleet of shunters to do it for them.
     
  12. Scania

    Capodecina

    Joined: 25 Nov 2004

    Posts: 24,897

    Location: On the road....

    Your trainer is spot on, ignore the audience (a half decent driver would offer to help instead of watching you struggle) and take as many shunts as necessary, as for over compensating, I wonder if your simply doing it a bit too quickly.

    Don’t be afraid to ask other drivers to watch you and take advice if offered (although clueless advice can be often given by so called professionals..) any driver who hasn’t been in the same position is simply lying, we all started out as newbies once and have been there.

    Try using nothing more than tick over engine speeds, unless your at absolute maximum weight it should still easily do it even on a slight incline.

    When your at depots and services, sit and watch what other drivers do, yes I’m sure they’ll make it look easy but believe me even now I still have odd days when I can’t reverse for crap!

    As crazy as this may sound, when I was doing my class 1 training back in 2004 I went out and bought myself a toy articulated truck, matchbox type, nothing fancy and I simply got the hang of manoeuvring it into spaces and giving myself an understanding of the positioning you need with the tractor and trailer for different types of reversing manoeuvres, positioning is everything in a tight space, the tighter the angle your trying to use the harder it is.

    Don’t be afraid to take shunts, as many as you require, it’s not a contest to see who can get it in one shunt or not, you’ll very quickly pick it up.

    Get out and look, again and again and again, much better to take a look and apparently look an idiot to those watching than hit something and actually look an idiot! :D

    My strongest advice would be ask the boss if you can come in on a Saturday and move trailers around in the yard as much as possible, as believe me yard shunting is the best practice you can get.

    There’s some excellent reversing tutorials on YouTube as well…

     
  13. BartTrucker

    Associate

    Joined: 26 Jun 2021

    Posts: 30

    Location: London

    I was moving trailers about today, helping the shunters out, the company I work for has the brand new DAFs they got the crawler gear going in reverse so that’s handy when reversing.

    I got the hang of it today to be quiet honest, must of moved 50 trailers or more today just non stop putting them on the bay and in parking spots, my mistake yesterday like I said was over steering and keeping the lock on for way too long, leaving not enough time for the cab to catch the trailer which obviously put me in an awkward position as the trailer got a bit wonky, today I kind of sorted that out, figured out a sweet spot for when to put the opposite lock on and when not to put the lock on at all which is handy.

    Still need to shunt once or twice especially when I’m putting the trailer in between other trailers, but I feel like it’s going really smoothly compared to yesterday, pretty much can get the trailer into the bay/parking space in one go now, all I really require now is just the tiny adjustments just before it reaches the actual bay so really it’s just straightening the trailer which is not a massive deal; it takes no longer than a minute to sort that out and I suppose perfection will come in time.

    Got a bit more reversing round the yard tomorrow once again moving trailers about, then in the afternoon going out with the trainer to do one drop in a local RDC, so looking forward to it as it will be a different scenario in another depo I’m sure.

    thanks for all the tips.
     
  14. Scania

    Capodecina

    Joined: 25 Nov 2004

    Posts: 24,897

    Location: On the road....

    Sounds good, and proof that all it takes is practice.

    Don’t think you have to do it in one, yes it’s good to do so, but by all means not the be all of it as such.

    Just remember a golden rule, you can never get enough practice at it and you’ll never stop learning little tricks to manoeuvring.

    Keep it up driver.
     
  15. BartTrucker

    Associate

    Joined: 26 Jun 2021

    Posts: 30

    Location: London

    went absolutely brilliant today, going to shops next week so looking forward to a new challenge.
     
  16. Uther

    Capodecina

    Joined: 16 Jun 2005

    Posts: 16,581

    And just remember, in the new tests you don't have to reverse at all! :p
     
  17. BartTrucker

    Associate

    Joined: 26 Jun 2021

    Posts: 30

    Location: London

    I have seen that; gonna be a nightmare on the roads, however the gov website stated that these manoeuvres will be tested by a third party.

    after nearly 2 weeks of training I have gotten a bit more confident reversing, blind siding it is a different story still find that very difficult however did manage to do it a couple of times when it was required.

    what I find strange, I don’t have a problem reversing onto a bay at an angle it goes quiet easily with a shunt or two, but as soon as it comes to reversing the trailer straight back I feel like I oversteer and over do my little adjustments to get the trailer on a bay, I don’t understand why it’s happening to me like that but I suppose practice makes perfect.

    tomorrow is my first day on my own after being with a trainer for nearly 2 weeks so the real test starts.
     
  18. Puzzled

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 9 Jul 2003

    Posts: 8,280

    Madness

    They had a piece on the local news today about free hgv training (class 2) for people on universal credit and the 2 people they interviewed were saying how they could earn £40k on a class 2 and £70 - £80k on class 1. One was also a mum hoping to get hours to fit in with school times, I just don't see that happening but maybe employers are desperate enough to offer such flexibility :confused: