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Backing up a car or truck takes practice. Adding a trailer to the vehicle makes it even more difficult to get the job done without damages. If you’re new to driving a trailer, you should practice backing up and parking before taking your trailer out to a job. Tilt trailers often need to be placed in the right position before unloading the cargo. Here are tips and tricks for.
Maybe you hate instruction manuals, but there’s no better way to start a new process than to study the basics. Read through the process a few times. Watch another person back up the trailer a few times. Find a coach who is a pro at it and ask about his or her techniques. Don’t try to go it alone. Take a solid approach to know what to watch for.
Even if you’ve backed up a trailer, each time you back into a new place, you’ll want to get out and look around to know what the hazards are and what you’re aiming at. Don’t forget to examine all angles to make sure you see the small details, like the ditch on the other side of the road, the fire hydrant across the street or small divots where you plan to land. Clear obstacles that might get in your way, such as a piece of firewood or small toy.
Again, even if you aren’t a beginner, backing up a trailer isn’t easy. This isn’t something you want to rush. Avoid distractions that may take your focus off your goal. Kick passengers out of the car. Get your mirrors adjusted to be able to see the trailer tires when the rig is straight. Open the windows of your vehicle and find a spotter if possible.
A guide can be a huge asset. Most people are willing to help but set some ground rules before you start. Ask your guide to say driver’s side or passenger’s side. It makes it clearer than using right and left. Your guide usually has a better vantage point than you, so trust him or her. If your rig is larger, you may want to invest in a set of walkie-talkies rather than yelling at each other. Always thank your guide.
Hold your hand at the bottom of the steering wheel. The direction you turn your hand is the way the back end of the trailer moves. As you back up, the trailer and your vehicle will form a “V” shape. You don’t want to be too tight, because you can jackknife the trailer. If you need to reset, pull forward instead of going backwards.
The swoop technique is a good way to place your trailer in a parking space. Approach the spot at an acute angle. When the front of your vehicle reaches the spot, turn away from it until your trailer is just past the space. Your trailer should then be at the perfect angle to turn the wheel to back up into the spot. Use your side mirrors and look out the windows instead of relying on the rearview mirror.
Don’t make huge adjustments when backing up a trailer. Over-correcting your turns can put you into a bad position. If you need to turn the wheel more than 180 degrees, you probably need to re-align the vehicle before backing in. Pull forward to get into position again.
Once you learn how your trailer moves when you’re backing up, you’ll get the hang of it with some practice. Looking for a new trailer to fit your needs? Millroad Manufacturing features custom tilt trailers designed for your job.