Straight Line Backing

In this exercise we're going to review straight line backing.


In this exercise, we’re going to pull the truck about 100 yards forward in a straight line, making sure both the truck and the trailer are straight. We’ll then proceed to put the truck in reverse and back it up in a straight line, reversing towards the position where we first started.

When performing this test, we’ll want to take it slow, use small movements, and watch both mirrors often as we do so. When checking our mirrors, we’ll want to specifically watch to see that the trailer stays visible in both mirrors.

As we’re proceeding backwards, the trailer will most likely start to disappear from one mirror. When this happens, we’ll need to pause, focus our attention on correcting the trailer position. We will steer away from the side that has disappeared. When doing so, we’ll want to avoid turning the wheel too aggressively, a minor adjustment may be all that is needed to correct the trailer.

Once turned, continue backing slowly. We will continue to monitor both mirrors as the trailer repositions behind the truck. Gently hold the wheel in this turned position until the trailer slowly re-appears in both mirrors. As soon as the trailer does, bring the steering wheel straight to the center position, keeping an eye on the trailer making sure it does not disappear. If it does disappear, we’ll then continue this strategy until we’ve completed the 100 yard distance. Remembering not to be too aggressive with our adjustments or we’re going to make more mistakes that we’ll have to correct.