Have you parked your truck yet? If you have been dreading it like I know a lot of truck drivers do the first time, I have some tips for you which may help you prepare for that big parking moment.
Parallel parking is one of the hardest parking manoeuvres, perhaps the most difficult in fact, even for motorists driving standard cars, let alone those sporting tones of weight and an oversized haul.
Being able to do this manoeuver will most certainly increase your confidence as a Semi truck driver, with sufficient tuition, patience and enough practice there is no reason why one day you might be able to parallel park a semi-truck with confidence and efficiency. After getting yourself a CDL licence (USA) or HGV (UK) it’s a daunting experience being behind the wheels of a bulky powerful truck, trying to park in a cramped high street to make your deliveries you will need to at some point in your career perform a parallel park into a tight spot.
A few tips that will help you when you are parking your semi-truck:
Before manoeuvring, ensure that the vehicle is straight and both parts are aligned. When reversing the truck use the mirrors often, take it slowly use the mirrors as your guide. When a V shape is created between the truck and trailer you are at the right angle, halt the truck now.
Perform a full right turn, back it up till your trailer is aligned with the cab. At all times you need to check the mirrors, double check your alignment then halt, return the steering wheel and wheels to their normal position facing forwards.
Continue to reverse, perform a full lock to the left ensuring that both parts of the truck are in line with one another, try to avoid clipping the curb and. Should your vehicle not be straight or you’re not happy with its position, just pull the truck forwards and backwards steering slightly to position the vehicle, relax and pull the hand brake up.
You may have a different technique than this one, if it works for you then stick with it. Don’t go changing a good thing. Just remember to take it slowly, check your mirrors and look out for pedestrians and other motorists. Driving such a big vehicle means you have a duty of care not just as a truck driver but as a motorist.