This month’s Safety Topic Guide focuses on the subjects of Backing, Heat and Hydration, Securing Coils, and MPG Tips. Click the link below to read the full STG.
The easiest way to prevent a backing accident is simply not to back up. In many instances we actually have a choice. Putting the truck in reverse should be a thoughtfully considered maneuver. If you can avoid backing then you should. Even if it means a few extra steps.
Even if you can’t find a pull-through, all spaces are not equal when it comes to backing. Evaluate how much space you’ll have to make adjustments, especially out front. Note the width of the space. An extra few inches can mean the difference between getting it in or trying again. How many obstacles will you have to deal with?
Once your spot has been selected, it’s best to have a system that you follow every time for every back. If you do it the same way every time it becomes a habit and good habits protect against bad outcomes.
• Set up the truck in front of the spot. Include a pause to look down the spot. Note any obstructions or concerns.
• Eliminate distractions. Turn down your CB or music. Don’t fixate on other distractions that arise. Stop the truck if these distractions occur. Many accidents happen when drivers lose focus.
• Begin to back, but stop short once the rear of the trailer is directly in front of the spot.
• Engage the brakes and Get Out and Look!
• Back slowly, idle speed, no throttle.
• Put your ego in your pocket and use as many pull-ups as you need to.
• Use all of your mirrors, not just the left one.
• Finally, if you think you’re getting close to something; don’t guess, go find out – Get out and Look!