Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Practicing Backing Up

Bruce decided that I needed to practice backing our truck and trailer.  I don't know why that was so important to him; he's done such a fine job of it for the past eight years.  But he decided that it was past time for me to learn that skill.  (I hope he's not planning to have a heart attack or stroke in the near future!)

So, a few days ago he took me out to a rarely traveled stretch of road in the park, set out orange cones for me to use in spotting my position, climbed down from the drivers' seat, and said, "OK.  Now it's your turn to back this rig straight back this road."

Reluctantly, I climbed behind the wheel and began playing with "Reverse."  Patiently, time after time, he talked me through which way to turn and how far to turn the steering wheel.  Over and over again I backed slowly, then pulled forward and backed up again. This went on for over an hour!
I did not run off the road (very far).  I did not hit anything.  I did not get into such a tight jack-knife angle that I couldn't get out. I did get a better feel for how to get the rear of the trailer to go in the direction I want it to go. I did NOT, however, master the technique of backing a 32 foot trailer with an F350 truck.  I'll need lots more practice, if my nerves -- and Bruce's -- can stand it.