The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Fleet Safety Tip of the Week

September 29, 2010

Here is some advice, culled from the Texas Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers Handbook, on backing up when your vehicle has an attached trailer. You may want to pass this along to your fleet drivers as a friendly reminder. 

  • When backing a car, straight truck, or bus, you turn the top of the steering wheel toward the direction you want to go. When backing a trailer, you turn the steering wheel in the opposite direction. Once the trailer starts to turn, you must turn the wheel the other way to follow the trailer. 
  • Whenever you back up with a trailer, try to position your vehicle so you can back in a straight line. If you must back on a curved path, back to the driver's side so you can see. 
  • Back slowly. This will let you make corrections before you get too far off course. 
  • Use the mirrors. The mirrors will help you see whether the trailer is drifting to one side or the other. 
  • Correct drift immediately. As soon as you see the trailer getting off the proper path, correct it by turning the top of the steering wheel in the direction of the drift. 
  • Pull forward. When backing a trailer, make pull-ups to reposition your vehicle as needed.
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