The Commercial Drivers License (CDL) Study Guide

Backing with a Trailer

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Backing with a Trailer. 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 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 driverís 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.

1. Why should you back toward the driver's side?

2. What is a pull-up?

3. If stopped on a hill, how can you start moving without rolling back?

4. When backing, why is it important to use a helper?

5. What's the most important hand signal that you and the helper should agree on?

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