Best Practices – How to Backup and Park a Tractor-Trailer Safely in a Congested Yard

Written by Mesilla Valley Transportation

Apr 10, 2019

04/10/2019

At Mesilla Valley Transportation, we take pride in being an example and leader in the transportation and truck driving industry. With hundreds of trucks, drivers and many different driving routes, MVT is continuously focused on training our drivers in all aspects of safety. Even if you don’t drive for MVT, we suggest watching this video and reading this blog for added safety information.

Here is a detailed list of safety tips on how to safely back up your trailer, and some information on the proper way to park within the space for your trailer.

1. Maintain a low speed. We suggest driving no faster than 5 MPH when in a parking lot or a crowded area. That will give you enough time to react to other vehicles, people or items on the road.

2. Make sure your windows are rolled down completely. Doing so will help you become more aware of your surroundings, and will allow you to hear if someone is honking their horn or shouting a warning. This is a must-do safety tip when driving through a congested lot.

3. Find your target parking zone. Once found, pull up right next to it and keep at least 4 feet away from other trailers in the area. As soon as you do, align the center of your drive axles with the center of the target zone.

 

4. Next, put the truck in park and get out of the truck to look at the situation on foot. We call this G.O.A.L. (Get Out And Look). Observe the parking area, make sure you identify any obstacles, debris or any items that might cause an issue with parking in the area or any damage to the truck, trailer and/or tires.

5. Once you have determined if the area is a safe spot to park in, check the back of your trailer and make sure your trailer tails are closed.

6. Once back inside the truck, prepare to back up. Use the stripes in the right-hand mirror when turning to the right.

7. Once you are in position, honk your horn while flashing your lights to signal that you are backing up into the designated spot. You will then back into the spot. Make sure to take your time and be aware of your surroundings.

8. Finally, when you feel comfortable in your location, place the vehicle in neutral gear and put on your break, you may then turn off the vehicle.

These tips for backing up into a parking space should help any driver in their day-to-day driving routine. Remember to always have safety first on your mind when driving in any situation. For more information and tips on safety, you can contact our safety department at (915) 791-8700.

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