What separates a tractor trailer from your common light-duty pickup truck is the presence of a fifth wheel. A fifth wheel isn’t stashed somewhere on the undercarriage of the truck — it’s the hitch mechanism that connects the tractor to the trailer. When you tow a boat or a trailer with a pickup truck, for the most part you’re using a trailer with a hitch and a hitch coupler. The benefit of a fifth wheel is the turning radius, which can really be seen when the truck is backing up. A skilled driver can maneuver a trailer into tight spaces by turning the tractor at very sharp angles. It’s not uncommon for a tractor trailer to form an L or right angle while backing up to a loading dock — or even taking left and right turns on city streets.
At an intersection where stop signs are located on all four corners, the first vehicle to come to a full stop should be allowed to proceed first. When approaching an intersection that is not controlled by traffic lights, stop or yield signs, or a police officer, you must yield right of way to traffic on your right-hand side. Learn how to pass the written test with this free 30 minute video training session.The training includes sample animations of correct driving techniques and an extensive testing section. This makes it easier to control the back of the trailer. If you are pulling into a loading dock, latch the trailer doors open.
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Even if you have no towing experience at all, remember that you are in control. When you’re ready to uncouple, there’s a lever on the side of the fifth wheel that opens the lock jaw and releases the king pin. In reverse order, drop your landing gear to the point where it’s almost raising the trailer. If you can’t release the lever, chances are you have too much tension on the king pin. Make the necessary adjustments by moving the towing vehicle slightly or move the trailer up or down with the landing gear. Once the king pin is released and gear is down, pull the vehicle clear.
- Turn your wheel towards the parking space and slowly begin to drive your car into the space.
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- Once your vehicle is centred in the stall, straighten your wheels and continue driving forward until you are completely in the parking stall.
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If you turn the wheel, you’ll risk the front of your car going over the centre line as you stop. With the point of turn being at the front of the car, there’s no need to ‘prepare’ for the turn. There’s plenty of time to make the turn provided you keep the car slow and turn the steering wheel reasonably quickly.
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