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How to Parallel Park a Tractor Trailer Truck

by John Cook

Parallel parking is one of the toughest parts of driving a tractor trailer. Even so, when you choose to parallel park it is often the only option to get your vehicle out of the road. It is also part of many state's test for a commercial drivers license (CDL) so it is something that all CDL drivers need to learn. When parallel parking your tractor trailer you can use a series of motions to make sure you get into the space safely and correctly.

Place the six cones in a rectangle pattern with three cones marking the front line and three cones marking the rear line. They should be longer than the rig you are parking so you can fit.

Align the rear of the tractor trailer with the left side of the front line of cones. Stop the truck.

Turn the steering wheel all the way to the left. Reverse slowly until the landing gear is in the center of the right hand mirror. The landing gear is the stand that is folded up under the front of the trailer. Stop the truck.

Turn the steering wheel all the way to the right. Reverse slowly until the tractor is aligned straight with the trailer. Stop the truck.

Straighten the steering wheel and reverse in a straight line until the right rear wheel of the trailer is about four feet from the curb. If you're using the cones then it will be about four feet from the line that represents the curb.

Turn the steering wheel all the way to the right. Reverse until the landing gear is in the center of the left hand mirror.

Turn the steering wheel hard left and reverse until the tractor is aligned straight with the trailer again. You should now be in the space. If the tractor trailer is not aligned with the curb then pull forward and make a right turn until it is correctly aligned. Pull forward straight to bring the trailer into alignment.

Tip

  • If you have trouble with the exercise then pull forward and out of the space and line up to try again. It may well take several tries.

Warning

  • Always check behind you before you back up. Make sure it is clear of obstructions.

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About the Author

John Cook has been writing professionally since 2010 and has over 20 years of experience working with horses and animals, and over 8 years of experience in the web design and computing industry. Cook holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Maryland.

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