Blind Side Reverse - with an audience!

I’ve had my class 1 a good few months now and always dread pulling into services at peak times as I’m terrified of making a t**t of myself in front of more experienced blokes when trying to park.

Yesterday I needed a 30 min break at Hartsead Moor westbound and it was around 1330ish… The place was rammed. Only slot I could find was on the front row which meant a blind side reverse between 2 immaculate scanias which were clearly well looked after… The prospect of this terrified me but I had a crack and got it in without too much bother and no contact with anything!!

I suppose what I’m trying to say to my fellow newbie class 1 drivers is, don’t be daunted by it like I was, nobody gives a monkey’s… Not a single driver glanced up from his newspaper. … I’ll be honest, I was rather hoping for a round of applause but what was a bit of a step forward for me is just another day at the office for most of these lads I suppose :smiley:

Well I’ll give you a metaphorical round of applause - well done! :slight_smile:

I know exactly what you mean, I still avoid services for this reason. I’m starting to get the hang of the blindside reverse into an angled bay, as it often crops up in the yard when they tell you to put the trailer “on the fence” (i.e. the opposite side of the yard to all the bays). The trick seems to be to take a line of sight as you pass the bay and identify a point in the distance which is in line with the bay. Start the turn about two bays beyond the one you’re going into, then take the front end towards the sighting point you lined up. If you’ve got enough space you should find you are magically lined up for a straight(ish) reverse.

However, that doesn’t mean I’m going to be comfortable using the services any time soon!

haha,that’s made me laugh.I am 2 weeks in to my first class 1 job and work permanent nights to make matters worse so when i pull in to the services they are stuffed full of sleeping drivers.With spaces few and far between i have to admit i’ve actually pulled off and headed to the next stop if a blind side is needed.I’m petrified of them at the moment but as with everything they’ll come.

Ive had my class 1 for a few years now and my blind side reverse can still go either way. Ive done it with no shunts but one time I ended up in a different post code! :laughing:
I went in to Harthill services a few months ago one Sunday. Only one space left. Ill get in there no bother thinks I. Cue total embarrassment as I got angles all wrong and got my self trapped against the high kerbs and the other wagons. Took about 20 shunts back and forward and in and out of the cab umpteen times before I slinked away back onto the motorway with a face like a traffic light! :laughing:
All reverses are the same. If no one is about,you’ll do it first time. If theres an audience you’ll make a hash of it!

Blind sides either go in in 1 or it looks like your reversing with the curtains shut lol but it’s like anything down to practice really and more importantly confidence.
Services are a good place for it don’t shy away for fear of cocking it up everybody has to do it if you look like your going to hit something get out and ask for help,some will help.

Get it right no 1 notices make a mess and feels like the whole world’s watching been there done that lol,reversing with everyone watching is good practice when you get to a drop and no 1 watching it’s easier


Pull in to tight place with a few others around = yell out - I am a newbie anyone gonna give me some help

Of late I’ve been doing a delivery down to P&H at Fareham.

Now, when I first turned up there was an FLT and some pallets parked in the spot that trucks would pull into and looking at the space realised I’d have to B/S/R in.


U-turned in the rigid parking area, then carefully reversed back using the wide angle mirror and moving around a lot to try and see as much as I could, then when I was sure I was about to reverse into something i shouldn’t, I’d get out and look.

Took me about 6 shunts to get it lined up, felt quite happy about it, went in the warehouse to find I’d missed the bay by an inch :astonished:

The second time I came the FLT wasn’t there but used the same method and it went much better.

I was in there a few mornings ago, and I always use the right hand bay. If you pull into the hatched area and revserse in you can only make the left hand bay. So I arrived and there is a queue of 6 trucks.

I walked up to the driver in front and found out the right hand bay was empty but they couldn’t get in there, so asked if I could try and was told I would only [zb] it up but they laughed and said they had no problems if i wanted to try with my rigid, I checked with the guy behind and repeated what him in front had told me, and basically all the drivers said that they wanted the L/H bay and to go ahead.

So I did what I always did and B/S/R onto it with the artic reefer I had and it went on much quicker, was unloaded of my 3 pallets and on my way in 15 minutes.

Which I thought was very good.

When I started I’d get some joking slack from my fellow company drivers that I was on a manouvering bonus for my shunts required to get on a bay, but its getting better.

Getting out and looking is vital though :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: I value the skill of not reversing into things. I did that in my car though. Missed a road turn in Wales, found myself on a forestry track so did a 3 point turn and failed to notice that large black thing behind me until I hit it with the tow hitch. The large slab of mountain side. My passengers saw the funny side of it considering what I drove for a living :wink:

Practice, GOAL, and attempting it in the first place :wink:

Dented your right mate if you don’t try you don’t get better,and one in the eye for everyone waiting for the l/h bay as well :smiley:

There is another place I collect from in frome. Tried to reverse in over a main road, drive in and screw around in the pallets bay, or drive in and BSR in. Apparently most drive in nose to the bay, reverse into a side road, pull out again and line up on the bay.

One day, I’ll get it right.

I also like how some of our trailers have trailer rear corner marker lights :smiley:

P&H Fareham was a constant threat I faced, but I never actually got to go there. It is a notorious depot for having difficult bays and is oft touted as [one of] the worst an artic fridge driver will face.

Hats off to anyone who has been there and done it. :slight_smile:

Thanks Orc. :wink:

Mind you, I’ve not done it when the rigid bays are full or its a busy yard. Last drop on the run have started 2am.

I passed in December 2014 and absolutely rubbish at blindside reverse. Avoid it like plague.

If you don’t try and practice, then you won’t get started on learning it. Sometimes there is no other option than to do it…

Earlyish on in my career, about 40 years ago, I was in a line of artics waiting for loading docks to come clear to our left - blindside. Time came for the one in front of me to take his place. Not sure how many shunts were involved but I probably read most of the paper in the time he took. And still didn’t get it on the dock. Guy behind me thought he’d assist by blasting his air horns. So I did the right thing and walked down to the fella who was struggling. He was nearly in tears and told me he’d passed his test earlier that week and really hadn’t got a clue how to get the truck into position.

I offered to do it for him and I’m proud to say it went in at the first attempt.

So I am now the next truck waiting for a dock. This appeared a few minutes later. But I reckon I’d only got one good reverse in me for the day and the other fella had had it! Backwards and forwards like some demented violinist’s elbow! Eventually, I got it on the dock.

The newbie had been watching this of course.

I carried on reading the paper - hoping no-one else had noticed.

All these years later I can still make a total bog of it. And, provided you don’t make contact with anything, it really doesn’t matter. I just smile sweetly and make out I really do know what I’m doing!

I have other horror stories for reversing, but I wont use them all at once!!

Pete :laughing: :laughing:

Haha. Good post Pete. I have to say,on a number of occasions I have seen driver’s assisting each other. I have been on the receiving end myself.

As you rightly say. no damage, vehicle where it need’s to be, job done.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my only thoughts when I see a driver struggling on a reverse are of sympathy, and gratitude that it isn’t me this time. I don’t judge, I will never mock, I just keep my fingers crossed for the poor driver and hope they get it sorted in their own time.

If it’s dark I might turn my headlights off to a) avoid any dazzle, and b) try to give a visual indicator that I’m in no rush. Next time, when it’s me struggling, I hope another driver will show me similar courtesy.

I had a nice one in a busy yard last weekend - a normal, slow and safe reverse with just one shunt, but still you wouldn’t believe the amount of traffic that had stacked up waiting for me…at least two wagons and three shunters thundered passed as soon as I was clear. I say I was clear, but of course shunters don’t tend to wait that long… :slight_smile:

I passed in December 2014 and absolutely rubbish at blindside reverse. Avoid it like plague.

As said above. Give it a try when it is safe to do so and have plenty of room to play.
Do not rely on n/s mirror alone. You may see trailer wheels in it but most likely result is overcooking.
When you do a good side reverse watch your trailer headboard in relation with the unit. After some while you’ll find it easier to do your reverse both ways.
Don’t pretend to be a supertrucker! If in doubt, Get Out And Look as much times as you need. And…Keep calm it’s not a driving test!

I often find I can get onto bays much easier after I’ve had a few days on the stressful rear steer trailer :wink: It also helps if you don’t have anyone else watching when you practice. I often do have an audience and some drivers have joked I’ve got a mileage bonus for my shunts… :smiley:

Place I used to deliver to in GLoucester a lot involved a blind side reverse from a dual carriageway. You had to time it right with the traffic lights. I had it down to a tee in the end. Then the buggers moved.

My advice to anyone would be relax, take your time, look plenty of times and not to worry about a thing, I only passed towards the backend of last year but I love doing a blindside reserve and much as a ‘easy side reverse’ and to be fair, even the seasoned veterans will mess up reverses so don’t worry :slight_smile: