May 23, 2024

Mastering Parallel Parking for Your CDL Acing the Maneuver

Acing your CDL test requires mastering various skills, and parallel parking a commercial truck and trailer is a key one. While obtaining your CDL now involves mandatory Entry-Level Driver Training ( CDL ELDT online) focusing on theory and safety, perfecting maneuvers like parallel parking often comes with practice.

This maneuver requires precision and finesse. Here’s a breakdown to help you conquer it:

Positioning: Drive past the designated parking spot until the rear of your trailer sits next to the front cone.


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Remember, you typically get a few free adjustments (pull-ups) and straightening attempts (outlooks) before penalties kick in during a CDL test.

Setting the Angle: Turn the steering wheel all the way towards the parking spot. Then, begin reversing slowly while counting to three. Quickly counter the steering wheel in the opposite direction to straighten the truck and trailer.

Backing In with Control: Maintain a slight reverse angle until the rear of your trailer just crosses the edge of the parking space. Now, counter-steer to smoothly guide the trailer into the spot.

Fine-Tuning and Alignment: Once the rear axles of your trailer enter the space, sharply turn the steering wheel towards the curb to position the trailer. Finally, counter-steer one last time to straighten out the entire vehicle.

Checking and Perfecting: Get out and visually confirm that your truck and trailer are centered and within the lines. This practice will hone your depth perception and maneuvering skills for the big day.

Mastering parallel parking takes dedication and practice. While CDL ELDT online equips you with the theoretical knowledge, don’t hesitate to seek additional training or practice with a licensed instructor to perfect this essential skill.

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