One from the road: Backing challenges

Ron Moore

I always had a need to be traveling. First, it was my bicycle. In my teenage years, we moved to the farm. I graduated up to driving tractors and then the pickup. It was easy to go forward but backing up was a challenge.

I remember my first time trying to back the manure spreader into the hog barn. For something so simple, I ended up getting off the tractor and pushing it in by hand. It got easier over time. (Not scooping the manure.)

During corn harvest, I was able to maneuver the two axle gravity flow wagon, filled with corn, over the grain elevator feeder. I had to back up and pull forward several times to get the wagon over the feeder so we didn't spill corn on the ground.

Over the years, I've had many challenges in backing. I was at a lumber yard in Trenton, Mo. This was my second time delivering there.

You had to back in off the street, jackknife between a power line pole and some lumber.

Then you had to crank the steering wheel to straighten everything up. I did it that day on the first try. The forklift driver was impressed. I told him that my dad and brother was watching me, I had to do it on the first time.

I made a delivery to Wichita State University. They wanted me to drive through a maze of construction to get to the backside of a building. I told them getting in wouldn't be any problem, getting out might be. It was easy. I should have gotten an attaboy for that!

Delivering to a hotel in College Station, Tx., right off the main highway in town. The only way out was to back out. Luckily there was a traffic light. The light turned green and here goes trailer first across the street.That was fun.

Another driver and I, delivered rebar to a bridge in Nebraska. We had to back almost a mile to get to the job site. I backed fast and straight. The other driver was all over the road.

He asked me how I learned to back like that? It was from backing grain trailers down a path to get to a wheat field right here in Stafford County.

I do have one place where I don't like to back, truck stops. I am the worst backing into a parking spot. It must be the painted lines. I was never was good at it and never will be.

* Ron Moore is a Stafford County trucker, grandfather and writer.