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TOPIC: Trailer backup assist on new trucks

Trailer backup assist on new trucks 25 Aug 2017 03:18 #1

  • Rick Kenyon
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The ones where you turn a knob to back the trailer up. Same thing with the auto parking options. IMO, if you can't back your trailer down the ramp to launch your boat, or you can't parallel park your vehicle, you shouldn't be driving the vehicle or hauling the trailer to begin with. Just my $.02. Last I knew, parallel parking was a mandatory part of the driving test. When did that change?

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 25 Aug 2017 04:25 #2

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Rick Kenyon wrote: The ones where you turn a knob to back the trailer up. Same thing with the auto parking options. IMO, if you can't back your trailer down the ramp to launch your boat, or you can't parallel park your vehicle, you shouldn't be driving the vehicle or hauling the trailer to begin with. Just my $.02. Last I knew, parallel parking was a mandatory part of the driving test. When did that change?


Yeah, my wife can barely back her car, but brags to strangers that I regularly parallel park the truck, boat and trailer. But I've been backing trailers since I was very young, long before I had a drivers license, and back then it was a tractor with a maneuver spreader. :side:

I completely agree about boaters who cannot back their trailers down the ramps, especially when I am in the lineup waiting for them to splash. Back and forth, back and forth. Some days it is a real gong show.

There's an idea! We should install a gong for the peanut gallery, those people who hang around the ramp on nice days to watch the boats. That would be awesome! *GONG* 'GONG* It would certainly weed out the bad drivers. LOL

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 25 Aug 2017 06:50 #3

  • makonnen
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You know, I'd love to participate in a trailer backing competition. Or a boat launching competition, that would be fun!

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 25 Aug 2017 08:21 #4

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makonnen wrote: You know, I'd love to participate in a trailer backing competition. Or a boat launching competition, that would be fun!


Agreed. I think we've all seen the videos of the launch ramp funnies. Yeah, they are funnies but eventually get real tiresome. I'm not against anyone doing what they want, but if you don't know how to drive a truck and trailer, or boat, or RV or whatever, get someone who does know how to do it to teach you. That's my biggest gripe. You can buy and drive a 40 foot class A RV with no training but you need a commercial CDL to drive a truck that large. Not that you shouldn't need the truck experience or training, but you should also need some level of training to drive a class A motor home.

....or conversely, if you don't need some amount of training and proficiency testing to operate a class A RV, then you shouldn't need it to operate a 40 foot commercial truck either. Just sayin....

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 25 Aug 2017 12:08 #5

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Those folks growing up on farms have some advantage in the backing up and trailer department. One of the first jobs I recall during haying if you were too small to load bales was driving the truck. Couldn't reach the pedals....there was a hand-throttle. You just knelt on the seat and kept the truck going in a straight line close to (but not over) the bales of hay. Somebody larger would hop in and turn it around at the edge of the field (no power steering those days).

When my daughter was learning to drive I took her to the local school parking lot one weekend. After an hour of driving around in and out of various spots, I told her to put it in reverse and do the same thing for the next hour. She has no problem backing up. When we got her a car, it was a standard shift.....none of her friends ever asked to borrow or drive it....they didn't know how.

Same scenario with winter driving...took her to the school with my 4-wheel drive truck after a 4" snowfall before they'd plowed one weekend. Had her drive it around in 4-wheel, then 2-wheel drive for a good long time, making tight turns and donuts and showing her how to avoid and recover from slips and spins. The following Monday I saw the Principal (who I knew pretty well) and he said he saw some "idiot" doing donuts in his parking lot when he drove by on the interstate. I told him I was the idiot and why. He thought about it and said he was going to do the same with his daughter the next year when she started driving.

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 25 Aug 2017 12:52 #6

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Keep in mind we're all seasoned pros at hauling trailers. A lot of people (ahem, NEW BOATERS, the lifeblood of our sport) have never backed a trailer up, have never loaded a boat, have never trailered a boat....

Automation in cars is a few years off at most and you are going to start seeing more and more autonomous and driver aid technology. Hey, I am all for it if it makes life easier.

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 25 Aug 2017 13:27 #7

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TPerk274 wrote: Those folks growing up on farms have some advantage in the backing up and trailer department. One of the first jobs I recall during haying if you were too small to load bales was driving the truck. Couldn't reach the pedals....there was a hand-throttle. You just knelt on the seat and kept the truck going in a straight line close to (but not over) the bales of hay. Somebody larger would hop in and turn it around at the edge of the field (no power steering those days).


That brings back memories! Muscling a tractor and dray through the fields picking up bales ....in first gear, and a year or two later in second gear, crawling along. Yes. Too small to put the clutch in unless I stepped to that side, grabbed the steering wheel and fender and pushed it in and down with both feet. Then I'd have to reach under the wheel to shift gears. Brakes? Not sure if I ever used them ....or needed to use them.

And you are a very smart dad! Wish someone would have done that with Wifey, but she says it may be too late for that. I did, however, finally let her bring the truck and trailer to the ramp on opening day of halibut. I had to park over a mile away, and after making the hike once, she asked if she could go get it. "Swing wide and watch your mirrors!" She did very well! Now, if I could just teach her how to back up her little Toyota Tercel. :side:

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"B on D C", is a 1989 2459 Trophy Offshore HT, OMC 5.7L, Cobra OD, Yamaha 15hp kicker. Lots of toys! I'm no mechanic, just a blue water sailer and woodworker who loves deep sea fishing.
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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 25 Aug 2017 14:00 #8

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There was a time you needed to know how to read a map. There was a time you needed to know how to check your oil.
There will be a time where you jump in your car and it starts by itself, opens the garage, backs up, and drives you to your destination, all by itself.
Hopefully there will be a time when all boats are fuel injected.

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 25 Aug 2017 14:16 #9

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green650 wrote: There was a time you needed to know how to check your oil.


I'd be willing to bet that a good number of folks these days have never opened the hood of their car.....or changed a tire.

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 25 Aug 2017 14:18 #10

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I've been towing motorcycle trailers, camping trailers, and boat trailers for 30+ years and would still welcome a trailer backup assist system. To me it is no different than having ABS, traction control, lane assist, smart cruise control, etc. on cars, bow and stern thrusters on boats, dock on command on some Bayliners and Meridians, etc. All these aids have made driving and boating easier and safer.

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 25 Aug 2017 17:02 #11

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green650 wrote: Hopefully there will be a time when all boats are fuel injected.


Well that'll take all the fun out of weekend carburator tuning :lol:

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 25 Aug 2017 20:20 #12

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builderdude wrote:

green650 wrote: Hopefully there will be a time when all boats are fuel injected.


Well that'll take all the fun out of weekend carburator tuning :lol:


What for?
Many off shore go fast boat guys are ditching their fuel injection system , swapping to a carburetor system ...

www.offshoreonly.com/forums/general-q/33...-fuel-injection.html

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 25 Aug 2017 21:40 #13

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Ruffryder wrote:

builderdude wrote:

green650 wrote: Hopefully there will be a time when all boats are fuel injected.


Well that'll take all the fun out of weekend carburator tuning :lol:


What for?
Many off shore go fast boat guys are ditching their fuel injection system , swapping to a carburetor system ...

www.offshoreonly.com/forums/general-q/33...-fuel-injection.html

That's only because they need more HP than the stock fuel injection can supply.
And I guarantee you their 8000 hp aftermarket carbed engine doesn't start within one second of turning the key like my MPI does every time.
Even if they pump the throttles. :0

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 25 Aug 2017 22:02 #14

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builderdude wrote:

green650 wrote: Hopefully there will be a time when all boats are fuel injected.


Well that'll take all the fun out of weekend carburator tuning :lol:


You can still have fun tuning EFI; you just have to do it with a laptop. My first experience was a few months ago, after I installed free-flowing mufflers, and did some intake mods to my wife's 2013 Triumph Bonneville. I used a software package called TuneEcu to dial in the injection. I started with a commercially available load intended for an engine with similar mods. Then I fine tuned it a bit by enriching and leaning certain areas of the fuel curve. In the end I got flawless drivability and my hands did not smell of gasoline. :)

Unfortunately many EFI ECUs are locked and you can't mess with them directly.

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 25 Aug 2017 22:06 #15

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Norton Rider wrote: I've been towing motorcycle trailers, camping trailers, and boat trailers for 30+ years and would still welcome a trailer backup assist system. To me it is no different than having ABS, traction control, lane assist, smart cruise control, etc. on cars, bow and stern thrusters on boats, dock on command on some Bayliners and Meridians, etc. All these aids have made driving and boating easier and safer.


I'll agree that making it easier is preferable, but when you automate more and more of it, you provide the opportunity for less and less "trained" or "experienced" operators to get behind the wheel. If you ensure that the untrained operator can not override the automated safe system, fine. If not, you're still going to have the untrained idiots in the captains seat saying "hold my beer and watch this". Not sure that automation and lack of experience is always in the best interest of all.

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 25 Aug 2017 22:12 #16

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Rick Kenyon wrote:

Norton Rider wrote: I've been towing motorcycle trailers, camping trailers, and boat trailers for 30+ years and would still welcome a trailer backup assist system. To me it is no different than having ABS, traction control, lane assist, smart cruise control, etc. on cars, bow and stern thrusters on boats, dock on command on some Bayliners and Meridians, etc. All these aids have made driving and boating easier and safer.


I'll agree that making it easier is preferable, but when you automate more and more of it, you provide the opportunity for less and less "trained" or "experienced" operators to get behind the wheel. If you ensure that the untrained operator can not override the automated safe system, fine. If not, you're still going to have the untrained idiots in the captains seat saying "hold my beer and watch this". Not sure that automation and lack of experience is always in the best interest of all.


Actually, I would prefer if the systems can be overridden. Just like I've practiced docking my twin engine boat with only one engine, I would still want to know what to do when automation fails.

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 25 Aug 2017 22:30 #17

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Norton Rider wrote:

Rick Kenyon wrote:

Norton Rider wrote: I've been towing motorcycle trailers, camping trailers, and boat trailers for 30+ years and would still welcome a trailer backup assist system. To me it is no different than having ABS, traction control, lane assist, smart cruise control, etc. on cars, bow and stern thrusters on boats, dock on command on some Bayliners and Meridians, etc. All these aids have made driving and boating easier and safer.


I'll agree that making it easier is preferable, but when you automate more and more of it, you provide the opportunity for less and less "trained" or "experienced" operators to get behind the wheel. If you ensure that the untrained operator can not override the automated safe system, fine. If not, you're still going to have the untrained idiots in the captains seat saying "hold my beer and watch this". Not sure that automation and lack of experience is always in the best interest of all.


Actually, I would prefer if the systems can be overridden. Just like I've practiced docking my twin engine boat with only one engine, I would still want to know what to do when automation fails.


I agree, but you have practiced the "emergency" situation as any good captain should. My concern is the one about putting the buyer who has never driven anything other than a car into a 40 foot class A motor home with no experience or training, and that fellow taking off for Florida after the dealer tosses him the keys. Although I hate regulations, I guess in the interest of the safety of all of us, there should be some mandatory training and perhaps a road test for someone who drives a 40 foot class A motor home, or perhaps who operates a boat of more than 16 feet. Just my $.02.

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 25 Aug 2017 22:31 #18

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green650 wrote:

Ruffryder wrote:

builderdude wrote:

green650 wrote: Hopefully there will be a time when all boats are fuel injected.


Well that'll take all the fun out of weekend carburator tuning :lol:


What for?
Many off shore go fast boat guys are ditching their fuel injection system , swapping to a carburetor system ...

www.offshoreonly.com/forums/general-q/33...-fuel-injection.html

That's only because they need more HP than the stock fuel injection can supply.
And I guarantee you their 8000 hp aftermarket carbed engine doesn't start within one second of turning the key like my MPI does every time.
Even if they pump the throttles. :0


Don't we all want/need more HP than the stock? :)
what if my high-performance engine starts a couple of seconds later?
I never understood that starting thing ;)

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 25 Aug 2017 22:41 #19

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Rick Kenyon wrote: I agree, but you have practiced the "emergency" situation as any good captain should. My concern is the one about putting the buyer who has never driven anything other than a car into a 40 foot class A motor home with no experience or training, and that fellow taking off for Florida after the dealer tosses him the keys. Although I hate regulations, I guess in the interest of the safety of all of us, there should be some mandatory training and perhaps a road test for someone who drives a 40 foot class A motor home, or perhaps who operates a boat of more than 16 feet. Just my $.02.


It's no different than it is today. For example, there's a guy at my marina that bought a used 40' Carver for his first boat. He's made an effort to take a number of classes, but he's never had on the water training.

BTW, 30 or so years ago a push to have a large recreational vehicle drivers license started gaining a bit of momentum. The whole thing died under quiet pressure from the AARP and the RVIA.

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 25 Aug 2017 23:20 #20

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Yes, as we all know, money drives everything. If you had to get a special license to drive a class A motor home, it would kill all the sales to retirees, which is probably over 50% of the total class A sales each year.

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 25 Aug 2017 23:58 #21

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Talk about automation, I got laughed at by the car dealer for turning around to look out the back window and not looking at the camera in the new S5 my wife picked up today.
Then getting stuck in traffic after a period of time with the brake on the engine shuts off. I said oh chit what now. I was ready to bail out and taking the foot off the brake the engine started on we were on our way. As soon as I got home I jumped in my F150 and kissed the steering wheel.

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 26 Aug 2017 00:23 #22

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floatyerboat wrote: As soon as I got home I jumped in my F150 and kissed the steering heel.


I am SOOOOOOO with you! KISS works for me. :silly:

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 26 Aug 2017 01:34 #23

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As part of my misspent youth I drove all sorts of semis coast to coast and up and down. I had no trouble parallel parking any of my rigs with the exception of double trailers. Even forty years later if I get into a truck to backup I will react like I'm pulling a trailer.
Same with boating. Having electronics and thrusters is fine, but can you get back without any of it if you have to?

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 26 Aug 2017 02:06 #24

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Pcpete wrote: As part of my misspent youth I drove all sorts of semis coast to coast and up and down. I had no trouble parallel parking any of my rigs with the exception of double trailers. Even forty years later if I get into a truck to backup I will react like I'm pulling a trailer.
Same with boating. Having electronics and thrusters is fine, but can you get back without any of it if you have to?


My point, exactly. People need the lessons of training and/or experience.

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 26 Aug 2017 02:30 #25

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Download_Complete wrote: Keep in mind we're all seasoned pros at hauling trailers. A lot of people (ahem, NEW BOATERS, the lifeblood of our sport) have never backed a trailer up, have never loaded a boat, have never trailered a boat....

Automation in cars is a few years off at most and you are going to start seeing more and more autonomous and driver aid technology. Hey, I am all for it if it makes life easier.


My wife just moved into a position in the Product Development division for advanced PD R & D, AV, AI (Product Develpoment - Research & Design, Autonomous Vehicles - Artifical Inteligence group for one of the big three...can't say which one though...;)

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