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TOPIC: Trailer backup assist on new trucks

Trailer backup assist on new trucks 01 Sep 2017 17:56 #51

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They had flip phones back in the age of tubed tires? Now that's just crazy talk.

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 01 Sep 2017 18:02 #52

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Keeping this topic on a positive note (maybe), go to an empty parking lot and practice and practice backing up. Put your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel. Want the trailer to go left turn the wheel to the left and so on. Gadgets can be fun, until they cease to function. Just like GPS when your 10 miles off shore and your pucker factor pegs out.

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 01 Sep 2017 19:48 #53

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 01 Sep 2017 20:25 #54

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Download_Complete wrote: They had flip phones back in the age of tubed tires? Now that's just crazy talk.


Well.... maybe not flip phones:

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 01 Sep 2017 20:45 #55

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Vic Stewart wrote: Keeping this topic on a positive note (maybe), go to an empty parking lot and practice and practice backing up. Put your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel. Want the trailer to go left turn the wheel to the left and so on. Gadgets can be fun, until they cease to function. Just like GPS when your 10 miles off shore and your pucker factor pegs out.


I'm not sure what this has to do with the Trailer Backup Assist. I am very proficient at backing up trailers, having towed travel trailers, motorcycle trailers, and boat trailers for 35+ years. I still would love to try the Trailer Backup Assist. If it works well I would even consider buying the option if I was purchasing a new truck.

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 04 Sep 2017 19:06 #56

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I was an R&D engineer for a company that sold consumer goods. We had a sign taped to the wall near the exit door. "Just when you think you made something idiot-proof, the invent a bigger idiot.
I can see it coming now. Some dork uses the trailer assist wrong and boogers up his boat. Then he sues the auto manufacture for the computer breaking his boat.

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 05 Sep 2017 21:22 #57

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A perfect example of a guy who definitely needed his man-card confiscated.

Last Saturday afternoon, Port Angeles Boat Haven ramp. Landed on the dock at 2PM from my Canada trip. Went up to get the truck and trailer. On the dock was a 20 year old 14' aluminum boat with an old Evinrude 9, carrying two crab pots and a rather large male passenger.

An even bigger guy - partnered with the small boat - got into a brand new Hummer H2, which was connected to a tiny single axle trailer with a very long tongue. This Hummer had every accessory; back-up cameras, extra racks for luggage, lights, gerry cans, ....the works.

The moment he started backing up, I shut off my engine. Oh crap! Jack-knife one way, then the other, over a dozen times, each time coming all the way back up the ramp. Moreover, the trailer was so small, one of them could have picked up the back of it and moved it where it needed to go. But apparently, no one thought of that.

Magically, more and more people arrived at the peanut gallery, as if someone sent out a press release about some idiot was about to back their brand new Hummer into the briny.

I couldn't actually see what he was doing with the trailer. And where the peanut gallery usually sends out chimes of encouragement or volumes of explicit advice, they were absolutely silent. I could only imagine what was happening, ....but it must have been fascinating.

He eventually got the trailer into the water, but from where I was, I could see that he'd dropped half the Hummer into the salt water to get it there. When he got out, the water level was over his thighs! I could even hear his exhaust glub-glub-glubbing.

Next, he had no clue how to work the manual winch. I could hear the clicking of him reeling it out by hand ....(and was later told) ...all the way back to where the boat was tied to the dock!

He finally got the boat on and pulled it up the ramp ...to tremendous cheers from the onlookers. His face was deep red when he passed me.

I quickly backed in, and with assistance of my electric winch, within seconds I was pulling up the ramp. As I passed him, he shouted, "Show off!" ...Wow!!

More money than brains. Not only that, there as more than enough of us there to have picked the boat up and carried it onto the trailer, ....then eaten the dang thing for lunch!

Yeah, it's all funny .....until you get stuck behind someone like this when you are tired, still need to flush the boat and drive home. :ohmy:

Amen for new boaters, but seriously, a brand new Hummer? ........."Man-card, please!"

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 07 Sep 2017 16:40 #58

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I recently had a friend that bought a new car. He then bragged on how he disabled all the advanced safety features on his car because they "bugged him" He didn't like the vibration when he drove out of his lane, he didn't like the steering wheel waggle when he went to change lanes and the car informed him that the lane was occupied and he turned off the beeping when the car noticed he was tailgating.

I gave him a sidelong glance and told him that I'd prefer if he reenabled all those features for my safety, not his and offered to put his driving skills (specifically braking reaction time) up against what was built into his car any day.

I'm old enough to remember adjusting the points on my first car, learning threshold breaking and totaling a car in an accident that simply would not happen in a car of today due to ABS, traction control and better engineering. I'll take every advanced safety feature in my car, but more specifically I'll take them in your car to make my drive safer.

I tell the kids I work with when they get their licenses and decide to ignore Washington's graduated drivers license laws - "Those laws aren't there to protect you, they are there to protect me from you. You may think you are a good driver at age 16. I'm here to tell you you aren't. You are all horrible drivers. It's not your fault, you simply haven't had enough experience to know what to look for. The last thing you need is a car full of other teenagers distracting you right after you get your license. If I see you breaking the graduated license laws, I'll report you myself. I don't care if your parents said it's ok, it's not."

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 07 Sep 2017 17:19 #59

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metz123 wrote: I recently had a friend that bought a new car. He then bragged on how he disabled all the advanced safety features on his car because they "bugged him" He didn't like the vibration when he drove out of his lane, he didn't like the steering wheel waggle when he went to change lanes and the car informed him that the lane was occupied and he turned off the beeping when the car noticed he was tailgating.

I gave him a sidelong glance and told him that I'd prefer if he reenabled all those features for my safety, not his and offered to put his driving skills (specifically braking reaction time) up against what was built into his car any day.

I'm old enough to remember adjusting the points on my first car, learning threshold breaking and totaling a car in an accident that simply would not happen in a car of today due to ABS, traction control and better engineering. I'll take every advanced safety feature in my car, but more specifically I'll take them in your car to make my drive safer.

I tell the kids I work with when they get their licenses and decide to ignore Washington's graduated drivers license laws - "Those laws aren't there to protect you, they are there to protect me from you. You may think you are a good driver at age 16. I'm here to tell you you aren't. You are all horrible drivers. It's not your fault, you simply haven't had enough experience to know what to look for. The last thing you need is a car full of other teenagers distracting you right after you get your license. If I see you breaking the graduated license laws, I'll report you myself. I don't care if your parents said it's ok, it's not."


I absolutely agree with you about those safety features.

However, I see a clear distinction between those safety features and having the driver skills to back up a trailer. I remember when they decided to add a lighted mirror to the driver side sunshade. Being that I was making regular territory sales calls, I really appreciated this feature on my brand new T-Bird. But that thought changed the day I watched my GF use it to apply her make-up while driving. I hit the roof! Her reasoning? "Then why would they put it there?" Funny that she too thought she had the driver skills to use it.

My point is, even though it is there doesn't mean you know how to use it correctly. (You can still jackknife a trailer if you turn the dial the wrong way.) Therefore, you still need to understand the principle of how a vehicle and trailer work. So, once you understand that, it becomes a pretty useless feature, but one that could lead someone into believing they are a better driver than they are.

Interesting, I never saw her again. Go figure. B)

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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 08 Sep 2017 02:53 #60

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CptCrunchie wrote: An even bigger guy - partnered with the small boat - got into a brand new Hummer H2,
Amen for new boaters, but seriously, a brand new Hummer? ........."Man-card, please!"


Hummer hasn't built a consumer level vehicle since 2010

You can turn in your man card for thinking a vehicle over 7yrs old is new.:whistle:

We all have priorities - for some backing a trailer isn't one of them.

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 08 Sep 2017 04:56 #61

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kwb wrote:

CptCrunchie wrote: An even bigger guy - partnered with the small boat - got into a brand new Hummer H2,
Amen for new boaters, but seriously, a brand new Hummer? ........."Man-card, please!"


Hummer hasn't built a consumer level vehicle since 2010

You can turn in your man card for thinking a vehicle over 7yrs old is new.:whistle:

We all have priorities - for some backing a trailer isn't one of them.


If it means I have to know everything about cars, then I'll gladly turn my man-card in. It looked just like this but with different wheels and tires, and the lights on top were bigger.

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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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HAM: KE7TTR
TDI tech diver
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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 11 Sep 2017 23:17 #62

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FISHIN00 wrote:

Download_Complete wrote:

FISHIN00 wrote: I'm all in on helpful technology, but this is just a gimmic!


Gimmicks by definition sound cool but don't work. By all accounts, Ford's technology DOES work.

Try that when a box trailer or a boat is blocking the camera view. I've put 53,48,40 and 28 Foot semi trailers along with boat and camping trailers into some very tight spots, even blindside. Looking at the video and commercials. I feel this is a gimmick to appeal to unknowing buyers.


Yes, it's a gimmick. There is no actual "assist" or new technology here, it's just a backup camera (which will be mandatory in all vehicles in a couple of years for safety) and a button that reverses the rotation of the steering wheel. That's all! It certainly makes it easier, but so do power car windows vs crank handle car windows.

The true Trailer Assist will come in the future: sensors all around your truck, then you configure your trailer (mine is X feet long, axle is Y feet away from hitch), and a touchscreen interface where you tell it where to go, hit the green button, and the truck does it all. It's just math anyway. Add some sensors in the trailer itself, talking to your truck computer for safety so you dont hit anything. Still too expensive, but the technology is already available, it's a matter of putting it together.

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 11 Sep 2017 23:50 #63

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I'm in agreement with the sentiment that the system shouldn't be necessary, etc, etc...

... however some of the comments posted above are clearly from people that didn't watch the video about how the newest Ford system works.


And since some clearly need the help, I guess it's a good idea that it's available.

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 12 Sep 2017 04:37 #64

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Still not the same as the true Parking Assist. Maybe one day...

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 12 Sep 2017 06:37 #65

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rafaelfigueira wrote:

FISHIN00 wrote:

Download_Complete wrote:

FISHIN00 wrote: I'm all in on helpful technology, but this is just a gimmic!


Gimmicks by definition sound cool but don't work. By all accounts, Ford's technology DOES work.

Try that when a box trailer or a boat is blocking the camera view. I've put 53,48,40 and 28 Foot semi trailers along with boat and camping trailers into some very tight spots, even blindside. Looking at the video and commercials. I feel this is a gimmick to appeal to unknowing buyers.


Yes, it's a gimmick. There is no actual "assist" or new technology here, it's just a backup camera (which will be mandatory in all vehicles in a couple of years for safety) and a button that reverses the rotation of the steering wheel. That's all! It certainly makes it easier, but so do power car windows vs crank handle car windows.


Are you sure? If you remember that Volvo / Van Damme commercial from a few years back, most people didn't notice that the trailer trucks were moving backwards. So there's definitely software which can really do trailer backup assist.



I know Volkswagen was working on the same thing for their cars.


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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 12 Sep 2017 08:16 #66

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Solandri wrote: Are you sure? If you remember that Volvo / Van Damme commercial from a few years back, most people didn't notice that the trailer trucks were moving backwards. So there's definitely software which can really do trailer backup assist.

I know Volkswagen was working on the same thing for their cars.


Yes, there is software. It has a cool automatic "straighten it up for you" feature, using the camera and a image recognition software to align the hitch (in the Ford case, it uses that little sticker to help the software).

But notice on your VW video: he clicks the "left" button two or three times to set an angle for a curve, then starts backing up... and it would keep on going on the curve, through the cones, if he didnt stop and tell it to straighten up. There are no sensors to know when to stop. That's the difference between this and the true Parking Assist, that uses sensors to learn the boundaries. Even if you dont have sensors, it should be able to perform a task like turn 45 or 90 degrees. In fact in the video he went too far ("we ran out of course" he says), the trailer moved too much to the left (see at 3min 02s how it got crooked), and he had to go forward a bit to correct and then back again. In theory there should be no need for correction: it's just math, a computer should know every step of the process before it even begins. A 90-degree turn should be done in one single movement, no matter how tight the curve is. If you know the dimensions of the vehicles, the whole process is programmable. I guess I'm just expecting too much. :)

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Trailer backup assist on new trucks 12 Sep 2017 09:59 #67

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We've all sat in line at the ramp waiting for someone to give it their 3rd or 4th try on a day when the fish are running. If something can help these folks speed it up a little I'm all in favor of that.
With all the technology coming out I wish they could render someone's cell phone useless once they step inside the car. What eats me up more is someone yacking on the cell that has dropped their speed 10 to 15 mph lower then the speed limit as if driving the car is secondary to the damn phone call. We've all seen it. :angry:

Just two days ago near St. Paul a woman hit and killed a police officer because she was distracted while texting.

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