“Get Out And Look” – The Importance of Backing a Semi Safely
G.O.A.L., or Get Out And Look, is an acronym that is taught during CDL training to emphasize the importance of safety and proper backing procedure. GOAL can help prevent backing accidents and will come in handy in myriad situations you’ll face during your trucking career.
When Should I Get Out And Look?
Some instances where it would behoove you to get out and look (GOAL) would be when you’re backing into a dock at the shipper, backing to hook onto a trailer, backing into a truck stop or rest area between two already-parked trucks, and when you are taking a backing test (most companies require you to GOAL as part of your test).
Some drivers do not get out and look because they feel they are experienced enough to back without having to look. This is where they mess up, because no matter what your experience level, getting out and looking will prevent you from messing up and scraping a mirror, your trailer, or another truck. Looking will also prevent you from backing into and actually hitting the dock or another person or vehicle that could be behind you.
We teach our students to get out and look for a reason. It’s something that all drivers should make a habit of when they’re driving. No matter how long you’ve been driving, there is always the possibility that there is something or someone in your way. Without looking first, you will not know that until you hit it!
The downfall to not looking is that if you do scrape a mirror or bump something, then this is considered an “incident” and will count against you on your DAC. Companies look at this as being careless. It could cause you problems with your DAC report and could increase the points on the CSA score of your carrier, which could possibly cause you to be terminated for excessive incidents. In the event you are terminated for these issues, finding another trucking position will be nearly impossible.
Safety should always be a top priority in truck driving, and the little time that it takes to GOAL is worth it.