by Philip Fletcher, President, TTSAO
This week we’ll talk about Mirrors.
Clean mirrors and proper mirror adjustment is what it takes to know what and who is around you, and what you need to look out for.
Let’s start by making sure your mirrors are clean. A properly adjusted mirror is useless if you can’t see out of it! Clean your side mirrors first, making sure all areas of the Plane mirror (or some will call the WestCoast mirror) is clean to the far ends. Then make sure your convex mirror is also clean.
Then move to the hood mirrors and make sure that both are clean and not chipped, hazed or broken.
Next align the mirrors properly by pulling the trailer to a point where it is directly behind the tractor. Now it is the time to angle your mirrors correctly to eliminate the blind spots to a virtual minimum.
Start by aligning the Plane mirrors against the side of the tractor and trailer. Use the 90/10 rule. This means that 90 per cent of the mirror will tell you what or who is around and behind you, while just 10% of the mirror is reflecting your own vehicle as a reference point.
Next adjust the convex to show the immediate blind spot behind your door to the rear of your drive tires. Again just using no more than 10% as a reference of your vehicle.
Then adjust the plane mirrors to cover the immediate space above the convex and showing back to the rear of the trailer.
Finally, use the hood mirrors to cover the immediate space from the front tires out on a 30 degree angle to reduce the blind spot not covered by your convex mirrors. This is the area on both sides, but the passenger side mirror will have more of an angle since it is farther from the driver.
Last check, get back in the driver’s seat to verify that all mirrors are pointed correctly, and covering most every spot around your tractor trailer.
TTSAO has great instructors, so don’t be afraid to step up and offer one or more of your great tips, it’s how the industry gets better!