I’ve always liked learning new tasks while living here on our acreage. I feel more useful when I can help my husband, Dean, do chores and other handyman tasks. My accomplishments over the years have included changing locks on doors, basic woodworking repairs, learning to use the snowblower, and how to find wall studs to properly hang stuff on the wall without wrecking the wall. Yep, I’ve had to repair the wall after a screw was drilled in the wrong spot and had everything come crashing to the floor. It was a bit of a mess.
Over the years I’ve helped with backing the truck up to a trailer and Dean would hook up the trailer and drive it to our destination. I can hook-up a basic trailer or boat to the truck but I’m still learning how to hook-up the camper. That’s a bit more complicated and I’ll definitely need more practice with that.
For this adventure today I had to drive the truck and haul a trailer with a cattle feeder on top. Sounds easy enough. Nope it sure wasn’t. I never realized how bad Dean was at giving instructions until today.
First, Dean hooked up the trailer to the truck. After that was ready to go he needed to back the truck and trailer off the driveway area to get the tractor out. I wanted to learn and we weren’t in a big hurry so I said I’d do it. We both got into the truck; Dean in the passenger side, myself on the driver side. Dean has been backing up trailers for well over 40 years and knows how it’s done but trying to verbalize what he wanted me to do as the driver didn’t go so well. I was being very cautious and was not going fast at all. Dean said to turn towards the left so I did. Apparently he meant his other left. After that first wrong turn he would point in the direction he wanted me to go so there would be no more confusion. Slowly I cranked the steering wheel one way & backed up a bit then turned it the other way and backed up a bit more. We both stayed calm and got the trailer backed up out of the way with nothing getting broken or any harsh words spoken to each other. We were off to a good start.
Dean moved the tractor and got stuff ready for the adventure to drive the trailer to our destination 80 km away. A few days ago I watched a video on facebook of people failing at driving with trailers. The video had trailers flipping over, trailers swaying all over the road, even trailers hitting on coming traffic. Maybe I shouldn’t have watched that video, it sure made me nervous and had me doubting my ability to drive. I decided to try anyways and was confident in Dean’s ability as a driver and being right next to me in the truck. I went over the drive in my head – only two left turns and the rest of the drive was following the highway then two right turns and we’d be there. The turns had me worried because Dean has said in the past that if too sharp of a turn is made the trailer can jack-knife or even snap off & break the all kinds of things on the trailer. Putting all of that out of my head so I could concentrate, I started driving very slowly. Inching down the driveway wasn’t bad at all. The first left turn was coming up and I listened to Dean say take the turn wide. Taking the turn wide meant driving to the far right side of the road and straightening out as I drove forward. At this point Dean jumped out to take a picture of me taking the turn. It wasn’t that bad at all and I was feeling a bit more confident. I drove down the gravel road up to the highway and up to my next left turn. Luckily there was no traffic on the highway and I made that left turn with no problems. I was feeling confident but that was the end of my driving that day. With me driving slow and Dean taking pictures, we would be late and Dean wanted to get there fast so he drove the rest of the way.
Even though this was a short drive hauling the trailer, it went fairly well. I think I’ll give it another try and keep practicing until I won’t need Dean’s help to drive from one location to another.