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Author Topic: Educate your spotters!  (Read 2744 times)
demodriver
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« on: September 11, 2011, 10:00:35 PM »

Usually I dont use a spotter except for in tight spots or in public places with alot of people.

My first "experience" with my wife as my spotter was in the dark while turning around. My wife let me jack knife and run my trailer winch plate into the bus rear bumper.  Not happy but atleast it was all my equipment that got tore up.

Today while at Doons State park in IN I had to have my wife help me turn around in a parking lot that should of had a no outlet sign on it.  After several attempts I was loosing my patients. In the end my wife let me back into a toyota car and push it about 5 ft sideways with the back of my trailer.

Usually my wife does very well with this kind of stuff. But due to my lack of communication with her and me not letting her know what I needed of her I now have a insurance claim.  The officer (conservation officer) took measurement of the length of my bus with trailer. I sure hope nothing comes of that. It measured 58' according to him. He is a little over tho.
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desi arnaz
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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2011, 01:26:41 AM »

I say get rid of the wife and grt a back up camera twenty five bucks from walmart.com
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thomas f  Bethlehem n.h
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2011, 04:16:59 AM »

I have a reversing camera on my car which fits into the receptacle for the removable tow hitch. When the tow hitch is in place the reversing camera is unplugged from the car and re-fitted to the rear end of the trailer.

I've not yet reversed the bus into anything, but while reversing it once I did hit a wall with the corner of the front bumper (concentrating on the mirrors and forgetting the exaggerated way the front end swings sideways on a bus). I've now bought a cheap ultrasonic parking sensor set to fit to all the corners of the bus - hopefully they will give some warning of similar scrapes in the future.

Jeremy
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2011, 05:12:02 AM »

How are you communicating?  With today's technology, hand signals are out.  Radios or, even better, hands free cell phones are the way to go.

When I find myself in that situation, I tell my spotter that the only instruction I want to hear is "STOP".  Don't try to tell me which way to turn or anything else, just don't let me hit anything.

The second problem is when you say you were losing patience.  It is so easy to make mistakes when we get that way.  When you feel that feeling coming up, it's the time to hit the park brake and walk around the bus a couple of times.  Even if you are blocking traffic and people are screaming at you, do whatever you have to to regain your cool.

I have done some really stupid $hit when I gotten that way, and in my old age, I try very hard to just stop everything until it passes.
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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2011, 05:14:24 AM »

When you have someone spotting for for you, remind them to also watch above for tree branches.  Don't ask LOL   Jack
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2011, 05:31:35 AM »

I think she and YOU are educated now! just work on the communications. 2 cell phones even if one is a pay as you use for this use only.  I like the stop word use suggested. at least 4 ft before needed.  keep the wife-will be much more expensive if she leaves than the physical damage. I met you both; this is a growing moment!  I just tell Judy if she can't see my face in the mirior I can't see her!  Still married 42 years and 30 yrs Rv ing.   Bob
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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2011, 05:39:59 AM »

The small $25 walkie talkies from Walmart are perfect for this right here.
And I agree that unless the spotter is real good and can tell you exactly what you need to do for example: trailer needs to come to the right 5' and back 20', or you got 5' and need to cut it hard left.
Then they don't need to say anything except STOP when you get 4' from ANYTHING!      
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2011, 06:11:23 AM »

I like to back up without any help when I have no trailer.  The person trying to help just gets in the way.  I have to back my bus through a nine and a half foot wide space next to my house and I've done it enough times to do it with just the mirrors.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
demodriver
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« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2011, 06:25:39 AM »

My wife pulls a trailer and can back one up just fine.  She just didnt stay where I could see and I sure couldnt hear her.  A camera is in the works already.
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luvrbus
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« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2011, 06:32:12 AM »

I always used a spotter and a camera that way you have 2 that you can blame for the screw up lol my shop door was removed with 2 spotters,driver and a camera

good luck
« Last Edit: September 12, 2011, 06:37:39 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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trucktramp
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« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2011, 06:44:49 AM »

A good rule to follow when backing and using a spotter is to stop if you cannot see the spotter.  Tell the spotter before you start backing that you will stop and wait if you can't see the spotter and that he/she needs to move so that they can see you in the mirror.  It's just as easy to run over your spotter as a car if you can't see.
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Dennis Watson
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« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2011, 07:33:51 AM »

I got one of the PEAK wireless cameras for my birthday.  It is pretty inexpensive with a 3.5" screen.  I mounted it just below the clearance lights on the back of the coach.  This this is great it really makes backing into the barn possible without a spotter.  There are much $nicer$ cameras out there but you can get one that does the job without a bunch of money or trouble. 
Hint: 
I wanted to temporarily power the camera with a battery charger so that I could find the best mounting position.  The charger fried the camera and it had to be replaced.  If you are going to temp power the electronics use a 12V battery. 
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thomasinnv
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« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2011, 09:50:54 AM »

My wife finally learned that if she can't see my eyes in the mirror, I can't see her. She pretty much tells me when to stop, and the rest is on me. She used to try to tell me "this way" or "that way" but I found that I had to usually re-maneuver once or twice. Now she just lets me do my thing and says "stop".
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There are three kinds of people in this world....those that make things happen, those that watch things happen, and those that just wonder what the heck is happening. Which one are you?

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bobofthenorth
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« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2011, 10:40:27 AM »

There's been a lot of comment in this thread that tends to cast some of the blame on the spotter.  If you run into something its 100% your fault - no excuses.  You've got the wheel, accelerator and brakes under your control.  If you don't know what's beside you, behind you or in front of you then its time to stop, get out and have a look around.  Doesn't matter how inconvenient or awkward it may be.  I've run into things with and without spotters but its been my fault every time. 

As far as radios go for communication with your spotter they are useless unless they are handsfree.  In 30+ years of RVing I can remember exactly 2 spotters whose judgement I will trust completely - one of those is my oldest son and he was that way from about 10 years on.  Everyone else, including my dear wife, is just another opinion which leaves all the responsibility on me. 
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Len Silva
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« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2011, 10:44:40 AM »

I agree with Bob, but I don't think anyone said otherwise.  It's always the driver's responsibility, no matter what the situation might be.

Usually, instead of "Stop", my wife says "You should have stopped" Wink
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thomasinnv
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« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2011, 10:58:52 AM »


Usually, instead of "Stop", my wife says "You should have stopped" Wink

that happened once, JUST ONCE! Now she hollers "stop" a half block before the obstacle. I would rather get out and walk back a half dozen times than have to explain to a park manager why their cute little tree is under the back end of my bus. Don't ask!
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There are three kinds of people in this world....those that make things happen, those that watch things happen, and those that just wonder what the heck is happening. Which one are you?

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larryh
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« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2011, 12:51:16 PM »

No I cannot tell when I'm only 4 feet from a ovject hell I might not even see the object.

Have 7 TV camers and 12 inch screens inside cab in co-drivers position.

247 ft long 27 feet wide and a tad over 555,000 lbs
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« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2011, 03:45:12 PM »

A fine way for the spouse to get even with the busnut for all manner of indiscretion and bad behavior?

Driver takes care of reversing.

Spotter, at best, is for crowd control if there's lots of potential pedestrian traffic.

GOAL!

Get Out And Look.

Last thing that a man should have done before he says, " Oh, #$&@$ "

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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demodriver
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« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2011, 03:46:47 PM »

Larryh what is it that you are hauling?

And more importantly whats the power plant?
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larryh
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« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2011, 06:55:21 PM »

That was about 1/3 of a body press for automobiles and the power plants are 3 500 hp cats all controlled up front in the tractor until making sharp turns or straddleing bridges to spread the weight then add two more operators for turns over 30 % angle all else done from tractor and yes the DRIVER TOTALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY MANUEVERS no excuses over 35 years and no scraped paint on units except was hit by wayward  auto drivers when parked guess hard to see something that big LOL
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Jerry32
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« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2011, 03:30:39 AM »

I don't have wife so don't have a spotter. just mirrors and a back up camera and a trip outside to see what I am about to do. Jerry
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« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2011, 06:04:21 AM »

  While I agree that its the drivers responsibility for most things, when someone is standing "out back", knows to stay in your mirrors, watch overhead and all around, and still waves you to back into something, they get some of that responsibility. But its YOUR responsibility to train them (AND yourself) HOW to communicate. Teaching them and not following it yourself is rather pointless.

  If wifey (or whom ever) is going to be a spotter, there have to be solid ground rules you both go over and that you both understand completely. Nothing wrong with knowing a few common hand signals. Nothing wrong with radios, nothing wrong with clear communications, nothing wrong with burning into their brain for spotters to stay in your mirrors. Waiting until its oh dark thirty and trying to back up in a tight space and having a driver and spotter that have no experience or communication skills is just a recipe for disaster.

  Shoved it 5 feet eh, woulda liked to have seen that, lol. Ive tried to teach everyone to get as far back as possible to get the best view. Standing at the bumper looking forward waving you back when your not looking back yourself, your askin for it lol.
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Melbo
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« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2011, 09:22:40 AM »

I have an acronym for this

GOAL

What is your goal to park safely SO

Get
Out
And
Look

Whenever I am in a situation where I wonder --- Even with my BEAUTIFUL spotter

If I have a question I Get Out And Look

HTH

Melbo

I did not notice til now that BW already did this one silly me Grin Grin
« Last Edit: September 13, 2011, 08:07:20 PM by Melbo » Logged

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« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2011, 09:42:05 AM »

Agreed 100%
I will post a picture when I get home.
  While I agree that its the drivers responsibility for most things, when someone is standing "out back", knows to stay in your mirrors, watch overhead and all around, and still waves you to back into something, they get some of that responsibility. But its YOUR responsibility to train them (AND yourself) HOW to communicate. Teaching them and not following it yourself is rather pointless.

  If wifey (or whom ever) is going to be a spotter, there have to be solid ground rules you both go over and that you both understand completely. Nothing wrong with knowing a few common hand signals. Nothing wrong with radios, nothing wrong with clear communications, nothing wrong with burning into their brain for spotters to stay in your mirrors. Waiting until its oh dark thirty and trying to back up in a tight space and having a driver and spotter that have no experience or communication skills is just a recipe for disaster.

  Shoved it 5 feet eh, woulda liked to have seen that, lol. Ive tried to teach everyone to get as far back as possible to get the best view. Standing at the bumper looking forward waving you back when your not looking back yourself, your askin for it lol.
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prevosman
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« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2011, 02:01:14 PM »

It will be 50 years in December, and in that time I learned if we are to get another 50 years under our belts I bear the full responsibility. She will not be a spotter, I will not ask her to be a spotter, and I will never get mad at her because I was the one that was responsible for whatever I hit and damage.

Of course she also does not work on the coach, do repairs around the house, fix the cars or do the landscaping. I don't do dishes or laundry. And we both couldn't be happier with the division of responsibilities. Keeps us together.
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Jon Wehrenberg
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gus
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« Reply #25 on: September 13, 2011, 03:01:14 PM »

The fact remains that,  if the spotter is not a driver who understands the limits of changing direction with a large machine, they are little help except to avoid collisions with unknown objects!

I've seen countless spotters in RV parks try to direct a large RV to move an impossible direction at the last minute, this usually results in a very heated exchange of opinions and descriptions of the other persons ancestry!!
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PD4107-152
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demodriver
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« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2011, 03:14:22 PM »

Some back ground on my wife.

 She does mechanical work (shes more mechanical inclined then some on here) , she drives and builds derby cars, runs heavy equipment, and PULLS TRAILERS FINE.  She knows what it takes to back one up and has common knowledge of things!

She is not like a single persons wife on here so its not even a camparison.

I never said anything was her fault either, I said it was my fault for not educating her as to what I needed.

IM DONE WITH THIS THREAD.
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gus
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« Reply #27 on: September 13, 2011, 03:16:48 PM »

demo,

My comment was in no way directed at your wife, just a bit of info on what I have seen at RV parks.
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PD4107-152
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« Reply #28 on: September 13, 2011, 09:52:55 PM »

I never said anything was her fault either, I said it was my fault for not educating her as to what I needed.

IM DONE WITH THIS THREAD.

  I dont believe anyone is pointing fingers, I think rather, we all been there or at the very least came close. You havnt said, but I imagine your wife feels awful, I cant imagine the horror of watching that transpire, its a sad day. Or hillarious perhaps, watching that Toyota get balled up, dependin on your disposition.

  But while a few are saying no spotters etc., watch NASA once in a while when they move stuff around, they have a crap load of spotters. Same around any airport. And stuff still gets wrecked. I say chalk it up to experience, have a few beers and laugh it off, aint nothing crying over it nows gonna fix. And ill bet a Franklin shes one hell of a spotter after this. Guys always said, you aint a real pilot til you wreck someone elses airplane. Or maybe that was about ground loopin tail draggers, there are those who have, and those who will. lol
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desi arnaz
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« Reply #29 on: September 14, 2011, 04:15:21 AM »

I don't have wife so don't have a spotter. just mirrors and a back up camera and a trip outside to see what I am about to do. Jerry



 you can have mine.........
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thomas f  Bethlehem n.h
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« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2011, 08:38:42 AM »

Wow, I guess I'm lucky.  I trust my s/o completely when backing.  All movement is the driver's  responsibilty but she has been driving commercial trucks for many years so she knows what is required when going backward.  If there is any question, I get my butt out of the seat and check, then usually have a conference to determine the best route of attack.
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Dennis Watson
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« Reply #31 on: September 14, 2011, 03:35:11 PM »

Well, I've ground looped a tail dragger (no damage), crashed my own airplane but never did a gear up, so I must be nearly qualified!!
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PD4107-152
PD4104-1274
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