Where is the front and back of items on a truck.

Ben Stiegler

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2017
Location
Sf Bay Area
There's an existential comedy sketch lurking in here somewhere ...
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2019
Location
East Coast
Not sure how the truss part got mangled. It should read something like...when putting truss or equivalent up on load bars it makes sense to have taller people on, what I call, the FRONT of truss. Front being the side of the truss facing the front of the truck, trailer or headlight if you will. My goal in being a bit vague in asking "What is considered the front or back of an object in a trailer?" was not to influence my opinion on what I call the front or back. I was taught many years ago the front of an object, road case, prop, load bar....was the side facing the headlights of the truck and never questioned it until new hands starting saying they were taught the the front of and object was the direction it is moving. Which to me is very dangerous too me. Where is the front if not in motion? example: A truss sitting on the deck of the trailer, Some one says grab the back. What end do you grab? Four loaders lifting a road case to stack on another one. Someone says lower the back end. Where is the back end? A deck cart on a lift gate where it is staring to roll off to crush hands.
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2019
Location
East Coast
I am totally baffled by this thread, I feel like there is some over engineering going on.

To me the truck has a Nose and Tail. The part of the case or cart in the truck toward the nose is always the front (even if it is labeled differently). Then you can say things like "is there a load bar in front of that row" and it makes sense.
Not sure how the truss part got mangled. It should read something like...when putting truss or equivalent up on load bars it makes sense to have taller people on, what I call, the FRONT of truss. Front being the side of the truss facing the front of the truck, trailer or headlight if you will. My goal in being a bit vague in asking "What is considered the front or back of an object in a trailer?" was not to influence my opinion on what I call the front or back. I was taught many years ago the front of an object, road case, prop, load bar....was the side facing the headlights of the truck and never questioned it until new hands starting saying they were taught the the front of and object was the direction it is moving. Which to me is very dangerous too me. Where is the front if not in motion? example: A truss sitting on the deck of the trailer, Some one says grab the back. What end do you grab? Four loaders lifting a road case to stack on another one. Someone says lower the back end. Where is the back end? A deck cart on a lift gate where it is staring to roll off to crush hands.
 

Malabaristo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2008
Location
Wisconsin
Some one says grab the back. What end do you grab?
This just demonstrates my earlier point that you're approaching this the wrong way: the words "front" and "back" are inherently ambiguous on many objects. Rather than expecting everyone to know your personal definition for those two words in this context, you should be encouraging the use of language that is either more rigidly defined or more descriptive. If you say, "Grab the end of the truss towards the front of the truck." that's descriptive enough for me to know exactly what you mean. If you say, "Grab the front of the truss...", then I'll have to stop and ask what you mean.

This kind of thing is where it's important to realize that communication is a two-way street. If just one person doesn't understand what you're saying, then it might be their problem. If multiple people don't understand you, that's a pretty good sign you should try saying it differently.
 

Lynnchesque

Active Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2019
Location
Fresno, CA
There is an unmarked stick of truss on the arena floor. You are told to grab the front end and take it to the loading bay. Which end do you pick up?
There is an unmarked stick of truss on the loading bay floor. You are told to grab the front end and take it to the arena floor. Which end do you pick up?
In neither of those instances is a hand going to consider the orientation of the nose/tail of the trucks. 9 times out of 10 you will take your cue from the intended direction. I get your point, really, but that's just how language works sometimes.

If a deck cart is rolling off a lift gate, you yell heads up and get the fark out of the way.
 

themuzicman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2007
Location
On Tour
Thank to all who replied. I might be getting a little off topic but I feel I should share. My years of experience right or wrong.
  • Do not go into the truck unless invited.
  • It is a good idea to have 4 loaders on the truck for safety.
  • Too mant people on a truck gets dangerous too.
  • Watch out for each other. Notice danger.
  • Are load bars upside down that could fall?
  • Is there somethings in FRONT of the road case the person breaking the strap can't see.that will fall?
    • I have seen stacks of plywood, base plate, scaffolding placed front to back as opposed to side to side that would have done serious damage if someone was not watching and putting a hand on it before breaking the strap
  • Do not break the strap or proceed unless told to by the client/owner/lead.
    • I have seen many times where we were not going to use that ruck or item and have to redo. Notify you are breaking the strap and make sure there are others loader around to have your back.
  • Do not lean load bar on sides of truck or something that could roll away.
  • Do no drop load bars on truck deck.
    • I personally know people that have tinnitus cause by this.
  • Personally I load drivers wall, passenger wall the middle. be sure to call it as such.
    • "Drivers wall, as is (or 90), wheel to the...sky, center, drivers wall...I have heard term to the outside. To me this is drivers or passenger wall. not the back of the trailer.
  • I usually try not to give either/or option of direction as this will confuse loaders. There are more than one.
  • Keep an eye on placement of racket straps before you put the last case in. It seems like always we have to pull out case every time we need to set a strap.
  • Straps should be set/etack forward of the back of the case to compress load forward as opposed to compressing the truck walls.
  • Pull all slack out of strap before you ratchet making sure strap is not binding.
    • I close ratchet making sure slot is lined up to insert strap.
    • If truck is loaded same way each time I break straps in the middle and weave strap into etrack hole to get it out of the way. I don't use bungees to hold ratchets.
    • I have had racks/cart grab these barely missing my eye.
  • If on a grade push case up the center of the trailer then to drives or passenger wall. This turn the wheel parallel. but be careful. It could still roll away. never turn you back on a load.
  • Hamper then a solid box before strapping if possible..
    • This keeps hamper from being crushed by ratchet.
  • 4 man lift even if box is empty. This also keeps the rhythm.
    • Download / push to side row of top cases before one loader takes a case to rear of trailer so other 3 don't have to wait.
    • Short people on front, taller on back. Opposite on loft suck as truss.
  • Never put hand/body where it can get crushed.
  • Never push anything onto the truck unless asked.
  • Make sure a loader has item before walking away.
  • Handle towards the back or trailer if possible. Lift cases from bottom. Handle do come off as well as lids.

This is just a potpourri of stuff and I am sure I missed a lot I wanted to add. Anyhow I hope it does someone good.
I load/unload my trailers on all my tours and agree with almost all of your rules. It's really impressive how many Loaders don't have a clue how to load a truck, I'd honestly print out half of these and put them on the walls of a trailer for those who don't know. (The other half may give new loaders some initiative to try to pack my truck for me!) Sorry...I had to organize your list to provide some order to the chaos!

As for your original question:

I don't think the Front/Back of an object is really the important part as it pertains to pushing-to or loading a truck. On an audio rack I call one side the working front and one side the patching front -- and on a lot of my touring racks the distinction between what's the more useful side you want constant access to can be hazy. On a cable trunk it's easy, it's the side opposite the hinge that's the front. But what about a mover box that has a pop off top? Is it the side of a set cart that the scenery comes off of, or the size that rolls into the truck first?

At a certain point you may just need to label a side Front or Back just for the sake of having a sign to point at so you can give precise instruction. I do this on my touring audio racks just so 1. Lids get put on correctly (that dented latch only fits just-so on the side it's meant for!) 2. I line up Ampland correctly in the morning and don't have to flip a rack. ETC road dimmer racks I label Front and Back on the sides just for the sake of safe pushing -- the working front and patching front both have handles, but when pressure is applied they pop out and guillotine toes so you have to pull from the sides. Sometimes it's a safety thing for the pushers.

When I'm calling a truck I use short adjective-heavy phrases to describe both the box I'm looking for and how it should be pushed. "IE Find the Cable Trunk that says 'X', one person on each skinny side and push towards the left truck". On shows with repeat packs I go as far as to color code every box or scenic element that hits my truck - you and I know what a cable trunk is, but does the college work-study kid or freelance day-laborer know a cable trunk from an amp rack? They are all differently shaped square boxes to enough people so going "find the knee-high box with red tape that says 'X' " is better than a description-by-purpose. I try to shoot for 3 adjectives and hope that any 2 of the 3 will fetch me the correct box.

Anyhow, my name of the game is call a truck with enough adjectives to keep people safe and get the correct object to the correct location. You can't assume all people can work safely without input. It's the same once it's in the truck -- "Turn it 90 degrees and take it to the driver wall" or my favorite "Turn the box like a hotdog/hamburger to the driver wall", no need for saying Front or Back. Adjective-heavy phrases in the truck too to keep people safe and give them precise instruction on how to move irregularly sized objects.
 
Last edited:

bclighting

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2013
Location
Austin, TX
To me the front of the item is always the side toward the front of the truck. I try to avoid using terms that could be misconstrued. For example, if the item is being pushed in I will say "Straight in" or "Turn 90" if it is something like a setcart I will refer to something that cannot (hopefully) be mistaken such as "open side to the passenger wall". The only time I would use front or back would be when I'm flipping things, "wheels to the back". Again this is in the absolutes of the truck front and back.

This thread is actually a perfect example how things can get mis-interpreted.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RonHebbard