Parking Practice - 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 LT Crew Long-Term Road Test

2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 LT Crew Long-Term Road Test

2014 Chevrolet Silverado: Parking Practice

January 23, 2014

2014 Chevrolet Silverado

I'm a life-long small-car person. Even when I've bought bigger cars, such as the Acura TL and the BMW 328i, they tended to be smaller big cars. So when I clambered into our 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, which I signed out for a specific weekend hauling project, I figured its size was going to pose some challenges.

But not in driving. The driving experience is pretty nice. Or even parallel parking (although I haven't tried any black-diamond parking spots yet). I am finding, though, that head-in parking is a bit of a challenge.

The Silverado's hood is wide and long and that affects my feel for where I am relative to the width of the stall. Plus, I don't yet have the feel of where to start a turn. I amused a friend to no end as I tried to park in front of her optometrist's office. She counted the forwards and backs, and I refuse to tell you the number. Suffice to say this is the best I could do without turning the exercise into a complete circus.

Mock me if you will (and I know you will), but getting the hang of parking is going to take me some time. Got any hints for the trucking newbie?

Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @14,099 miles


  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    In front of her OPTOMETRIST'S office? Beautiful - they're probably used to it. When I see people do the back-and-forth like this, I wait until they're "done" and get out of the car...then do the slow clap. Advice? Stick to small cars and leave the larger vehicles to those with a better visual grasp of spatial relationships.

  • hybris hybris Posts:

    Find a empty church parking lot and practice. ---------------------------- Also it maybe useful to turn on manually your headlights when parking near other cars as you can see the reflection of the headlights off of their car and use that to help judge how close you are.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Another idea that may or may not help is try to back in to a space when possible as with the tail end being square you know where they are assuming your mirrors are set right which brings me to my next point/tip.----------------------------------------------------- Set your mirrors so you can completely see down the side of the truck and the lane beside you this actually lets you see where your back tires are and lets you get used to where the fulcrum point is on your particular vehicle usually being the middle of the rear tire. By having your mirrors set this way you also see where your tail end is when backing into a space as mentioned above though judging distance takes practice. Keeping your mirrors set up this way also means that you must get used to bobbing and weaving in order to see beyond the lane beside you but realistically speaking your mirrors should already be set like this.- Last tip is rent a 26ft U-Haul and find said church parking lot and practice (Be sure to get the top level damage waver so if you hit someone/thing else you're not paying for it.) Once you master the box truck this thing will be easy to maneuver and then you can practice with a box truck and trailer for additional training.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    You still did far better than most urban/suburban large truck drivers.

  • tp660 tp660 Posts:

    @fordson1 Do you have to be such an a--? She clearly stated that this is a learning curve for her as she is only used to driving much smaller cars. I wasn't exactly expertly maneuvering into parking spots when I first drove my dad's F150. Hell, almost eve

  • marmotking marmotking Posts:

    Once you've got the truck generally pointed into the space, don't look forward, look out the driver's side window and mirror and align the vehicle with the stripe. With the obvious proviso of glancing right and forward to avoid punting other cars, of course. Put the tires about a foot inside the line and you should be fine. Tilt the passenger mirror down (they're electric, right?) and check centering, adjust as necessary. After a while you'll get a feel for the truck's width. Since you have them, take your office slalom cones home and practice, placing them incrementally closer.

  • marmotking marmotking Posts:

    I see I took too long to compose my comment and @hybris beat me to most of my points. I'd add this, newbies should take extra care backing a pickup into a parking spot that butts up to landscaping or a building, that rear overhang can be tricky. At one point the family business had crew-cab long-bed pickups and a short box truck (10' on an F-Super Duty), any one of which I'd end up driving for a few days at a time. I got pretty good at parking the box truck in standard spots, though I'm sure the owners of the cars next to me weren't too happy at times. I also learned to be very careful about who knew I had a box truck with lift gate at my disposal... you want to move what? Do you have sufficient quantities of quality beer?

  • carchatter1 carchatter1 Posts:

    @fordson: I wonder if their office takes walk-in appointments? As an optometrist I found your comment amusing, and true. Spatial relationship and perception vary from person to person, but they can be trained with time. Being a car nut I'm more incli

  • bassrockerx bassrockerx Posts:

    turn in before you think you need to the wide track and huge steering lock on truck will assure you will make it

  • Something this large should be backed into a parking space. There is generally much more room to swing that front end between 2 rows of parked cars instead of inside a parking stall. If you insist of pulling in forward, driving in tight space in anything is about driving the rear of the vehicle. The front should go pass the parking spot before turning the wheel or the rear will not follow.

  • kevm14 kevm14 Posts:

    Exactly. Large vehicles should be backed in. There won't be cars or people behind you to watch as you back in, then when you pull out, you can easily see people and cars. It just makes sense. You will also get to know how to use your side mirrors, which is a very valuable skill. If you can use side mirrors properly, you can drive/back anything.

  • kytan kytan Posts:

    So much negativity in the comments. Is everyone really such an *******? Anyway, my advice is to swing wide before making the turn into a parking spot. And wait longer than you think you will have to to initiate the turn. Finally, keep an eye on the passenger side mirror, it would be bad to turn the passenger side of the truck into a parked car.

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