Fast Road Tuition

Author
Discussion

SVS

3,463 posts

206 months

Saturday 5th August 2017
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ian in lancs said:
I was talking about stationary vehicle cockpit checks that are worth making into a routine.
Whilst I don't disagree, I found that pedantry can arise when it comes to cockpit checks.

Also, the term "cockpit check" sounds a bit odd. More civilian/normal wording would be better!

StressedDave

787 posts

197 months

Saturday 5th August 2017
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Rick101 said:
I always found the other two AD paths very regimented. I was able to perform as requested and get the pass/gold but there were several things I did not agree with, or in fact found to be unsafe. That is the main reason I declined to continue down the observer path. I was simply not willing to sit there telling someone to do something which I thought was wrong.
They are - they're based on the Police systems. As an outsider (I never did either course - I went straight to HPC), and it's very dependent on what sort of observer you get, there's a tendency for the methods (pull-push steering, all that bo!!ocks about the sequence of putting seatbelt on, and don't get me started about the sequence of handbrake and neutral) to override the results you're supposed to be getting. You have to remember that the purpose of Police training is to take a disparate grouping of talents and interest in driving and make them safe.

Rick101 said:
that's probably my concern looking at HPC. It has a good wide ranging syllabus, but as with any fixed criteria, you need to play it to get the result you want.
Far less a syllabus than a definition of the 'quality' of driving that needs to be delivered. Sure a lot of people taking the Course come from an IAM/RoSPA bacground which is reflected in their style of driving, but it's in no way mandatory.

Rick101 said:
I have little interest in any title, badge or accreditation. I simply want to be more confident in the car. I think that will come with learning more about suspension and dynamics, and of course simply getting more miles on the road.

The other option I'm considering is simply going out with friend who is competent suspension and is able to carry a good turn of speed. ~I trust his judgement and will be able to have 2 or 3 drives over 2 or 3 months so will have time to learn, practice, learn etc.[/wuote]
As a former driving coach, my experience is that my clients wanted to learn all about suspension and dynamics (I'm a former ride and handling engineer so can bore with the best of them - I've got a really weird CV), when in reality what they needed was to learn to corner better by getting down to the right speed and enjoying the experience rather than hanging on for grim depth waiting for the corner to finish. Once that consistency was achieved, they'd find all the other bits of Roadcraft dropped in automatically without it having to be rammed down their throat.

Seat time is important, but it's seat time doing the right sort of things that is more important. I've got a sneaky feeling that we've driven together many years back.

Rick101 said:
As I understand it, HPC is at a level where you are expected to learn independently. Is that correct?
Nope, there's a lot more activity in and around HPC than ADHub or IAM/RoSPA, involving driving together and helping each other improve. There's no need to learn independently, but you've still got to put in the effort.

ian in lancs

3,259 posts

133 months

Saturday 5th August 2017
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SVS said:
Whilst I don't disagree, I found that pedantry can arise when it comes to cockpit checks.

Also, the term "cockpit check" sounds a bit odd. More civilian/normal wording would be better!
i used the term cockpit check to aid the analogy - i don't use that term with associates although with a military aircraft factory on our patch they'd get it!

Edited by ian in lancs on Saturday 5th August 07:30

ian in lancs

3,259 posts

133 months

Saturday 5th August 2017
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Rick101 said:
I always wonder if it's (BGOL) acceptable in one scenario, why is it unacceptable in another?

Surely it's safe, or it isn't.

I feel it's dumbing down. I think there is much more to braking. Vehicle balance, brake bias, geometry/suspension and it's affect on mechanical grip can all be discussed. Not to mention tyre pressures, compounds, road surface, weather etc. All are a factor in braking. I appreciate not everyone want's to go to this level but it saddens me that many observers are unwilling or simple unable to.
Of course you're right! There are lots of mechanical considerations in braking. Its all about balance and grip. I guess it comes from police driving where on occasion, and on public roads, they will be well into three figures maximising grip in a heavily loaded car by balancing the forces. Secondly its mechanical sympathy. Slowing the car with brakes that are cheaply replaced is better than an expensive clutch assembly. Thirdly slowing a car with brakes and presumably followed by a block change with rev matching is a more direct method of balanced car controls. Having said all that an automatic will change gear as the car slows!

Anyway, BGOL is fine if the circumstances and therefore system plan demand it. Ive just got back from driving the mountain roads in Provence. On downhill bends I had to keep the brake on whilst changing gear (auto and manual) because releasing the brake would allow the car to gain too much speed. It all depends! All part of the plan.

Edited by ian in lancs on Saturday 5th August 16:39

Reg Local

2,349 posts

143 months

Saturday 5th August 2017
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Rick101 said:
All this just reinforces why I'm not looking to 'pass'. It seems more about massaging ego's than actually just trying to be a skilled driver.

I'm actually a bit nervous about my session with Reg. Either we'll get on really well or we'll have a disagreement early on, hopefully it's the former.
I've been doing this a while now and I haven't fallen out with anyone yet.

Mind you, no-one has really tried killing me yet...
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Rick101

Original Poster:

5,622 posts

85 months

Saturday 5th August 2017
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Well, I do like to bring something new laugh


Just been out for a little drive, popped up to Scotlandbiggrin
Minor roads on the way up, Primary routes on the way back as I was knick knacked.

Been watching one of RL's Youtube vids each day as a bit of a reminder. Focused on steering today. Couple of occasions I found PP steering to be closer to yank or death. It's certainly good for roundabouts but I've to do more experimenting to find the benefit on more corners.
I understand that you can 'add more' steering' but I find the time it takes to do so negates any benefit. I'm also conscious that you're only gripping the wheel with one hand. That's not so much of a concern but a knock on from that is having to grip it tighter and put all drive through that hand. Any delicate feedback coming back is also having to come back through that single handed deathgrip. I find when I rotational steer I can keep a fairly light touch and rarely have to lose a hand due to particularly tight corners.

Lots to think about. Looking forward to my session.


johnao

535 posts

178 months

Saturday 5th August 2017
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Vaux said:
johnao said:
Vaux said:
As an aside, in RoADAR I was told if I started the engine without my seat belt on it would be an instant fail. The theory being that if the engine is running you're technically driving so legally must be wearing the seat-belt.
https://www.gov.uk/seat-belts-law/when-you-dont-need-to-wear-a-seat-belt
Well yes, but it's a bit difficult to invoke when you're facing out of a McDonald's parking bay with no reverse required! He's a nice enough chap, and as he does my retests, best not to wind him up!
A RoADAR examiner! That's even better. I assumed he was a RoADAR tutor.

If you ever feel comfortable enough in your own skin that your standard of driving would warrant a gold RoADAR award in any case, and it doesn't worry you that the examiner might give you an instant fail for not putting your seat belt on before starting the engine because you know that later that day you will phone the chief examiner and get a free retest with a more sensible examiner, then... ask the examiner how does he explain that the RTA, in relation to seat belt use, refers to "driving a motor vehicle on a road". There's no mention "being in charge", it specifically says driving. There's no mention of being in "a public place", it specifically says "road". Although a McDonald's parking bay is a "place to which the public have access" it is not a "road". In my opinion, if parliament had intended for the seat belt legislation to operate in the same way as the drink drive legislation it would have specified "being in charge", not "driving", and a "place to which the public have access", not a "road".

Let me know what his answer is. laughlaughlaugh

Or, better still, if he's in the south-east let me know who he is and I'll make a special request for him when I'm next due a retest. wink


Edited by johnao on Sunday 6th August 10:25


Edited by johnao on Sunday 6th August 10:26

JontyR

1,707 posts

102 months

Sunday 6th August 2017
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Reg Local said:
Rick101 said:
All this just reinforces why I'm not looking to 'pass'. It seems more about massaging ego's than actually just trying to be a skilled driver.

I'm actually a bit nervous about my session with Reg. Either we'll get on really well or we'll have a disagreement early on, hopefully it's the former.
I've been doing this a while now and I haven't fallen out with anyone yet.

Mind you, no-one has really tried killing me yet...
He didn't fall out with me...and I didn't shut up talking!

ScoobyChris

648 posts

137 months

Sunday 6th August 2017
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Rick101 said:
Been watching one of RL's Youtube vids each day as a bit of a reminder. Focused on steering today. Couple of occasions I found PP steering to be closer to yank or death. It's certainly good for roundabouts but I've to do more experimenting to find the benefit on more corners
Imvhe, it's worth keeping focus on the end goal rather than changing to a different technique because it's what a specific variant of advanced driving promotes.

FWIW I adopted pull push exclusively during my RoADAR training (observer states it's what examiner expects) and then unadopted it after spending time with more experienced coaches who encouraged exploring other techniques and I've now settled on a hybrid technique that works for me. I hold the wheel at 9 and 3 and used fixed input steering for anything requiring up to around 120 degrees of lock and then if I need anymore I can transition into PP. Most of the time the division of technique is that slow, tight turns and manoeuvring PP is used and faster bends where feedback is more useful and steering can be wound on and off smoothly, accurately and easily, I use fixed grip.

As with all things YMMV wink

Chris

Red Devil

10,999 posts

143 months

Monday 7th August 2017
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Rick101 said:
I'm actually a bit nervous about my session with Reg.
Don't be. What you see (if you have watched his videos) is what you get.
Properly down to earth (he's from Lancashire so that's a given).

Rick101 said:
Either we'll get on really well or we'll have a disagreement early on, hopefully it's the former.
Imo there is no reason for anyone not to get on with him. Reg is not one of those 'it's my way or the highway' types.
You can have a contrary viewpoint which he will listen to. If he thinks it's not tenable he will explain why calmly and cogently.
No patronising or 'painting by numbers' with this man.

Like you, I'm not interested in exams/accolades/trophies/certificates to hang on the wall/etc.
I'm doing it for me, not to impress anyone else.

I'm definitely going to arrange another session.
Just trying to figure out how and when: being at the wrong end of the country doesn't help though...

Reg Local said:
I've been doing this a while now and I haven't fallen out with anyone yet.
I reckon it would take someone more than a bit 'special' to do that. wink

Reg Local said:
Mind you, no-one has really tried killing me yet...
ISTR that you mentioned someone who came close but were not actually trying to do it! biggrin

Rick101

Original Poster:

5,622 posts

85 months

Monday 7th August 2017
quotequote all
ScoobyChris said:
I've now settled on a hybrid technique that works for me. I hold the wheel at 9 and 3 and used fixed input steering for anything requiring up to around 120 degrees of lock and then if I need anymore I can transition into PP. Most of the time the division of technique is that slow, tight turns and manoeuvring PP is used and faster bends where feedback is more useful and steering can be wound on and off smoothly, accurately and easily, I use fixed grip.
To be honest that's very similar to what I do.

Vaux

1,540 posts

151 months

Monday 7th August 2017
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johnao said:
A RoADAR examiner! That's even better. I assumed he was a RoADAR tutor.

If you ever feel comfortable enough in your own skin that your standard of driving would warrant a gold RoADAR award in any case, and it doesn't worry you that the examiner might give you an instant fail for not putting your seat belt on before starting the engine because you know that later that day you will phone the chief examiner and get a free retest with a more sensible examiner, then... ask the examiner how does he explain that the RTA, in relation to seat belt use, refers to "driving a motor vehicle on a road". There's no mention "being in charge", it specifically says driving. There's no mention of being in "a public place", it specifically says "road". Although a McDonald's parking bay is a "place to which the public have access" it is not a "road". In my opinion, if parliament had intended for the seat belt legislation to operate in the same way as the drink drive legislation it would have specified "being in charge", not "driving", and a "place to which the public have access", not a "road".

Let me know what his answer is. laughlaughlaugh
If I feel comfortable enough in three years, I'll ask him! (And we're not down south....) smile

Vaux

1,540 posts

151 months

Monday 7th August 2017
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StressedDave said:
.......and don't get me started about the sequence of handbrake and neutral.........
Sorry, but this has come up recently with some more established members demanding handbrake then neutral. I'm not too fussed myself, but if you've got some sort of solid argument for or against, that would be interesting. If you've got a minute.


SVS

3,463 posts

206 months

Monday 7th August 2017
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This is a plea to avoid pedantry: I'm sure there will be opinions on handbrake/neutral, but opinions aren't the same as evidence this has been a significant factor in crashes.


_Neal_

1,789 posts

154 months

Thursday 10th August 2017
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ScoobyChris said:
I hold the wheel at 9 and 3 and used fixed input steering for anything requiring up to around 120 degrees of lock and then if I need anymore I can transition into PP. Most of the time the division of technique is that slow, tight turns and manoeuvring PP is used and faster bends where feedback is more useful and steering can be wound on and off smoothly, accurately and easily, I use fixed grip.
This is what I do as well - I used fixed input on my IAM test as well (PP at slower speed) and it wasn't remarked upon.

Interestingly (maybe) the IAM has made a lot of their guidelines for observers less rigid very recently. Most notably, observers are asked to look more generally at "is the associate in full control of the car" - and if they are, not push to change techniques to impose PP steering/elimination of BGOL. I think it's part of an effort to make the IAM more appealing to those that aren't driving geeks (which is most of the people that do the course). The more technical stuff (especially when delivered in a nasal voice without any explanation as to why it's a good thing) definitely alienates people.

Personally I'm slightly undecided about it - feels a bit like dumbing down - but observation/safety still has the same emphasis, and there's nothing to stop observers discussing more technical aspects like steering technique/rev matching etc with the right associates, so I think on the whole it's a good thing.

PS - I believe Walter Rohrl uses a bit of pull push so it can't be that bad for steering feel wink

PPS - Rick101 - when you say you got "caught out" in your original post, what do you mean?



Edited by _Neal_ on Thursday 10th August 17:43

StressedDave

787 posts

197 months

Thursday 10th August 2017
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SVS said:
This is a plea to avoid pedantry: I'm sure there will be opinions on handbrake/neutral, but opinions aren't the same as evidence this has been a significant factor in crashes.
Yup... In 10 years of investigating the buggers, i didn't find one where the situation would have been improved by applying the handbrake before selecting neutral. Mind you, I tended to deal with the more serious end of the accident spectrum.

Rick101

Original Poster:

5,622 posts

85 months

Thursday 10th August 2017
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_Neal_ said:
PPS - Rick101 - when you say you got "caught out" in your original post, what do you mean?
I felt I was not fully in control of the vehicle. If it was wet, or I hit a bump, or a suicidal sheep has decided to make a run for it, I had nothing spare.
I tend to drive at around 80% capacity, occasionally push to 90% but am always happy I can stop/avoid etc. That occasion there was nothing spare.


With regard to steering. I've been using the Volvo this week for the 3 mile commute as it's been pissing down.
I hadn't realised how much I do use PP when doing a 'normal' drive. Not sure if that continues out of town, but certainly for low speed local stuff, PP is very good.

I think accuracy has something to do with it too.I think you can steer more accurately with two hands.

dvenman

115 posts

50 months

Friday 11th August 2017
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Rick101 said:
I think accuracy has something to do with it too.I think you can steer more accurately with two hands.
Indeed, because you can balance the pull or push with the inactive hand. And pulling first means you can use the wrist to start the movement which is a much more delicate way than pushing which tends to use the shoulder more - at least, that's my experience.

_Neal_

1,789 posts

154 months

Friday 11th August 2017
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Rick101 said:
_Neal_ said:
PPS - Rick101 - when you say you got "caught out" in your original post, what do you mean?
I felt I was not fully in control of the vehicle. If it was wet, or I hit a bump, or a suicidal sheep has decided to make a run for it, I had nothing spare.
I tend to drive at around 80% capacity, occasionally push to 90% but am always happy I can stop/avoid etc. That occasion there was nothing spare.


With regard to steering. I've been using the Volvo this week for the 3 mile commute as it's been pissing down.
I hadn't realised how much I do use PP when doing a 'normal' drive. Not sure if that continues out of town, but certainly for low speed local stuff, PP is very good.

I think accuracy has something to do with it too.I think you can steer more accurately with two hands.
Thanks - sounds pretty much like you were just going a bit quicker than you should've been, or unbalanced the car, for whatever reason. Sure Reg will help with whatever the issue was.

Not quite sure on your point about PP - done properly it is a two-handed technique, as dvenman says you balance the pull with the inactive hand, and I agree that a pull first promotes accuracy as well as smoothness.

p1esk

4,812 posts

131 months

Friday 11th August 2017
quotequote all
_Neal_ said:
Rick101 said:
_Neal_ said:
PPS - Rick101 - when you say you got "caught out" in your original post, what do you mean?
I felt I was not fully in control of the vehicle. If it was wet, or I hit a bump, or a suicidal sheep has decided to make a run for it, I had nothing spare.
I tend to drive at around 80% capacity, occasionally push to 90% but am always happy I can stop/avoid etc. That occasion there was nothing spare.


With regard to steering. I've been using the Volvo this week for the 3 mile commute as it's been pissing down.
I hadn't realised how much I do use PP when doing a 'normal' drive. Not sure if that continues out of town, but certainly for low speed local stuff, PP is very good.

I think accuracy has something to do with it too.I think you can steer more accurately with two hands.
Thanks - sounds pretty much like you were just going a bit quicker than you should've been, or unbalanced the car, for whatever reason. Sure Reg will help with whatever the issue was.

Not quite sure on your point about PP - done properly it is a two-handed technique, as dvenman says you balance the pull with the inactive hand, and I agree that a pull first promotes accuracy as well as smoothness.
Oh, now I'm even more confused than I usually am.

On one of the ADUK driving days a few years ago, I was accompanied by two HPC members, and they advised me that when turning into a bend I should push with one hand, rather than pulling with the other hand. This is obviously at variance with the advice normally given, namely that the first steering action should be a pull.

Anyhow I tried doing what they advised and they duly pronouced it to be an improvement on what I had been doing previously. They considered it gave a smoother result. but I didn't feel there was any benefit, so the 'push first' method has not gone into my long term tool kit. I'm sticking with what works best for me. tongue out