The Commercial Drivers License
BASIC CONTROL OF YOUR VEHICLE
To drive a vehicle safely, you must be able to control its speed
and direction. Fasten your seatbelt when on the road. Apply the
parking brake when you leave your vehicle.
Donít roll back when you start. You may hit someone behind you.
Partly engage the clutch before you take your right foot off the
brake. Put on the parking brake whenever
necessary to keep from rolling back. Release the parking brake only
when you have applied enough engine power to keep from rolling back.
Speed up smoothly and gradually so the vehicle does not jerk. Rough
acceleration can cause mechanical damage. When pulling a trailer,
rough acceleration can damage the coupling.
Speed up very gradually when traction is poor, as in rain or snow.
If you use too much power, the drive wheels may spin and you could
lose control. If the drive wheels begin to spin, take your foot
off the accelerator.
Hold the Wheel Correctly. Hold the steering wheel firmly with
both hands. Your hands should be on opposite sides of the wheel.
If you hit a curb or a pothole (chuckhole), the wheel could pull
away from your hands unless you have a firm hold.
Because you cannot see everything behind your vehicle, backing
is always dangerous. Avoid backing whenever you can. When you park,
try to park so you will be able to pull forward when you leave.
When you have to back, here are a few simple safety rules:
ē Look at your path.
ē Warn others of your intention.
ē Back slowly.
ē Back and turn toward the driverís side whenever possible.
ē Use a helper whenever possible.
These rules are discussed in turn below.
Look at Your Path. Look at your line of travel before you begin.
Get out and walk around the vehicle. Check your clearance to the
sides and overhead in and near the path your vehicle will take.
Warn others of your intention. Always turn on 4-way flashers before
starting to back. Tap the horn as a warning before starting to back
unless the vehicle is equipped wtih an operating backup warning
device.Back Slowly. Always back as slowly as possible. Use the lowest
reverse gear. That way you can more easily correct any steering
errors. You also can stop quickly if necessary. Back and Turn Toward
the Driverís Side. Back to the driverís side so you can see better.
Backing toward the right side is very dangerous
because you canít see as well. If you back and turn toward the driverís
side, you can watch the rear of your vehicle by looking out the
side window. Use driver-side backing ó even if it means going around
the block to put your vehicle in this position. The added safety
is worth it. Use a Helper.
Use a helper when you can.
There are blind spots you canít see.
The helper should stand near the back of your vehicle where you
can see the helper.
Before you begin backing, work out a set of hand signals that you
both understand. Agree on a signal for "stop". Helper and driver
must be able to see one another in the mirror.
Backing with a Trailer
Backing with a Trailer. When backing a car, straight truck or bus
you turn the top of the steering wheel toward the direction you
want to go. When backing a trailer, you turn the steering wheel
in the opposite direction. Once the trailer starts to turn, you
must turn the wheel the other way to follow the trailer. Whenever
you back with a trailer, try to position your vehicle so you can
back in a straight line. If you must back on a curved path, back
to the driverís side so you can see.
Back slowly. This will let you make corrections before you get
too far off course.
Use the mirrors. The mirrors will help you see whether the trailer
is drifting to one side or the other.
Correct drift immediately. As soon as you see the trailer getting
off the proper path, correct it by turning the top of the steering
wheel in the direction of the drift.
Pull forward. When backing a trailer, make pull-ups
to reposition your vehicle as needed.
1. Why should you back toward the driver's side?
2. What is a pull-up?
3. If stopped on a hill, how can you start moving without rolling
4. When backing, why is it important to use a helper?
5. What's the most important hand signal that you and the helper
should agree on?
These questions may be on the test.
Basic Control of your Vehicle.