Here we go again. Test day tomorrow, bricking it!
I was out again today, and I didn’t do too bad. He took me around the worst test course that the test centre has (one so bad he reckons I’m only likely to be taken on it if I get a visiting examiner who is only familiar with that route. He reckons the regular examiners are scared to take an artic with full forty four foot trailer around it!) he talked me around it more than I would have liked ( I’m not sure if that is how it would have gone if I’d have been left to my own interpretation of the situation) but I managed even the tightest corners. Now the test is whether I can interpret a corner as I’m approaching it, get it all slowed to the appropriate speed, appropriate gear, take both lanes if I need to, and take the right line through the corner first time every time, without input from an instructor.
Obviously if I can’t I don’t deserve to have the license, but you don’t want your test to be the first time you’ve tried!
Also I’m still struggling with my reverse manoeuvre. I couldn’t emulate that brilliant bit of driving from yesterday. It must have been pure luck. Bugger. However, on the penultimate attempt today, he stopped me and explained that I should always be aiming to bring it in using my right hand side. That way you can actually look out of the cab and see where you are going, and you don’t block your vision with your own trailer. Don’t ask me why, it made sense when he was telling me. Anyway, when I tried it like that on my last attempt, I managed to get the damn thing in the bay. All the technical bits I can piss though. Uphill /downhill start, picking a safe place to pull over to stop, angled start around stationary vehicles, etc. So it’s my reverse and interpreting the road correctly tomorrow. Deep breath, don’t panic, just drive.
On the bright side, today whilst I was out I refrained from killing a mother with pram. I was tootling along in an apparently hard to spot sixty foot wagon, with only six or seven L plates and three foot high lettering proclaiming it to be a training vehicle, when some dickhead taxi driver overtakes me on the dual carriageway, then pulls straight across my front into a side street. The side street was right in front of the wagon so he had no time to asses the situation, just cut me up and dive for the street. Unfortunately there was a pedestrian already crossing, pushing a pram/ chair thingy. He had to slam on, there was nowhere for me to go so I just had to stand on the brakes, and happily stopped before I hit him. Having sixteen tyres on the road, air brakes, and no load make for nippy braking. I didn’t really think about it, just thought I’d have mashed his car, but the instructor pointed out that if I’d have hit him (I think he mentioned twelve tons weight of trailer and unit) the force would have knocked his car into next week. If his wheels had have been in the right (wrong) direction he would have then spatted straight through the woman and child. So brownie points for the Buckster. The stupid arse taxi driver then had the audacity to wave his fist and shout at the pedestrian who’s right of way it was! I rather feel he realised he’d just made a complete twat of himself in front of his fare and felt he had to pass the buck. Either that or he thought some hairy arsed trucker was about to get out and express extreme displeasure in a physical fashion.
Whatever, kudos to Bucky. Today I killed 0 people. If I can do as well tomorrow it will probably count in my favour on the test.
The instructor says he thinks I’ve got a good chance, if I don’t pass it will be one fault, easily corrected, get it right next attempt. Easy for him to say. So much of it is test nerves. I know I can more or less do the job, but the pass standard is so high that I can’t afford to make one mistake. God, I will be so happy when I pass this one. Not that I think it will be tomorrow. I hope it will, but when I do pass it will be such a relief. The tests are hellish on your nerves. I’ll be all done then. The ADR course is just knowledge acquisition and demonstrating an understanding through a multiple choice test. I know I will pass that first time.
Ah well, off to bed. Probably to wake at three in a state of panic.