2. Taking off with hand brake and maintaining clutch control
3. General driving.
There are 2 types of taking off: with hand brake or using the pedals only (without hand brake)
When you take off with hand brake and you do it the right way the car never rolls back. That’s why this method is considered as the safest way for taking off and everybody must know how to do it. The disadvantage of this method is that it is too slow. A time consuming. That’s why the people in everyday’s driving don’t use it often. They use the other one-taking off without hand brake. Otherwise said- taking off with the pedals (only).
This method is very quick and convenient. You just take off instantly, not wasting time. The problem for the test in South Africa is – if you use it you may easily roll back and this will be instant fail. That’s why the examiners want you to take off with hand brake ONLY. There’s no exceptions.
So we have 2 reasons to learn how to take off with hand brake and master it:
It is the safest way to take off and everybody suppose to know how to do it.
It’s compulsory for the test.
Taking off with a hand brake
To take off with a hand brake you must follow 5 steps:
1. Press the clutch and select first gear.
2. Grab the hand brake, press the button and then lift the handle up and hold it like that.
3. Accelerate. Make sure you keep constant acceleration. Not too high, not to low.
4. Release the clutch to the friction point ( holding your heel firmly on the ground ) and hold it there. How do you know that you’ve reached it. You will hear the sound of the engine is lowering. Why ? When you release the clutch you bring together one stationary plate connected to the gear box and another one connected to the engine.
The right plate slows down the left one. The left one slows down the engine and you can hear that.
As you release the clutch pedal, hearing the constant sound of the engine, when you reach the friction point you will hear lowering of the sound. This is a signal that you must stop the clutch pedal. This is the friction point. In a future you will need not to hear that as you will get used to stopping the clutch pedal at the right position.
Check the street, if it’s safe release the hand brake and after about 2 meters you may release the clutch. Doing that you may retouch your heal from the floor.
Taking off with hand brake and maintaining clutch control
In many cases on the road after taking off you need to drive extremely slow for a while.
When ? Typical examples are
Taking off and doing a parking
Taking off and move extremely slow in traffic
At some 2 ways stop intersections you are behind the stop line. The stop line is too deep inside in the street so you can not see far enough the traffic on the main road perpendicular to yours. You don’t have right of way and it would be dangerous to drive across without proper check. So you need to edge forward driving extremely slow and observing the traffic on the main road ( left and right ) you have to decide: to go if there’s no traffic or to stop if it is.
So the question is: how to take off and drive extremely slow ?
You do this like that: You follow the same steps for taking off except the last one. Namely:
1. Press the clutch and select first gear.
2. Grab the hand brake.
4. Release the clutch to the friction point
5. Release the hand brake, BUT DON’T RELEASE THE CLUTCH
From this moment on you keep controlling the speed with the clutch. How that works ?
When you push the clutch pedal 1,2,3 millimetres deeper you make the plates of the clutch looser by separating them a little. Than the plate connected to the engine transfer less revolutions to the plate connected to the wheels. In this situation there’s waste of revolution - the car move slower.
When you release the clutch pedal few millimetres out you make the 2 plates of the clutch to press each other firmer. Then more revolutions are passed from the engine to the wheels-the car move faster.
Clutch deeper-slower, clutch out - faster. But more important in this procedure is to maintain permanent speed. To be able to maintain permanent speed you must keep your clutch pedal/foot at the same position. To be able to keep your foot at the same position your heel must be firmly stuck on the floor. And this is one of the fundamental habits which must be adopted at the beginning of the course. Otherwise your future as a driver and outcome of the test could be devastating.
Please note that heel on the floor is required only when you deal with the slowest gears for both directions. Further more when you change gears you follow this golden rule regarding the speed of releasing the clutch after changing gears: The higher the gear the faster you release the clutch, the lower the gear the slower you release the clutch. But you must never release the clutch very fast.
The rest of the lesson consist of driving in quiet area practicing taking off, stopping and maintaining clutch control.