Practical lessons notes - stage 3

In this ‘Practical lessons notes’ series, I will be sharing my overview and notes for each lesson. Do be warned that the writing might not be cohesive as they were adapted from notes for myself. I won’t be mentioning the car number or instructor’s name, but I am sure you can figure them out if you are a BBDC student too.

For consolidated notes, see the tips post.

Here’s my training history.

Stage 3

Stage 3 is all about circuit driving, with only a few exceptions when the instructors let me drive out of the circuit. I will be mentioning numbers in the circuit so you might want to open your circuit map. I feel that in this stage, taking a long look at the map, knowing the numberings and tight manoeuvres are super helpful. Check out the tips post for more pointers.

Lesson 11 – 3.01, 3.02

Not from fixed group. Friendly instructor.

Noted to keep left in the circuit, like when you get out of the crank course turning right towards the outer circuit, lane change to the left if possible. Also, to turn right at 3, turn left at 38, take note on a very fast lane change with blindspot check. I also attempted the S course where I learnt to go in till parallel and then just unturn a little to continue. (more on S course later)

He commented that my steering was too slow and had me practiced that by first not gripping the wheel. To turn in a direction, the opposite hand shouldn’t leave the wheel and just keep turning fast, while the other hand can be used to push a little.

We also learned about reversing with poles but I won’t bore you with the details as they are not tested. Finally, he also let me drive outside for a while and commented that I was serving in the lane.

Lesson 12 – 3.02

3.02? Didn’t I pass this already? Yes and here we have my first failed module for 3.03 (aka S Course and crank course), so he just indicated 3.02 again.

Not from fixed group. Friendly instructor.

Crank course was fine but S course was disastrous, with me mounting the kerb way too many times. He said to go in parallel and then straighten just a bit, to follow the triangle window at the center of the lane and turn accordingly until I face the tree in the middle and straighten the steering wheel. Then move forward a bit with a slight turn till there’s enough clearance on the right side to turn out. Straighten the wheel before coming out as well.

Lesson 13 – 3.03

Not from fixed group. Helpful instructor.

Had a much better run in the S course and he taught me to use a different sighting method which was to enter the turn and keep the kerb line in the center of the car. Then when the kerb shows up from the right to the left, return the steering wheel to the center. Then move forward till the kerb is about 1/4 from the right of windscreen and then maintain, turning more if there’s more space on the right, but remember to straighten a bit just before full lock right nearing exit. He also mentioned that taller drivers can consider using this method. I did it many times and didn’t mount the kerb, slowly getting used to this course.

Also had a preview for Directional Change (DC). Enter the course going straight in, positioning more towards the right is okay, until the kerb is just below the side mirror. Then signal right, reverse gear, check blindspots and reverse a bit to full lock right immediately. Look at the right mirror and as long as the wheel doesn’t hit the kerb, it is okay. Look towards the front and the back as I hold the reverse. Then once I am parallel to the front, straighten the steering wheel. Move back until the kerb aligns with the middle of the side mirror. Check blindspots, signal left and change to forward gear, moving off once clear. Was also warned on how certain DC exits don’t allow for a left or right turn. DC exit at 46 only allows for right turns and DC exit at 23 only left turns.

Lesson 14 – 3.04

Not from fixed group. Friendly (manual car) instructor.

Continued with DC, and he taught to head in 1 kerb to the right. He also told me to look at the side and stop about 2 kerbs away from the front. Practiced a ton of DC and then moved on to parallel parking preview.

He was by the book and I went out of the car for every single step, thank goodness it wasn’t raining haha. Start by going 0.5m from the kerb and stop in front of the parking (as long as there is enough space for you to turn the rear wheel in to the lot). He also taught an acronym G. S. M. (Gear Signal Mirror) for easier memorisation on what to adjust before each reverse step. I also saw online another acronym S. M. R. T (Signal, mirror, reverse, turn) which is also pretty good as it incorporated blindspot checks. Anyways, change to reverse gear, signal left and adjust the left mirror downwards.

Do a safety check and then reverse till the left mirror can see the rear wheel just about one kerb away from turning in. Safety check and reverse full lock to left till just when half of the stop kerb brick can be seen, returning the steering wheel and stop. Then lower the right mirror, safety check and reverse till the right rear wheel touches the line. (If too much of the stop kerb brick can be seen then stop the rear wheel before the white line.) Safety check and reverse full lock to right till about 0.5m from the back kerb. Return and reverse all the way back. Change to drive and full lock to left to straighten. Adjust till centered in the lot. Change to park gear and tell the tester that you are done.

To get out of the lot, drive till about 3.5 (?) kerb from the end. Change to reverse gear, perform safety check, full lock to left and reverse till near kerb and return steering. GSM and full lock right until the left triangle window passes kerb then full lock left till straightened in the lane.

Lesson 15 – 3.05, 3.06, 3.07

Not from fixed group. Friendly instructor.

Woohoo, made up for my slow progress this lesson. He said something like ‘can do means can’ so I will take it. He also brought me back to the S course after noting on the reason for my failed module, in which he taught how to see that the car is in the center of the bends by aligning the side mirror to the center of the lane, which can be a sighting point for turning on any bends too.

Continued with PP and managed to do it okay. As for the slope, I learnt to accelerate a little to go up. When waiting to go on the slope, I should wait at the turn and not directly behind another car on the slope. On the slope, fully step on the brake and apply handbrake fully (pull upwards all the way). Signal away from kerb and check blindspot. Then step slightly on accelerator while releasing the handbrake all the way down. Turn off signal and apply control down the slope, stopping at the stop line.

Also did vertical parking which is to stop far from the lot (1.5m away, meaning the car is near the center line when viewing via the right mirror, and that the left kerb is at the left side of the windscreen). GSM with both mirrors. Move back till lot can be seen in the rear window (more of far kerb in the middle of the window), and there’s a guiding line on the ground where you should reverse till the left wheel touches. Full lock to the left and keep going till inside the lot. If the car is too towards the right of the lot, stop change to drive and move forward with straight steering. Then until you can see a gradient to go in to the center of the lot, stop and change back to reverse. Safety check and reverse full lock to left. Adjust accordingly till both side have roughly the same spacing (remember that if there is space on the right means turn right). Once almost near the back, straighten the steering and back up till side mirror aligns with the kerb. Park and say completed.

To get out of the lot, GSM and this time wait for the kerb to be at the shoulder then full lock to the left. Else for a right turn, okay to move further up then full lock to the right.

Lesson 16 – 3.08, 3.09

Not from fixed group. Okie instructor. He noted on if I wanted to be cleared all stage 3 modules but I decided to take one more lesson for the circuit stage as it was going to be after a long CNY break and felt that I needed the practice.

Practiced going around the circuit and noted to do safety check before every reverse motion after stopping. I was a little confused with DC this time round due to remembering different sighting points from different instructors oops. But now I remember that I should not reverse immediately but go a little back before full lock right if I went in more for DC (aka the 2nd kerb to shoulder method). For parking, remember to turn up the mirrors before moving off.

Then I learnt how to do the ramp course. Slowly inch forward till I hit the kerb, then accelerate up and stop immediately. As the tester will get out of the car, ensure his safety by changing to park gear and apply handbrake. Then once the pole is removed, change back to drive and move forward, accelerate and stop on top. Then continue immediately slowly inch down both front and rear wheels. Then engage reverse gear, safety check and slowly back up till the kerb. Accelerate up and immediately stop. After which change to drive gear slowly inch down and out of the ramp course, which is a give way line.

I also learnt to do the E-brake but I didn’t write any notes for it.

Lesson 17 – 3.10, 3.11

Not from fixed group. Ok instructor. Same car as lesson 13 but different instructor, I noted that the car brake is noisy and harder to press.

He mentioned that my turning is a bit late. As for the ramp, if not successful (aka stop too soon when the wheel is barely on the kerb), just return down and try again.

I also learnt how to do the three point turn on the streets, which I feel is great practice as there is real pressure to complete it fast when other road users are waiting for you to clear out from the road. (compared to doing it in the circuit haha) Signal left to stop by the road. When the road is clear, signal right and full lock right till the kerb area. Then reverse full lock left as far back as possible. Finally, forward and full lock right till straight.

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