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Reflections on LGV

March 27, 2011

I found the week of LGV training hard. I think some of this was down to the teaching. It took me a while to realise that my driving instructor just did not fit me at all. His style was to try and get everything right at once and then to shout and get intensely annoyed when mistakes were made. He only had one way of explaining things and if this didn’t work had no backup method. He also never gave positive feedback or clear guidance on top things to work on. All in all we just didn’t get on. So I would really advice anybody doing the same thing to vet their instructor really carefully. There are a lot of driving instructors out there, some with qualifications some without, but their personal style and personality are key.

In terms of the actual driving everyone will tell you that the most important thing is mirrors. All I can say is Mirrors, Mirrors, Mirrors. You need to check them all the time. This is probably the thing I found most difficult as when you are in the middle of a manuever and you need to change gear and look ahead, the task loading increases and you forget your mirror checks.

The second thing is that I think it is very important to go at your own pace. My instructor was always pushing me to go faster but then getting upset if I didn’t slow down enough to deal with various hazards. So my advice is go slow and if in doubt go slower. This way you may get marked down slightly for holding up traffic behind you but you won’t get in trouble at choke points or when coming across something unexpected.

My next tip is to do with roundabouts. A fail point on tests is causing anyone at a roundabout to have to slow down in any way. So as you approach a roundabout slow down and look to the right. If you are not 100% sure that you can go, then don’t. Just don’t risk it.  The slower the approach to a roundabout the more time you have to get in the right gear and make a decision.

The last thing that I want to say is remember that however your training has gone you start the test with a clean sheet and the examiner doesn’t know anything about any mistakes you have made in the past. The test involves 1 hour of driving a route. It really helps if you know the tricky areas so make sure that you’ve either done your training along the test routes or alternatively spend some time driving round the area. The test is all about concentration and mental strength. So mentally cut it up into really manageable chunks (say 1 minute at a time or 1 manuever at a time) and after each one you are that much closer to the end. If you make any small mistakes just move on and don’t let it rattle you.

If all this comes together then you should end the test with  a positive result.

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