What is an advanced professional heavy vehicle driver?
The dynamics of large heavy vehicles dictates a more rigid disciplined driving style and an adherence to all road signs that are readily available for all motorists to interpret along the roadside.
Because of the size and weight carried by heavy vehicles, they have featured in too many avoidable roll-overs which has claimed lives of both professional and and the general public unnecessarily.
With even larger and heavier (50 Tonne) vehicles being advocated for New Zealand roads to improve New Zealand’s GDP efficiencies, it is even more important that all heavy vehicle drivers are trained specifically in professional driving skills of which the System of Vehicle control forms part of an overall package.
The Systematic Approach
The advanced driver knows and implements the System of Vehicle (car) control at all times when driving, as part of their toolkit for maintaining control of large heavy vehicles.
Interestingly, the untrained long term professional driver has adopted in most parts the System of vehicle control by default and knows the value of implementing certain aspects at certain points. Whereas the trained professional driver understands and knows where and when to implement the System of Vehicle control and what will happen as a result of his actions, good and bad.
Provided the driver applies the correct observation skills and co-ordinates his/her driving with the System of vehicle control then the driver has the ability to ensure the vehicle flows smoothly without any harsh or sudden braking and/or rapid acceleration requirements.
This has a huge benefit to maintenance costs, brake wear as well as a reduced fuel bill for operators. With the advent of reduced carbon emission and reduced fuel costs the System of vehicle control can play a large part in helping to reduce both of these vital and important features within our economy.
The advanced professional driver imposes their own restriction when driving as they are trained to be fully conversant with road and traffic conditions and always drive to suit the given situation.
With very powerful and high horse-powered electronic engines that exist today in heavy vehicles, it requires a disciplined advanced driver to ensure they harness the best results from the engine and translate the energy to kilometres travelled safely.
What the examiner is looking for in the advanced driving test?
The Examiner is looking at the whole drive. IAM Examiners do not search for faults alone; they are trained to search for positive aspects as well as negative aspects. The Examiner will be honest and forthright regarding your overall ability and looks for the confident application and competence in all aspects of the drive. If all the above criteria are met, the drive should exhibit the qualities of a safe, systematic, smooth, progressive, and balanced drive. The driver ensures that the vehicle is always in the right place on the road, travelling at the right speed, in the right gear for the speed, and they can always stop the vehicle safely in the distance that can be seen to be clear.