31: Beginner – Controls (PST 1)

Unit 31: Beginner – Controls

Research Material:
The Driving Instructor’s Handbook – Chapter 5
Driving: The Essential Skills – Parts 3, 4 & 5
Lesson Presenter
PST sheet
PST 1 – Controls/Crossroads
Examiner’s Part 3 Guidelines

It is rare that you will pick your customer up at the ideal place for them to move off for the first ever time, so you will usually drive them to a suitable nursery area. On your part 3 exam this is also usually the case – ask your examiner if they have an area in mind to start off, or if they would like the controls explained while at the test centre.

Introductions and Recap: (Timings depend on drive – 5 minutes?)
Once you have introduced yourselves, you will need to drive to your nursery area. Try to find out what your customer knows about using the roads from whatever perspective they have had – passenger, pedestrian, cyclist, moped rider – it is surprising what you find out. This is also an ideal time to discover your customer’s motivations for, and attitude to driving.

Hopefully they will express an interest in what you are doing – use your commentary driving skills to talk through what and why you are doing it. This is often an ideal time to introduce MSM and possibly clutch control.

Once at the site, remove the key, and ensuring everything is safe, and see them safely into the drivers seat around the back of the car.

Now for the fun bit!

Objective: (30 Seconds)
To know where the main controls of the car are (specific), and with prompting be able to understand their use (measurable and realistic). What do you think if we aim to be ready to move off in around half an hour? (agreed & timed).

Main Points and Practise: (19 minutes?)
On the PST sheet (ADI 26/PT/01), the left column includes all of the main points you must cover in your briefing. This is effectively a list of areas where your customer is likely to put faults in – if you leave out anything from this list you are leaving a big hole for your customer to fall into!

  • Doors: Safe entering and exiting. Properly closed.
  • Seat: Positioning for control of pedals and wheel.
  • Head Restraint: Correct adjustment and why.
  • Seat Belt: Correct adjustment and placement, not twisted and secured.
  • Mirrors: Adjustment, use and blindspots.
  • Accelerator: Foot positioning, pressure and smooth use. Terminology.
  • Footbrake: Foot positioning, pressure and smooth use. Terminology.
  • Clutch: Foot positioning, swiftly down, slowly up, feet still. Terminology.
  • Handbrake: How it works and use.
  • Gears: Finding neutral, technique for finding gears. Terminology.
  • Steering: Pull push method, hand position, thumbs on rim.
  • Indicators: Use – fingertips, same direction as wheel.
  • Starting the Engine: Safety precautions, ignition, warning lights.
  • At this point you will have ensured that your customer can do a full cockpit drill, and knows where all of the controls are. Remember that with most of these controls you can actually try using them – get them to choose gears, put indicators on, and remove and apply the handbrake (footbrake pressed of course!).

    This list does not cover the ancillary controls like the windscreen wipers, lights and demisters – if you feel they might be needed – explain them. If necessary to avoid the car misting up, show your customer how to turn the engine on earlier in order to keep demisters working.

    At this point on the PST there is a dividing line – this is to show that the moving off aspect may not be necessary to do on the Part 3 examination. If your examiner is role-playing a particularly adept customer, and does not tell you that the first phase is over, continue through to moving off and stopping.

    Summary:
    Ask questions of your customer to find out how much of the information they recall, and go into detail if necessary to explain how, why, when and where each of the controls are used. Remember to give feedback (starting with the positives) on how they demonstrate what you have asked them to attempt, and how well they remember information they have been given. Fill out their track record and give a good objective for the next lesson.

    On your part 3 examination, the phase 1 will usually over-run leaving little or no time for a summary. In real lessons, you will often get further on a lesson.

    Discussion Points:
    Involve your customer to find out the “known” and “unknown”

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