If you want to operate any rigid vehicle with three or more axles and whose gross vehicle mass (GMV) is above eight tonnes, you need a heavy rigid driving licence. However, you must first enrol and pass an HR driving course at a trade school of your choice. Notably, an HR driving course comprises several elements that every trainee must grasp to pass the theory, on-road, and off-road driving tests. That said, it pays to devote more time to specific HR driving course elements due to their importance. This article highlights the critical aspects of a heavy rigid driving course.
1. Reversing Skills
One of the most challenging skills to learn in an HR driving course is reversing. While backing up a vehicle with a single axle is relatively easy, doing so with a vehicle with more than three axles is not a walk in the park. The reason is that a three-axle heavy truck accommodates more loads, making reversing difficult, particularly on a slope. Therefore, HR course supervisors advise trainees not to rush because a simple error might lead to a major accident. Moreover, reversing in constricted spaces is much more difficult with a three-axle truck since you must accommodate the turning arc of all three sets of tyres as you back up. Most importantly, your timing must be impeccable when reversing a heavy rigid truck.
2. Defensive Driving
Although all drivers must learn about defensive driving regardless of the license type, it is significantly emphasized in HR driving courses. Remember, HR vehicles are massive and heavy; hence, any accidents involving such trucks are usually fatal and catastrophic. Therefore, drivers must be aware of their surroundings at all times when on the road. Even if another motorist makes a mistake on the road, a heavy rigid truck driver must act defensively to mitigate potential accidents.
3. Truck Control System
Nowadays, heavy rigid driving courses address truck control systems. The training aspect focuses on safe and systematic driving, emphasizing four critical steps; position, speed, gear, and acceleration. For instance, when you enter a heavy rigid vehicle, you must first ensure it is appropriately positioned before you do anything. Notably, the position of a heavy rigid vehicle determines the next course of action for safety purposes. In addition, a vehicle control system is essential when approaching a turn, roundabout, or hazard since it allows you to plan accordingly and avoid risky situations.