Are you Tyred-Out ?Written by Robin Piggott
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8.Plank of Wood … WHAT?? ….. Many years ago, in teeth of a howling gale, I suffered a puncture on a country road late at night and due to non- stop rain that had been pouring down for several days, grass verge and edge of road were so soft, that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t raise car sufficiently to get spare wheel on! It was too dangerous and too narrow to move car into middle of road to get a better support for Jack .The close proximity of a bend made it even more hazardous .In desperation, and soaking wet, I searched around and eventually borrowed a large flat stone from a nearby wall, to spread weight and support jack while wheel was changed. Ever since then I have carried a short plank,12 inches long and 1 inch thick and have never had a problem since .This is origin of phrase as thick as two short planks! We have them on special offer this month @ €29.99for pair! Another observation for those of you who might have a new tarmac driveway at your home, don’t attempt to jack your car up without using your plank or you will create a nice hole in your Drive! 9.Spare wheel nuts …….If you have bought a new set of alloy wheels then it is likely that they will be held on with longer than average wheel nuts .Since it is unusual to buy five alloy wheels then following a puncture you will be using standard spare wheel to replace punctured one. You will need to ensure that you have in your emergency kit standard nuts to fix this in place while you get puncture repaired and Alloy wheel back on car. 10.Small Penknife…..if you are using standard factory- issue steel wheels with Plastic Hub Caps, they will be fastened to rim with cable ties, to keep them from disappearing into hedge after hitting a bump or pothole. . These are a little difficult to remove without a blade so a penknife or Stanley knife is very useful in cutting cable tie before getting access to wheel nuts. Its useful also to use two ties since they sometimes break if scraped, leaving you with a missing hub cap. Original Hub Caps are expensive to replace so it is worth this little effort. 11.Towel……. An old towel and some hand cleanser are very useful to enable you to clean up after changing a wheel, particularly if you are miles from anywhere and heading for an Interview or lunch date. Punctures rarely happen at home where you have all your mod. cons. at your disposal. Apart from this, mucky or greasy hands will make your steering wheel slippery and dangerous! Some kitchen roll and spare valve caps are a useful addition also to your in-boot-kit.
About the Author. Robin Piggott is the owner of Astral School of Motoring which is based in Limerick, Ireland .He has thirty five years of Driving Experience and has driven Professionally for most of this time, including teaching in – house, before setting up his own Driving School . http://astralmotoring.blogspot.com http://www.astralmotoring.ie
© Astral School of Motoring 2000-2005
The Irish Driving Scene.An Instructors Perspective.Written by Robin Piggott
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New Technology The development of technology over last number of years has had a big impact on driving environment both positive and negative. Better roads and road markings make driving experience much more pleasurable especially on major thoroughfares; however despite millions of Euro spent on main road infrastructure, Irish country roads will probably remain as they have always been, difficult and full of danger for novice or Tourist Driver. Legislation, most of which has emanated from Europe, has contributed to better maintained cars, that are more Eco-friendly and more easy to drive. Having said that, a car will quite easily go off and do its own thing if driver has not got ability to control it under all kinds of weather and road conditions. Cars are much better insulated than years ago so impression of speed is nothing like what it was thirty or forty years ago when you really knew you were travelling at 70mph.Wind noise and vibration kept you alert and aware! Even small family cars today have ability to travel at 100mph (or 156kph) without too much coaxing .Back then a much larger capacity engine of say 1500 cc had a top speed of around 75mph (120kph).This ease of speed gives new and novice drivers opportunity to far exceed their capabilities without realising it . Employment In today’s Ireland we have virtually full employment and many sectors are suffering from a lack of skilled employees, commercial driving sector being one of many. More jobs and need to get to those jobs on time has created a society that is flush with prosperity and awash with an ever increasing number of new cars on road. The opportunities now being created for younger people with full Driving Licenses are many. Indeed most occupations now require you to have a full driving license and it certainly looks good on a C.V. especially if you are in younger age bracket. So get to it all you young ones and don’t leave it till later on in your career…. Do it now! Accidents Most of these new cars on road are being piloted by Learner Drivers, a good proportion of whom, do not take driving lessons professionally. Unlike most of rest of our European Neighbours, we do not yet have mandatory tuition for learner drivers, although it is being proposed. Therefore we have a situation whereby learner drivers can buy a car and just head off into wide blue yonder without necessary skills to control what is essentially a lethal weapon. Our Accident statistics bear out this point and it would be of great benefit to whole community to see a reduction in these horrific figures Recent E.U. Directives have extended scope of Driving Test and not before time. There has to be at least a basic knowledge of instruments and equipment before you can pass Driving Test today but there are still many areas of driving expertise that do not come within remit of Irish Driving Test. An emergency stop; country road driving; high speed carriageway experience and a greater emphasis on hazard perception would go a long way to improving standards on today’s roads by being incorporated into Driving Test.
About the Author. Robin Piggott is the owner of Astral School of Motoring which is based in Limerick, Ireland .He has thirty five years of Driving Experience and has driven Professionally for most of this time, including teaching in – house, before setting up his own Driving School. http://astralmotoring.blogspot.com http://www.astralmotoring.ie
© Astral School of Motoring 2000-2005