Driving Tips

by Harry Johnson in Tips

Have you ever ridden in a vehicle with someone who drove so smoothly and safely that you immediately trusted them and relaxed? Have you ever seen someone expertly driving a vehicle, and then realized they had never drove it before? Or maybe thought that some people just seem to be born with a remarkable driving skill?

I don’t know if anyone is born with any skill’s or not, but since training many different people on all different kinds of vehicles and equipment, I believe that anyone can learn to become an excellent driver.

There was one old timer that said “Ah’ve been drivin’ this truck for 18 years boy, an there just ain’t nothin I don’t know about driving this truck.” He was pretty good, but I watched another man get in that very same truck and get much more done without seeming to do anything different or traveling faster. Why was this? What was different about how the second man drove that truck?

Through studying and working with a number of professionals, I have come to realize that the best drivers are not necessarily the ones who have been doing it the longest. The best drivers are those who have learned to ‘operate’ their vehicle instead of simply ‘driving’ it.

The difference is that a driver sits in the car and tries to make it do what they want. Instead of just sitting in the vehicle, a good operator has learned to ‘put it on’. Think of it as putting on a glove – the car becomes an extension of you.
You move your hand, and the car moves. The key to remember is that you must become aware of every movement, smell and sound that the car makes.

Operating something is like a relationship – you do something, it responds. It does something, you must respond. There is a continual interaction when you are together, partly conscious and partly subconscious. The best operators include all of their senses when driving a vehicle.

Obviously, the most important sense to use is our eyes. Your eyes give immediate and consistent feedback.

Almost as important is paying attention to what it feels like. Feedback through the steering wheel is only part of it. Be aware of feelings from other places (seat of the pants).

Listening to the vehicle and even being aware of smells can play an important part of it too.

These are just a few simple things that anyone can become more aware of and learn to become a better, safer driver.

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