Uphill and Downhill Starts

How to move safely in an uphill and downhill situation

Moving off and stopping uphill

For moving off we use a routine called P O M:

  • P = preparation
  • O = observation
  • M = manoeuvre

Moving off uphill

Once you have completed your cockpit drill, check the gear lever is in neutral and start the car.

Preparation

Clutch down, select first gear, clutch to bite a little higher than normal, add some gas about 1500-2000 rpm. The steeper the hill, the more gas you need.

Observation

Check your:

  • Left door mirror
  • Centre mirror
  • Road ahead
  • Right mirror
  • Right blind spot

Signalling

If there are road users in sight, signal right before moving off. If there are no other road users there is no need to signal.

Be careful how you time your signal, if a car is coming up close behind you wait till they are alongside you then signal, this way no one will think you are pulling out in front of them.

Manoeuvre

Release the handbrake. The car will start to move forward, KEEP YOUR FEET STILL. If you go too fast, push the clutch in slightly.

You need to steer away from the kerb slightly and slowly release the clutch a tiny bit, adding some more gas. Keep releasing the clutch a little and adding more gas until the clutch is all the way up. You have to keep the engine revving highly throughout the hill start.

Once you have released the clutch fully, add a little more gas. Your car should be about one metre away from the kerb (about a doors width) for a normal driving position.

 

Moving off and stopping downhill

For moving off we use a routine called P O M 

  • P = preparation
  • O = observation
  • M = manoeuvre

Moving off downhill

Once you have completed your cockpit drill, check the gear lever is in neutral and start the car.

Preparation

Clutch down, select first gear, keep the clutch down and press the foot brake down firmly.

Observation

Check your:

  • Left door mirror
  • Centre mirror
  • Road ahead
  • Right mirror
  • Right blind spot

Signalling

If there are road users in sight, signal right for moving off. If there are no other road users there is no need to signal.

Be careful how you time your signal. If a car is coming up close behind you, wait until they are alongside you then signal, this way no one will think you are pulling out in front of them.

Manoeuvre

Release the handbrake, release the foot brake a little and the car will roll forward. KEEP YOUR FEET STILL. If you go to fast add a little more brake.

You need to steer away from the kerb slightly and gradually release the clutch fully (there is no need to biting point as you are already moving.) A good way of doing this is to count 3, 2, 1 as you release the clutch pedal.

Depending on how steep the hill is, you may still need a little brake once the clutch is up to keep control.

Once you have released the clutch fully, decide if you still need the brake. If not then you may need some gas.

Your car should be about one metre away from the kerb (about a doors width) for a normal driving position.

 

Using the M S P S L routine for stopping uphill

Stopping going uphill

The routine we use for stopping is M S M:

  • M = mirrors
  • S = signal
  • M = manoeuvre

Manoeuvre is then broken down into P S L:

  • P = position
  • S = speed
  • L = look

Mirrors

Check your mirrors to look for following traffic.

Signal

If there are road users signal left to stop. If there are no road users there is no need to signal for stopping.

Position

Your parked position should be about 10 cm from the kerb.

Speed

You need to come off the gas later than normal when stopping going uphill. Once you are off the gas, put the clutch down first then brake as needed until you stop.

Look

You need to stop in a safe, convenient and legal place (your instructor will explain this fully). Once you have stopped don’t move your feet.

In the following order you secure the car

  • Apply the handbrake
  • Select neutral
  • Cancel the signal (if you gave one

Only then you can take your feet off the pedals.

Take your foot off the brake gently to ensure the handbrake will hold the car on the hill. If the car starts to roll at all apply the footbrake and pull the handbrake up higher.

Using the M S P S L routine for stopping downhill

Stopping going downhill

The routine we use for stopping is M S M:

  • M = mirrors
  • S = signal
  • M = manoeuvre

Manoeuvre is then broken down into P S L:

  • P = position
  • S = speed
  • L = look

Mirrors

Check your mirrors to look for following traffic.

Signal

If there are road users signal left to stop. If there are no road users then there is no need to signal for stopping.

Position

Your parked position should be about 10 cm from the kerb.

Speed

First come off the gas then place your feet above the clutch and brake (this is called covering your pedals.)

Brake first, then push the clutch down. You will notice a slight increase in speed when you push the clutch down because of the hill, add a little more brake at this point.

Look

You need to stop in a safe, convenient and legal place (your instructor will explain this fully). Once you have stopped, don’t move your feet. 

In the following order you secure the car:

  • Apply the handbrake
  • Select neutral
  • Cancel the signal (if you gave one)

Only then you can take your feet OFF the pedals.

Take your foot off the brake gently to ensure the handbrake will hold the car on the hill. If the car starts to roll at all apply the footbrake and pull the handbrake up higher.

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