When I advanced to driving heavy vehicles, things got a little bit harder especially when it comes to driving the old school lorries.
Among the lorries in school was a Bedford lorry. It was old. Everything about it was old.
I can’t remember whether some of us students were at the back of the lorry and two others beside the driver’s seat. I think it was only the instructor and me. All I remember was my turn to drive.
I’m 4ft 6in. I couldn’t sit comfortably without moving a little bit to the front so that I could step on the accelerator and the break with ease.
The gear didn’t have a knob. You can imagine it’s my first time to drive a truck, it doesn’t have a knob to hold the gear firmly though it’s easy to change gears by holding the gear stick on the side.
I have tiny fingers and small hands (and average in weight, about 66kg). It proved difficult when my instructor told me to change the gear to 3. We were in a main hold and it was nearing seven in the evening. It required a lot of effort to change the gear.
Unable to change the gear with a single hand, I released my other hand from the steering wheel to change the gear with both hands.
The look I got from the instructor and the words that followed made me feel like jumping out of the truck and going back home. “Do you want to cause an accident…” I felt like asking, “How do you expect to change gears with a gear stick that’s too hard to shift unless one has big hands?”
He changed it. I did change the gear but with difficulty. Sometimes instructors can confuse students. That’s what happened when he confused me by saying I hit the accelerator then breaks then step on this lightly, wait…there is a traffic jam…Now hit the accelerator quickly. Somehow, the engine died.
Now, what! I thought. It was eight in the evening. We were in the middle of a busy road. I thought he would say let’s have a look at the engine compartment. Instead, he joined two wires under the steering wheel and the engine came to life.
Well, he drove the truck.
Tomorrow we will look at how I cunningly passed the driving test.
Did you pass your driving test?