Far too often we have nervous candidates worry about making mistakes during their HGV lessons. Far too often do we hear them apologise for the exact same mistakes we made when we were in their shoes. It doesn’t matter. What matters, is that you guys learn from it and become a safer, better and more confident driver for your test!
Getting things right comes from experience. Experience is only gained by trying things and finding out what works and doesn’t. This blog post was originally designed to talk about the coupling and uncoupling exercise during the CAT C+E test, with a video attached at the bottom. Yet, as I sit and put pen to paper or rather finger to keyboard, I am starting to realise that this blog post is about life. Let’s stop talking about driving for a second, and apply what I’m talking about to life.
I remember the first Class 2 job I went for, and I remember the Transport Manager taking me out on a Saturday morning for an ‘assessment’. I remember pulling my little Renualt Clio into the depot carpark, looking around and thinking that I should just leave and that I would not be able to do it.
I landed the job. So what happened on this ‘assessment’ drive?
Well, I clipped the kerb and thought he wouldn’t hire me. Instead what he did say was, ‘yeah I knew you’d clip that kerb. But I wanted to see how you reacted to it. It’s tight and everyone always at least touches it.’ Of course, being the worrier that I am, I thought that I had still blown my chance of the job. We got back to the depot, he had me sign some paperwork and we talked for about 2 hours. I started to realise, at the young age of 20/21 years old, that this scary, tough looking mother trucker, was actually a really decent guy. He would later turn out to be one of my closest friends and someone I’d happily call a second father.
My point in telling you this little story is that when you get something wrong, when you start making mistakes, anything is possible. (Yes, okay, you cannot afford to make mistakes during your test, otherwise, you’ll fail. However, the examiners know that we’re all human and will allow some little errors to be made.) Anything is possible because mistakes offer an opportunity for us to learn. You can apply this rhetoric to any discipline you decide to study, any job you decide to go for, any idea you decide to offer at work when the good old suggestion box gets placed on your desk.
I guess now is a good time to reflect, once again, on where this blog is heading. And let’s sum it up: just do it. Take the risk to make that mistake. I’m forever taking calls from potential candidates who ask the same questions time and time again. The same questions I asked when I went for my Cat C and Cat C + E tests. ‘What happens if I fail?’
We never get asked the question ‘what happens if I pass?’
Regardless of whether or not you get the result you want on the day, you will have gained the experience to nail the test the next time. And if you pass it first time (which, by the way, most of our candidates do) you’ve got the experience of the LGV driving test for when you want to come back and sit another test.
Either way you look at it, your risk; the risk you take to gain experience… the risk you take to make those mistakes and better yourself comes down to you either wanting to preserve what you are, or where you want to be.
We started out as a driving school. However, we soon realised that we weren’t a driving school. We weren’t selling the tuition to gain a driving licence, rather providing people with the opportunity to better themselves.
By the way, I later found out why he gave me the job. His reply when I asked him, ‘We all need a start. And you’ve done this off your own back.’ I suppose, in this case, the risk I took paid off.
In summary… taking a risk to learn and have a brighter future… it’s a pretty nice decent place to be, eh? 😉
So anyway, to keep in with the tone of our blogs… for you guys who are doing the CAT C+E test soon, check out this video about the coupling and uncoupling exercise. Learn this now, and you’re already reducing the risk.