Hill Start – Down

ADI Part 2 Manoeuvres – Hill Start (Down)

The down hill start is another of those essential Part 3 techniquesThe technique for completing this exercise is different from moving off on a level surface, however, the full advice regarding prepare, observe, move remains exactly the same

Ensure that you read the moving off page first, as you can fall foul of the same serious errors here as you can on the flat

In fact, the advice we’ve given about delaying between the observation phase and the moving phase is particularly relevant with the down hill start, as we’ll explain here

We’ll give a basic rundown of the method required to move off down hill, as many trainers seem to miss this topic in their training sessions, and trainees are often caught out by being asked to demonstrate a routine they know nothing of

The method for moving off down hill is:

  • Clutch fully down and the appropriate gear selected. This may be second gear, if the slope is sufficient for the car to move away in that gear. What you need to consider is that if you select first gear on a slope where the car will move off quickly, you’ll have great difficulty in releasing the clutch smoothly without the car slowing down with a ‘jolt’
  • Then, operate the foot brake so that you can hold the car with it
  • Now, fully release the hand brake, continuing to hold the car on the foot brake
  • At this stage the car is prepared. You do not have to find the bite and you do not have to set any gas
  • Now, run through the full observe and move routine, just as before
  • When you come to move off, release the foot brake and apply the gas as required, whilst gently releasing the clutch
  • Get plenty of practice in coordinating the use of the Controls with your trainer

Dangers And Pitfalls

All the dangers and pitfalls associated with moving off on the level are present here, so be well aware of them

We mentioned earlier that any delay between the observation phase and the moving phase could be significant. Why should that be so?

Well, by the very nature of this exercise, you’ll be on the downward slope of a hill. Although you may be fortunate enough to do this manoeuvre on a long straight road, most downward slopes have an upward slope on the other side, such as near the crown of road bridges etc. It is therefore possible for the traffic and road conditions behind you, in the danger area and in your blind spots, to change very rapidly indeed. If you delay at all in moving after completing your observations, you run the risk of causing danger to yourself and other road users. The SE will not be impressed

Get plenty of practice