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Old 6th January 2008, 00:39   #1
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Default Hi everyone !!! A differrent Test Drive experience

Hi All..

I joined this forum recently and I'm glad to be part of the forum and interact with members who share a common passion...Automobiles..

I work for a MNC in Bangalore. Driving is my passion. I presently own a 2004 model Esteem LXi. I love to test drive vehicles and take pride in saying that I have driven Tata 1210 SE and Volvo FM14 truck here in Hosakote.

I cant resist narrating these two drives. Before that just a background of I have learned to drive. I learned to drive at the age of 13 in my Dad's ambassodor. I was taught about the basics by our driver but he really hesitated to give the steering to me. So I started on my own to take out the car and drive around in our court-yard(which was pretty big).
By the time my Dad realised that I knew driving, I was taking out the car for a drive out in the highway by the age of 14 with my friends.

So in all modesty, I would like to say that somehow I have a good aptitude for driving.

Now back to those two unforgettable drives.

1. On my first job after completing my B.E I was working for Hindustan Lever in gurgaon in 1999. To make it short, one day we were playing cricket along with some of my colleagues, Workers and my Manager in the HLL godown backyard and there was one truck(belonging to HLL transport) which was obstructing our play. So my Manger was looking out for the truck driver who had parked this vehicle. SInce the driver had left the key in the slot I volunteered to take it out. It was a pretty difficult path to take it out since I had to reverse it for around 50 mts and then take a sharp 90 degree turn to left to exit the gate. I was confident that i could take it and did it without much fuss. This was a old Tata 1210 truck with double clutch. The people around me were really impressed including my Manager. SO he asked me why not go for a long drive that weekend to Jaipur and Alwar since we had some consignment to be delivered. I readily agreed and I requested him to allow me to drive. He reluctantly agreed.

That's how it started. We started from Gurgaon to Jaipur at 8 PM with me behind the wheels grinning ear to ear. It took me just a few KMS to adjust to change the gear using double clutch. The previous experience of driving a big vehicle was limited to TATA 407 which was no big deal.

Since I hail from Mangalore, I used to keenly observe how the Express bus drivers were driving from Mangalore to Udipi on my daily commute to Manipal. I was itching to drive one of these buses but never got a chance to drive one. Finally here I was driving a truck to Jaipur. what an experience. Initially the driver who was sitting next to me was bit tensed but after a while he relaxed and at the fag end of the journey he was actually dozing. We finally reached jaipur at 3:00 AM and took 7 Hrs to cover 260 KMS including a break for dinner.

From Jaipur we started to Alwar at 10:00 AM which was 150 KMs from Jaipur. We visited Sariska tiger sanctuary on the way and the Forest warden was surprised to see visitors coming in a truck. . The rest of the journey to Alwar and to Delhi was uneventful.

2. The second Incident was driving a Volvo FM14 truck in Hosakote. I was narrating the above experience to my cab driver (I was working for HP and we had a cab for a daily commute to Electronic city in b'lore). I expressed my wish to test drive Volvo bus or truck. What a coincidence...His brother was working for Volvo(Service Supervisor) and and he said he can arrange this.. Off we went to volvo factory one weekend.

I wanted to drive the bus but there was only one (Garuda-APSRTC) which had come for repair. So he offered me to drive FM14 truck. With all the initial briefings of the controls, I was ready to go. This was within the factory premise where they take out for tests. This was completely different to all the vehicles I had driven till now.

This had 8 gears and 2 reverse gear and one crawler. I was having difficulty in engaging the first and the reverse gear since these gears are cable operated. The 1-4 gears are similar to the way you engage the gears in your car. For gears 5-8, you need to shift the button present in the gear knob down and then the same pattern as 1-4 gear will result in 5-8 gears. The gears has to be changed precisely when the RPM reaches 1500(There are different LED's green, yellow, orange and red. When the red LED glows , the gear has to be changed The first 4 gears are used to pull heavy load and you cant even reach 30 KMPh in those gears.)

That is, imagine you are in 4th gear. Shift the button present in the gear knob down and put it to first gear position for the fifth gear. likewise 2nd gear will correspond to 6th, 3rd-7th and 4th -8th.. The visisbilty is great and you feel invincible inside the cabin.. I did almost 10 rounds and wanted to do more. But the supervisor said the bus is ready so we can drive the bus. But alas, the driver of the bus had come and I missed the opportunity to drive the bus which i rue still now.

I shall try to post the pictures of the above test drive shortly. Sorry If I have bored you with such a lengthy mail but as I have said earlier I cant resist telling this experience like a small kid

Just FYI. The power of this truck is 290 BHP.

My Next endeavor is to test drive a Ashok Leyland Viking bus . Will keep you posted.

cheers

Last edited by normally_crazy : 6th January 2008 at 10:37. Reason: Excessive Smilies - read the rules buddy - only 2 per post allowed
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Old 6th January 2008, 10:39   #2
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Hey Kishore,

truly different test drives you got your self there. And was great of you to share it.

Welcome to the gang and I urge you to read the rules before you start posting.

Have fun.
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Old 6th January 2008, 13:40   #3
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Very interesting intro yaar.

Driving Amby at the age of 14, a truck drive from Gurgaon to Jaipur (I never heard of double clutch), and then driving a Volvo truck with 8 gears ! Great.

Hope to read many more "test drives" from you Kishore.
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Old 6th January 2008, 14:34   #4
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Hi . Kishore ...

Good stuff ... welcome aboard ... I am being dying to drive a long volvo trailer and the Volvo bus , but not lucky as of now, waiting for the monment . I amlos quite excited about the new Ashok Leyland trucks .

I definetly feel it is a different experience to drive these ..

Regards.. Kat
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Old 6th January 2008, 16:13   #5
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Quote:
The previous experience of driving a big vehicle was limited to TATA 407 which was no big deal.
Dont know about the bigger trucks, but I have had a blast driving a 407 at a neighbours poultry farm! We even took it to a local ice-cream parlour which gave car service. The look on everyones face was to die for.

Welcome to Team-BHP, bkishore. I think you should get in touch with Stratos (D-BHPian) right away, as he shares your passion for large trucks and buses. Do also read the board rules section to get familiar with our forum policies.
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Old 6th January 2008, 16:28   #6
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Welcome to the Forum Kishore. Nice review. Ppl who know how private buses are driven in between Manipal and Mangalore, you feel the driver is a superman. No wonder you got fascinated by that.
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Old 6th January 2008, 16:59   #7
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this was a unique TD experience kishore. thanks for sharing it.

OT: what is a double clutch??
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Old 6th January 2008, 21:36   #8
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Double clutch method is the way to change gears in older heavy vehicles.
In present day vehicles(LCV and HCV), gears can be changed at one go .
But in double clutch for eg if the gear has to be changed from first to second, depress the clutch, change from 1st to neutral , rev the engine, depress the clutch and then shift from neutral to 2nd...all in quick succession.

This is true for downshift as well as upshift. I guess the reason they do it this way is the gears were not synchromesh earlier. I tried to shift the gear in one go but it never fell into the slot and gives krrrrrrrrrr noise.

The professional drivers really have mastered this art to do this in quick succession. Even now the old professional drivers use double clutch method even though it is not required in any of the HCV now.

While upshifting it's ok if you falter or delay in changing the gears but while downshifting when on a steep climb this is really challenging. coz if you delay the pickup falls and and then it's inevitable to change to Ist gear.

It's no fun to move a loaded HCV in a steep climb in first gear.. Also there are no functional handbrakes in old vehicles and de-clutching is the way to go here.
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Old 6th January 2008, 22:00   #9
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Double Clutches - Means two clutches. Old trucks had two so that if one failed, they could use the other.


On a serious note - the correct term is double de-clutching. Older trucks/buses with constant mesh gearboxes required that you press and release the clutch pedal twice when changing gears - one to move to neutral and the next to move to the correct gear. With a blip of throttle(accelerator, I mean - there is no throttle in a diesel engine) to match revs when downshifting.
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Old 7th January 2008, 11:27   #10
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Fantastic opportunity I say. I would love to drive such a vehicle. Just the thought of 8 gears gives me a kick
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Old 7th January 2008, 12:22   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO - Touring View Post

Welcome to Team-BHP, bkishore.
Thanks GTO

Quote:
Originally Posted by kARTIK IYER View Post
Hi . Kishore ...

. I amlos quite excited about the new Ashok Leyland trucks .

I definetly feel it is a different experience to drive these ..

Regards.. Kat
Hey Kartik, you know what. I was seriously considering to obtain a HCV license just to pursue my hobby.. But very little free time of late. I was told it's about 4k at one of the Driving school to obtain a HCV license.

With a HCV license you can explore more with the heavy vehicles without worrying of being on the wrong side of the law

Also I guess these HCV license should be renewed every 3 or 5 years which i'm not sure.
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Old 7th January 2008, 13:37   #12
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bkishore_77 Welcome onboard and enjoy the ride.
I drive the Swaraj Mazda when am at home and the feeling is awesome. You get to sit at a nice point and makes you feel good.
I just love the way the Bus drivers in and around mangalore go about driving. It makes the city traffic go fast. I feel the city has got the fastest moving traffic.
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Old 7th January 2008, 15:30   #13
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Thats great. Atleast we have somebody who shares that he has driven trucks and lorries. Next time why don't you try Bull dozers as I always wanted to drive them in city roads and who ever is overtaking from wrong side or coming in front of me while overtaking, wanted to stop right there. Let them dash to the bull dozer if they dared.

Welcome to the team man. You will certainly enjoy your ride here.
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Old 7th January 2008, 18:30   #14
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Hi,

must have been great experiences to drive those big vehicles.

I happned to be at a DAM site once when i was in my 4th year engg (my dad is a civil engg) where in there were lot of heavy vehicles.

i begged to my dad to let drive one Bull-dozer.

But i was denied the chance.

I was very disappointed that day. not sure if i will get a chance like that again.

Amit
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Old 9th January 2008, 13:55   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkishore_77 View Post
Since I hail from Mangalore, I used to keenly observe how the Express bus drivers were driving from Mangalore to Udipi on my daily commute to Manipal.
I know what your talking about.Those bus drivers are crazy.
I hope your not driving as rash as them.
And welcome to TeamBhp. Great to have a fellow mangalorean here.
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