Learning parallel parking can strike fear into the hearts of the HGV learner drivers.
Knowing how to best execute the manoeuvre with a collective understanding and practice is the key to learning parallel parking.
FleetSpeak suggests you read this essential guide on parallel parking before preparing to take your first driving test.
What is parallel parking?
Parallel parking basically means parking your vehicle parallel to the motorway with other vehicles in the line.
Generally, you must drive your vehicle alongside the vehicle in the front to find the available space before adjusting beside it.
Parking parallel to the road is generally considered a tricky job for new HGV drivers to get their hands on. Still, eventually, it becomes a habit with the right amount of practice and is essential while hunting a good parking space either at truck stops or parkways.
When do I need to parallel park?
Parallel parking is only possible in a feasible place where it is allowed to park, especially in fleets if the driver needs to take a rest at a particular site.
Driving ahead into a roadside area is only possible when both the spots in a row are unoccupied.
While reversing the vehicle, a driver can bear the advantage of either one empty space that is not too bigger than the vehicle itself.
Considering other vehicles with less gross weight might accommodate roadside parking on residential roads as a standard requirement. Whereas in towns and city centres, parallel parking might not be a viable option as HGV drivers have to find reliable truck stops near their localities.
How do I parallel park?
Following instructions are only for drivers parking on the left-hand side of the motorway in the direction of traffic.
Reverse the directions if you are trying to park on the right-hand side.
This is an essential guide with the same traffic principles, although your driving instructor may have their own preferred reference points or teaching methods.
The driver should:
- Make sure the parking space is wide enough.
- Turn on indicators and pull up beside the open area with an assurance of a minimum two feet distance on either end.
- Slowly edge forward till your vehicle is facing the front window towards the vehicle in front and correctly facing to lined up with other vehicles.
- Keep checking the mirrors and be aware of the blind spots.
- Once it is safe, slowly begin reversing while keeping an eye behind the space.
- While reversing slowly, line up your rare tyres with the rare bumper.
- Now, recheck for any blind spots and apply the handbrake. While reversing, your vehicle’s front can should gradually slide off into the road (ensure nothing is sliding out).
- If possible, keep the steering wheel turned towards the left while maintaining everything steady to achieve a complete turn.
- Start reversing slowly with the help of side mirrors and check the kerb’s position to see the distance between the vehicle behind.
- Once you see the kerb in the mirror, start turning the steering wheel to the right side.
- You can use the full lock after bringing your vehicle’s front towards the kerb. (use ‘fast steering but slow reversing technique; meaning to move hands quickly but feet steadily.)
- Turn the steering wheel to the left to reverse the vehicle straight back and neaten the vehicle’s position on the road.
Is it mandatory to parallel park on my driving test?
Possibly, you can be asked to parallel park on your driving test since the rules have been changed since December 2017.
The examiner might ask you any one of the below manoeuvres:
- Parallel park your vehicle on the roadside.
- Park in a bay area – either by reversing in and driving out or driving in and reversing out. (the examiner will instruct the driver)
- Pull up on the right side of the motorway, reverse for at least two vehicle lengths and join the traffic again.
Are you looking for a driving theory test practice consultant? Here’s a comprehensive guide on How to Consult a Driving Theory Test for your vehicle.