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Have you been on a Skid Pan Course ? - & Further Details
Never 9%  9%  [ 6 ]
Never 9%  9%  [ 6 ]
No - taught myself (please give details) 4%  4%  [ 3 ]
No - taught myself (please give details) 4%  4%  [ 3 ]
Yes Once 3%  3%  [ 2 ]
Yes Once 3%  3%  [ 2 ]
Yes More than once 6%  6%  [ 4 ]
Yes More than once 6%  6%  [ 4 ]
Type 'spider' system 1%  1%  [ 1 ]
Type 'spider' system 1%  1%  [ 1 ]
Type cars on a pan 9%  9%  [ 6 ]
Type cars on a pan 9%  9%  [ 6 ]
Preferred (better learning) cars on the Pan 3%  3%  [ 2 ]
Preferred (better learning) cars on the Pan 3%  3%  [ 2 ]
Preferred (better learning) 'spider' system 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Preferred (better learning) 'spider' system 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Don't mind learning on either system was fine 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Don't mind learning on either system was fine 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Practice where and when I can, to learn and improve (e.g. empty car parks/ private ground, etc) 10%  10%  [ 7 ]
Practice where and when I can, to learn and improve (e.g. empty car parks/ private ground, etc) 10%  10%  [ 7 ]
No intention of going again (would like you to explain why - please) 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
No intention of going again (would like you to explain why - please) 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Hope to go onto a skid pan again (cars or 'spider') 4%  4%  [ 3 ]
Hope to go onto a skid pan again (cars or 'spider') 4%  4%  [ 3 ]
Other opinion 1%  1%  [ 1 ]
Other opinion 1%  1%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 70
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 Post subject: Skid Pan Course
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 02:07 
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Have you ever been on a skid pan course - (from various discussions but recently this one Here (Young Driver Training).

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 Post subject: Re: Skid Pan Course
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 17:24 
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Yes, and as I have posted before I can't recommend it more strongly. It was of the 'oily surface' variety and included oversteer and understeer prone cars, plus some tinkering with ABS/non ABS braking. This was at Castle Coombe.

I have posted about this before, it was when that angry woman from Shropshire whose name I have forgotten was on here, and her argument was that giving unskilled drivers more skills was dangerous. Obviously this didn't include her, as she was better than everyone else.

What I would like to do is go to one in the E Mids somewhere where you take your own car. That would be most useful.


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 Post subject: Re: Skid Pan Course
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 18:29 
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The best course I went on was with Richard Merriott (? spelling of last name) he was brilliant, and worked from the Thruxton Race Circuit. I don't know where he is now or what he is doing ....

- NB I have removed the 'only' from the 'spider' option as it is un-necessary and maybe confusing. And I have also allowed for re- voting.

I am curious that out of 12 that have voted so far only myself has said that I would go on another course.
Can I ask for comments on that please ?
I have been doing a lot of sliding about yesterday trying to get to the local town and back ! I lot of shovelling was necessary !

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 Post subject: Re: Skid Pan Course
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 18:43 
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Not sure how accessible or affordable this is for the public, one of the car mags sent some people and did an article so i guess they hope some punters might do it:

http://www.mira.co.uk/drivertraining/default.htm

Not sure i spotted the question about doing a repeater, in my case i'm fortunate enough to be practising these skills on a fairly regular basis.
The advanced roadcraft stuff however is something i keep meaning to get back on top of.


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 Post subject: Re: Skid Pan Course
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 20:45 
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I wasn't sure if you could vote more than once so voted "practice where and when etc" although I am self taught.

When I started college , I had to drive about 12 miles daily and got in with a crowd of slightly older lads who were big into car rallies (participating in 12 cars and spectating on stages) so found myself doing a lot of driving round muddy farm tracks, lanes and welsh forest tracks which obviously tests your driving skills on slippery surfaces more than normal roads. I then spent the next few years working on an industrial estate which was an old RAF airforce base which meant we had lots of deserted old roads, tracks etc to "play about" safely on during our dinner hours (it was also used by a local car club for single stage rallies). We were also lucky to have some very snowy winters while working up there to practice our snow/ice driving in relative safety without endangering other road users.


I think that this introduction to "out of the ordinary" driving conditions was invaluable and wish that very young driver could have the benefit that we had to practice such driving on a regular basis.

After about 5 years of working at this ex airfield I then went on to be a field service engineer covering up to 140 miles a day in rural staffs,shropshire and worcestershire and again we had some "lovely" winters in the early eighties where I would quite often find myself about 40 miles from home in the middle of a blizzard in the middle of no where...great fun...you had to battle through it or not go home. I feel really honoured to have learnt to drive in the areas and conditions that I spent my younger driving years and feel sorry for the younger generation who can't experience the sort of conditions, very often, that we had to learn in. Of course in those days we had no ABS, traction control etc so it really was driving by the seat of your pants. I was lucky to have fiesta as company cars in those days which was excellent in the deep snow with its skinny wheels and front wheel drive but in my earlier days I had a mark1 escort with all the fun of rear wheel drive in snow etc.

I've never done skid pans although we have High Ercall not far from me, which used to be a Ministry of Transport Centre, which I believe had a skid pan for bus drivers etc but never heard of anyone using it privately. In the days when I learnt to drive there didn't seem to be the money about for people to go on race tracks, rally courses etc that you hear about now.

The first thing that I do when i buy a "new" car is to take it to a deserted carpark, open ground etc in the wet to put it through it's paces to try and push the level of its grip/ handling in order to know at what level it is likely to "break away" under harsh braking/cornering.

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My views do not represent Safespeed but those of a driver who has driven for 39 yrs, in all conditions, at all times of the day & night on every type of road and covered well over a million miles, so knows a bit about what makes for safety on the road,what is really dangerous and needs to be observed when driving and quite frankly, the speedo is way down on my list of things to observe to negotiate Britain's roads safely, but I don't expect some fool who sits behind a desk all day to appreciate that.


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 Post subject: Re: Skid Pan Course
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 02:00 
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You have 6 'vote' options and can review and alter your 'vote's'.

I have now had approx 3 wks of bad weather up here and constant while with ice and snow throughout and another 2 wks forecast too!
Had plenty of 'fun' yesterday trying to get in and out of local town and got stuck several times and had to dig my way out. With my chesty cough / flu thing I have it was utterly exhausting.
I failed to get up one hill in town as it was like and ice rink and I had to stop low down on the hill to allow someone who was doing a 3point turn to come down the hill so I waited and then just no way could I get up - just slide to side of the road - so allowed the car to get to the side and the car behind went up with difficulty (FWD) and I went another way to get fuel - but the station was shut ! <grrrr> The side roads are just two lines of ice rink and then a large snowy section that touches parts of the underneath of the car, but it helped to kept you on track ! managed to get up the little hill near my home but then got stuck in a small section near the top and had to dig out again. My trusty metal shovel was very useful indeed.
Certainly those with 4x4 do fine and those with fwd and modern cars with narrower tyres were doing better than I could.
I probably should have let out the tyre pressures a little ! I did try to get snow chains but when I tried a bit earlier in the year they didn't have any in stock and then more recently they were shut. The snow is easier to deal with than this amount of solid ice under the snow that makes it highly tricky and in some places treacherous !

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 Post subject: Skid Pan Course of sorts
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 04:01 
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When it snows, I find a large, relatively deserted parking lot and drive around with two purposes
1) if there's enough virgin snow, not-sliding is impossible, thus review driving in chronically controlled slides
2) later, practice reminding myself what mistakes to correct, and then avoid, eventually falling back to the safest variant of the late apex appropriate for that turn

When it isn't snowing, again, I use large, sparsely populated parking lots.
I spread ArmorAll on at least one tire (what I like about this is I can put it on one, two, three, or all four tires), and practice controlling and avoiding slips and slides that way.

By noting at what speeds I begin to have trouble recovering control in a reasonable amount of space/time, I have a rough guess/estimate of how far I shouldn't go. I then simply stay well under that threshold in public when it snows/sleets/hails/whatever.

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1) No one gets hurt
2) Nothing gets hit, except to protect others; see Rule#1
3) The Laws of Physics are invincible and immutable - so-called 'laws' of men are not
4) You are always immediately and ultimately responsible for your safety first, then proximately responsible for everyone's
Do not let other road users' mistakes become yours, nor yours become others
5) The rest, including laws of the land, is thoughtful observation, prescience, etiquette, decorum, and cooperation


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 Post subject: Re: Skid Pan Course
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:34 
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SafeSpeedv2 wrote:
You have 6 'vote' options and can review and alter your 'vote's'.


how ?


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 Post subject: Re: Skid Pan Course
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 17:06 
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theRush wrote:
When it snows, I find a large, relatively deserted parking lot


Where do you find one of those? Oh but you are in Americi not Engerland

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 Post subject: Re: Skid Pan Course
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 17:39 
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The biggest problem with slippery weather is the fools that can't use their throttle correctly. They're either wheel spinning and polishing the ice to a fine finish or they're crawling up hills too slowly to have enough momentum to ever get to the top. My road has a gentle gradient and so many have been struggling with it. So many just drive straight up without any trouble, sigh. Seems to be peugeot drivers that struggle the most. Just about everyone with a 206 has made a hash of it!

I'd happily venture out if it weren't for these muppets that are bound to crash into you. Could do with an old landy then I wouldn't give a hoot if they did!

I'd certainly like to do a skid pan course. Not sure I'd take my own car as unless they offer a decent and careful handwashing service! The one in the East Mids would be of interest as it might not be too far away.


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 Post subject: Re: Skid Pan Course
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 17:49 
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Quote:
The biggest problem with slippery weather is the fools that can't use their throttle correctly. They're either wheel spinning and polishing the ice to a fine finish or they're crawling up hills too slowly to have enough momentum to ever get to the top.


Yes people don't seem to realise that the secret to getting up hills, is to accelerate on the dryer patches, to build up your momentum for the slippy bits, same with coming down hills, if you find yourself building up to much momentum and have to brake, try and do it on the clearer patches.

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My views do not represent Safespeed but those of a driver who has driven for 39 yrs, in all conditions, at all times of the day & night on every type of road and covered well over a million miles, so knows a bit about what makes for safety on the road,what is really dangerous and needs to be observed when driving and quite frankly, the speedo is way down on my list of things to observe to negotiate Britain's roads safely, but I don't expect some fool who sits behind a desk all day to appreciate that.


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 Post subject: Re: Skid Pan Course
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 19:45 
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I practise where possible and have visited Carlimits several times, but never done a skid pan session. Jackie offered to buy me one of the one hour AMG experiences at Brooklands for Christmas, I decided not to as even though I like the MB engines the cars do little for me and it is pretty pricey for an hour. I wouldn't mind having a go on a skid pan at some point.

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 Post subject: Re: Skid Pan Course
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 21:22 
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graball wrote:
Yes people don't seem to realise that the secret to getting up hills, is to accelerate on the dryer patches, to build up your momentum for the slippy bits, same with coming down hills, if you find yourself building up to much momentum and have to brake, try and do it on the clearer patches.

And when there are no patches ? :)
My recent experience a couple of days ago was to first have to dig my way out to the road - the car either slipped on the solid ice or stuck in the 8" of snow, then got into local town with care. The hill to the town I took at a moderate 20ish but it was very icy with only one patch that I recall. Then when I got into town I went left to go up another hill but with someone doing a 3 point turn at the top I waited, and while waiting wondering if I was going to get going ok. (And thinking of the recent thread on here about going d/hill with a 3pointer!)
While waiting anther car came up behind but he waited at a sensible distance back, the chap came past and then I tried to get going but no matter how gently I tried the car followed the camber and slide into the side of the road and I never made it up I braked and indicated and allowed the chap behind to go and he made it with his thinner tyres, FWD and wheels spinning. It was totally smooth ice with a little snow covering but the roadsides still had about 4"snow and more in places. With parked cars higher up I decided it was just not worth the risk so reversed down keeping well to the side by the pavement (well snow covered bump!)
I made it to the far side of town all somewhat flatter and easier to deal with, but sadly failed to get fuel as the station was shut. I waited for all traffic to clear to exit the garage so I could have the necessary speed /momentum to keep going to the top of the next incline, but I could feel the car slipping. The higher gear helping of course.
When out of town and back on my 'little road' which is just two lines of ice with thick snow/ice in center section manged to pick up only a little speed to help me get up the next incline right near my home, but as I reached the top a small dip saw me slip into the side into snow and I rocked to try and move on but it just wasn't happening. So out with the shovel (again - took an hour to dig trenches just to get out of the driveway !) and I got free and as I turned the very icy corner and slid a little it was controllable. Got to the top of the driveway but the thick snow needed more shoveling to enable me to reverse back in!

So any techniques that might have helped me get up that first hill problem ? (apart from putting on the snow tyres - which is now v hard when all is covered in sheet ice ! and I have a horrid flu & cough).
Tried really hard to balance grip to throttle ... I have LSD (limited slip diff) and I would have expected that to help, to a degree but I seemed to get spinning wheels more quickly that I may have expected ...
I know 3 yrs ago the only way I could get up a big steep hill was sidewards, but that had little ice underneath which made progress possible.

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 Post subject: Re: Skid Pan Course
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 00:34 
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Don't know if this is of any help but about twenty years ago, I lived on a housing estate that had a slight incline to get to our house at the top of the hill. In a front wheel drive fiesta, I found the only way to get up the hill, one really bad day was in reverse. Obviously not something you want to do in your local high street but if it's a road that is little used and you have front wheel drive you might try going up backwardsit if you can't go up forwards.

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My views do not represent Safespeed but those of a driver who has driven for 39 yrs, in all conditions, at all times of the day & night on every type of road and covered well over a million miles, so knows a bit about what makes for safety on the road,what is really dangerous and needs to be observed when driving and quite frankly, the speedo is way down on my list of things to observe to negotiate Britain's roads safely, but I don't expect some fool who sits behind a desk all day to appreciate that.


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 Post subject: Re: Skid Pan Course
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 00:37 
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I remember the days of having a shovel and old carpet in the boot every winter but we haven't really had winters like that round here lately.... ;-)
One trick we used to do with rear wheel drive cars was to put a couple of paving slabs or sacks of potatoes in the boot to put some extra weight over the back wheels for traction.

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My views do not represent Safespeed but those of a driver who has driven for 39 yrs, in all conditions, at all times of the day & night on every type of road and covered well over a million miles, so knows a bit about what makes for safety on the road,what is really dangerous and needs to be observed when driving and quite frankly, the speedo is way down on my list of things to observe to negotiate Britain's roads safely, but I don't expect some fool who sits behind a desk all day to appreciate that.


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 Post subject: Re: Skid Pan Course
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 01:00 
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graball wrote:
I remember the days of having a shovel and old carpet in the boot every winter but we haven't really had winters like that round here lately.... ;-)
One trick we used to do with rear wheel drive cars was to put a couple of paving slabs or sacks of potatoes in the boot to put some extra weight over the back wheels for traction.


I used to carry carpet/sack/old doormat + rope( that way you didn't loose the mat) and shovel .Found weight better placed in rearfootwell -that spread it over both axles,with majority on rear ,except on vans,where I used to carry all my heavy stuff over the rears all year round .

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 Post subject: Re: Skid Pan Course
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 02:53 
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Yeah I didn't try reversing and a bit awkward to have tried that and no I hadn't thought about it. Thanks for the thoughts. I have the snow tyres but I need to check them and then when I feel fit change them over ! Snow chains are in v short supply up here now too.
I must find my grip mats ! I have wondered too about good door mats - those rubber and metal one's - I did have a hessian sack somewhere too!
I made good use of the shovel and I think my cough is worse for it and the weather today has added to the ever thickening ice layers and snow layers on top! Still 8" mostly round here and a lot more to follow.
I hear tonight that Inverness is stranded, even the rail line has a derailment and so nothing is leaving from Inverness either and the A9 trunk road is closed. We can get closed off from the South of Scot / England etc every few years, the last was about 05/06 and we can even get cut off from Inverness too.
From pictures on TV tonight, Inverness is a mess with snow and ice. Where are all the gritting lorries ? Whilst I am sure the chaps are working hard doing a good job, and are doing what they are told to do, I am worried that they are not being managed well or appropriate to conditions.
I see the hosp stats over this recent period (been bad up here for 3 wks now) that the personal injuries have tripled from falls ans slips (breaks mostly).

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 Post subject: Re: Skid Pan Course
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 09:03 
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Did anyone else see Ice Road Truckers on Ch5 the other night. The trucking companies test drivers using a simulator before they let them onto the road.

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 Post subject: Re: Skid Pan Course
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 09:47 
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not much personal comparison with snow tyres, except to say all the vehicles we used in northern sweden are fitted with them.. apart from the year they were all studded.

but i did take note of discussion with a local taxi driver who only resorts to studded tyres in the intermediate months where they get freeze/thaw and proper ice rather than the more usual compacted snow through the winter.
his opinion was that modern winter tyres are actually better than studs except for the ice conditions.

problem is round these parts we rarely (if ever) get long enough big sub zero numbers to get the kind of dry compact snow he would say suits winter tyres.... which implies perhaps we should be switching straight from summer tyres to studs.


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 Post subject: Re: Skid Pan Course
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 18:29 
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SafeSpeedv2 wrote:
So any techniques that might have helped me get up that first hill problem ?


There was a recent thread on PH where the OP was bemoaning the lack of snow chains at local dealers, an alternate suggestion was the snow socks as used by some ambulance services, following this one guy suggested wrapping string around your wheels though this may have been tongue in cheek. It made me wonder if wrapping/spiralling some cord around the tyres might actually help if you were really stuck.

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