Archive for August, 2013

Today I Re-Take The Thai Driving License Practical Test To Get My Thai Driving License

Post Written on Thursday 29th August In Pak Chong, Thailand

I’m up at 0600 AM and at 0645 AM I am out practicing the parallel reversing test.

Already the sun is flaming and I’m hot exhausted and frustrated.

My pass rate has not increased since yesterday (2 out of 8 tries) that’s only 25% even though I re-measured the sticks and the lines and managed to find an extra 50 mm!

I was driving in my sleep last night and woke up with a couple of new tactics to try. They don’t work.

I adjusted one wing mirror down a fraction just to give me a better view of the wheel but then I couldn’t see long distance.

The test is at 1300. It’s 0735 now and I’ll go and do another batch of 5 tests.

0810 AM and It’s 5 / 5!

It really takes it out of you these reversing tests.

I’ll take break now and resume later.

0915 AM and It’s 5 / 5 Again!

My confidence is building as I wait for the re-test at 1300.

I have been marking down my test results on a piece of paper. Here is a scanned image of it:-

Image of First Private Test Track Test Sheet 130828

First Private Test Track Test Sheet 130828

1500 PM And It’s All Over – Failed Again – Kind Of

Back home after the re-test.

I failed on 2 out of three exercises. So I have to re-take the other 2 next Wednesday 4th September.

The three tests you have to complete to pass the Thai practical car Driving License test are:-

Test 1. Straight Reversing

Driving up a very narrow lane of poles and then reversing back down it again.

Here is the official photo of the manouver being undertaken properly. It is a poster on the Thai Driving License Instruction Board at the Thai Driving License Test Center at Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand.

Note the big red blob at the top left of the photo and the number “2″.

That means that this is officially known as Test 2 even though it’s the first one you do.

Photo of Photo Successful Thai Driving License Test 2 - Reversing

Photo Successful Thai Driving License Test 2 – Reversing

I passed this test this time. I failed last time simply because I had driven only to the end of the poles before starting to reverse. you have to drive to the end of the white lines which stretch beyond the poles before starting to return.

Why don’t they have poles all the way? My guess is that once they did but people keep braking them with their cars and they have run out of spares. There are heaps of broken poles everywhere.

Shame that on the first test nobody told me you had to go past the poles and even passed the end of the white lines before beginning your reverse.

Test 2. Parallel Parking

This is where you have to reverse into a box made from poles and drive out again without hitting any pole or pole base. The entry and exit is from the narrow reversing lane in Test 1.

Here is the official photo of the manouver being undertaken properly.

Note the big red blob at the top left of the photo and the number “3″.

That means that this is officially known as Test 3 even though it’s the second one you do.

Photo of Photo Successful Thai Driving License Test 3 - Reversing

Photo Successful Thai Driving License Test 3 – Reversing

I almost made this one this time. I was concentrating on getting the wheels straight having manouvered into the box and forgot to look behind me and clipped a pole.

My reversing was beautiful though having practiced the manouver so many times on my test track back home.

Just the excitement got to me and I was not slow and careful enough.

Test 2. Stopping on the Yellow and White Lines

You have to pull up at the kerbside travelling forward and stop with both nearside wheels on a white line parallel to the kerb and 100 mm away from it and with both your front wheels on a yellow stop line.

It’s not easy because A) the yellow line is about a metre under the car when you stop and B) the kerb is immediately after a 90 turn and is quite short so it’s difficult to get the rear wheel close to the kerb without hitting the kerb with your front wheels which is a fail.

Here is the official photo of the manouver being undertaken properly.

Note the big red blob at the top left of the photo and the number “1″.

That means that this is officially known as Test 1 even though it’s the last one you do.

Photo of Photo Successful Thai Driving License Test 1 - Stopping

Photo Successful Thai Driving License Test 1 – Stopping

I put the front wheels exactly on the yellow line and the white line but the rear wheel was a few cm off the white line. Fail!

 

 

Building A Private Test Track To Pass The Thai Practical Driving Test

Back To The Real Thai Driving Test Track

The next day (Saturday) after failing the Thai driving test we went back to the test centre to measure up the test track. My intention (which I have done) was to build a full-sized replica test track in our garden.

But first we had to go back to the real Thai Driving License Test Center to measure it up.

Being Saturday the normal entrance gates were closed. So we had to find another way in.

Photo of Way In Test Track Thai Driving Test Centre

Way In Test Track Thai Driving Test Centre

Photo Of Alan At The Thai Driving License est Centre

Alan At The Thai Driving License est Centre

Next I took photos of the dreaded Stop Lines.

Photo of Actual Thai Driving Test Stop Lines 3

Actual Thai Driving Test Stop Lines 3

Image of Actual Thai Driving Test Stop Lines 2

Actual Thai Driving Test Stop Lines 2

Image of Actual Thai Driving Test Stop Lines 1

Actual Thai Driving Test Stop Lines 1

Then photos of the reversing lane and the reversing box.

Photo of Thai Driving Test Reversing Box

Thai Driving Test Reversing Box

Image of Thai Driving Test Reversing Lane

Thai Driving Test Reversing Lane

Image of Thai Driving Test Reversing Box

Thai Driving Test Reversing Box

Plans And Dimensions Of A Real Thai Car Driving License Test Track

Below are actual scanned copies of my notebook showing the measured shape and dimensions of the actual Thai Driving License Test track for cars at the test center in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand.

These sketches will be invaluable to you if you ever need to build your own version of the Thai Driving License driving course.

The first sketch is the long reversing lane and the parallel parking box.

Image of Test Track Plans Dimensions - Reversing and Parking

Test Track Plans Dimensions – Reversing and Parking

The second sketch shows the Stop marks.

Image of Thai Driving License Test Track Plans and Dimensions - Stopping

Thai Driving License Test Track Plans and Dimensions – Stopping

Components For The Private Thai Driving License Test Track

On the way home we had to buy all the components and materials to build my own Thai driving license test center.

Photo of Test Track Thai Driving Test Poles

Test Track Thai Driving Test Poles, Paint

Poles to go into plant pots and cement mixed with stones from the drive to make concrete to hold the poles on the pots.

Photo of Cement For Poles For Thai Driving License Test Track

Cement For Poles For Thai Driving License Test Track

 

Photo Finished Poles For Thai Driving License Test Track

Finished Poles For Thai Driving License Test Track

Experience On The Thai Driving License Test Track

And  now for some photos of the finished private Thai driving license test track.

Photo of Thai Driving License Test Track

Thai Driving License Test Track

Thai-Driving-Test-Test-Track-01JPG

Image of Test Track -Thai Driving Test Stop Lines

Test Track -Thai Driving Test Stop Lines

Test 1 Reversing Into The Box

As I said earlier I learned that this manouver is so tight and so difficult that you have to find every inch of space available.

You have to put the car hard on the left side (nearside) so that the wheels are a gnat’s whisker away from the base of the posts.

Then you have to start turning about half a car’s length from the box carefully watching the front wheels as the car’s bonnet pushes out towards the posts.

By the way in our car the Toyota Vigo Pickup, there is no chance to turn in the seat and look through the rear window as you would in a normal car. No, everything has to be observed through the wing mirrors plus leaning ot of the window to see the front wheels.

And once you’re in the box the challenge is not over. You have to get out again!

And that’s almost as difficult because you have to trace the car’s path into the box in order to get out again without clipping a post base.

Test 2. Stopping on the Lines

My technique on my test track is to drive until you can no longer see the yellow line then drive further until where you thing it is is in line with the wing mirror.

I have only succeeded once and my re-test is in two days time.

 

 

Yes, I Failed The Practical Test For Getting A Thai Driving License

Practical Thai Driving Test

The practical Thai driving test is absolutely crazy and has nothing whatsoever to do with driving safely on the road.

Driver after driver failed (including me) on the test day.

Test 1 Reversing Into The Box

This is extremely difficult in a big car like our pickup. I found out later on my private test rack that the trick is to start turning two posts before the opening. The tires have to be less that an inch from the posts to get enough room.

For smaller cars they move the posts so that the room is shorter. All done arbitarily.

Apparently I actually passed this test on my first test day. But I thought I had hit a post and failed so after that I didn’t concentrate for the rest of it.

Turing right I put on the windscreen wipers instead of the indicator and didn’t stop on the Lines.

Oh! And Kanyah told me I failed also because I didn’t take the car all the way through the two lines of posts. Well nobody told me I had to do that and I didn’t see anyone else do it either!

Test 2. Stopping on the Lines

This is most ridiculous. You have to stop with the nearside wheel at the intersection of the white and yellow lines.

In our pickup that means you have to stop on lines you can’t see because they are a third of the way under the car!

Getting A Thai Driving License – The Driving Test

I’m out this morning in our Toyota Vigo Hilux pickup getting some practice for my This driving license test this afternoon.

I could find more interesting and enjoyable things to do on Friday afternoons but heh it’s got to be done.

It’s years since I drove the pickup and I never did any serious or close-up reversing. The truck is just too big and visibility too poor to do anything but basic reversing.

But the Thai driving tests requires you to reverse into a car parking spot.

Under the Thai driving laws you are supposed to do that with the wheels not more than 250 mm from the curb. I don’t know yet if that is a requirement of this afternoon’s test but I’m practicing it all the same.

I can just about manage it now but not at any particular longitudinal position. If i had a s,all car it would be a piece of cake. I have read on various websites that you can hire a car just for the test on the day for 100 Baht and if that’s available I’ll probably do that.

So today it’s do a bit of typing here, go practice reversing, do a bit in the workshop, practice reversing etc.

 

Frantic Day At The Thai Driving Test Centre – And It’s Not Over Yet

Having obtained all the documentation required to apply for a Thai Driving License (http://retiringinthailand.net/getting-thai-driving-license-part-1/) by taking the Thai Driving test I spent today on Round 1 of the Thai Driving test along with about twenty Thais.

Taking The Thai Driving Test is Not So Easy As People Think

It was a fraught and daunting experience – not the least because all the instructions were in the Thai language and I hand’t much of a clue really what to do or what was coming next!

That was the worst part, not knowing what was the step. Let me tell you up front this is no breeze in the park!

Different people were telling me different things plus I was sometimes misunderstanding what they said when that was in Thai.

I was nervous, apprehensive and confused.

I basically blundered through as best I could relying on deduction and limited knowledge of the Thai language.

But let me tell you this. When and if I finish this training and testing regime and get my driving license I will know more about the process than anyone who has not been through it. Forget all the rubbish and half truths you read on Thai Forums – I will have the complete truth. Possibly the only source on the Internet where you can discover and understand the exact process for obtaining a Thai driving licence as a Farang.

To be continued…

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