Rolling First

By September 24, 2016 January 1st, 2017 ADI's, Advanced

When coming up to a junction to emerge (for example) the driver starts to brake and then in the last couple of meters pushes the clutch down and selects 1st gear so they are ready to go when a gap appears.

“Wait! – Isn’t this Brake Gear Overlap that you keep going on about?”

Yes, but it doesn’t matter at very slow speeds as it won’t unduly effect the balance of the car.

It’s also not a Rolling 1st

“eh, what?, thats not what ….insert whoever you like……. said”

Selecting 1st with the clutch down as you come up to stop is perfectly fine, its a very handy technique.

It’s also not a ‘rolling 1st’ because you’re not in 1st gear – you’re just stopped with the clutch down.

A Rolling 1st is when approaching a junction emerge (for example) you slow right down to a crawl, engage 1st gear, crawl up to the line, carry out your observations and then go, or you’re turning major to a very tight and narrow minor – you slow right down and block change into first ready to turn left slowly without stopping.

You might also carry out a rolling first in a traffic queue, you’re happily queuing along in 2nd, the traffic starts to slow down more, but not enough to stop, 2nd becomes too high a gear so you change down into first and keep moving.

That’s why its called a rolling 1st – the vehicle is still ‘rolling’, in most cases you’d usually only select first gear when the car is stationary.

In fact when syncromesh was first introduced, it was usually omitted on 1st gear as you don’t need syncromesh to help with gear changes when the car is stationary, so in those days you had to double declutch if you wanted a rolling first.

Syncromesh is still omitted from reverse gear in a lot of cars – That’s why you get that *crunch* when you engage reverse gear. Although actually the reason you get the *crunch* is because you haven’t read the owners handbook, which will say something like – wait three seconds after stopping before selecting reverse.  (it allows everything to stop spinning so you can mesh the reverse gear without a syncromesh)