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How to Alley Dock in a Car (Parking)

Anti-Valentine has a driver's license from South Africa and has studied many driving materials.

An alley dock, reversing in from the left.

An alley dock, reversing in from the left.

Getting Your Driver's License: Alley Docking a Car

This is an article to help out people who want to get their driver's license. In this article, I'll show you how to do a ‘dock' with step-by-step instructions and a diagram. There's also a video demonstration.

First, you start off in the bay allocated for you on the yard. For the first explanation, let's assume that you are on the left of the bay and you want to reverse in (look at the diagram and the video for reference).

Step-By-Step Instructions for Alley Docking Left

  1. Mirror, blind spot left, and indicate left.
  2. Do your full observation: mirror, right blind spot, mirror, left blind spot, and mirror.
  3. Start reversing until you see the first pole on your left level with your shoulders, then do a right blind spot check.
  4. When the front of the car gets behind the pole, start turning the steering wheel full lock to the left.
  5. Look over your shoulder to see that you're going where you need to go, and that's in the bay behind you.
  6. Start looking in your right side or wing mirror to see the pole right at the back, and the three poles line up.
  7. Then you should straighten up the wheels quickly.
  8. Do your blind spot left and right and watch closely in both side mirrors to make sure you don't hit any of the poles.
  9. When your shoulder is level with the second pole from the back, stop, and put your handbrake on and put the car into neutral.
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Step-By-Step Instructions for Alley Docking Right

For reversing into the bay from the right, just do the opposite:

  1. Mirror, blind spot right, and indicate right.
  2. Do your full observation: mirror, right blind spot, mirror, left blind spot, and mirror.
  3. Start reversing until you see the first pole on your right level with your shoulders, then do a left blind spot check.
  4. When the front of the car gets behind the pole, start turning the steering wheel full lock to the right.
  5. Look over your shoulder to see that you're going where you need to go, and that's in the bay behind you.
  6. Start looking in your left side or wing mirror to see the pole right at the back, and the three poles line up.
  7. Then you should straighten up the wheels quickly.
  8. Do your blind spot left and right and watch closely in both side mirrors to make sure you don't hit any of the poles.
  9. When your shoulder is level with the second pole from the back, stop, and put your handbrake on; neutral.

Bay Dimensions

The dimensions of the space you need to get into are about 6 m (236 in) long and 2,5 m (98,5 in) wide. The curve before the bay is also about 6 m (236 in), which you have to navigate before reversing into the actual bay.

You also mustn't be too close to the first pole when you start. It doesn't matter if you end up a little crooked in the bay, as long as you don't knock any of the poles or the curb. Remember to go slowly and turn fast so that you have more time to react and adjust if necessary. You have two attempts for the alley dock during the driving test.

"Those who cannot remember the past will spend a lot of time looking for their cars in mall parking lots."

— Jay Trachman

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2008 Anti-Valentine

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