SKIDCAR SYSTEM® Frequently Asked Questions
SKIDCAR is a driver training device attached to the suspension of a vehicle. The equipment consists of an electro‐hydraulic steel framework with wheels that is controlled by an instructor operated electronic controller.
Through the use of the controller, the SKIDCAR framework lifts or lowers the front and rear tires of the vehicle independently to customized settings which either reduce or increase the amount of traction between the tires and the asphalt. These adjustments simulate speed and other inclement driving conditions that can make a vehicle unstable and cause it to lose grip. The settings can be altered when the vehicle is either stationary or moving. Realistic driving dynamics can then be experienced at a very low speed, within a small paved area, and in complete safety. Follow this link for a video example of the SKIDCAR in action.
- SKIDCAR is the only technology that can be successfully used while attached to modern vehicles with Electronic Stability Control. All modern vehicles (including police cars and SUVs as of model year 2012) have ESC that cannot be switched off. Front drive, rear drive, and all wheel drive systems can be left in the originally delivered configuration for realistic training with the SKIDCAR. We even offer a specific training workshop curriculum for ESC focus and understanding.
- SKIDCAR enables fine adjustments through the electronic controller which gives the instructor precise control of grip. Any coefficient of friction can be duplicated for many different training environments and scenarios.
- SKIDCAR does not require a wet pad or a large area in order to achieve effective training.
- SKIDCAR equipment is unique in that it allows for the adjustment of both front and rear grip settings individually. Other devices only allow for the rear wheels to be made slick, and then offer either no adjustment at all or must be adjusted manually. With SKIDCAR, front wheel skids (under steer) and rear wheel skids (oversteer) are easily programmed into the vehicle’s driving dynamics with the simple push of a button. SKIDCAR and SKIDTRUCK equipment is available to fit a wide range of vehicles including sedans/cruisers, ambulances, military UAHMMVs, fire trucks, and passenger buses. Options can be viewed HERE.
The SKIDCAR SYSTEM equipment when compared to all other driver training technology is more consistent, more realistic, and longer lasting. Even in its most slippery settings, the SKIDCAR allows the driver to experience real dynamics, real emotion, and real physical response. Other devices which allow only sliding sideways, operate in total disregard of global road safety practice. Real car control is not drifting sideways. Only SKIDCAR can be adjusted while either stationary or in movement, so the driver can learn technically correct lessons in safety. SKIDCAR SYSTEM training capabilities will be relevant for years to come, unlike simulators whose technology must be updated frequently at high expense, or other devices which are incompatible with modern vehicle technology such as ESC.
Understanding grip is vital to preventing skids or managing them after they have occurred. The rear wheel slide or skid is great fun, easy to train, and gets all the attention, but the skid that kills is the front wheel skid (understeer). Every car in the USA today is designed from the factory to allow the front wheels to skid first. Understeer recuperation is entirely technical and not much fun. However, front wheel skids poorly acted upon cause the rear wheels skids that most drivers recognize, making understeer vitally important to recognize and avoid.
With the incorporation of Electronic Stability Controls in most new cars, trucks, and SUVs, controlling a skid will now be left up to the ESC. The actual physics of slip (while nice to know) are not as critical to drivers today. The technologies of anti‐lock brakes and ESC can correct errors faster and more accurately than the driver. Therefore, driver training courses and exercises should address strategies of managing and maintaining grip. Exposing the student to skids, slides, and small losses of grip are viable methods of exposing the results of being technically correct (or incorrect) with regard to grip and safe driving.
The SKIDCAR’s electronic HAL controller is operated by a trained SKIDCAR Instructor. Unlike other rear wheel lifts or tire rings, the SKIDCAR features multiple “safe” buttons. While other training devices may effectively produce a skid, control of the vehicle at that point cannot be regained by the student or the instructor if an emergency develops. In contrast, the SKIDCAR is totally controlled throughout the lesson. Full grip levels can be regained almost instantly, and the chances of the vehicle overturning are next to none. This feature removes the risk of injury and allows SKIDCAR the flexibility to be used in a variety of areas.
Every usable training area has a SAFE SPEED THRESHOLD which the SKIDCAR can be adjusted to for safety. In this manner, the vehicle can duplicate various speed and traction conditions while traveling between just six and 25 miles per hour. This lends the SKIDCAR to an array of user-friendly environments including multiple use areas such as skill pads, skid pads, parking lots, or airport runways to name a few.
A space of 175’ X 500’ is ideal. But since this size of an area is not always available, many other paved areas can be used. Narrow airport runways, odd shaped lots, areas with broken pavement, frost heaves and pot holes can be utilized successfully. Paved areas with elevation changes can be used, and wonderfully challenging courses can be built to suit the personality of the imperfect pavement. Of course the ride quality may be compromised and it is helpful to work around the rough areas if possible.
There are over 300 SKIDCAR SYSTEMs in North America, scattered over 38 States. Police, Fire, EMS, and the Military are the primary customer base. Automobile manufacturer testing facilities, racing schools, private driving schools, and community colleges also use the SKIDCAR SYSTEM for their driver training academies. Please contact us for a list of customer references in your area.
Yes! We are proud to offer several additional products to enhance your training curriculum.
FOS: The FOS is a folding outrigger system available for the Type A SKIDCAR. It provides the perfect solution for agencies, academies, and private companies who require moving their SKIDCAR to offsite training areas. With a width of only 92 inches and 3 bolts per corner to allow the outriggers to fold, the SKIDCAR frame can be left totally assembled to load onto an open or enclosed trailer with ramp overs.
Conversion Kits: The lifespan of your SKIDCAR equipment need not be cut short by obtaining a new or updated training vehicle. Conversion kits are available which allow for transitioning your SKIDCAR to another host vehicle, as long as it is of a similar weight and can be accommodated by the same size SKIDCAR frame.
ATSS: The Automated Traffic Scenario Simulator offers exclusive, disciplined training exercises never before available. Accident avoidance, critical emergency braking, threshold braking, and ABS braking can all be experienced and practiced with each lap. The ATSS is an industry first with Intersection Clearing Mode, which promotes developed thought processes and control skills. Students must recognize and develop insight for arriving, clearing, and accelerating though the most dangerous of roadway challenges; the intersection. Random selection of cleared lanes and programmable possible delay times allow each run to bring possibilities of all green or all red and everything in between, and offer life‐saving skills and strategies.
Infrared Timer: This quick and easy to use automatic timer gives total time, fastest lap, slowest lap, and average time with a 68 lap memory. Its "automatic" feature allows the instructor to give full attention to the student driver and never again miss manually pushing the stopwatch button at the wrong moment. The readout and beacon can be used both in and out of the vehicle, expanding its usefulness beyond just the SKIDCAR. A low cost and useful tool when timing within your course is a requirement.
SKIDBIKE for Motorcycle Rider Training: The SKIDBIKE is the safest technology ever offered in the history of motorized 2‐wheel training. Many accidents that occur on training ranges across the globe daily can be prevented or eliminated with SKIDBIKE. Not only does it make motorcycle training safer, but also reduces the required time commitment for student understanding.
Due to the current economic climate and continual restricting of budgets, we are frequently asked about the resource of grant money available to purchase a SKIDCAR. We do know that many SKIDCARs have been purchased with grant monies. However, we are legally prohibited from being part of the grant-writing process, and therefore the individual departments pursue these grants on their own. Unfortunately, once the money has been awarded, we are often not made aware of the funding source or process involved. However, below is a list of websites that can be used as a reference to search for available grants.
FAQ's at a Glance
- What is a SKIDCAR™?
- How does it work?
- What makes SKIDCAR the leader in modern driver training technologies?
- Why SKIDCAR for behind the wheel driver training?
- What do you mean “It’s about Grip, Not Slip®”?
- Is SKIDCAR safe?
- How big of an area does the SKIDCAR need for successful use?
- Who Uses SKIDCAR?
- Does SKIDCAR SYSTEM, Inc. provide any other driver training products?
- Are there any grants available to purchase a SKIDCAR?