at the wheel

at the wheel

 
1. operating the wheel that turns a ship's rudder; at the helm. The cabin boy was at the wheel with the captain close by.
2. operating the steering wheel of a car. Bobby was at the wheel when the car went off the road.
See also: wheel

at the wheel

In command, in control. For example, Ann hated being told what to do; she wanted to be at the wheel by herself. The analogy here is to the steering wheel of an automobile or other vehicle, or the helm of a vessel. For a synonym, see at the helm.
See also: wheel
References in classic literature ?
At midnight I went to relieve the man at the wheel and when I got to it found no one there.
I glanced over my shoulder, and the pilot-house was yet full of noise and smoke when I made a dash at the wheel.
The stern of the vessel shot by, dropping, as it did so, into a hollow between the waves; and I caught a glimpse of a man standing at the wheel, and of another man who seemed to be doing little else than smoke a cigar.
I could see the vessel being swallowed up in the fog; I saw the back of the man at the wheel, and the head of the other man turning, slowly turning, as his gaze struck the water and casually lifted along it toward me.
The narrow space was our logical course, but Charley, at the wheel, steered the Mary Rebecca straight for the nets.
At the wheel stood a tall South Sea Islander, clad in white undershirt and scarlet hip-cloth.
At eight bells, all hands assembled at the wheel, and Boyd Duncan appeared with a black bottle and a mug.
He was the gaunt, taciturn individual we had seen at the wheel.
Once more I tried my hand at the wheel, but I might as well have essayed to swing the earth itself.
The game show's third new competition, "Superstars of Sports Week" will feature famous sports figures at the wheel.
When the tire deflates, the vehicle rides on two small oval contact patches at the wheel rim.
Uncooled wheel hub motors with approximately 150 Nm (110 lb-ft) of torque would give up to 600 Nm (440 lb-ft) of torque at the wheels in an all-wheel-drive application, though switching to cooled motors would raise this to a total of 1,000 Nm (738 lb-ft), if required.