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Last Day of School, My Uphill Take-offs Still Suck

Topic 20371 | Page 1

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Matthew K.'s Comment
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I had never driven a standard before beginning school, and now its day 8 of truck time and I still can't seem to properly take off when facing uphill. I tried riding the edge of the clutch so that when I release the brakes, its already slightly in gear so that it isn't a problem, but I got an earful for tearing up the driveshaft.

My other option is to just try and bring it up fast enough to prevent rolling, but I'm so short that I can't use my ankle as a pivot, so my entire foot is elevated and I always wind up sidestepping just a bit, but enough that its jerky and nasty sounding.

I manage everything else just fine. I can back (basic maneuvers, dont ask me to do what a 5 year vet is doing.) I can control my trailer, and I can shift gears with mostly no problem. But when I'm on an uphill slope, as of right now I'm guaranteed to slide about 2 feet and jerk the living daylights out of the driveshaft.

Does anyone have advice?

Old School's Comment
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As you're easing up on the clutch pedal you should be able to hear the idle speed of the engine starting to change slightly. That is when you let off the brake and keep slowly and steadily easing up on the clutch. You shouldn't really need to give it any throttle. Easing up on that clutch should put you in motion without much violence to the truck. Do it smoothly without stepping on the throttle. Once you start moving forward you can give it some throttle.

It sounds as if you are holding the brake too long. Just as soon as you begin to hear the slightest change in that idle speed make sure and let off of the brake.

Matthew K.'s Comment
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As you're easing up on the clutch pedal you should be able to hear the idle speed of the engine starting to change slightly. That is when you let off the brake and keep slowly and steadily easing up on the clutch. You shouldn't really need to give it any throttle. Easing up on that clutch should put you in motion without much violence to the truck. Do it smoothly without stepping on the throttle. Once you start moving forward you can give it some throttle.

It sounds as if you are holding the brake too long. Just as soon as you begin to hear the slightest change in that idle speed make sure and let off of the brake.

Its more of a clutch and brake fully depressed, foot off of brake, mild panic at sliding back, then I come off the clutch entirely to try and catch it before I hit someone behind me, which of course results in tire spinning and the cab flailing around. When I start to come up on the clutch, I actually release the brake too early, before I've begun to get power. The way I got yelled at for was I was riding the edge of the clutch but was still on the brake. The idle had picked up, I knew when I came off the brake I wasn't going to slide, but I was told not to keep it like that.

I suppose my problem is I'm not syncing up the slow release of the clutch with the release of the brakes. I must be coming off the brake too early, before the clutch is far enough up, which sends me into recovery mode when it starts sliding.

Like I said, this is the first time I've ever driven anything with a clutch, and 8 days isnt a lot to figure it out. I test on Saturday and there's 2 lights along the test route that have significant uphill grades. That's what worries me most. Not my backing or pretrip, but that I'll scare the **** out of the examiner if I slide back a bit. I'm pretty sure its an auto-fail.

Bill F.'s Comment
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You can always use first gear. You should be able to control clutch coming out even without heel on the floor. Don't ride the edge of the pedal or you may slip. Have your foot squarely on the pedal for full control.

If you can practice on level ground by easing off in fourth or fifth gear.

Matthew K.'s Comment
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You can always use first gear. You should be able to control clutch coming out even without heel on the floor. Don't ride the edge of the pedal or you may slip. Have your foot squarely on the pedal for full control.

If you can practice on level ground by easing off in fourth or fifth gear.

I do fine on level ground, I just always screw it up when on an uphill grade.

6 string rhythm's Comment
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Sounds like you already know what to do. I have some very steep hills to climb from a stop sometimes at traffic lights in a town I go through in Western PA. In these situations, I'm almost always in 1st gear, and I'm taking it as slow as possible to let out that clutch and brake pedal while getting my start. I don't care if it takes a little longer than other people. I've never rolled back, and I pride myself in that. Don't rush yourself. Gradually let your foot off that brake pedal as you let out the clutch. Take your time. Sounds like you're rushing things.

miracleofmagick's Comment
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Don't worry about it too much, it's something that requires practice. I went to school in Florida so didn't have any hills to learn on until I was in trading at my company. Keep working on it. You'll get it, just don't let it frustrate you

Matthew K.'s Comment
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We ran a practice run pf the test course today, and I actually managed it well. I just had to train my ears to be a little more attentive to the engine in the lower take off gears, and when I hear it pick up I come smoothly off the brake while still easing off the clutch. It still isn't pretty, but its functional compared to earlier. I suspect I'll get better with even more practice once I start orientation and training with a company.

Kurt G.'s Comment
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This might sound silly, but I know it's been suggested for shifting that you just practice at home: get some kind of stick for the shift lever and just sit in a chair and pretend. Maybe the same thing would work for you. Just doing it over and over might make it automatic, even if it's pretending.

Dan R.'s Comment
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I think you accidentally answered your own question when you made a comment about backing, saying "dont ask me to do what a 5 year vet is doing." Shifting is going to be ugly for some time, and probably will get ugly again for a little bit anytime you change trucks or they work on the transmission. Just remember that aside from avoiding rolling backwards into them, don't worry about the people behind you. When you panic you're putting yourself at a disadvantage by increasing your chances of making more mistakes. Just breathe, listen, react to what the truck is trying to tell you, and don't expect perfection until you are able to do 'what a 5 year vet is doing.'

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