How To Not Stall When Starting From A Stop...

Topic 21643 | Page 1

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Austin O.'s Comment
member avatar

If I'm on flat ground and start from a stop I don't stall but when I'm on an incline I'm afraid I'll roll back which in return I hold the brake to long and stall... what's the best way to get past this and not stall?

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Fast feet.

Air brakes have a tiny delay between when you take your foot off and when the brake shoes release. As long as you don't mess around, the truck will barely roll back any before the clutch catches.

If you stall, either the engine isn't fast enough (right foot on the accelerator), more probably you let off the clutch too fast.

You can still be a bit nervous, just move your feet quickly.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey Austin, This is a common problem for new drivers. You actually already know the answer - you gave it while asking the question. You said, "I hold the brake to long."

It's really quite simple, but it's one of those things that takes a little practice. If you're in school and pulling an empty trailer with a ten speed transmission, I'd say start out in third gear. With your right foot on the brake, start slowly easing off the clutch with your left foot. There are two slight changes that will happen as the clutch begins to engage. You should hear a slight difference in the sound of the engine, and you should either feel or see that the truck starts to slightly lean to the right as the torque of the engine pushes against the resistance of the clutch.

It is exactly at that point that you ease off the brake while continuing to ease off the clutch pedal. You can actually practice this procedure on a level grade. You should be able to get the truck rolling like this without any throttle. Try starting that way on a flat surface a few times just to get the mechanics of it down. Pretyy soon muscle memory will take over, and your confidence will increase, until you're doing it with ease.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

What they said. i did this constantly. on inclines start in a lower gear. i seriously started in 1st and was still terrified. you will get it.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Everything offered above is great advice. I've noticed that a lot of schools teach students to start in a higher gear. Once you have a lot of experience in trucking and you have a great feel for the clutch you can do that. When you're new, start in 1st or 2nd gear and life will be much easier for you. Like Old School said, with an empty trailer on flat ground you can start in 3rd, but there's no reason not to start in 2nd or even 1st for a while, especially when you're just learning to get the feel for that clutch.

When you're starting on an incline, definitely start out in 1st for a while. It's just so much easier that way.

The key, as Old School pointed out, is to very slowly let out the clutch until you just begin to hear and feel it start to engage, then lift your foot off the brake.

Austin O.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you everyone. I'm in primes training program and basically learning how to drive while going over the road. At the terminal the instructors told us to start in 4th... when I met my trainer and left to go over the road he told me start in 3rd. But maybe trying 2nd might help ?

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Over The Road:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Absolutely . The lower the gear you start in the easier it will be to get going without stalling. I never could understand people's obsession with starting out in a high gear. It doesn't accomplish anything except tearing up the clutch and wearing out your leg.

Sno-boy's Comment
member avatar

Old School's advice is dead on. I was so use to gas engines with a stick (low torque) I was trying to synchronize slipping the clutch and revving engine at the same time. My veteran instructor taught me the massive torque of a diesel did not require higher rpms until you needed to actually move forward at a normal pace. We did practice on flat ground letting clutch out only with engine at normal idle and the tractor and empty trailer would still move without stalling or even shuddering the engine.

Hey Austin, This is a common problem for new drivers. You actually already know the answer - you gave it while asking the question. You said, "I hold the brake to long."

It's really quite simple, but it's one of those things that takes a little practice. If you're in school and pulling an empty trailer with a ten speed transmission, I'd say start out in third gear. With your right foot on the brake, start slowly easing off the clutch with your left foot. There are two slight changes that will happen as the clutch begins to engage. You should hear a slight difference in the sound of the engine, and you should either feel or see that the truck starts to slightly lean to the right as the torque of the engine pushes against the resistance of the clutch.

It is exactly at that point that you ease off the brake while continuing to ease off the clutch pedal. You can actually practice this procedure on a level grade. You should be able to get the truck rolling like this without any throttle. Try starting that way on a flat surface a few times just to get the mechanics of it down. Pretyy soon muscle memory will take over, and your confidence will increase, until you're doing it with ease.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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