Comments By Cleft_Asunder

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Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

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Are trucking companies switching to automatic transmissions?

Things are getting a little hostile here. Let's all down shift a gear or two. First off let me explain my thought process for the Jake. You have to look at the fact that you're controlling two separate vehicles. When you use the Jake you're only slowing one vehicle at a time. The problem with this is that during wet weather you're only slowing the front vehicle and allowing the trailer to want to take the lead. Anyone can see why this is not an ideal situation to be in. Can you use the Jake on wet roads? Of course, but why would you want to add more risk then need be.

As far as shifting, I think you haven't given floating gears enough of a chance. Using the Jake may be the problem or it may be the old tranny. In my opinion you need turn the Jake off and learn to use proper braking techniques. Then maybe you can really start controlling your rpm and road speed well enough to make smooth shifts.

That's all I got. Have a good day

Well, I'm going to try no jake brake when I get back in the truck. Maybe it will help with floating.

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

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Engine brake: when to use?

The thing with jackknifing is, once you lose control you're pretty much done. It happens in the blink of an eye.

I understand the deal with trying to maintain your speed, but that's what the brake pedal is for. Relying that heavily on the engine brake will make you a lost, blind puppy during times when you absolutely cannot use it because the road is covered in ice. You won't know what to do or how to drive properly because you've relied so much on those engine brakes. It only takes one time, one little slip, one error and you're done. Those chances sky rocket with those engine brakes engaged - especially if you're using them on curves.

Those are bad drivers you're thinking of. A good driver who feels his trailer and has good instincts knows when he's coming close to tipping, skidding, or jack-knifing. He knows when to use his EB. I see veteran drivers taking turns way too fast in poor conditions. They'll do turns at 65mph that I would do at 55mph because I can feel the trailer start to tip. I've been on semi-icy roads where owner operators were going past me at 65-70mph. And you'll find these same drivers pulled over to the side of the road if the sign says "icy conditions, use caution." If a sign doesn't tell them, or if it's not blatantly icy, they think they are safe. I can tell it's turning into ice by the reflection of the on-coming vehicle lights on it. I can feel my drives slipping slightly. Yet these guys are still going past me like its a summer night even though its below 30 degrees.

So the point I'm making is it's about skill, intelligence and common sense, combined with confidence,rather than rules. Bad drivers are highly reliant on rules rather than feeling and knowing their tractor and trailer. Those drivers are dangerous. A good driver will not jackknife if forced to go down a snowy hill with 'high' engine braking because he feels the truck and trailer. It's a bad idea of course, and serves no purpose, but can that person do it? We're not supposed to drive on black ice either, but can you do it confidently and safely?

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Are trucking companies switching to automatic transmissions?

From the jacob's brake manual:

The Jacobs Engine Brake depends on the free flow of engine oil for operation, so be sure to let the engine reach full operating temperature before switching on the engine brake. Normally, the engine brake is then left in the “On” position whenever you are driving. The exception is when roads are slippery due to bad weather conditions. Refer to the section entitled “Slippery Pavement” for specific operating instructions. The operation of the Jacobs Engine Brake is fully automatic, once it is turned on. When your foot is off the clutch and you remove your foot completely from the throttle, the engine brake is automatically activated. (There are some systems that will activate only once the brake pedal is depressed.)

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Are trucking companies switching to automatic transmissions?

Here is more info: http://cumminsengines.com/powerspec-isl-engine-brake-features-and-parameters

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Are trucking companies switching to automatic transmissions?

And it confirms what I said on cummins website. The engine is designed to allow the mechanic to set the engine brake activation in relation to cruize control speed. So for example, you can set the EB to engage at 1mph after your CC set speed of 60. This proves

From cummins website:

Engine Brake Cruise Control Activation The Engine Brake Cruise Control Activation feature permits the Cruise Control feature to automatically engage the Engine Compression Brake should the selected vehicle speed be exceeded while the Cruise Control feature is controlling the engine. This reduces driver workload and thereby encourages use of the Cruise Control feature.

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Are trucking companies switching to automatic transmissions?

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I can't understand why that would be. Does your leg get bored? Maybe audio books might give your leg something more enjoyable to do than clutching for no reason, eh? Does your leg like Westerns? I recommend "Zane Grey: The Last Trail" - great story. It'll have your leg hoppin like a one-legged driver in an 18 speed!

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No it's because I like to. It provides a larger window to shift into since the pressure plate (being lifted slightly) and clutch disc springs work together to create a buffer between the flywheel and transmission components, lessening the strain on the transmission components mainly under heavy loads. Clutch wear is very minimal if you DC well, and because you're only pressing the pedal in 1-2 inches, the pressure plate diaphragm springs will hold up a long time. I think a company has serious priority issues if they are fascists about double clutching. A new driver who is good at DC but bad at floating will make that transmission so slacky over time. My instructors new cascadia was already clunky and slacky at 30,000 miles.

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Man, Cleft, usually when we hear something really stupid like your engine brakes always staying on we try to educate the new driver about what they're doing wrong. And that's clearly not working because you know much more than experienced drivers. So typically we just sit back and tell ourselves "He'll learn over time." But in this case the only way you'll learn is when you'll jackknife and then it will be too late.

Just remember that some of us are trainers too.

And the reason your trainers truck was clunky and slacky is because he has rookie drivers learning on it and every rookie drivers knows just how much they grind the gears.

And also, by using the clutch to shift gears you're actually using more parts. Floating gears properly, that means not being a dummy and having the engine brakes on all the time, is the best thing you can do for your truck when it comes to keeping it in good conditions.

Total veteran ego right there. I never implied I know it all. Explain to me why cruize control is set to turn on the engine brake at 4 mph after your set speed. Why would this feature exist if you aren't allowed to run the engine brake while cruising???

Also, the veterans are always disagreeing and contradicting each other but you make it sound like things are set in stone.

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Are trucking companies switching to automatic transmissions?

Cleft Asunder, the reason it won't slip out of gear is because your RPM is not right - the jakes make your RPM fall off way too fast for you to float the gears easily. An experienced driver may be able to do it, but even they will have problems in those lower gears. I wish I could sit in the truck with you for a few minutes and show you a few shifting techniques - it would make your driving experience so much more enjoyable.

The issue isn't rpms falling too fast, I have no problem keeping up with rpms. The fork literally will not disengage even when I let off the gas so there's no strain. I literally gets stuck. This could be due to the mainshaft/countershaft issues. My transmission is not 100% perfect, it was abused by a previous driver. (it still feels really nice when double clutching though) So I can only float it cleanly

I wonder about that jake brake. Is it on, lowering the rpms, when I'm not touching that gas pedal?

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Are trucking companies switching to automatic transmissions?

I can't understand why that would be. Does your leg get bored? Maybe audio books might give your leg something more enjoyable to do than clutching for no reason, eh? Does your leg like Westerns? I recommend "Zane Grey: The Last Trail" - great story. It'll have your leg hoppin like a one-legged driver in an 18 speed!

No it's because I like to. It provides a larger window to shift into since the pressure plate (being lifted slightly) and clutch disc springs work together to create a buffer between the flywheel and transmission components, lessening the strain on the transmission components mainly under heavy loads. Clutch wear is very minimal if you DC well, and because you're only pressing the pedal in 1-2 inches, the pressure plate diaphragm springs will hold up a long time. I think a company has serious priority issues if they are fascists about double clutching. A new driver who is good at DC but bad at floating will make that transmission so slacky over time. My instructors new cascadia was already clunky and slacky at 30,000 miles.

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Are trucking companies switching to automatic transmissions?

Brett, if he's driving with his Jake on all the time that may explain why he doesn't like floating gears.

I don't like floating gears because it wont pull out of gear very often even when I let the gas pedal off to relieve the pressure. It gets completely stuck in the lower gears sometimes. Even pressing the clutch pedal in slightly doesn't help take it out, so I have to press it down 2 inches instead. And then I'm double clutching again, so what's the point of floating if I can never make it a habbit? And the engine brake has nothing to do with it. It comes on after you shift.

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

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My qualcomm sucks.

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The bad news is that when the testing is done, it will have this separate device that you have to wave in front of PRE/POST trip spots. For example, if I'm near the engine, I have to be there 3 minutes (no less), or near the 5th wheel et cetera. Everything will total about 15 minutes combined. I don't think that feature is in right now since I bet the drivers would be talking smack about it.

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Now this is the first I've heard of anything like this. Are you saying you might have to carry a device around that will measure how long you're standing near certain parts of the truck while doing a pre-trip?

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Exactly. This will turn off drivers from signing up if they find out about it, and the ones that are signed up will be reluctant to stay. I recall it being called zonearc or something but I can't find info on it. I will ask around and update this post in the future.

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

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Engine brake: when to use?

That is an extremely bad habit to have. I'm not sure what company you're with but at my company we get safety messages all the time about engine brakes. You absolutely should not be using them at all on roads that are anything but dry. Going the way you're going, I'll be honest, you're an accident waiting to happen.

Your trainer was probably a lease operator and he does that because he doesn't want to wear out his brakes drums/linings. In other words, he wants to preserve his equipment to save on repair costs over the long term. My trainer was the exact same way so I know what you're going through.

But now that you're solo you must drive the safest way possible. In bad roads conditions, never use the jake brakes and use the brake pedal lightly, never slam on it or do anything abruply.

No he had a company truck and worked for gordon for 2 years, and now may trucking for 5. The purpose to keeping it on all the time is that you can put cruize control on and the engine brake comes on 4mph after your set speed. If you set it to 60, it will come on at 64, so it maintains your speed. The two systems are meant to be used together. I've never even come close to jackknifing but I'm more cautious in cold conditions where ice may come up fast.

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

My qualcomm sucks.

So I work for May trucking, and we have these qualcomms from like... 2007, but they feel like a combination of windows 95 + early touch screen tech. It's also huge and instead of being mounted to the dash, is free roaming, so it's very annoying. Some trucks have this other device installed, not sure the name, that they went to instead of an updated qualcomm. Word is that may is working with the company making the device so they have money in it. The bad news is that when the testing is done, it will have this separate device that you have to wave in front of PRE/POST trip spots. For example, if I'm near the engine, I have to be there 3 minutes (no less), or near the 5th wheel et cetera. Everything will total about 15 minutes combined. I don't think that feature is in right now since I bet the drivers would be talking smack about it.

Any way, the whole idea is crazy because it's nanny-state type technology and an insult to the trucker. You're essentially distrusted and they have to micro manage your pre/post trip. I wonder how many experienced and new truck drivers may will lose if it gets implemented, because the truth is that you can do a thorough lookover without being out there 15 min. (more like 7-8) And the whole thing is exaggerated any way, because its the major parts like oil, tires, fluids, air hoses, and lights, 5th wheel that really need to be looked at daily. I admit I'm not always looking at everything when I'm tired, and neither did my instructor, so it will really be a turnoff if that feature goes with it.

I wish we had new qualcomms. :(

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Are trucking companies switching to automatic transmissions?

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I read that the industry is moving in that direction. Yet another skill that's going to be replaced by something else because it's "easier." What do you guys think? Will manual transmissions gradually disappear?

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if they do i do not think it is because its "easier" they have been proven to be better on fuel. Using less fuel saves the company money and money is what they care about.

On another side of things its one less thing driver has to think about and can better focus on the road. I personally would not mind ending up in an auto but i want to learn on a stick just to have the skillset.

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I'm not opposed to auto's. I have read how well designed they are. What I'm opposed to is auto's replacing manuals. Double clutching, shifting without grinding, and knowing what gear to be in takes some skill. If we gradually eliminate things that require skill because of technological advancement, we are reducing the skills of our species. And many things are going in that direction now. "Less things to think about" translates to 'less thinking and less skill' in my mind. Sure, if you're great with a manual and want to switch to an auto, I understand. But a manual should be the heart of trucking. What is that CG film with the robot? Well the humans live in an "easy" society where all their needs are taken care of, but there's no depth.

Also, would you like pickup trucks and cars to all have auto's because of 'technological advances?' I don't think so.

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the Euopan super cars like ferari and what not going to autos because they are better on gas and actually out perform the stick shifts but they are super advanced autos

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The question I have is, "When will there be Robotrucks running the cross-country routes with a driver on each end to handle the local navigation? I see Daimler-Benz is working on one.

EASIER is better; such a stupid direction to go towards. Lets get rid of everything that is challenging.

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Are trucking companies switching to automatic transmissions?

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I read that the industry is moving in that direction. Yet another skill that's going to be replaced by something else because it's "easier." What do you guys think? Will manual transmissions gradually disappear?

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I have mixed emotions ....I have been in the industry for 34 yrs ..driven every trans made ,,including 2 stick Browning 4X4 & 5X4 ( 16&20 ) speed ..

then was placed in a road ranger ultra shift w/ a west coast co. Boise id.to Seattle Wa.( pulled hills ok .in man mode but pushed to 1800 rpm for power or it will shift down @ 15000 for economy ) ,,and had the dammed thing lock out while backing to the dock in Seattle Wa....had to wait 20 min. for it to UNlock .. electronically "..."was I embarrassed "

on flat land (mid west ) they'd be ok ....in west coast / massive hills ...not so good !

I can see the good & bad ...I was informed when they fail they fail BIG TIME ..AND THEY HAVE TO BE TOWED IN ..AND COST 3X THE $$ OF A MANUAL TRANS .. but are supposed to save fuel $$ ( up to 8.0 PG) and gain up to 3 cents per Mi. and unless you hold in manual mode for shifting they shift at 1500 and use a power band of 1000 to 1500 and take 50 miles to get to 60 MPH .. but if you set cruse & jake ...they will do both jobs ..and all you have to do is steer ...unless you want to hold manual gear pattern down hill & brake ...

then I'm VERY old school ..and PREFER SHIFTING a 13 or 18 speed w/ DD15 ( I loved the CAT's 3406's w/ the 18 speed ) but cats are gone ..... but will adapt if necessary !

My trainers new cascadia with 450hp cummons and eaton 13-speed was getting over 8 mpg average over 38000 miles. I don't see where the problem is that needs to be solved. Once you get the intricacies of the manual trans down, you are no longer abusing it. I double clutch almost all the time btw, don't like to float. I love the 13 speed.

Posted:  4 years, 8 months ago

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Engine brake: when to use?

When should I use an engine break? I leave it on almost 100 percent of the time like my trainer did. You end up picking up too much speed without it. With good weather and heavy city traffic, I have it on high or medium. Out of the city cruising, on medium, and in snow, on low. I don't agree with turning it off in snow since on low it acts like a very light pressure on the brake pedal, so there's no risk of skids or jack-knife. I wonder if other truckers leave it on most of the time like me.

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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New to industry just sent home from first job.

Hello everyone, I'm brand new to truck driving having just graduated from a 3 week truck driving school two weeks ago. I just went to Boyd trucking in Alabama and was let go on day two with no explanation as to why. My best guess is that I did a terrible job shifting in the truck, since all my background and such is squeaky clean. At the school after day one I was able to shift the Volvo pretty well, but there trucks are set up so different and the guy was telling me to hit the gas as I was letting off the clutch, which isn't the way I learned, I just bounced around a lot and wound up killing it. Anyways I'm not really sure where to go from here, and was wondering if anyone had any advise as to what company would take on a new driver who isn't able to shift that well. I learn fast, but I do need a little time to get the hang of it. I've only been in a truck to shift now about 5 or 6 times including my terrible experience at Boyd. I appreciate any advise anyone is willing to give me.

I had exactly the same problem. I learned on kenworths which were governed at 2000 rpm, and they were able to run at good efficiency and torque up to 2000. I had about 500rpm difference in between gears and the tac, when upshifting, gave me a lot of time to go to the next gear. In fact, I didn't even have to touch the gas peddle while in neutral to stabbalize RPM, instead I just clutch, shift to neutral, clutch to next gear. But when I went to my company, May trucking, I did a crappy job shifting and I was lucky not to get sent home. Their cummins engines are set up for 1500 max with a 300 rpm difference between gears. In order to upshift properly, you have to tap the gas to stabalize that tac needle or you will grind since the rpms fall so fast. Clutch, go into neutral, tap gas, clutch into next gear. I shift up within the 1100 to 1400 range btw.

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Be Careful in Orlando!!

Wow they're like... pirates, and the tractor trailer is the ship.

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

GPS alternatives.

I have the RM 5" and it works well, but a trainee brought along a RM 7" one time and it is sooo much easier to read all of the info. Nevertheless, never totally trust the GPS for accurate directions. It will eventually get you into trouble; also, sometimes it simply won't produce the address that you need; it will say that it's not a valid address, then what will you do?

I have learned the hard way that it is best to always check the QC routing against the paper atlas first; then call the shipper or consignee (good luck with that; about half the time it's not a good number!) to confirm the directions; then write the main roads/turns down in your palm size notepad; then put the address into the GPS. If it matches, terrific! If it does not match, follow your written route and let the GPS "catch up" with where you are going.

And as ButtonUp said, it is all of the other relevant info available on the RM GPS that makes it worth the money in my view, not mainly as a primary route finder. I drove my first week out without a GPS before caving in and buying one. Having it reduces the stress greatly by being alerted to which lanes will be going in what direction and what streets/intersections are just ahead, not to mention the info on truck stops/rest stops, miles to destination, ETA, etc. I would not leave home without it.

I will add that my android smart phone with google maps is also a big help in being able to scope out where the shipping/receiving areas are at the customers. More often than not, the address you have is to the front offices, not to where you need to go to deliver. With one shipment last week, it took me four different stops on the customer's property before I finally got to where I needed to be.

Any way, good luck to you!

Thanks mate, that's the info I wanted. Looks like a good investment then. Worst case scenario, I end up selling it on ebay.

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

Don't forget the local jobs that are forgotten.....

Well how would you do that as a company driver who is working all the time? Or even as an owner op?

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

May Trucking Company,Brooks,Or

Also, the training period is a short 3 weeks (or more if you need) unlike other companies that require like 6 and even longer. Then you end up with a good cascadia, prostar or peterbilt 587. Some trainers are good and some aren't, but that's every company. The guy I got was good but he was too micromanaging with me and by the third week I got sick of him breathing down my neck. It's like f_ck, I don't want to do everything perfectly or the way you want it because I would rather make mistakes and do it the wrong way sometimes. I'm not in a hurry to be an excellent truck driver. I learn by trial and error and doing things inefficiently before I do it efficiently. How can you appreciate faster if you haven't experienced slower? He actually called me stupid because I didn't want to jam the square peg into the round hole. If something is illogical for me, my brain refuses to memorize or learn it, and I want to keep it that way.

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