Need Advice On Shifting Gears Smoothly And Easily...

Topic 1332 | Page 1

Page 1 of 3 Next Page Go To Page:
studpuppy28's Comment
member avatar

This is to all you veteran drivers out there: I am having slight bit of trouble learning to shift smoothly and expertly like my teacher and all the other experienced truckers. what is the best way to downshift and upshift properly and legally? I'm going to need to be competent for my CDL road test. when upshifting, how much pressure should I put on the gas pedal? and what should my feet be doing when downshifting? or anything else you wanna add. please do so.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

First of all, let me clear one thing up. Your instructors are shifting smoothly and you're not because they have years of experience, and you don't. You won't come anywhere close to their shifting anytime soon. (I'm saying this in a nice way).

On your CDL test they won't expect you to shift like a pro either. What they do expect is that you don't grind the years all day long. But they won't expect perfection. No one is perfect in your position. Heck, I even asked the same question here on TT that you just asked a long time ago.

Generally, the more miles you drive the better you are at shifting. Remember, when you're solo, you're going to be driving about 60 hours per week. You'll know your truck and what it likes and doesn't like real quickly. So don't sweat it if you're struggling at shifting, it's normal.

Let me walk you through up shifting as detailed as I can. Always remember to double clutch! If you're at a complete stop. You should be having a foot on the brake and clutch. Slowly release both the brake and the clutch. When you release the clutch just enough you'll feel the engine want to take off. When you feel that happen you know that you're almost off the clutch completely. Slowly and gently release both clutch and brake. Accelerate to about 1500 RMPs.

Before I continue let me explain RPMs for you. You'll generally have numbers 1-30 on your RPM gauge. Memorize this; 15 is when your engine is ready to UPSHIFT. 12 is when your engine is ready to DOWNSHIFT.

Once you're accelerating, as soon as the RPMs hit the 15 then upshift. Press the clutch in only a few inches. I stress this, make sure you press it only a few inches! Pushing in the clutch pedal too hard or to the floor will cause your truck to do a slight "bounce". So, push the clutch in only a few inches. Then put the trans into neutral. As soon as you put it in neutral then push the clutch in a few inches again then put it into the next gear. Remember don't take too long up shifting because then it'll be harder for you to put it in the gear. A good system I've learned is this... Get RPMs to 15. Clutch to neutral... Wait 1/2 second... Clutch into the gear.

Downshifting is more difficult and you won't get good at it until you go solo. For downshifting, lower your RPMs to about 12. To lower the RPMs you should just simply brake gently. When you hit 12 RPMs then clutch into neutral. Rev the engine to approximately 15 RPMs. Don't drag the rev, just hit the accelerator gently once. As soon as you're done revving the engine then IMMEDIATELY push in the clutch a few inches and put it into the gear. Remember to only push in the clutch a few inches always.

There's no real answer for how much pressure you put on the accelerator. Every truck is different. Some pedals are more resistant for example. You'll get a feel for the truck your driving. Just don't over think how hard you're supposed to hit the pedal but also don't kick it. Just gently hit the accelerator as if you were trying to accelerator. If you want a definite answer from me I would say take it down 2 inches with your foot. Remember to hit it enough to get your RPMs to we're you want them, don't over rev the RPMs to the 25.

With the driving test they require you to never hit a curb and to never drive over a certain distance while in neutral. Basically always drive in a gear. If you try to shift and can't get it into the gear then immediately put it back in the gear you took it out of. That will save you. They certainly don't require you to shift like a pro though.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Special K, aka Kathy's Comment
member avatar

Just try not to over think of, I promise it gets easier. Pretty soon you won't even have to think about it!

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

First of all, let me clear one thing up. Your instructors are shifting smoothly and you're not because they have years of experience, and you don't. You won't come anywhere close to their shifting anytime soon. (I'm saying this in a nice way).

On your CDL test they won't expect you to shift like a pro either. What they do expect is that you don't grind the years all day long. But they won't expect perfection. No one is perfect in your position. Heck, I even asked the same question here on TT that you just asked a long time ago.

Generally, the more miles you drive the better you are at shifting. Remember, when you're solo, you're going to be driving about 60 hours per week. You'll know your truck and what it likes and doesn't like real quickly. So don't sweat it if you're struggling at shifting, it's normal.

Let me walk you through up shifting as detailed as I can. Always remember to double clutch! If you're at a complete stop. You should be having a foot on the brake and clutch. Slowly release both the brake and the clutch. When you release the clutch just enough you'll feel the engine want to take off. When you feel that happen you know that you're almost off the clutch completely. Slowly and gently release both clutch and brake. Accelerate to about 1500 RMPs.

Before I continue let me explain RPMs for you. You'll generally have numbers 1-30 on your RPM gauge. Memorize this; 15 is when your engine is ready to UPSHIFT. 12 is when your engine is ready to DOWNSHIFT.

Once you're accelerating, as soon as the RPMs hit the 15 then upshift. Press the clutch in only a few inches. I stress this, make sure you press it only a few inches! Pushing in the clutch pedal too hard or to the floor will cause your truck to do a slight "bounce". So, push the clutch in only a few inches. Then put the trans into neutral. As soon as you put it in neutral then push the clutch in a few inches again then put it into the next gear. Remember don't take too long up shifting because then it'll be harder for you to put it in the gear. A good system I've learned is this... Get RPMs to 15. Clutch to neutral... Wait 1/2 second... Clutch into the gear.

Downshifting is more difficult and you won't get good at it until you go solo. For downshifting, lower your RPMs to about 12. To lower the RPMs you should just simply brake gently. When you hit 12 RPMs then clutch into neutral. Rev the engine to approximately 15 RPMs. Don't drag the rev, just hit the accelerator gently once. As soon as you're done revving the engine then IMMEDIATELY push in the clutch a few inches and put it into the gear. Remember to only push in the clutch a few inches always.

There's no real answer for how much pressure you put on the accelerator. Every truck is different. Some pedals are more resistant for example. You'll get a feel for the truck your driving. Just don't over think how hard you're supposed to hit the pedal but also don't kick it. Just gently hit the accelerator as if you were trying to accelerator. If you want a definite answer from me I would say take it down 2 inches with your foot. Remember to hit it enough to get your RPMs to we're you want them, don't over rev the RPMs to the 25.

With the driving test they require you to never hit a curb and to never drive over a certain distance while in neutral. Basically always drive in a gear. If you try to shift and can't get it into the gear then immediately put it back in the gear you took it out of. That will save you. They certainly don't require you to shift like a pro though.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

studpuppy28's Comment
member avatar

Thanks very much...I didn't mean to make you do all that typing but it's the best advice I've had so far you expounded and added things my CDL teacher didn't so I REALLY appreciate it and your words. If we ever meet on the road somewhere, let me know and your supper is on me. o

First of all, let me clear one thing up. Your instructors are shifting smoothly and you're not because they have years of experience, and you don't. You won't come anywhere close to their shifting anytime soon. (I'm saying this in a nice way).

On your CDL test they won't expect you to shift like a pro either. What they do expect is that you don't grind the years all day long. But they won't expect perfection. No one is perfect in your position. Heck, I even asked the same question here on TT that you just asked a long time ago.

Generally, the more miles you drive the better you are at shifting. Remember, when you're solo, you're going to be driving about 60 hours per week. You'll know your truck and what it likes and doesn't like real quickly. So don't sweat it if you're struggling at shifting, it's normal.

Let me walk you through up shifting as detailed as I can. Always remember to double clutch! If you're at a complete stop. You should be having a foot on the brake and clutch. Slowly release both the brake and the clutch. When you release the clutch just enough you'll feel the engine want to take off. When you feel that happen you know that you're almost off the clutch completely. Slowly and gently release both clutch and brake. Accelerate to about 1500 RMPs.

Before I continue let me explain RPMs for you. You'll generally have numbers 1-30 on your RPM gauge. Memorize this; 15 is when your engine is ready to UPSHIFT. 12 is when your engine is ready to DOWNSHIFT.

Once you're accelerating, as soon as the RPMs hit the 15 then upshift. Press the clutch in only a few inches. I stress this, make sure you press it only a few inches! Pushing in the clutch pedal too hard or to the floor will cause your truck to do a slight "bounce". So, push the clutch in only a few inches. Then put the trans into neutral. As soon as you put it in neutral then push the clutch in a few inches again then put it into the next gear. Remember don't take too long up shifting because then it'll be harder for you to put it in the gear. A good system I've learned is this... Get RPMs to 15. Clutch to neutral... Wait 1/2 second... Clutch into the gear.

Downshifting is more difficult and you won't get good at it until you go solo. For downshifting, lower your RPMs to about 12. To lower the RPMs you should just simply brake gently. When you hit 12 RPMs then clutch into neutral. Rev the engine to approximately 15 RPMs. Don't drag the rev, just hit the accelerator gently once. As soon as you're done revving the engine then IMMEDIATELY push in the clutch a few inches and put it into the gear. Remember to only push in the clutch a few inches always.

There's no real answer for how much pressure you put on the accelerator. Every truck is different. Some pedals are more resistant for example. You'll get a feel for the truck your driving. Just don't over think how hard you're supposed to hit the pedal but also don't kick it. Just gently hit the accelerator as if you were trying to accelerator. If you want a definite answer from me I would say take it down 2 inches with your foot. Remember to hit it enough to get your RPMs to we're you want them, don't over rev the RPMs to the 25.

With the driving test they require you to never hit a curb and to never drive over a certain distance while in neutral. Basically always drive in a gear. If you try to shift and can't get it into the gear then immediately put it back in the gear you took it out of. That will save you. They certainly don't require you to shift like a pro though.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

studpuppy28's Comment
member avatar

Just try not to over think of, I promise it gets easier. Pretty soon you won't even have to think about it!

Thanks Special K I've pretty much gotten a handle on the upshifting, now i'm gonna take all the advice I've received and what my teacher taught me and my own experiences and combine them so i can master downshifting which is harder than upshifting. I'm getting there though

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Haha! Ill remember that offer ;)

That essay is needed. Downshifting and up shifting is very lengthy and difficult to understand. The more details I give you, the more you understand. Everyone else here at TT seems to be busy tonight so I'm covering the forum tonight :) I've already done my 500 miles today so I have the entire evening off I didn't mind spending 10 minutes to type that to help you out.

Just remember to not over think it. It really is pretty easy. It's just one of those things that practice makes perfect.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
studpuppy28's Comment
member avatar

Hey don't worry I deliver on my promises one day you will come across me and my girlfriend on the road and we will sit down and shoot the breeze over a nice dinner and dessert on me. I also have to work on my backing up exercises like alley dock and blind sided paralllel i think i can do them for the test i did them okay in practice did my alley dock right 3 times in a row 1st try 12 minutes of a 15 minutes allowed 2nd try 7:45 3rd try did it in 6:33 i aced my pre-trip and can pass the road test too this will be my 1st attempt for a CDL test i havent tried the actual test yet I am anxious to finish it and get on the road again I'm waiting for the offseason of my current job to arrive in a few weeks so i can have 5 days off to practice on the skidpad range Here in Florida the spaces are 100 feet long and 12 feet wide so I should do well. In Missouri they were only 84 feet long and much narrower one more question Daniel B.... you can take each section of the CDL test on separate days right??? did you have a time limit on your skills control section of your test??? seems some states do and others don't

Haha! Ill remember that offer ;)

That essay is needed. Downshifting and up shifting is very lengthy and difficult to understand. The more details I give you, the more you understand. Everyone else here at TT seems to be busy tonight so I'm covering the forum tonight :) I've already done my 500 miles today so I have the entire evening off I didn't mind spending 10 minutes to type that to help you out.

Just remember to not over think it. It really is pretty easy. It's just one of those things that practice makes perfect.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

I went to a company sponsored school. They didnt give a time limit. But they did allow only 5 pull ups for the entire test. I live in a different state and I went to a different type of school so I don't have a legitimate answer for you. But whatever time limit they give you, I doubt it'll be a problem. I never heard of someone complaining that they failed their test because they took too long.

And yes you can do your permit tests on different days but I honestly don't see why you would want to. If you complete out websites The High Road CDL Training Course then you'll be more prepared for the test than ever and should ace it! Take all the tests at once and take it while your mind is still fresh with the material. Do tanker/ doubles and triples endorsements as well, they are kindergarden easy.

And I used to drive with my wife for 2 months. That was an experience... I'm 21 years old and so is she and you look and see two short, small, young people in a big rig. We definitely got some stares haha

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

studpuppy28's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Daniel B. well you know my screen name here at this website and so when I get my test done and on the road, I will let ya know where I will be heading one day and buy that dinner for ya in return for the advice you gave or for future advice I'm going to spend sept and october practicing backing exercises more and road driving in city areas with a veteran driver teacher so i expect to be on the road sometime early spring maybe maybe sooner safe journeys my friend

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Yep, good luck to you!

Page 1 of 3 Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

This topic has the following tags:

Advice For New Truck Drivers Tips For Shifting
Click on any of the buttons above to view topics with that tag, or you can view a list of all forum tags here.

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More