Need Some Help With Shifting, TT

Topic 19127 | Page 1

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John M.'s Comment
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Hello, I'm currently in CDL school at my local college. I'm doing alright but I'm having some issues with my shifting, mainly getting my feet to work right, Like I can't seem to get myself to let off the fuel while trying to clutch and shift too, I mean as far as shifting itself goes I do okay, its mainly when I'm stopped and or trying to upshift from the stop if that makes any sense at all. any words of wisdom from trainers too would be a huge help.

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
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It will come with practice. You just have to keep pushing yourself and never give up. You don't have a serious problem at all, just have to get your feet to cooperate.

I highly recommend you sit in the truck with the engine off and simulate yourself driving down the road and work on your foot work and timing. You should still be able to put the stick into most of the gears (even though truck is off). Do this for an hour and really get that rhythm down. You'll be fine.

John M.'s Comment
member avatar

That is my issue, I can't just sit in the truck for an hour... we have to be doing exercises suchs as alley docking, straight line, offset and so on. Really my only time running the gears is my half hour a day driving on the road.

It will come with practice. You just have to keep pushing yourself and never give up. You don't have a serious problem at all, just have to get your feet to cooperate.

I highly recommend you sit in the truck with the engine off and simulate yourself driving down the road and work on your foot work and timing. You should still be able to put the stick into most of the gears (even though truck is off). Do this for an hour and really get that rhythm down. You'll be fine.

John M.'s Comment
member avatar

And no, I'm not giving up, its only the first week technically, I cannot give up, I've invested too much time, money and hope in this, Its been a dream of mine to drive one of those big rigs and its one I plan on doing even if I have to ...I dunno... go back two or three times I Don't care this is something I want so bad I can taste it... I cannot wait to drive a semi down the highway, with my office view being the road ahead and the sunset..... and the annoying four wheelers ^.^

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

So its technically your first week and you're shifting fine, just have a small issue with foot work. Well then, you're doing really well and definitely making good progress.

I really wouldn't sweat this. This habit will die by week 3. Just keep working hard and keep practicing. If this minor detail is your biggest issue then I congratulate you.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

John, it's among the lines of that ol' "Pat your tummy, rub your head" thing. With practice it can be done!

I assume you don't have regular car style manual transmission experience. Those people often have bad habits themselves (no need to double clutch).

Here's a little idea: for that up-shift think of your feet are on each end of a skateboard. Hopping a curb means almost the same motions: (start with weight on the right foot)

  • left down/right up (You shift to neutral)
  • "Pop" your left foot up then down. (No shifting)
  • (now shift into the new gear)
  • finally back to right down/ left up.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Thank you guys, I really appreciate the input, I have a little issue with the serpentine backing but I nailed the 1,2,3 exercise I had it by my fifth try, Alley docking is whats really getting me right now, other then the shifting issues,. And no I don't have any experience with standards other then what I've learned in the last two weeks with this semi, The first week wasn't really much of class because it was studying for permits for those that didn't have one. I got mine on the second day of class, thanks to TT's Highroad program it helped me 40 tons (see what I did there?) this week is really when the program started technically.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar
Alley docking is whats really getting me right now, other then the shifting issues,.

You are not alone. Alley dock is the main hurdle for most new drivers. It's also the most common backing maneuver you'll be doing. Just stick with it, and try to learn something from the last time you tried it. Every time.

LDRSHIP's Comment
member avatar

To practice shifting try getting a regular old chair and a plunger. Set the plunger next to you and practice going thru the gears and the movement your feet need to make. It may look silly, but it is effective.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

As others have mentioned - it comes with time.

In some ways, it's easier for folks that have driven a stick - but we have the downside of unlearning some of that to double-clutch.

Plus, car trannies are synchronized and trucks are not). The difference being, a car will go into a gear at pretty much any RPM/transmission speed - a truck will only go in AT THE CORRECT ONE.

Keep plugging along - you'll get there, it'll become easier as time goes on, and then it will happen without even thinking.

Rick

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