18 Speed Shift Pattern

Topic 19983 | Page 1

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millionmiler24's Comment
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I saw y'alls recent topic on the 13 speed and it got me thinking (This is a link to that topic for reference: 13 speed trans question.)

When I first got into trucking, I had wanted to learn to shift an 18 speed because I figure (and please correct me if I am wrong) that if you can shift an 18 speed properly, you could drive anything. How does one run from 1st to 18th gear? How do you split each gear? I want to learn how to run through the FULL sequence. They don't have any company trucks here at NADTA or CRST that have 18s in them, but I would love to learn how to drive one the right way.


Theres a photo of an 18 speed shift pattern.....at least I think thats an 18 spd. LOL. Just by the look of that picture, that is probably one of the most complicated things to drive ever. From what I am seeing (please correct if wrong):

Use GRAY Splitter to split gears LO, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 between LOW range and HIGH range for EACH GEAR.

1st=LO/L 2nd=LO/H 3rd-1/L 4th=1/H 5th=2/L 6th=2/H 7th=3/L 8th=3/H 9th=4/L 10th=4/H

Move black splitter to HIGH RANGE, then:

11th=5/L 12th=5/H 13th=6/L 14th=6/H 15th=7/L 16th=7/H 17th=8/L 18th=8/H

Reverse is split just like it is on a normal 9, 10, or 13 speed also on the 18 speed:


Move BLACK Splitter to go from R LO to R HI.

I sure am hoping I am interpreting this the correct way.


Just imagine DOUBLE-CLUTCHING all of those gears!!!!!



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Pat M.'s Comment
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Actually there is no clutching when splitting the gears. Run rpms up move the thumb switch forward let off the throttle and then ease back into the throttle. You are now in the next highest gear. I rarely split all the gears, just leave it in low until the last two gears.

The only exception is being loaded heavy. By heavy I mean 130k plus. At 210k I did not split the lower gears until I had to climb a pass. I did split all the upper gears.

There are videos online where you can watch how it is done. Want a real eye opener? Find a video of someone shifting a set of twin sticks.

murderspolywog's Comment
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You shift a 18 speed the same way as a 13 speed. Just with the low end gears being spit as well. The 18 speeds are more of an off road/ heavy haul were you need to split the low end. I have only ever seen them in tow trucks and log trucks.

murderspolywog's Comment
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What Pat said, he beat me to it. Or there is a video of a guy driving 3 sticks in a W9 I believe.

Susan D. 's Comment
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They simply have 2 splitters and are easy to shift. You rarely use all the gears. The first truck I ever learned to drive back 20 years ago was a lovely Western Star that my ex and I owned with a 425 cat and 17 speed split tranny. That truck rode and drove like a dream.. could steer it with a pinky and was sooooo smooth even on bumpy roads. Ungoverned triple digit large car. That was way before WStar was bought by Freightliner and they were hand built. Beautiful burl wood dash, diamond tufted leather interior, seats so comfy, no stinky DEF. Man I loved that truck. Didn't care for our Pete's at all lol.

Oh and clutch? Who needs a stinkin clutch except when taking off from a complete stop. :-)

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