Offically A Gear Jammer....Well Sort Of!!

Topic 24355 | Page 1

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Chris L's Comment
member avatar

Well its week 4 and the start of the second phase of my CDL training. Today was the first day of Practical exercise / Hands on in the field. I also did my first check ride / training ride on the road with the tractor and trailer. The experience was awesome!!! I'm still having a bit of trouble with my coordination down to double clutch. I'm looking forward to getting out on the road more in the coming weeks.

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.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations!

I was my own worst enemy when it came to shifting, I thought I was the worst in the world once I got over that it has been easy.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Double clutching was my enemy for sure lol. When I learned to drive over 20 years ago I was taught to float since I never had any intention of actually getting my CDL back then and there was no time limit on a permit.. only got that so my husband could teach me to drive and I'd go with him from time to time.

When I finally decided to actually get my CDL for real and do this 3 years ago.. my double clutching was really bad. My first road test with DOT I actually failed because I floated a gear or 3. The school scheduled me a retest. I told my instructor that I wasn't going to get above 30 mph. He said "You can't do that, they'll nail you for obstructing traffic!". Test date came and mother nature was on my side. We show up in Louisville at the test site and it begins snowing like crazy. Huge fluffy snowflakes. Nobody wanted to go first and the officer said, well since it's snowing, "if I determine the roads are getting too bad, it will be the only test of the day.". I jumped up and said "Let's go. It's a fine day to get my CDL!". And yep.. due to the driving fluffy snow I actually got away with not driving over 30 mph haha.

Between the double clutching and the floating, my shifting was sooo screwed up during company training. But I got my floating mojo back, smooth as silk and even became better at double clutching and can do both with ease. Then they throw me in this AutoShift.

When I still had my manual and a trainee was nervous about shifting.. I'd just tell them to relax, don't worry about it.. just don't stall us in a bad spot and it'll be fine. You'll test out and they'll throw you in an AutoShift, and that's what West Side generally does. I've had trainees who later needed a better truck and all they had empty at the time were manuals. They call me... You won't BELIEVE what I'm driving now and I love it! Too funny, but our 2016 manuals are the best running, best pulling, most reliable trucks we have.

Of course because of all the manual restricted trainees we've been hiring, almost every trainer here is in an AutoShift now.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

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.

Double Clutching:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Chris L's Comment
member avatar

I got out again today the drive time and route was a bit longer I drove both ways today starting at campus and returning. Yesterday I drove a freightliner with a 53' dry van trailer, today it was a freightliner with a flatbed. My coordination with upshifting is getting better not grinding gears as much - down shifting is still a work in progress. Hopefully the weather tomorrow will cooperate and I will get out for more drive time.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
Chris L's Comment
member avatar

Update: So I have so far have completed 8 road / training rides and my shifting skills have improved dramatically my shifting / double clutching has gotten smoother and my coordination is starting too sync. I have about three weeks left for my course and I am working on my skills and prepping for the New York State Road test.

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.

Double Clutching:

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.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Your shifting will improve with practice. I sucked at it in the beginning. Now it’s second nature... Not sure why they are switching trailers up on you. Be very careful, because they turn much differently...Like Susan I tend to float gears more than I use the clutch. Both have there places!!

Float Gears:

An expression used to describe someone who is shifting gears without using the clutch at all. Drivers are taught to "Double Clutch" or press and release the clutch twice for each gear shift. If you're floating gears it means you're simply shifting without using the clutch at all.

Chris L's Comment
member avatar

So my fifth week at NTTS is in the books! I completed my 14th training drive and my shifting is getting better the Instructor complemented me on my improvement. I passed my first four field evaluations! My Off-Set backing maneuver has also improved I can get the truck and the trailer in the box when I back to the drivers (See-side) but I still have problems on the blind side getting my turn and follow- through dialed in. This coming week will be nothing but practice in the field and training rides. I haven't gotten my date for the road test but I expect to test some time in the last week of February.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations!!

It will all click for you at some point

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I still have problems on the blind side getting my turn and follow- through dialed in.

No problem there Chris. We are all still trying to get that figured out. I can do a blind side back fairly well these days, but it's something I avoid completely if at all possible. In fact I avoid any maneuvers I can if there's an easier, less risky, way to get set up where I need to be.

Chris L's Comment
member avatar

Update: So I'm starting my final week at school I'm schedule to finish up on Wednesday the 20th. I was kind of discouraged this past Friday I failed my 1st road test- I was starting out from a stop light and trying to shift from 3rd to 4th gear but I had inadvertently flipped up the range selector from Lo to High with my pinky (I slid my pinky under the switch when I grabbed the stick) Yah going from 3rd to 9th gear doesn't work to well. Today I got back on the road and did better I get one more opportunity to take the school road test again. I'm also getting the feel for the box parallel and getting inside the cones consistently which is one of the tested skills on the NYS CDL road test the others being straight line back and offset back. If everything goes according to plan I will graduate Wednesday morning and take my NYS road test that afternoon.

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.
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