I Keep Stalling With The Clutch

Topic 30175 | Page 1

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Garrett J.'s Comment
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Currently in cdl school and at the outside driving stage. Every single time I go out I stall the truck at least once when coming out of a stop. One time I did it every time I came to a stop and it was terrifying and super frustrating and ruined everyone's day who was in the truck. I cant seem to fix this issue while it hardly ever happens to other students. The instructors are doing their best to help me, but to no avail. I'm always starting out of a stop in 4th gear- which is kinda the "policy" at the school. I'm coming off the clutch too quickly right? But it seems no matter how slow and easy I come off it still happens. On the rare occasion it doesn't happen, I come out of the stop vey awkwardly and the tractor feels on the very edge of stalling still. I can operate the truck on the road fine except for this silly issue and It's starting to make me feel r-worded.

Why exactly does the truck stall? (the instructors do a terrible job of explaining why to me) Would starting in a lower gear help? Any advice would be appreciated. I could probably pass the test and get my license at this point- except only problem is I would almost certainly stall the truck coming out of a stop and auto fail.

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.
PackRat's Comment
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If stalling at heavier weights, start in a lower gear. You should ease out on the clutch on level ground and never touch the throttle.

What school are you attending....company or private? How old are the trucks?

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Wanna hear a story? When I was in school in 2012 I had the same struggle. I had everything else down except the ability to properly come off of a stop without stalling.

I was worse off than you though! We drove a '96 Columbia truck with bench seats in the back. 5 people inside the truck total (driver, passenger, 3 in the back observing). I had to stop on an uphill and I immediately started getting nervous. And for good reason, as soon as I tried to take off I jerked the truck so hard that two of the students in the back suffered injuries. One even went to the chiropractor because I injured his neck. So you can be frustrated all you want, at least you didn't send someone to the chiropractor when you were learning.

I wouldn't punish yourself too hard or stress too much about this. I've taught 8 students to their license so far and if there's anything I've learned is that every student struggles at different things. The job of the trainer is to identify these stuggles because everyone has them.

It boils down to the more you practice the better you'll become at it. Which is easier said than done because getting consistent driving time at a school can be a challenge sometimes.

Here's my tip though. I don't think it's the clutch that's the culprit here. I think you're not letting go of the service brake in time. With both clutch and brake pushed, practice gradually releasing them in sync but always releasing the service brake first, then the clutch. Remember if you release the service brake you are essentially in Neutral and are prone to rolling backwards so you cannot wait too long to release the clutch once the service brake is released. I would practice as much in the yard, this way you don't have the added stress of being on a public road.

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

I agree with Daniel. Once you feel the clutch start to grab, release the break, then the clutch and a little gas pedal. All very fast. It will get to one long motion. I hope all of this makes some sense.

Good luck.

James H.'s Comment
member avatar

CI'm always starting out of a stop in 4th gear- which is kinda the "policy" at the school.

If it's only 'kinda' the policy, why not try starting in 3rd, or even 2nd? Can't be worse than what you're experiencing now.

KH's Comment
member avatar

I agree with Daniel and Scott. It’s kind of hard to stall it if you’re in the right gear with the brakes off, so it’’s either that you have the splitter in the high range (which your instructor would likely notice) or you’re keeping your foot on the brake too long. It’s hard to get the coordination down at first.

This may sound stupid, but what helped me when I was starting is I spent some time just sitting in a chair at home and imagined I was shifting or starting from a stop, and moved my feet on imaginary pedals. Anyway, don’t get discouraged, you’ll get it.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

I agree with Daniel. Once you feel the clutch start to grab, release the break, then the clutch and a little gas pedal. All very fast. It will get to one long motion. I hope all of this makes some sense.

Good luck.

Does indeed make sense.

Pulling tanks with the S/O .. start/stop life was in 4th gear, in a Peterbilt similar to PJ's. Radio OFF. Windows DOWN. I had to HEAR the synch as it occurred.

Lower gears in a tank; too much drag. Not sure otherwise/other trailers. IDK if I'm even GOING FOR the E/unendorsement.. but.. I'll probably just get'em'all.

Paging, PJ ?!?

Let us know, Garrett..You've been gone for a minute. TBH, I've no CLUE if I still could do it.. but I'd feign a shot at it. (And will, in 2022!)

Sure wish you well, as always. (AND ..still jelly, haha!!)

~ Anne ~

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Wanna hear a story? When I was in school in 2012 I had the same struggle. I had everything else down except the ability to properly come off of a stop without stalling.

I was worse off than you though! We drove a '96 Columbia truck with bench seats in the back. 5 people inside the truck total (driver, passenger, 3 in the back observing). I had to stop on an uphill and I immediately started getting nervous. And for good reason, as soon as I tried to take off I jerked the truck so hard that two of the students in the back suffered injuries. One even went to the chiropractor because I injured his neck. So you can be frustrated all you want, at least you didn't send someone to the chiropractor when you were learning.

I wouldn't punish yourself too hard or stress too much about this. I've taught 8 students to their license so far and if there's anything I've learned is that every student struggles at different things. The job of the trainer is to identify these stuggles because everyone has them.

It boils down to the more you practice the better you'll become at it. Which is easier said than done because getting consistent driving time at a school can be a challenge sometimes.

Here's my tip though. I don't think it's the clutch that's the culprit here. I think you're not letting go of the service brake in time. With both clutch and brake pushed, practice gradually releasing them in sync but always releasing the service brake first, then the clutch. Remember if you release the service brake you are essentially in Neutral and are prone to rolling backwards so you cannot wait too long to release the clutch once the service brake is released. I would practice as much in the yard, this way you don't have the added stress of being on a public road.

Females should READ ALL INFO before they 'smart' post.

YUP. Finesse.

Sorry & thanks~

~anne ~

Garrett J.'s Comment
member avatar

If stalling at heavier weights, start in a lower gear. You should ease out on the clutch on level ground and never touch the throttle.

What school are you attending....company or private? How old are the trucks?

I'm attending a private school in Fontana, CA. Trucks are anywhere from late 90's/early 2000's to 2017. We test and do outside driving in 2012-2017 Freightliners.

Garrett J.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

CI'm always starting out of a stop in 4th gear- which is kinda the "policy" at the school.

double-quotes-end.png

If it's only 'kinda' the policy, why not try starting in 3rd, or even 2nd? Can't be worse than what you're experiencing now.

I'll ask the instructors if that will be ok. They'll probably say it is. They'll give me a weird look forshure but hey, I'm havin a hard time. Gotta do whatever I can to fix this issue.

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