Going From 6th To 5th Gear In A 10 Speed

Topic 31404 | Page 1

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Grant G.'s Comment
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Hi guys, I've known about these forums for some time but haven't created an account till now so I could post this:

I'm currently in CDL school, and from what I've noticed, the 2 biggest issues I have that could prevent me from passing the road test are my ability to make turns wide enough, and downshifting into 5th gear. For the turning issue, I just need more practice with it so the trailer doesn't hit the curb, but for the shifting issue, I have attempted to down shift into 5th gear multiple times with no luck. I know the order for downshifting is: Clutch in, shifter to neutral--> rev engine to appropriate RPM (10-15 on the tachometer)--> clutch in, shifter to gear. And with 5th gear, I know to put the splitter down before getting out of 6th.

I don't have to downshift like this very often, as in most cases, I end up stopping the truck in 6th gear and resetting to my starting gear while stopped, bypassing 5th gear for slowing down. The main scenario that would require me to downshift to 5th gear is when I have to make a sharp turn without coming to a complete stop, such as when I have a green light that doesn't turn red before I make my turn.

In EVERY situation I have been in on recent times behind the wheel that would've failed me on the road test, all my problems stemmed from having to down shift into 5th gear to make a turn. I mentioned what should ideally happen if things go right, but what usually ends up happening is I'll put the splitter down, clutch to neutral, rev the engine, then when I try to put the truck in gear, I end up grinding gears and get flustered since part of me wonders if I was attempting 3rd gear rather than 5th, or I didn't rev the engine enough/too much, I didn't push the clutch in enough/too much, or something else. I'm the only student that seems to have a problem with downshifting to 5th gear, as everyone else I've seen has done it no problem. Any advice on how to get a 10 speed into 5th gear when shifting down? Thanks in advance.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Andrey's Comment
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I would suggest two things. First, don't trust digits when it comes to a proper RPM. Each engine is slightly different, even if they share the same name. The Cascadia with D13 that I learned on liked it at about 800-850, others may like it higher. The best way is just listen to the engine, feel it and do what it wants. Second, every transmission also has its character :-) It may be that the 5th gear simply has some issues. Or it can be OK for other people, but more difficult for you. Keep in mind that it is not only RPMs, but also speed - normally you have to be below 15 mph for this 6>5 downshift. And if nothing works, you can always slow down some more and go to the 4th or 3rd. Unless they tell you not to, it is OK to skip gears.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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Unfortunately, without being there it is hard to say for certain but it sounds to me like you are going to fast for 5th gear. 6th has a wide range it will catch at generally 15 mph is ideal but you can probably catch 6th as low as 10 mph possibly lower if empty. Try slowing down even more than you already are you'll probably want to be at or under 10 mph.

One thing that may also help is with the truck off put it into 5th gear hold the shifter like you are going to shift and point your index finger straight ahead. See what it lines up with on the dash, could be a button or a knob. Then when you are driving and down shifting keep your index finger pointed straight and line it up with that object.

Good luck! Let us know how it's going

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

My students never shift into 5th gear to make a turn and they all passed their test in CA which is super strict (well over 15 students at this point in my career). Take the turn in 6th gear at low RPMS. You're not loaded.

As far as getting in 5th - At 6th gear 1000 rpm is exactly 15mph. 5th gear 1000 rpm is 10mph, try to take yourself to exactly 10mph and rev to 1000rpm and put it in. Line up your speed with the gear to hit that sweet spot. The specs could be different in our trucks so it may not work though.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

What Daniel just said is spot on. The only other thing I can add is that I’m wondering if you’re going too deep in the clutch. When double clutching , you’re not truly engaging the clutch, it’s more of a release of pressure and it doesn’t take as much as you think. It’s a feel that you have to develop and some pick up on it better than others. The clutch pedal should have that little bit of play when you tap it before you feel any actual pressure. That couple inches and a very very light touch beyond that is all it takes. I hope this makes sense because it’s much easier to show someone than type it out on screen.

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.

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