Starting In 2nd Gear From A Stop!

Topic 31992 | Page 1

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Ocho's Comment
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Hey guys/gals! We were taught in CDL school to start from a stop in 4th gear! I can do this easily at school but for the test I can’t seem to take off without stalling. I think I may have found a way to take off from a stop in 2nd without stalling but my way seems unorthodox!! While I’m at the red light, I hold both the clutch and the brake in. While the light is still red I perform a “tug” test to see how far I need to push the clutch in just to hold. While holding the clutch “before” the engaging point, I release the brakes and let the torque pull the truck forward, while easing further off the clutch, once the clutch is fully engaged I give it gas. My problem is I think I am doing this way to slow and all wrong, but it works for me most times. Do you guys have any pointers, to improve take off without stalling?

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
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Welcome, Ocho91!

Your "unorthodox" approach is actually the right approach. I love the fact that you're thinking for yourself and looking for better alternatives when something isn't working well for you.

Quick rant here. I can not understand why trainers obsess about starting off in higher gears. I've heard this 1,000 times over the years from students and it baffles me. There's no advantage starting in 3rd or 4th gear from a dead stop, especially if you're loaded. It can be done, but it's really hard on the equipment and the driver.

Starting in 2nd gear is much easier. Once you're rolling, you can quickly grab 3rd and 4th and you're on your way. Smooth and gentle is the way. Starting in a low gear is easy on the equipment and easy for the driver.

Baffle:

A partition or separator within a liquid tank, used to inhibit the flow of fluids within the tank. During acceleration, turning, and braking, a large liquid-filled tank may produce unexpected forces on the vehicle due to the inertia of liquids.
Navypoppop's Comment
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I have to agree with Brett on this one. I always started out in 2nd either empty or loaded so as not to put too much strain on the driveline. It's a lot easier on the truck to shift a few gears than to replace a clutch or driveline.

PackRat's Comment
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That's the way I did it loaded, regardless of the gear selected. It depends on the weight, but the biggest thing is DO NOT STALL. If it is too low a gear, you can always skip a gear as you start moving. Example is start in 2nd gear, then jump to 4th, etc.

PJ's Comment
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Loaded I always start in 2nd. Then usually skip and go straight to 4th. As said that is much easier on the equipment. Whatever works best for you and the equipment is the best way to do it.

Ocho's Comment
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Thanks guys for the warm welcome. I take my Road portion this Wednesday and I just wanted to make sure that I have this method down. So before we leave the DDS yard I will attempt this method. While rolling and still holding the clutch before the engagement point, should I wait until I have fully released the clutch before giving it gas, and then shifting to 4th, or would I have to roll a bit with now acceleration, let the clutch engage, and then give it gas? I know I might be talking in circles , I just don’t want to take to long releasing the clutch before the light turns red again!

Brett Aquila's Comment
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When starting out in second gear you'll have no trouble getting the truck rolling. Just slowly let out on the clutch until the clutch is fully released, then hit the gas pedal and accelerate.

You never want to use the gas pedal and the clutch at the same time in a big rig. These engines have so much low-end torque that applying the gas while feathering the clutch isn't necessary. If you can't get the truck rolling smoothly from a stop by slowly releasing the clutch then you're starting off with a gear that is too high.

Don't bother trying to skip gears during a road test. You can play around with that once you get out there. For now, just do it by the book. Start off in 2nd gear, slowly release the clutch until it is fully released, then accelerate. Just go one gear at a time.

Slow, smooth, and gentle.

Ocho's Comment
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Ok, thanks for the advice. After practicing this weekend and learning that technique I feel better about starting from a stop. Just didn’t want to impede traffic after I get it rolling while slowly releasing the clutch, but I’d rather be be safe and slow rather than rushing and do something wrong. I really appreciate all of the wisdom you guys have shared. Because I will be holding the clutch right below the “engaging” point it shouldn’t take me to long after I’ve started rolling to have the clutch fully released and ready to accelerate. Thank you guys so much! Wish me luck!

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Because I will be holding the clutch right below the “engaging” point it shouldn’t take me to long after I’ve started rolling to have the clutch fully released and ready to accelerate.

It won't take long at all in 2nd gear, especially if you're pulling an empty trailer. It should take maybe two seconds from the time the clutch begins to engage until it's fully released.

Best of luck!

Ocho's Comment
member avatar

One last question. Can I perform the same method while on an incline? Or would I have to do it the opposite way, slowly release the clutch until the point of contact , release the brake count to one and then accelerate lightly? There is a slight incline right before you leave out of the DDS and onto the road, I’ve managed to get over it before , but it was with a prayer and in 1st gear lol.

double-quotes-start.png

Because I will be holding the clutch right below the “engaging” point it shouldn’t take me to long after I’ve started rolling to have the clutch fully released and ready to accelerate.

double-quotes-end.png

It won't take long at all in 2nd gear, especially if you're pulling an empty trailer. It should take maybe two seconds from the time the clutch begins to engage until it's fully released.

Best of luck!

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