Recovering Gears!

Topic 32005 | Page 1

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Ocho's Comment
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Good afternoon everyone. So today I took my road portion of my CDL test and I thought I was doing everything correctly, no stall outs, blinkers, down shifting, etc. I felt pretty good about the test. My only hiccup was when we were making a left turn that goes on a hill. I started from my stop in 2nd and quickly grabbed 3rd right before I started my turn, once the turn was finished I tried to grab fourth but I missed it so I went into 6th (15 mph). The examiner told me that I did not recover fast enough and that I would have been impeding traffic which is an automatic fail. (Even though there was no traffic). How do I quickly recover a missed gear without “impeding traffic “?

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
member avatar

Two things I feel you did wrong:

1) You should never shift during a turn.

2) You went from Low into High range too quickly. Why? You lost too many RPMs, then lugging the engine, could not recover.

During the test, shift it sequentially up and down the gear selection range. Wait until you have more experience driving to start skipping gears. It just takes miles and time behind the wheel for this.

Ocho's Comment
member avatar

So I started in 2nd and shifted to 3rd right before making the turn, once the turn was complete I tried to shift to 4th but I missed the gear, at this point I was going up a hill and my mph was at 15mph so I went into 6th gear. Yes I do believe I lost the rpm’s to get into 4th however my mph was 15 mph so I just did some quick thinking. Maybe I should have let the rpm’s drop down to around 900 or 1000 and then popped it into 4th, I panicked

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Ocho wants to know:

How do I quickly recover a missed gear without “impeding traffic “?

The simple answer. Practice. Wheel time…etc.

I miss gears everyday. Goes with the territory… but recovery is having a feel for speed, matched with RPMs. Something that is developed over a long period of time.

PackRats advice is spot-on… in addition I suggest maintaining a rhythm. Do not wind-it-out in the lower gears…shift the lower 4 or 5 quickly. On a flat road even loaded I’m in 6th from 2nd within 8 seconds.

That said… the instructor dinged you for going 15 out of a turn? Kinda rigid unless you were coasting while hunting for more than a truck length. It is what it is…

Try to get more practice before testing again.

Good luck!

Ocho's Comment
member avatar

Yeah I figured out what I was doing wrong! After starting in 2nd from a stop, I can hit 3rd gear quickly but then I end up winding the gears to the max rpm’s allowed before trying to shift into 4th gear, but I believe the mph were to fast. So what I’ll do is I’ll start in 3rd gear and grab 4th quickly, that way by the time I get to 1300 rpm in 4th I can come straight down into 5th gear, or I could shift from 2nd to 4th without any hiccups and be on my way. This was the only thing that failed me so I’ll be ready to re-test in about 2 weeks

PJ's Comment
member avatar

You don’t have the experience to skip shift. Plan on taking it one gear at a time.

Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

Reason why Automatics, are sooooo much easier to drive ! Die hard manual drivers I know, LOVED getting swapped into an auto truck, once they got to driving 1, said they'd NEVER got back to a manual lol....I got my drivers license at 15 in my girlfriends '66 VW Beetle, barely passed, because the examiner didn't like my speed shifting,and that I'd wind out every gear for max speed, and not use the clutch everytime....Told him, bro, it's a VW, you HAVE to wind out each gear to get going with the flow sheeesh....The turn signal flasher was bad, so I flicked it like it would do normally, when he was checking rear signals....Fun day !

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

Be careful with skipping gears depending on your state it could be an automatic failure like it is here in Illinois. Plus like PJ said you don't have the experience which will make it difficult to do smoothly.

Ocho's Comment
member avatar

Thanks everyone for the useful advice! So it seems like the answer to problem is , for the low gears (1-4) I should progressive shift and don’t wind the gears for max speed. So I’ll start in 3rd gear and quickly grab 4th before I start a turn or go through an intersection. You guys are awesome thanks for the advice

Ocho's Comment
member avatar

Yes, I think after my CDL road test I won’t drive another manual until it’s my owns

Reason why Automatics, are sooooo much easier to drive ! Die hard manual drivers I know, LOVED getting swapped into an auto truck, once they got to driving 1, said they'd NEVER got back to a manual lol....I got my drivers license at 15 in my girlfriends '66 VW Beetle, barely passed, because the examiner didn't like my speed shifting,and that I'd wind out every gear for max speed, and not use the clutch everytime....Told him, bro, it's a VW, you HAVE to wind out each gear to get going with the flow sheeesh....The turn signal flasher was bad, so I flicked it like it would do normally, when he was checking rear signals....Fun day !

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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