Clutching

Topic 5710 | Page 1

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Ken P.'s Comment
member avatar

I just wanted to voice a concern, or apprehension about the double-clutching system. I've driven (cars, not semi's) stick only once in my life and automatic the rest of the time. I've heard the double-clutch system takes some getting used to. Some people have said that's a good thing because I don't have the bad habits and others have said that lack of experience in using a clutch will work against me. I wanted to get some of your input on this. How difficult is it to master this? Does teaching yourself a different coordination routine significantly effect your focus on the road? I'm aware they have automatic trucks out there, but I think, as a rookie, not having standard truck experience starting out will limit me on a lot of opportunities and may be a turn-off to companies.

Ronald M.'s Comment
member avatar

I just wanted to voice a concern, or apprehension about the double-clutching system. I've driven (cars, not semi's) stick only once in my life and automatic the rest of the time. I've heard the double-clutch system takes some getting used to. Some people have said that's a good thing because I don't have the bad habits and others have said that lack of experience in using a clutch will work against me. I wanted to get some of your input on this. How difficult is it to master this? Does teaching yourself a different coordination routine significantly effect your focus on the road? I'm aware they have automatic trucks out there, but I think, as a rookie, not having standard truck experience starting out will limit me on a lot of opportunities and may be a turn-off to companies.

Hey Ken, I too shared that same fear. I only ever used a clutch in one of my jobs for 3 months and never used one sense. Double clutching scared the heck out of me when I saw someone do it for the first time. The timing was what was scary for me. I had the thoughts of how am I ever going to be able to get the rhythm...Clutch Neutral Clutch Gear... Clutch Neutral REV Clutch Gear.... Ahh yess the fun of double clutching.

Well here's some things I learned about double clutching. Practice Practice Practice and then Practice some more. That's really all it comes down to. You need to go out on the road and just keep practicing upshifting and downshifting to become more comfortable with it. At first, it will be scary. Heck, you might even stall it out on the road a few times, but with each mistake you'll learn how the clutch works on a truck.

1.) Let off the clutch EASY when starting off from a stop. If you pop it out you will stall out.

2.) You can let the truck cruise at low speeds with no pedal input but once you put your brake on at low speeds you better start putting in that clutch or you'll stall out - this is usually recognized by the engine sound and truck jumping a lot before it stalls out.

3.) Don't ever take your foot off the clutch while you have the service brake applied especially on a hill. :D That always makes for a fun sight in the mirror when you see all the cars start getting out of your way especially when you panic and let your foot of the brake and begin rolling backwards LOL.

Double clutching is all about timing though. Just know what speed each gear is for and you'll be set. Eventually, you'll get to a point where you hear your engine and will know when to shift.

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.

Ken P.'s Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

I just wanted to voice a concern, or apprehension about the double-clutching system. I've driven (cars, not semi's) stick only once in my life and automatic the rest of the time. I've heard the double-clutch system takes some getting used to. Some people have said that's a good thing because I don't have the bad habits and others have said that lack of experience in using a clutch will work against me. I wanted to get some of your input on this. How difficult is it to master this? Does teaching yourself a different coordination routine significantly effect your focus on the road? I'm aware they have automatic trucks out there, but I think, as a rookie, not having standard truck experience starting out will limit me on a lot of opportunities and may be a turn-off to companies.

double-quotes-end.png

Hey Ken, I too shared that same fear. I only ever used a clutch in one of my jobs for 3 months and never used one sense. Double clutching scared the heck out of me when I saw someone do it for the first time. The timing was what was scary for me. I had the thoughts of how am I ever going to be able to get the rhythm...Clutch Neutral Clutch Gear... Clutch Neutral REV Clutch Gear.... Ahh yess the fun of double clutching.

Well here's some things I learned about double clutching. Practice Practice Practice and then Practice some more. That's really all it comes down to. You need to go out on the road and just keep practicing upshifting and downshifting to become more comfortable with it. At first, it will be scary. Heck, you might even stall it out on the road a few times, but with each mistake you'll learn how the clutch works on a truck.

1.) Let off the clutch EASY when starting off from a stop. If you pop it out you will stall out.

2.) You can let the truck cruise at low speeds with no pedal input but once you put your brake on at low speeds you better start putting in that clutch or you'll stall out - this is usually recognized by the engine sound and truck jumping a lot before it stalls out.

3.) Don't ever take your foot off the clutch while you have the service brake applied especially on a hill. :D That always makes for a fun sight in the mirror when you see all the cars start getting out of your way especially when you panic and let your foot of the brake and begin rolling backwards LOL.

Double clutching is all about timing though. Just know what speed each gear is for and you'll be set. Eventually, you'll get to a point where you hear your engine and will know when to shift.

Thanks for the input. I definitely figured it would take a more coordination that rubbing your belly and patting you head at the same time. Hahaha. I just hope that, when I'm with my trainer, I'll have enough practice to commit it to muscle memory prior to being solo.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Ken, don't worry about all the little details. That is what the double clutching is - just one small piece of the puzzle. You are better off by not having much experience with a standard transmission. Every truck driving instructor I have talked with says it is easier to teach someone who hasn't driven a standard shift car before.

Look, everybody has got to do it to pass the driving test. It is awkward to everyone that tries it, and it will still seem awkward to you when you are ready to go take your test, but you will be just fine. It is a minor detail in the whole picture, so don't let it overwhelm you. Millions of uncoordinated double clutching newbies have done it before you, there's not a reason in this world you can't manage to do it also. You don't have to be perfect come testing day, if you did none of us would be driving today.

It's a minor detail Ken, don't let it bother you, just get out there and do your best!

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.

Dutch's Comment
member avatar

Ken, when it comes time to take your road tests, you will definitely need to be able to shift fairly smoothly. However, in the meantime, keep in mind that it is all a matter of timing, and your brain is a magnificent computer.

My advice would be to get some experience shifting without the distractions of heavy traffic. When you don't have to feel rushed or under pressure, it is much easier to concentrate on the shifting, and less on the traffic around you.

Also, one thing that helped me tremendously, was the advice to stop watching the tachometer, and just listen to the pitch of the engine. Your brain will instinctively know when to shift from one gear to the next. Then the timing will become easy. Just listen for the engine to top out, and move the stick AT THE SAME TIME you move the clutch pedal. Once the cadence clicks in your brain, you will understand how much simpler it is just to let your brain take over and instinctively shift when the timing is right.

This is very important to master in heavy traffic, because your focus needs to be on what is in front of you, while you watch your trailer position in your mirrors. You must always keep an eye on your trailer, but you can miss a shift and recover. Remember, the company doesn't fire a driver for missing a shift.

Phil C.'s Comment
member avatar

I like this video, it helped me a lot make sense of double clutching.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGYuONwK7Nc

Phil

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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