10 Speed Transmission Question

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Brian 's Comment
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In classroom we are told to NEVER switch from low to high, or high to low range with tranny in neutral..... so my question is how do you recover from a missed gear if your say in 6th going to 7th......mess up, and in neutral, but road speed is dropped to low for 6th and you need to get into 5th gear?

On simulator its not an issue, but sounds like real world it can cause serious damage.......

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Best Answer!

Ok we have another myth forming a life of its own here.

Range selecting in neutral should be avoided if the truck is moving as it can damage the transmission. If you are sitting still it's ok.

Not true. Here's a quote from a heavy duty truck transmission repair manual:

Pre-selecting: Range shifts can be made only when the gearshift lever is in, or passing through, neutral. The driver can pre-select a range shift while in gear

In other words, it's not going to make any changes to the range selection unless you're in neutral or passing through neutral but you can pre-select the range shift while you're in gear. It will not damage anything by making the range shift while in neutral.

Haven't you guys noticed that you can flip that range selector switch 1000 times while you're in gear and it doesn't do anything? That's because it will only shift from low to high range in the transmission itself while you're in neutral. So if you're in 5th on a 10 speed and you switch the range selector to high, nothing happens until you take it out of 5th and into neutral. At that point the transmission will switch from low to high range and you can go ahead and put it in 6th.

So you can switch the range selector while you're in neutral. You just have to give it a second or two to actually make the change in the transmission before putting it into gear.

Somehow I got myself into this situation and the only way for me to reset my gears was to come to a complete stop, put the stick back into 6th from neutral, stuck between 6th and 7th, stay stopped, flip the switch back down, shift into 5th while staying stationary and then shift down low enough to start moving again, which in this case, was 4th.

Honestly that was just a matter of inexperience. A lot of things could have happened that prevented you from getting back into gear. You might have lost track of whether you were in low or high range, you may have switched between the two and tried putting it in gear without giving it time to make the change in the transmission, you might have pushed the clutch too far and started hitting the clutch brake which slowed the transmission speed too far - could have been 100 things. But it would have gone into gear just like any other time if you would have matched up the engine speed, transmission speed, and road speed properly. But you did the right thing. You got it stopped, reset everything, and continued on. Great job :-)

Now we always talk about big rig transmissions not having synchronizers, but in fact they do in one area - the high/low range. Nobody has mentioned it yet but haven't you guys wondered what that whining or "winding up" sound is you hear sometimes when you shift from high range to low range? That's the sound of the transmission shaft speeding up to engage low range. Now you may not be able to hear it with all transmissions, but try this....downshift from the lowest gear in high range to the highest gear in low range - like 6th to 5th in a 10 speed. Listen closely to see if you can hear a whining or "winding up" sound in between gears when the gear lever is in neutral. That's the sound of the synchronizer speeding up the shaft to engage low range. That's why you have to give it a second after hitting the splitter, especially going from high to low range.

If your head is spinning from all that - here's the takeaway.....you can hit the splitter while you're in neutral. Just make sure you give the transmission a second to make the change before putting it into gear. Hitting the splitter only tells the transmission you want to shift from low to high range (or vice versa). The transmission has to synchronize internal speeds and meet other criteria before the actual change will take place. That's why you have to wait a moment before putting it into gear.

Daniel B.'s Comment
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Great Answer!

Hmm, I think I know why.

Obviously, rookies aren't good at shifting yet. So they want to make sure that if you're ever in neutral that you're either upshifting or downshifting. If you be in neutral for too long on your test, it's an automatic fail - so they want to discourage any actions by you when in neutral. In other words, they want you to go from gear to gear as fast as possible. Playing with the High/Low could perhaps stumble you.

Also, you could accidentally put it in high gear and forget where you're at and forcefully shove it into 9th gear thus calling an immediate stall.

It's to make it less confusing for you and to protect the equipment. You should never be in neutral anyways so they want to drill it in your head that when you go in neutral, you want to be in a gear as quickly as possible.

That's my opinion, I obviously don't know their tactics but I would just go with the flow. They wouldn't be in their position if they didn't know what they were doing. Good luck!

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Great Answer!

ButtonUp and Brian - awesome job of grabbing that information from the manual and quoting it here. There's nothing better than a well-educated debate on a topic and citing the manual is a great way to go. I looked through the manual a bit and found some interesting stuff to cover so let's knock some of this out....

First of all let me state my position again, and indeed it goes directly against what the operator's manual says for the transmission. My position is that you do not have to preselect the hi/lo range before beginning the shift. But don't worry, we're not done yet. I'm going to go directly against what the operator's manual says on some other items in a minute.

I had also downloaded this manual and it states in at least 5 different pages that you MUST pre select range finder before shifting gears and to NEVER switch range selector while in neutral with vehicle moving! ...... or you could do what I did today....instructor called it "ghost gear" went from 5th to 6th....flipped selector too late.....got into the gate for 6th, but nothing there....was in neutral....had to bring it back to 5th and flip range finder again....then it worked.... and of course I was panicking by that time.....and was too high on rpms....pushing in clutch too far engaging clutch brake.....yikes!

You're exactly right about "Ghost Gear" Brian...if you shift incorrectly you will get incorrect results. That didn't happen because you waited until you were in neutral to hit the range selector. It happened because you didn't wait for the transmission to complete the range shift before putting it into the next gear. Your timing was off. Now if you preselect the range before beginning the shift it will give the transmission the maximum time possible to complete the range change which in turn will give you a better chance of completing the shift smoothly. But is it necessary to shift that way? Well I'd say....

Considering how many times I've flipped the range selector in neutral rolling down the road, and haven't broke a transmission yet, I have to believe that it's ok as long as you let it complete the transition before putting it in gear.

Exactly. I have about a million miles in standard transmissions (and about 1/2 million in automatics which doesn't apply here). It doesn't hurt the transmission to shift the range selector while you're in neutral but it does reduce your chances of completing the shift smoothly. Admittedly it can be tricky if you're upshifting and you wait until you're in neutral to hit the range selector because the timing gets a bit tighter. By the time the transmission completes the range change the rpm's may have dropped too low to get it into 6th (on a 10 speed) so you'll have to kick the throttle a bit to get the rpm's back up. Timing is everything.

So thanks to ButtonUp and Brian let me clarify my position. You do not have to preselect the range finder before beginning a shift but it does help give the transmission the maximum amount of time to complete the range change, which in turn gives you the best opportunity to complete the shift smoothly. So preselecting is a recommended procedure but mechanical knowledge about how these transmissions work and years of experience shifting them dictates that you can wait until you're in neutral to switch the range selector.

I'm gonna start a new comment and cover a few more things....

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Ok now some new stuff. Here is the actual list of driving tips from the Eaton Fuller Operator's Manual:

  • Always use normal double-clutching procedures when making lever shifts
  • Always select an initial starting gear that provides sufficient reduction for the load and terrain.
  • Never slam or jerk the shift lever to complete gear engagements.
  • Never coast with the shift lever in the neutral position.
  • Never downshift at too high of a road speed.
  • Never move the range lever with the shift lever in neutral while the vehicle is moving.
  • Never make a range shift while moving in reverse.
  • In most cases, depending on the engine and axle ratios, you can save valuable fuel by operating the vehicle at less than governed RPM while cruising in top gear.
  • If the lever shift is completed before the range shift (transmission in neutral), the lever must be moved back to neutral for the range to complete (1X210 models only).

Ok a few notes....

Always use normal double-clutching procedures when making lever shifts

Do we even need to discuss double-clutching versus floating gears? 99.999% of the drivers in America have floated gears for 50+ years. So do you always need to use normal double-clutching procedures? Of course not.

Never coast with the shift lever in the neutral position.

I know they say you're "out of control" if you're coasting in neutral but I've probably coasted 500 miles in neutral over the years and I lived to tell about it and so did all of my transmissions. Again I'm not recommending you do that, but I don't want you guys to think you'll tear up the transmission if you do because it's listed in the operator's manual.

Never downshift at too high of a road speed

Talk about vague....what the h*ll does that mean???? If they mean, "Don't try to downshift if you're going to fast for the next lower gear" then I wouldn't call that a "tip" so much as I would say it isn't physically possible to do so. You can only kick the rpm's up to a certain level. If they won't go high enough to downshift to the next lower gear then you simply won't be able to complete the shift. So they really don't have to tell you not to do that because it isn't physically possible to do that anyhow.

If the lever shift is completed before the range shift (transmission in neutral), the lever must be moved back to neutral for the range to complete (1X210 models only).

This is what we we've been referring to as "Ghost Gear" where the lever is in gear but you're not putting power to the wheels because the range selector wasn't able to complete the range change in time. So you have to put the lever in neutral and allow the range selection to complete. Normally by the time you've done that your rpm's have dropped to idle so you have to kick the rpm's up where they belong to select the next gear. When you're new to driving this can be really tricky because your mind is spinning when something like this happens. Suddenly you're out of gear, you're not sure why, and you're trying to figure out on the fly what happened. You're trying to figure out what gear you belong in, where the range selector should be, and at what rpm's based on your current road speed. This is what happened to Mountain Girl when she said:

Somehow I got myself into this situation and the only way for me to reset my gears was to come to a complete stop, put the stick back into 6th from neutral, stuck between 6th and 7th, stay stopped, flip the switch back down, shift into 5th while staying stationary and then shift down low enough to start moving again, which in this case, was 4th.

And notice they said "the lever must be moved back to neutral for the range to complete". They didn't say you were tearing up the transmission or that you had to come to a complete stop or anything of the sort. They simply said to put it back in neutral to allow the range selection to complete, inferring that you completed the lever shift before the range selection could be completed. No big deal.

So there's a big difference between required procedures and recommended procedures. Double clutching is recommended but not required. Preselecting the range is recommended but not required. Preventing the truck from rolling in neutral is recommended but not required.

What I'm trying to do is give everyone the most specific and technical information I know. I'm not telling you how to drive or shift or anything else. I'm simply sharing the knowledge and experience I've gained over the years about how things really work so you have the best understanding possible. Making smart decisions starts with having accurate information. You guys and gals are brand new so everything you know right now is pretty much how they teach it "by the book". But anyone with a lot of experience in any career will have learned all of the "alternatives to the book" and decide for themselves if doing things "by the book" is the way you'll want to do them or not. I highly recommend you guys do everything by the book in the beginning but learn all you can about everything as you go. Soon enough you'll learn what really works and what doesn't out there.

Floating Gears:

An expression used to describe someone who is shifting gears without using the clutch at all. Drivers are taught to "Double Clutch" or press and release the clutch twice for each gear shift. If you're floating gears it means you're simply shifting without using the clutch at all.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Heavy C's Comment
member avatar

Strange i was never told anything like that. I think the reason they told you that is because when you change from high to low or low to high it takes a couple second for it to engage that next level. When you switch it while still in gear, say when you're in fifth by the time you shift to sixth it has had time to engage the high range. But say your in neutral and flick the lever and immediately try a gear it may not go in. Just remember if you must go into a different range while in neutral just give it an extra second just to engage. Believe be in the real world this scenario will come up. Hope this helps

Turbo Dan's Comment
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The big never do is to change Hi/Low or Low/Hi while you're moving in Reverse,,,,, pretty much means an instant Back Half rebuild.

Brian 's Comment
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Reverse makes sense, we were told you should avoid high gear reverse all together......but wonder why they were saying not to switch the range in neutral..... maybe it is because of the lag, and not wanting us to grind gears! But I am going to ask instructor next time I'm out driving what the reason is, guessing its to protect equipment.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Hmm, I think I know why.

Obviously, rookies aren't good at shifting yet. So they want to make sure that if you're ever in neutral that you're either upshifting or downshifting. If you be in neutral for too long on your test, it's an automatic fail - so they want to discourage any actions by you when in neutral. In other words, they want you to go from gear to gear as fast as possible. Playing with the High/Low could perhaps stumble you.

Also, you could accidentally put it in high gear and forget where you're at and forcefully shove it into 9th gear thus calling an immediate stall.

It's to make it less confusing for you and to protect the equipment. You should never be in neutral anyways so they want to drill it in your head that when you go in neutral, you want to be in a gear as quickly as possible.

That's my opinion, I obviously don't know their tactics but I would just go with the flow. They wouldn't be in their position if they didn't know what they were doing. Good luck!

Ricky A.'s Comment
member avatar

Interesting subject. I was driving today. Final week of school and it got a little sketchy going from 5th to 6th and i wound up in a false neutral. Not sure what happend but i moved shifter to neutral cycled the switch to low and back to high brought rpms to about 1000 and slid it into 6th, and everything was fine. Dont know where the neutral came from but i think it hung up between low and high. confused.gif

Turbo Dan's Comment
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Per the Eaton fuller roadranger instruction book, you would preshift the High and low by moving the hi/low shifter before you start to shift,,,, in other words, going from 6 to 5 you would select low Before you start your shift to 5 ,,and before you start your shift from 5 to 6, you would preshift to High before you make your from 5 to 6... Google Eaton Fuller 10 speed shift instructions,,, might explain better than me,,, Dan

Brian 's Comment
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Well I'll get hands on Thursday, my school has us train for our license test in a day cab with a synchronized 6 speed and a 30' pup trailer......once you get your license, you train on the shifting simulator, then onto the big rigs & 53' trailer.....that's what I start on Thursday.....after 30 hours of 1 on 1 your done.......hopefully it goes as good as I did on the simulator, they passed me through that in 4 hours.....but I know it will be much different in the real thing!

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

Mad Hatter's Comment
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I was told it messes up the synchronization on the hi/lo switch. When i did it i hit the switch in neutral and started to grind the gears when i tried go into the gear. I had to go back into neutral hit it back, and then go back into the gear. I'm not sure of all the steps it kinda happened quick, but it definitely engraved to not hit the switch while I'm in neutral. Lol

AJ D.'s Comment
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I'm signing on to this one... I need help in anything shifting non-synchros !! lol smile.gif

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