Poor Down Shifter

Topic 7917 | Page 1

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John G.'s Comment
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I am starting orientation with Melton next week. I am very concerned that I will be kicked out after the drive test. I am not a super trucker but I do fine with everything but downshifting. It is my big weakness. How worried should I be?

Errol V.'s Comment
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I am starting orientation with Melton next week. I am very concerned that I will be kicked out after the drive test. I am not a super trucker but I do fine with everything but downshifting. It is my big weakness. How worried should I be?

Worried like you can't learn to ride a bike. Coordination, timing, "muscle memory".

I learned double clutch shifting about 30 years ago then stopped driving buses. January I picked up right where I left off in Truck School.

Practice in a truck without the engine running, just clutch, neutral, clutch, shift. Start slow, build your speed. Finally, each set should take one second.

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.

John G.'s Comment
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Thanks for the reply Errol. All of the above I guess. I didn't give much info for you to go on (sorry about that). I just got out of school in Feb. I learned on 9s and 13s but the last day they put me in a 10 that threw me for a loop. I can learn. I just hope the will give me a chance to do so.

Amy P.'s Comment
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Keep your eyes on the prize, John G.

Downshifting in a 10 spd is a matter of touch, sight and hearing. Think about what gear you are in, where you want to go, and then look at your rpms. Rpms too high? Brake to drop it faster. Downshift around 10-1200rpms, and gas it up to around 15-1700rpms to get in into the next lower gear. Let's go back to the good old double -clutch technique. So it's clutch, gas, clutch to downshift. The sweet spot can be different depending on the individual truck, but that's the usual rule of thumb. The most important part is to know where you are and where you are going before you start the maneuver. Heading down to fifth? Flip that switch down, clutch-rev-clutch. Still slowing down and can't get it into fifth? Rev again and try for fourth, you might be slowing too much for fifth. Think you're going too fast? Break, rev, shift. And don't be prissy with that gas pedal. Stomp it if you need to. Get it revving at 1700rpms, with your foot off the clutch, and then put it into gear. Don't have time to downshift? Don't try. Just break carefully. Better to come to a complete stop in a high gear than end up lost in neutral and panicked. Being in control is better than being smooth. If you visualize what needs to be done, you will know when you need to flip that switch and go hunt fifth gear. It will become second nature, but you have to allow yourself the chance to learn.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

David L.'s Comment
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I used 9 speed transmissions in Volvos and Freightliner trucks all through training and my current truck, Kenworth, has a 10. Sometimes I'm smooth and an hour later I can't shift for beans. Learning the speed "windows" helps...in the KW add the speed numbers: 15=1+5 so 6th; 25=2+5 so 7th, etc. The RPM slot is also critical and 1300-1500 is the sweet spot. Dropping to 1000 by braking and then revving to 1500 is something you just have to practice. I've been visualizing this during my recent home time and will be working hard on improving when I get back in the seat tomorrow!

John G.'s Comment
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Thanks to Amy and David. I guess I'll just take all of your advice and hope for the best. The worst they can do is kick me out. I don't think they can take away my birthday.shocked.png

John G.'s Comment
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Who do you all drive for?

David L.'s Comment
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Who do you all drive for?

I'm with Swift.

Amy P.'s Comment
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I don't think they can take away my birthday.shocked.png

Heck, if they do, you can have a few of mine. I'm eyeballing 50 and would be more than happy to toss a few your way.

John G.'s Comment
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double-quotes-start.png

I don't think they can take away my birthday.shocked.png

double-quotes-end.png

Heck, if they do, you can have a few of mine. I'm eyeballing 50 and would be more than happy to toss a few your way.

I'll be cresting that hill soon too. But I don't like to talk about it. I still feel like thirty something most days. I hope Swift is treating you well David. I sure do see a lot of Swift trucks out there. I don't think you could drive on the interstate 5 minutes without seeing one.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

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