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Thread: Clutch or Float Gears

  1. #1
    terrylamar is offline Senior Board Member
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    Default Clutch or Float Gears

    This is my last week of schooling, before I test for my CDL on Thursday. The school claims 200 hours of training but I find myself sitting around more than I train. There are only nine students in my class. Time is wasted waiting for students to show up in the morning. Instructors being fired, showing up late or calling in sick. The ones that do show up do OK, they give good instruction, they just don't seem to be motivated to go the extra mile so we can get in driving time. I am learning in the trucking world that if you have inclement weather, rain, you shut down. The lightening I understood, but rain? Anyway, the whole point to this post is I am getting very little driving time. I can back, I have done well since the very first time, I have done backing ad nausium for the last two weeks. It is better than no driving time. Some of are playing games now, challenging games. We straight line back and parallel park. We have started moving our marking cones in until we hit one. I can parallel in a pretty tight spot now. On the road driving is the problem. I haven't had enough time behind the wheel. With experience I will get it down. I'm sure I have had less than three hours total out on the road. It is very frustrating. I am having problems down shifting. It just doesn't make sense to brake to slow the truck down then step on the accelerator to shift. That and the fact that air brakes lack the precision that hydraulic brakes do. So, my question is that in the limited driving time I am likely to get in the next three class days before the test should I try to learn to float and am I likely to downshift better floating? Or should I just stick to double shifting, which I'm better at every time I drive? The instructor did say I would pass the test at my present level of skill, I am not satisfied though.
    Terry L. Davis
    O/O with own authority

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    devildice's Avatar
    devildice is offline Senior Board Member
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    What school are you attending??

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    terrylamar is offline Senior Board Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by devildice
    What school are you attending??
    International Schools at Austin Community College in Austin, TX.
    Terry L. Davis
    O/O with own authority

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    If you can't find it, grind it!

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    terrylamar is offline Senior Board Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColdFrostyMug
    If you can't find it, grind it!
    Just rating myself, I would say I can downshift properly better than 75% of the time. Maybe another 20% I have slight trouble with and occasionally I can't find the gear at all. I almost always know why I have trouble. I do admit while driving I will set up situations where I am downshifting without needing to, just to practice. On the day of the test I will downshift as little as possible. I will up shift as little as possible.
    Terry L. Davis
    O/O with own authority

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    Windwalker's Avatar
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    If it makes you feel any better, I've been driving for years, been a trainer, own my own truck (and you'd think I know ALL the in's and out's of my own truck), and there are times when I miss a gear on the down-side. And, after all these years, I DO use the clutch ALL THE TIME. I could float the gears, but I can shift FASTER by using the clutch. I've been accused of shifting like I'm in the INDY-500.

    Use what seems to work the best for you. When you ask here, you'll get a variety of opinions. But going down the road, none of those opinions will be driving your truck or doing the shifting. Use what works best for you, and don't fix it if it ain't broke.

    Floating the gears does not make you a driver, and using the clutch also does not make you a driver.
    Destroy the cities...
    and they will rebuild them.
    Destroy the farms...
    and grass will grow in the streets of the cities.

    Destroy the economy of the blue-collar worker...
    and grass will grow in the executive offices.

    The bill has come due.
    ( R E T I R E D , and glad of it)


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    terrylamar is offline Senior Board Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Windwalker
    If it makes you feel any better, I've been driving for years, been a trainer, own my own truck (and you'd think I know ALL the in's and out's of my own truck), and there are times when I miss a gear on the down-side. And, after all these years, I DO use the clutch ALL THE TIME. I could float the gears, but I can shift FASTER by using the clutch. I've been accused of shifting like I'm in the INDY-500.

    Use what seems to work the best for you. When you ask here, you'll get a variety of opinions. But going down the road, none of those opinions will be driving your truck or doing the shifting. Use what works best for you, and don't fix it if it ain't broke.

    Floating the gears does not make you a driver, and using the clutch also does not make you a driver.
    I understand all of this, I do not beat myself up because of my mistakes. I think I am doing remarkably well for the limited time I have been behind the wheel. My question is, in the very limited time I can expect to be behind the wheel in the next three days, about three hours if everything goes right, should I just stick with double clutching, which I have been doing or should I try to float. I do pick up thing well and other aspects of driving the truck are not giving me problems at all.
    Terry L. Davis
    O/O with own authority

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    Windwalker's Avatar
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    Until you get out of school, or even until you are hired and "trained" (don't know who you're going with, so I don't know if you'll really have a trainer or will be "self-taught".) You'll have plenty of time later to learn all the "bad habits". You've been double-clutching? Stay with it until you get out on your own. Then, try "fixing what ain't broke". I have heard of guys that did not get their CDL after they tested with DOT because they didn't "USE THE CLUTCH PROPERLY". Might depend on the state and how the examiner feels that day... I don't know. I'd suggest using what you've been doing for now.
    Destroy the cities...
    and they will rebuild them.
    Destroy the farms...
    and grass will grow in the streets of the cities.

    Destroy the economy of the blue-collar worker...
    and grass will grow in the executive offices.

    The bill has come due.
    ( R E T I R E D , and glad of it)


  10. #9
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    At my school they actually told us not to double clutch when downshifting...all you have to do to downshift is to take your foot off the throttle while pulling the stick out of the gear and move the stick into the 'smaller hole' as you bring your revs up gently. Soon you will know how high the revs need to be to slide in.
    As for upshifting, i usually skip gears unless im going up a hill heavy...with a super10, I start in 3rd, then 5th, 7th, sometimes then 8, 9,10 with my jake on low so the revs drop faster during shifting.
    To upshift not using a clutch simply accelerate to the shiftpoint, pull the stick out as you let off the throttle, and ease it in the bigger hole. you will feel a slight rubbing of the gears. if the rubbing is slowing down, youre getting to the right rpm for it to drop in, if theyre speeding up, you've done passed it...you should never have to use force, it can be done with 3 fingers! As you get proficient, no gear 'rubbing' should accur...
    you will soon get a sense of how long it takes for the gears to slow down to where the stick drop right in! Ironically it takes about the time for you to doubleclutch...When going downhill or uphill the truck's acceleration/deceleration due to grade will affect that too. Id say doubleclutch on grades till you get the hang of it.
    Im pretty sure i told you everything you need to know, maybe someone will amend to this...Good Luck and ask if you have Q's

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    Quote Originally Posted by Windwalker
    Until you get out of school, or even until you are hired and "trained" (don't know who you're going with, so I don't know if you'll really have a trainer or will be "self-taught".) You'll have plenty of time later to learn all the "bad habits". You've been double-clutching? Stay with it until you get out on your own. Then, try "fixing what ain't broke". I have heard of guys that did not get their CDL after they tested with DOT because they didn't "USE THE CLUTCH PROPERLY". Might depend on the state and how the examiner feels that day... I don't know. I'd suggest using what you've been doing for now.
    Windwalker has a point, learn to doubleclutch first, because you will have to do it during road-tests!!!
    But keep what i said in mind...Basically you are doing the same things when doubleclutching, just not actually moving ur leg...

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    Fourcats is offline Member
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    For the test, do what you are the best at. All you HAVE to do is pass.
    Bad weather gets bad drivers off the road...one way or another!
    Fourcats

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    Catman is offline Member
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    Default Downshifting

    I am still in school, a community technical county school (PTEC) and it is our instructor who will test us. He says don't worry about shifting while stopping. Just worry about getting it to stop safely. He says he would rather NOT see us downshift at all, just stop. On upshifting we must double clutch for him.

  14. #13
    terrylamar is offline Senior Board Member
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    Default Re: Downshifting

    Quote Originally Posted by Catman
    I am still in school, a community technical county school (PTEC) and it is our instructor who will test us. He says don't worry about shifting while stopping. Just worry about getting it to stop safely. He says he would rather NOT see us downshift at all, just stop. On upshifting we must double clutch for him.
    My problem on down shifting is the closer I get to my stop or turn. When I still have some distance I seem to do alright. As I get closer it defies logic to take my foot off the brake to rev the engine. We are using 9 speeds. The instructor showed us a neat trick, I don't know if it common knowledge or not, when down shifting in high range, high range low is the same as low 4th. It is much easier to find high low than it is to find 4th, and 4th can be used for turns.
    Terry L. Davis
    O/O with own authority

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    Windwalker's Avatar
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    It does, indeed, work on a 9 speed. The granny-low hole in high range gives you the same speed as the high-hole in low-range. I believe it also works on a 13-speed. Been a while since I drove one of them. It does not work on a 10-speed, or super-10.

    Once you get out of school and in your own truck, shifting will become second nature. The more you worry about it now, the worse you will make it on yourself. Just let it come to you, and it will.
    Destroy the cities...
    and they will rebuild them.
    Destroy the farms...
    and grass will grow in the streets of the cities.

    Destroy the economy of the blue-collar worker...
    and grass will grow in the executive offices.

    The bill has come due.
    ( R E T I R E D , and glad of it)


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    Overloaded is offline Member
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    Default Re: Downshifting

    Quote Originally Posted by terrylamar
    My problem on down shifting is the closer I get to my stop or turn. When I still have some distance I seem to do alright. As I get closer it defies logic to take my foot off the brake to rev the engine. We are using 9 speeds. The instructor showed us a neat trick, I don't know if it common knowledge or not, when down shifting in high range, high range low is the same as low 4th. It is much easier to find high low than it is to find 4th, and 4th can be used for turns.
    You are not supposed to the low position while in high range according to Eaton Fuller.

  17. #16
    terrylamar is offline Senior Board Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Windwalker
    It does, indeed, work on a 9 speed. The granny-low hole in high range gives you the same speed as the high-hole in low-range. I believe it also works on a 13-speed. Been a while since I drove one of them. It does not work on a 10-speed, or super-10.

    Once you get out of school and in your own truck, shifting will become second nature. The more you worry about it now, the worse you will make it on yourself. Just let it come to you, and it will.
    Yeah, if everything goes right I'll be working for TMC. Then I'll have to learn a 13 speed with a splitter. Will it ever end?
    Terry L. Davis
    O/O with own authority

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    Windwalker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Downshifting

    Quote Originally Posted by Overloaded
    Quote Originally Posted by terrylamar
    My problem on down shifting is the closer I get to my stop or turn. When I still have some distance I seem to do alright. As I get closer it defies logic to take my foot off the brake to rev the engine. We are using 9 speeds. The instructor showed us a neat trick, I don't know if it common knowledge or not, when down shifting in high range, high range low is the same as low 4th. It is much easier to find high low than it is to find 4th, and 4th can be used for turns.
    You are not supposed to the low position while in high range according to Eaton Fuller.
    You're right. You are not supposed to use it. However, I know of quite a number of drivers that do use it, and there has not appeared to have been any damage done to the transmission.

    The company just traded in their day-cab, with a 9-speed. The driver has been in that truck since it was bought. Now, he's got a 10-speed and is complaining that he doesn't have that "extra hole" to use. I drove it last month, and there didn't seem to be anything unusual with the tranny. Over 700K on it, and the tranny has never had to have anything done to it. I know what Eaton-Fuller says, but........
    Destroy the cities...
    and they will rebuild them.
    Destroy the farms...
    and grass will grow in the streets of the cities.

    Destroy the economy of the blue-collar worker...
    and grass will grow in the executive offices.

    The bill has come due.
    ( R E T I R E D , and glad of it)


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    fastereddie is offline Member
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    A few observations on the 9LL Eaton Fuller.
    -the gaps between gears is about 500 vs 400 for a 10 sp
    -downshifting is at 1000 for 8 to 5, rev, then shift down
    -from high 5 to low 4 I drop to 800 rpm and give it a stronger rev
    -4 to 2 drop to 1000 rpm then rev and downshift

    The timing of the shifts and clutching also depends on the weight being hauled...
    -empty, the truck slows more between shifts requiring slower shifts.
    I listen to the turbo spooling down to judge shift timing.

    The odd thing in my truck(electronic fuel pedal) there is about 3/8" free play before rpms increase making it difficult to apply fuel smoothly.

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    Splitter is offline Board Regular
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    Whatever works for you. I personally float while shifting. I work with guys that clutch. It just depends what you feels comfortable with.

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    bcbasher is offline Member
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    Default Re: Downshifting

    [quote="Overloaded"]
    Quote Originally Posted by terrylamar

    You are not supposed to the low position while in high range according to Eaton Fuller.

    800,000 on my 13 and thats the way its been drivin since new. i do it and ther owner did it when he drove the truck. i donno mabey its just luck.

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