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Thread: I never drove a stick shift, will this be a problem?

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    ZiggynCali is offline Rookie
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    Default I never drove a stick shift, will this be a problem?

    I'm starting class next week for my CDL, my question is I never really drove a stick shift before, I tryed once about 10 years ago I was able to drive around the block a couple times but never got fully used to it. Will it be harder not knowing how to drive a manual transmission, do you guys think I should have learned to drive a stick before going to school for my license. I guess I never learned since I never had a car with a stick shift, for those of you that already knew how to drive a manual was it easy making the transition to a tractor.

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    repete's Avatar
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    nah, some people can switch back and forth and some can't. See with a big truck you don't push the clutch all the way down(you'll lern why in class) and you double clutch. The trainer will teach that too and some say it's easier to learn without already having "stick exp"
    whenever I try driving my sons Honda I have a heck of a time I keep trying to float the gears and when that dosn't work then i double clutch, :lol: It makes it look like I can't drive ops: BOL have fun and be safe and learn all you can

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    Sealord is offline Senior Board Member
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    Default No Stick

    Concur with Repete. The instructors won't have to unlearn you of bad habits. I doubt they'll teach you to "float" gears as most entry level companies don't want to see new hires doing that during road tests. My personal vehicle has an auto, but what messes me up is not having the forward right spot mirror on my pick-em up truck. BOL

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    I didn't have any experience with manual transmissions before I learned on the big rig. My instructor told me that I picked it up quicker than most people who had experience driving a stick shift in their 4 wheeler.

    Just listen to your instructor and practice practice practice. BOL
    "A government big enough to give you everything you need, is a government strong enough to take everything you have" - Thomas Jefferson

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    Uturn2001 is offline Senior Board Member
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    Pretty much ditto what everyone else has said. In all likelihood you will have an easier time learning compared to someone who has driven a car with a manual.
    Finding the right trucking company is like finding the right person to marry. I really comes down to finding one whose BS you can put up with and who can put up wih yours.

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    I never touched a stickshift before either before getting into a big rig, and I too was told I picked it up quicker then most everyone else. It really isn't that difficult, just something new to get used to.

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    I know in schol they wont have you float gears. Only one of my instructors even egged me on to skip shift. I know when I first started we went to an industrial park on a Saturday. No traffic at all so it was great. I would go up through 8-9 gears and right back down. The instructor said it was our time to learn. So I took full advantage of it.

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    JeffTheTerrible is offline Senior Board Member
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    I agree. I think you may actually be better off not having driven a standard shift in your own vehicle, because the transmissions you'll be working with in these trucks are quite different, and you don't "granny shift" them, the way you would with the synchronized transmissions you'd find in your own car.
    Once you've got it down, you've got it, and it's not even an issue at that point. Don't worry - it may be a little rough at first, but it shouldn't take long to get the hang out it. Before long, you'll be shifting through a ten speed gearbox without so much as giving it a second thought. That is, until you decide to take on a local job, such as dump truck driving, where you shift as much in a day as you would in three or four days of OTR driving. Then you just glare resentfully at anyone on site who has an automatic in their truck.

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    Larry Heyns is offline Member
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    The rule of thumb is that anyone with the coordination to drive a stick shift car can be taught to drive a tractor-trailer. I suppose that coordination can also be evident in sports, video games, etc. It is not a question of intelligence. Some college graduates are unable to keep an eye on the road while observing the tach and speedometer. If they miss a shift, they drift out of their lane while looking at the shift pattern.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffTheTerrible
    I agree. I think you may actually be better off not having driven a standard shift in your own vehicle, because the transmissions you'll be working with in these trucks are quite different, and you don't "granny shift" them, the way you would with the synchronized transmissions you'd find in your own car.
    Once you've got it down, you've got it, and it's not even an issue at that point. Don't worry - it may be a little rough at first, but it shouldn't take long to get the hang out it. Before long, you'll be shifting through a ten speed gearbox without so much as giving it a second thought. That is, until you decide to take on a local job, such as dump truck driving, where you shift as much in a day as you would in three or four days of OTR driving. Then you'll just glare with disdain at anyone on site who has a P.O.S. automatic in their truck.
    Tonight's edition of "fix that post".

    Heh Heh. :lol:
    If you can't shift it smoothly, you shouldn't be driving it.

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    Default Re: No Stick

    Quote Originally Posted by Sealord
    Concur with Repete. The instructors won't have to unlearn you of bad habits. I doubt they'll teach you to "float" gears as most entry level companies don't want to see new hires doing that during road tests. My personal vehicle has an auto, but what messes me up is not having the forward right spot mirror on my pick-em up truck. BOL

    my problem is when I roll down an off ramp in my pick up and expect the jake to kick in :shock: oh-oh no jake! That and I seem to run out of gears in the p/u :lol:

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    JeffTheTerrible is offline Senior Board Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Splitshifter
    Tonight's edition of "fix that post".

    Heh Heh. :lol:
    :lol: :lol:

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    ZiggynCali is offline Rookie
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    Thanks for the info guys, someone actually told me it was better that I didn't know how to drive a manual because big rigs are much different then a regular stick. I didn't think that could be true but i'm glad it turns out it was, it makes me feel a little better going in.

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    I drove standard shift before I acquired my CDL. The ability to shift a 4wheelers transmission may actually have been a hindrance to learning the trucks shifting. The only aid knowing how to drive a standard was understanding the application of a clutch, and then only to get the vehicle in motion, and that is still a very minor comparison. Other than that everything else is different.
    Ive also found (as others will attest). That after learning the truck and spending the majority of the time driving the truck. The switch to your 4wheeler (with standard shift), takes some getting used to, and you will tend to try and shift your 4wheel like the truck, and it just dont work the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew10
    I drove standard shift before I acquired my CDL. The ability to shift a 4wheelers transmission may actually have been a hindrance to learning the trucks shifting. The only aid knowing how to drive a standard was understanding the application of a clutch, and then only to get the vehicle in motion, and that is still a very minor comparison. Other than that everything else is different.
    Ive also found (as others will attest). That after learning the truck and spending the majority of the time driving the truck. The switch to your 4wheeler (with standard shift), takes some getting used to, and you will tend to try and shift your 4wheel like the truck, and it just dont work the same.
    Yeah not that long ago I had to drive a stickshift 4 wheeler, first time I ever did, and it didn't like trying to be shifted like a truck :P Although instead of a grinding noise it just stalls out.

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