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  #1  
Old 12-11-2007, 07:40 PM
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Default Newbie needs shifting & downshifting tips.

You guys have been awesome so far. I was stressing about some of my skills test like backing into a garage from a 90 degree angle and other skills, and with your tips I aced all the the CDL skills exam. I've passed the pretrip and sklls portion so far.

The only problem I'm having is with the road exam, because simply I suck at shifting. I'm looking for shifting tips, especially down-shifting tips. I've tried using the rpms and it seems hit or miss. Sometimes I do ok and other times I plain suck. a lot of grinding gears and not being able to find the right gear. I think it is a combination of nerves and lack of skill or feeling comfortable in what I know and this leads back to nerves.

So any shifting tips for a newbie? its a ten speed. Doesn't seem to be a progressive shift since it seems I'm shifting same place on the rpm's no matter what gear. Basically I'm just sucking at shifting - any tips or advice?
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  #2  
Old 12-11-2007, 08:23 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,514
Default Re: Newbie needs shifting & downshifting tips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDumbDog777
You guys have been awesome so far. I was stressing about some of my skills test like backing into a garage from a 90 degree angle and other skills, and with your tips I aced all the the CDL skills exam. I've passed the pretrip and sklls portion so far.

The only problem I'm having is with the road exam, because simply I suck at shifting. I'm looking for shifting tips, especially down-shifting tips. I've tried using the rpms and it seems hit or miss. Sometimes I do ok and other times I plain suck. a lot of grinding gears and not being able to find the right gear. I think it is a combination of nerves and lack of skill or feeling comfortable in what I know and this leads back to nerves.

So any shifting tips for a newbie? its a ten speed. Doesn't seem to be a progressive shift since it seems I'm shifting same place on the rpm's no matter what gear. Basically I'm just sucking at shifting - any tips or advice?
What kind of truck is it? Freightliner?
Progressive shifting is a term used to describe the proper technique to use-which has the driver progressively shifting to a gear which keeps the rpm's low--and the truck in the highest gear possible for that rolling speed( (saves fuel)
until you gain enough experience--you should be using the techometer-
with time you'll learn by sound---but if you don't learn WHAT RPM to shift at---and get used to shifting at the noise pitch of say...2000 rpm's(way to high) you'll be doomed to a bad habit for life.

Now, if it's a freightliner--you'll notice the techometer is divided into color regions ---and the 1500 rpms is top of the guage--and the range around it--is colored GREEN.. GREEN is good. 1700-2100 is yellow---this isn't where you're suppose to be running or even rev'ing into---with the exception of down a hill( using the gears & engine to hold you back)
likewise 1200 and less is lugging the engine or low range.

there's a rolling RANGE for each gear--you need to learn what those ranges are--

a good rule of thumb- 50mph or greater is top gear=10th
city gear is ninth---usually a range from 35-50mph=9th
each gear range below is progressively smaller range

one most city turns--you'll want to be in 5th/or 6th

Jump in any time here----current trainers---I'm rusty with these figures.

Downshifting: most of my trainees had the problem with their FOOT-
it can't be on two pedals at once- and they would forget--they got to 'break torque' , rev the engine back up to sync the tranny/engine
First the brake--slow down to the rolling speed/ select the gear for that range/break torque/ disengage/rev up to 1400-1600rpm/ slip the transmission into the proper gear for that speed range.
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  #3  
Old 12-11-2007, 08:43 PM
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It's a volvo so no green zone. So generally speaking I should be shifting up at abut 1500?

for shifting down should I get RPMs to about 1200 and go into neuteral, rev engine to about 1800 RPM?

It seems like I am doing this (key word is "seems") and sometimes I cant find the gear or grind the gear.

It could be that maybe I'm stressing about not screwing up on the gear change that I forget to double clutch.

state examiner (Illinois) told me it's easier to double clutch but it's not a requirement (doesnt charge points on for not doing it during exam).

If double clutching is my problem, how does one shift smoothly without double clutching?

Seriously, my shifting sucks. for some reason some days are ok (not good) and some days not. Any shifting tips really would be appreciated.
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  #4  
Old 12-11-2007, 09:12 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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Default shifting

Just learning myself. Shifting wasn't much of a problem for me, backing is a different story lol.

I'm sure it varies with the tranny but the difference on the one I've been driving is about 400 rpm per gear. I drop to about 1100 then rev to about 1500 for the lower gear.

The big thing is it should be the same difference for each shift. Find out the difference for that one and try to shift at the same rpm each time, whether it's 1100 or 1300. I found it didn't take long know the sound the engine makes at 1500 for example and it didn't take long to downshift without looking at the tach once I got a feel/ear for it.

It can be overwhelming at first trying to shift while watching the tach, traffic, mirrors etc. and some of the guys in my class got real frustrated and down on themselves. Like I tell everyone, it will come. And it will come easier if you just relax and don't overthink it. Keep it simple, try to do each shift at the same rpm and once you get comfortable with that you can worry about something else.
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  #5  
Old 12-11-2007, 09:18 PM
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no..not really all of your shifting should be between 1400-1600 except for the low range gears....

realize it's been 6yrs since I had a trainee in a truck with me...and it was a lot easier to set in the jump seat and SEE what he was doing wrong. And a whole lot harder to set here in front of a computer screen and THINK about the mechanics of something I do all day/night automatically without thinking.

you need to be 'double clutching' until you are more experienced--floating of gears(without grinding them to bits) comes almost by accident after learning
how to break torque with the accularator--then by feel/timing/engine sound-when to slip it into the next gear.

When downshifting; the rpms are going to drop--because your foot is on the brake petal, you just used the clutch to break the torque,

YOU SHOULDN'T BE ROLLING AROUND IN NEUTRAL for more than a split second....notice here your rpm's don't have to be dropping down to 1200--you can catch em before they drop that far down-tap the accularator so the rpm's are between 1400-1600 and slip the stick in the gear.

Now on a hill--with a load. You're going to use progressive shifting...

When the rpm's start to lug( 1200 rpms) that's when it's time to downshift,
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  #6  
Old 12-11-2007, 09:39 PM
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I was reading some past posts on shifting. If I read one of them correctly, when downshifting, should I keep my foot on the throttle as I'm shifting from one gear to the next lower gear? My foor should be on the throttle from I start to clutch and go into neuteral, rev it up to about 1600-1800, let off the throttle then go into gear quckly?

Like I said, I grind alot and miss gears.
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  #7  
Old 12-11-2007, 10:05 PM
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Ok..update...just discovered I'm completely full of shit with with the above rpms and shifting this standard 10 speed. I was recalling what I "preached" to trainees with a super 10. I just tried driving from walgreens to truckstop stony ridge, oh....watching rpms, double clutching....and it's completely different rpms---oh, and i hate double clutching...new advice....

smoke a big fat one--right before the test..get relaxed and ace the road test.
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  #8  
Old 12-11-2007, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDumbDog777
I was reading some past posts on shifting. If I read one of them correctly, when downshifting, should I keep my foot on the throttle as I'm shifting from one gear to the next lower gear? My foor should be on the throttle from I start to clutch and go into neuteral, rev it up to about 1600-1800, let off the throttle then go into gear quckly?

Like I said, I grind alot and miss gears.
well, the only time I downshift...is when I'm slowing down or being pulled down by gravity....so my right foot is usually on the brake.<<<--this requires me to think about what the limbs are doing..and when...
yep..you take your foot off the brake and put it back on the gas(fuel), but now you're rolling slower-so time to drop a gear.....
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  #9  
Old 12-11-2007, 11:56 PM
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Location: Garland, Texas
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I had difficulty at first. :cry: Then learned the 10's after reading some post on this website.

1+0 (10mph)=5th
1+5 (15mph) =6th
2+5 (25mph)=7th
3+5 (35mph)=8th
4+5 (45mph)=9th

This is just a starting spot. Helped me sort it out. :lol: Below 5th gear is tricky since the mph for each gear is so small. After I got the basics then I started working with learning just how/where my particular truck likes to be shifted. This will also vary on the weight you are pulling. This "formula" also helps in downshifting and when you need to make a fast decision or recovery. Only other suggestion is just the old practice, practice, practice. Then there will be days that you really think you got it all figured out then the next day you can't find the right gear if your life depended on it. :shock: Start out by learning how to double shift correctly. After you master the clutch, the you can move on to floating the gears without using the clutch or minimal clutch.

Soladad
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  #10  
Old 12-12-2007, 01:36 AM
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Headborg Wrote:[quote]Downshifting: most of my trainees had the problem with their FOOT-
it can't be on two pedals at once- [/quote]

Why not?

That's how I always do it when downshifting to slow down.

I brake with one side of my foot, and work the throttle with the other side of my foot

Much smoother than jerking your foot from throttle to brake and back again.
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