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Old 08-12-2009, 07:41 PM
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Default Rookie question about floating gears

Afternoon all another question from the newbie. At school we had to learn to shift gears via doubleclutching and wouldnt let us learn to float. We were given 1300 rpms for low gears and 1600 rpms for high gears and down to 1000 rpms to downshift. What is the difference via floating ? Do you get to proper rpm for gear than lift on the throttle to push to gear than back on the throttle ? Any help is greatly apprecited I head to orientation in a little over 2 weeks.
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Old 08-12-2009, 08:34 PM
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At school we had to learn to shift gears via doubleclutching and wouldnt let us learn to float. We were given 1300 rpms for low gears and 1600 rpms for high gears and down to 1000 rpms to downshift. What is the difference via floating ?

None (for me, at least)

Do you get to proper rpm for gear than lift on the throttle to push to gear than back on the throttle ?
Yeah, that's about right.

The actual rpm level is dependent on your engine's operating range. For me, I have a 15-litre Cat, with a 9 speed 'top-two' transmission (8th and 9th are automatic, the rest, manual). For most of the high range, I upshift at 1500 on level ground. However, it's best to adjust this for uphills, downhills, and whatever weight you're pulling. It will become apparent very quickly as to how much juice you need to give it before you upshift, once you start hauling freight. This is why I'll sometimes stretch it out to 1600rpm on a steep uphill with a heavy load, and why I'll sometimes shift up at 13-1400rpm in the high range going downhill with the same load (if I'm in a safe spot to upshift, that is).
This also depends on the transmission you'll be using (although most companies use 9- or 10-speeds, but TMC has been known to use 13's and Keen 18's), but you'll get the hang of it in due time.
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Old 08-12-2009, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyerfan4life View Post
Afternoon all another question from the newbie. At school we had to learn to shift gears via doubleclutching and wouldnt let us learn to float. We were given 1300 rpms for low gears and 1600 rpms for high gears and down to 1000 rpms to downshift. What is the difference via floating ? Do you get to proper rpm for gear than lift on the throttle to push to gear than back on the throttle ? Any help is greatly apprecited I head to orientation in a little over 2 weeks.
There is a certain RPM that you can take the truck out of gear without using the clutch. Likewise, there is a certain RPM that you can put the truck back into gear without using the clutch. That is what "floating" the gears is. Each truck is different at what speeds and rpm's it will do it at, and the only thing that will teach you how to do it is time and practice.
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Old 08-12-2009, 09:54 PM
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You don't want to be attempting to learn this heading into orientation. Company's don't exactly like you "floating" gears as it is so no need to be showing them that your learning to do it.
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Old 08-12-2009, 11:53 PM
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oThanks for the info folks. I will stick with doubleclutching through the roadtest etc, I am just curious to continue learning as much as possible. My instructors at school did say most truckers float the gears. I have the internet on my phone so I can take the board with me when I HIT THE ROAD.
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Old 08-13-2009, 12:38 AM
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I've learned to float on my own. I'm still learning, and i can't float like vets who has been driving for years, BUT i've found that floating is much easier than double clutching...and faster.
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Old 08-13-2009, 01:21 AM
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I've learned to float on my own. I'm still learning, and i can't float like vets who has been driving for years, BUT i've found that floating is much easier than double clutching...and faster.
I was thinking that floating may help get you rolling through a light or intersection faster than doubleclutching especially from a dead stop. Hopefully I can pick it up like you. I did pretty good at doubleclutching in school and was probably the only one in my class that wouldnt give you whiplash.
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Old 08-13-2009, 03:14 AM
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It's actually quite easy...

Once you get the hang of WHERE the engine WANTS another gear (either up or down) WITH the clutch - it works EXACTLY THE SAME - except WITHOUT the clutch.

Fr'example - you usually drop 300 RPMS's per gear on an UPSHIFT (and likewise on a down). So when you clutch in and shift to N, then clutch in again and upshift - you usually "lose" 300 rpm in the next gear up. If your TIMING is right, you will hit that next gear up, as the revs are DROPPING from when you clutched in to get to N. So, if your upshift point is 1,600 - by the time your rev's drop to around 1,300 - you should be clutching back in and shifting into the next gear. Let the rev's DROP too much and GRIND - likewise, don't let them drop ENOUGH and GRIND.

The "sweet spot" is all in the timing. When you're getting it right with the clutch, you go from gear to gear, seemingly with minimal effort on the stick - kinda drops right in. When you've got that timing down, and know the "sweet spot" for your engine/tranny combo - just shift the SAME - but WITHOUT THE CLUTCH. Hit 1,600, let of the fuel pedal sharply and pull (or push) into neutral - as the revs drop down from 1,600 - start pushing (gently) towards your next gear - when the RPMS/Road Speed match up, it'll just drop right in - then back into the fuel.

Downshifts take a little more finesse (and alot more practice). You need to blip the throttle slightly to get to neutral, then blip 3-400 rpms UP for 1 gear and 7-800 for 2. So if your downshift point is 1,000 - small blip, move to N - blip up to 1,400 and you should drop into the next gear down as the RPM's fall past the 1,300 mark. Again - all in the timing. If you can get it proficiently without GRINDING with the clutch - then it's only a matter of a little practice to float.

By the end of my 9 week course - I could float up and down on every truck in the school - 10's, super 10's, 13's - from the 85 KW Cabovers, to the 2000 Century's (old crap we had - county school) and the good old 78 Longnose Pete 9 speed (my favorite, I got attached to that good old girl, floated like buttah)...

Once you get it down - you'll only use the clutch to launch, and when you occasionally lose track of what frikkin gear you're in, and have to hunt for the right one (GROAN)...

Best of luck...

Rick
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Old 08-13-2009, 03:45 AM
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Each gear has both a ground speed range & a proper engine RPM range before you can "float" the gears. "Floating" the gears means for an 1/2 second or so- you are n neutral while you "float" between the gears.

Like the above person pointed out-- you don't want to be doing this during a "road test" as a newbie- inexperienced driver. When you're not n gear-- you're not in CONTROL. The safety man that's hiring you.. isn't going to be impressed with you rolling 3 truck lengths or so in neutral while trying to find the "sweet spot" rpm to make it all sync.

Stick to "short cuts" that work. Starting in 3rd. Rolling up to the stop n gear with the clutch depressed- instead of trying to down shift through all the gears and missing any of them. Don't shift in a turn. Don't over rev the rpm's during shifting.

You can learn to "float" and skip shift later- while you're making $$$$.
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  #10  
Old 08-13-2009, 10:38 AM
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It took me about a month or two to learn how to float on my own.. I just kept practicing and practicing when i ran night loads and i was out on the road by myself.. Now i'm smooth at times but sometimes i can scrap a few when i'm in a rush!!

But if i was you when you get out on your own just practice then and then it will become natural too you!!
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