Jump to content
BlueLghtning

Teaching my wife to shift the HDT (float or double clutch)

What's the best way to teach a newbie to shift an HDT truck?  

10 members have voted

  1. 1. What's the best way to teach a newbie to shift an HDT truck?

    • Teach them to float to get the timing right first only using the clutch when necessary
      5
    • Teach them to double clutch every gear (Clutch to N, Clutch to gear)
      5


Recommended Posts

Well this turned into a "Dolly Trolly" length post! (Just messing with you man, I love your posts but you might have competition now:) ). This post does go into a lot of detail. If you don't want to read all this, just give me your thoughts on the main question I posted and even better if you taught your DW to shift or not or how you learned? What's the best way to teach a newbie to shift an HDT truck? Do you teach them to float to get the timing right first only using the clutch when necessary or do you teach them to double clutch every gear (Clutch to N, Clutch to gear) even if they struggle with the timing? 

My wife Sarah has asked me to post this and she's agreed to go with the majority on this. We have a Volvo 610 with the Detroit Diesel and 10spd Eaton Fuller. She is eager to learn to drive it, but she doesn't think that learning to float the gears is the best option to start out. I've even sent her several YouTube vids on shifting (most of them explaining the double clutch technique) that she hasn't watched yet either, and I think that will help before we even try more lessons. Now I knew full well going into this that shifting an HDT is nothing like a car, but I really like to shift and I don't regret the decision at all. I love my truck and I love shifting it. I know Sarah is more than capable to learn too, she just needs to learn the timing since it's much more crucial to smooth shifts.

For some background, Sarah and have both riden motorcycles for 15-20 years and we have both driven manual cars all our lives. We would both prefer a manual over an automatic in our cars. Sarah's daily driver is a mini cooper with a 6spd manual. Motorcycles have always been pretty easy even though you opearte the clutch with your hand and shift with your foot as the shifting is sequential and you just go up or down through the gears with N in between 1st & 2nd. Cars aren't much harder and since the transmissions are syncrohnized, you can pretty much hold the clutch in and go in any gear you want without any isuses. Here is where I think her habits are hurting her though. I've always been someone that downshifted my motorcycles or cars. You don't have to double clutch obviously, but on a bike I would rev up on a downshift to rev match the lower gear I was going to. I used to ride and teach motorcycle riding on the track and if you didn't have a slipper clutch, rev matching was something you had to do on aggressive down shifts in order not to lock up the rear. On a car I frequently do this also and rev match my downshifts when I could or at the very least downshift each gear and let the clutch out in each gear. Sarah on the other hand will frequently roll to a stop in the car or the bike with the clutch pulled in just coasting. On a bike, she might go from say 5th gear to 2nd and just hold the clutch in and bang out 3 downshifts and then hold the clutch until she needed to turn or stop. In a car, same thing, if she's coming up to a turn, she'll go from say 5th or 4th gear right to 2nd gear with the clutch in, hold it until she's making the turn, then let the clutch out to accelerate out of the turn. You obviously can't get away with this in a HDT truck. It doesn't matter if you use the clutch or not, you cannot physically force the truck into a lower gear than is adequate for that road speed you are traveling at the time you are trying to shift. I've worked with her on this on both the bikes and cars and she can downshift when she wants to, she just chooses not to. If I get her playing in the mountains or something where she's being more agressive, she will downshift as I do and does it very well. 

Some other things that I think helped me even before we owned the HDT, I used to try practicing floating the gears in my cars. Now this is much harder in a sequential transmission than a non sequential like an HTD, but I could pull it off sometimes. In my late teens I also owned this beater '79 Toyota Corona Station wagon with some 300k miles that the transmission was so worn, you could float the gears all day long and not miss a beat, so I've understood the concept of floating gears for a long time. Now that I actually get to practice it in in HDT truck, I've really become pretty decent at it. Now even I can't hit all the downshifts in a truck unless I start slowing down way early, but I'm getting better and learning new tricks. One of the hardest things for me to learn in the HDT truck is you slow down to downsift vs a car or bike where you can downshift to slow down.   

I took Sarah out on her first lesson in the HDT some time back only in a school parking lot that has a large running track you can drive on. Bascially you can just keep going in circles around the track and there is nothing to worry about except staying on the track. She was adamant that she did not want to learn how to float the gears (she considered that advanced) and so wanted to use the clutch. The first thing we had to work on was teaching her to engage the clutch brake to shift into gear not moving and then slowly engaging the clutch without any throttle to get the truck moving. We did this many times and her start off in several different gears (2-5 from a standing still to show her the difference of starting in different gears) and she got that part with ease. However, she kept wanting to start in lower gears that I never even use like 2nd where I almost always start off in 4th or 5th bobtail, but since we were in a parking lot, the lower gears didn't matter and it kept the speeds lower. The next part came to try to shift to the next gear while moving with double clutching but not pushing the clutch down so far as to engage the clutch brake when doing a double clutch. The whole concept of double clutching here is you clutch to N, and then clutch to gear. It's a quick fluid motion that takes time and practice to do it well every time you shift. However, even with double clutching, you still have to generally match the transmisison speed and road speed for the gear you want. If your speed differential between them is too great, you will still grind and miss a gear. The clutch just gives you a bit more freedom to be a little but further from actually matching precisely the transmission speed to road speed, but not by much.

We had her playing around in 2-3 and 3-4, and 4-5 shifts. She would generally get the 2-3 shift, although this is pretty low in the rpm range and a pretty quick shift which I think added to the difficulty. Sometimes she would get the 2-3 shift, but then she would almost always miss 3-4 shift and would have to start over. I think in most cases when she missed a gear, she was too slow on the clutch to N, clutch to gear and the RPM's would drop so much she'd be below the range needed to engage the gear. At that point, I tried to teach her about bringing the RPM's back up to match the tractor speed so you could get in your gear, but IMOP having the clutch pushed in while doing this just leads to lots of frusteration when it won't go into gear as you would expect a normal car to do. When she'd get frusterated that it won't go into gear, she'd start pushing the clutch too far that she was engaging the clutch brake and it will never go into gear like that. So at that point it would become a lost cause and she'd have to stop again. After a few of these over and over again, any normal person becomes frusterated and it's scary to think if you were on the road and couldn't get a gear, would you have a place to pull over and start again. 

So this is where I feel floating the gears has the advantage. The only two things you are focussing on while floating gears on an upshift is coming out of gear with no load on the transmission, and then just timing it right to go in the next gear as the RPM's fall. If your timing is right, it's a 1-2 shift and easy as can be. If you are off a little bit you can feel the shifter bump against the gear, but with just a little pressure as your RPM's get closer, the bumping slows down and the shifter is literally sucked into the gear. If you are two slow, the bumping gets faster as you get further from the actual RPM range, you just give a quick blip to the throttle and try again as the RPM's fall. There is No clutch to N and then clutch to gear which takes time and takes your focus away from the actual shift you are trying to make in a certain RPM drop. Generally speaking, it's about a 500rpm drop between gears on a 10spd so if you shift out at say 1400, you would watch the rpms drop and start applying pressure around 1000 and by the time it falls to 900 it goes right in. Once you get the timing right, it's a smooth as can be shift. For downshifts, it's the same principle, but you add a little throttle blip in there while in N. So on a typical a downshift you let the truck slow down to say 1000rpm, you shift into N, blip the throttle to 1700 and then let ease into the shifter on the next gear and let it catch as it falls to 1500 for the next lower gear. Sometime back, I watched a youtube video that explains about recovering a gear after a missed shift. His advice was if you missed a gear to never use the clutch to recover the gear and instead focus on the RPM's and matching your transmission speed to your road speed and ever since I've started doing that I've never had to stop because I got lost in the gearbox and couldn't find a gear. I now have pretty high confidence that if i miss a gear, I know how to recover it safely and quickly and pratice this all the time. That has greatly helped my confidence knowing a missed shift is not the end of the world.

As I've driven more, I've started to practice using the clutch more on shifts, but I still find I'm generally a much better shifter wihtout the clutch. Now there are times using the clutch makes sense and I've started do like a hybrid shift on downshifts. For example when coming to a stop if it catches you by surprise and you didn't get the shifter out of gear in time while the transmission was unloaded before the truck started slowing down in gear, you can just use the clutch to release the pressure and get into N, then do a rev match for the next lower gear. So generally 9 times out of 10, I'll still float remaining shift back to gear with a rev match vs using the clutch for the 2nd part. I find it's smoother and quicker and that gives me more time to do the next downshift. 

Now in the end, I'm not a pro or expert on shifting by anymeans and spouses teaching each other can sometimes be a challenge and we both recognize that. I've found what works for me and i'm happy with that. I originally went into learning the HDT shifting with using the clutch, but I found I got the timing and concepts much better with floating the gears. I'm not trying to convince her not to use the clutch, but I just know it helped me learn quicker. I feel like once she gets the timing down of the gear changes, then if she chooses to clutch each gear, that's fine, but at least she'll understand the timing. I keep working on being a better shifter and getting better each time I drive. I've really learned you can't rush the shift at all and when I take my time, I get butter smooth shifts that even impress myself sometimes. I still certainly have my moments of well that wasn't very good, but no more getting lost and having to stop and start over again which was the biggest confidence booster to me. 

BTW, here is my lovely wife Sarah and when we first got our HDT.
2017-04-10%2015.30.16-L.jpg

2017-04-09%2018.47.40-L.jpg 

2017-04-09%2018.47.55-L.jpg 

 

Edited by BlueLghtning

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Float shift..... 

Be careful on coasting in neutral.  The pumps in these transmissions are run by the input shaft or main shaft... If the shaft isn't turning, the pump isn't pumping.  My wife can float shift when she decides to drive, which isn't often.  

Generally, coming off the highway, down a ramp, I'll run the Jake in 10th gear down to 1000rpm, shift - float- down to 9th, slow to 1000 rpm.  By that point, I might be doing 20-25mph  (Can't remember exactly), clutch half in, shift to neutral, clutch out,  upon stopping- that last little roll, float into 4th and depress clutch half way.  If it's a stop sign, look and go.  If it's a light- I do a quick observation of who's moving and determine if I'm going to sit holding the clutch, or if it's easier to shift back to neutral and wait for the light to turn.  Sounds complicated but in essence, it's a 2-second decision.

If I had to double clutch every gear up or down we would have an auto of some sort.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Alie&Jim's Carrilite said:

Float shift..... 

Be careful on coasting in neutral.  The pumps in these transmissions are run by the input shaft or main shaft... If the shaft isn't turning, the pump isn't pumping.  My wife can float shift when she decides to drive, which isn't often.  

Generally, coming off the highway, down a ramp, I'll run the Jake in 10th gear down to 1000rpm, shift - float- down to 9th, slow to 1000 rpm.  By that point, I might be doing 20-25mph  (Can't remember exactly), clutch half in, shift to neutral, clutch out,  upon stopping- that last little roll, float into 4th and depress clutch half way.  If it's a stop sign, look and go.  If it's a light- I do a quick observation of who's moving and determine if I'm going to sit holding the clutch, or if it's easier to shift back to neutral and wait for the light to turn.  Sounds complicated but in essence, it's a 2-second decision.

If I had to double clutch every gear up or down we would have an auto of some sort.

yep, that sounds exactly what I do. I've also figured out I can hit 4th gear from slow speed with a little clutch/float technque and be ready to go or stop if needed. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She should be able to float the gears in no time. There is a device that you connect to the truck and it displays the proper gear for your truck speed and engine rpm. I have never used one, I just listened to her talk to me. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ronbo said:

She should be able to float the gears in no time. There is a device that you connect to the truck and it displays the proper gear for your truck speed and engine rpm. I have never used one, I just listened to her talk to me. 

Yep, I've seen that. It's called the Gear Master. I thought about getting one when I first got the truck, but I learned pretty quick on the gears on where I needed to be. - http://www.gearmaster.com/product.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've taught a lot of people including my wife that hates  manual transmissions. 

I've found float shifting to be the easiest, but on an uphill double clutch. 

I truley think women are easier to teach because their more willing to be  patient and listen to the motor and feel the gears rather than try to force something.

sorry guys just my opinion ?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Broncohauler said:

I've taught a lot of people including my wife that hates  manual transmissions. 

I've found float shifting to be the easiest, but on an uphill double clutch. 

I truley think women are easier to teach because their more willing to be  patient and listen to the motor and feel the gears rather than try to force something.

sorry guys just my opinion ?

 

True about the uphill because the RPM's can drop a lot faster than you think. Thanks for your feedback. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not the worlds best double clutch shifter but I was taught many moons ago you need to know how to do both. Float shifting is nice on hard surface roads. What Broncohauler said ^ uphill and in soft ground double clutchage is your friend. Another fun method is to float to neutral and clutch into the next gear, up or down. 

And then learn how to decel the engine with the jake to make a fast up shift 

And then take the muffler off :)

Question: when you float shift a synchromesh trans aren't you asking the synchronizers to force the engine and wheels to match speeds? Kind of like using the clutch brake to stop the truck:0

Edited by noteven

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Try not to hang on to the gear shift real tight when float shifting. If the gears are not at the correct position then light pressure on the fingers will tell the foot what to do.

  That way there should be no grinding. 

 The fingers should be about as tight as the patience should be with the instructor. Now if the instructor is tence, one may try anther time.

 

 Smooth shiften,.  Vern

 

 I do have trouble floating gears when I Think about it.

 That's when the DW reminds me about the gears. And then I can tell things are getting tence with the passenger.

 Just think of something else and shift away.

Edited by Wrknrvr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, noteven said:

I'm not the worlds best double clutch shifter but I was taught many moons ago you need to know how to do both. Float shifting is nice on hard surface roads. What Broncohauler said ^ uphill and in soft ground double clutchage is your friend. Another fun method is to float to neutral and clutch into the next gear, up or down. 

And then learn how to decel the engine with the jake to make a fast up shift 

And then take the muffler off :)

Question: when you float shift a synchromesh trans aren't you asking the synchronizers to force the engine and wheels to match speeds? Kind of like using the clutch brake to stop the truck:0

Yep, I can definitely see double clutch on hills and soft ground. I haven't even thought about the jake to decel the engine for a faster upshift. That's a good idea I'll have to try. I've caught myself with the jake on while upshifting and missed my shift and then shut it off.

When you float a synchromest trans, it either works or it doesn't, there really isn't an inbetween :D You either get it in with a nice and smooth shift or you have a terrible grind and you miss it. Some cars and older transmissions with more wear are a lot easier too. It's certainly not quicker than actual clutch shifting, just something to screw around with. And yes I'm sure it's not nice to the synchronizers. It's not something I do a lot, but I've tried it now and then just to see if I could do it. One of the easiest to do is as you roll up to stop sign slowly and have the car in N, apply light pressure on 1st gear and just when the speed of the car at idle matches your road speed, it will slide right in. You can do that one all the time without grinding since the car is at idle.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Darryl&Rita said:

Teach her the right way, then teach her the short cuts.

So if you teach someone the right way with a double clutch and they are missing the timing, how do you work on that? Just more practice? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Wrknrvr said:

 Try not to hang on to the gear shift real tight when float shifting. If the gears are not at the correct position then light pressure on the fingers will tell the foot what to do.

  That way there should be no grinding. 

 The fingers should be about as tight as the patience should be with the instructor. Now if the instructor is tence, one may try anther time.

 

 Smooth shiften,.  Vern

 

 I do have trouble floating gears when I Think about it.

 That's when the DW reminds me about the gears. And then I can tell things are getting tence with the passenger.

 Just think of something else and shift away.

I've definitely learned that a light touch works so much better. Early on I was muscling it too and stressing out. Same thing when I relax and don't shift about it, my shifts improve dramatically. Thanks for the comments. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Go buy her an old pickup with a worn out tranny.  She'll be a pro in no time.

I learned in a '49 International KB-2, a '47 KB-6, and a '50 B-180 w/ 2spd axle.  I also had to learn how to change axles when I snapped one when I got stuck in the field......:huh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, BlueLghtning said:

So if you teach someone the right way with a double clutch and they are missing the timing, how do you work on that? Just more practice? 

Yes. Get her to be consistent with double clutching, first. Once that's second nature, the timing is already learned. I don't really agree with it, but floating on a drivers test is an automatic fail in most jurisdictions. 

If you can't get the timing down, that's what the right hand seat is for.

 

BTW: The Jake is controlled by your right foot, not a switch on the dash. Leave it turned on, and use light toe pressure on the throttle to enable/disable the Jake. If you need to move your right foot over to the brake, but don't want to wake the good people, cover the clutch pedal with your left, just taking up the slack.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Darryl&Rita said:

Yes. Get her to be consistent with double clutching, first. Once that's second nature, the timing is already learned. I don't really agree with it, but floating on a drivers test is an automatic fail in most jurisdictions. 

If you can't get the timing down, that's what the right hand seat is for.

 

BTW: The Jake is controlled by your right foot, not a switch on the dash. Leave it turned on, and use light toe pressure on the throttle to enable/disable the Jake. If you need to move your right foot over to the brake, but don't want to wake the good people, cover the clutch pedal with your left, just taking up the slack.

Thanks! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My wife shifts both ways, but prefers to float. This is possible for her with the Gearmaster......I don't need it anymore, but leave it on the dash in case she drives which is almost never. Sometimes she clutches to neutral and floats in if her timing with the throttle isn't smooth that day.

 

I prefer to float everywhere and use the jake when off road shifting uphill to make it quicker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/11/2017 at 10:04 AM, BlueLghtning said:

Well this turned into a "Dolly Trolly" length post! (Just messing with you man, I love your posts but you might have competition now:) ). This post does go into a lot of detail. If you don't want to read all this, just give me your thoughts on the main question I posted and even better if you taught your DW to shift or not or how you learned? What's the best way to teach a newbie to shift an HDT truck? Do you teach them to float to get the timing right first only using the clutch when necessary or do you teach them to double clutch every gear (Clutch to N, Clutch to gear) even if they struggle with the timing? 

My wife Sarah has asked me to post this and she's agreed to go with the majority on this. We have a Volvo 610 with the Detroit Diesel and 10spd Eaton Fuller. She is eager to learn to drive it, but she doesn't think that learning to float the gears is the best option to start out. I've even sent her several YouTube vids on shifting (most of them explaining the double clutch technique) that she hasn't watched yet either, and I think that will help before we even try more lessons. Now I knew full well going into this that shifting an HDT is nothing like a car, but I really like to shift and I don't regret the decision at all. I love my truck and I love shifting it. I know Sarah is more than capable to learn too, she just needs to learn the timing since it's much more crucial to smooth shifts.

For some background, Sarah and have both riden motorcycles for 15-20 years and we have both driven manual cars all our lives. We would both prefer a manual over an automatic in our cars. Sarah's daily driver is a mini cooper with a 6spd manual. Motorcycles have always been pretty easy even though you opearte the clutch with your hand and shift with your foot as the shifting is sequential and you just go up or down through the gears with N in between 1st & 2nd. Cars aren't much harder and since the transmissions are syncrohnized, you can pretty much hold the clutch in and go in any gear you want without any isuses. Here is where I think her habits are hurting her though. I've always been someone that downshifted my motorcycles or cars. You don't have to double clutch obviously, but on a bike I would rev up on a downshift to rev match the lower gear I was going to. I used to ride and teach motorcycle riding on the track and if you didn't have a slipper clutch, rev matching was something you had to do on aggressive down shifts in order not to lock up the rear. On a car I frequently do this also and rev match my downshifts when I could or at the very least downshift each gear and let the clutch out in each gear. Sarah on the other hand will frequently roll to a stop in the car or the bike with the clutch pulled in just coasting. On a bike, she might go from say 5th gear to 2nd and just hold the clutch in and bang out 3 downshifts and then hold the clutch until she needed to turn or stop. In a car, same thing, if she's coming up to a turn, she'll go from say 5th or 4th gear right to 2nd gear with the clutch in, hold it until she's making the turn, then let the clutch out to accelerate out of the turn. You obviously can't get away with this in a HDT truck. It doesn't matter if you use the clutch or not, you cannot physically force the truck into a lower gear than is adequate for that road speed you are traveling at the time you are trying to shift. I've worked with her on this on both the bikes and cars and she can downshift when she wants to, she just chooses not to. If I get her playing in the mountains or something where she's being more agressive, she will downshift as I do and does it very well. 

Some other things that I think helped me even before we owned the HDT, I used to try practicing floating the gears in my cars. Now this is much harder in a sequential transmission than a non sequential like an HTD, but I could pull it off sometimes. In my late teens I also owned this beater '79 Toyota Corona Station wagon with some 300k miles that the transmission was so worn, you could float the gears all day long and not miss a beat, so I've understood the concept of floating gears for a long time. Now that I actually get to practice it in in HDT truck, I've really become pretty decent at it. Now even I can't hit all the downshifts in a truck unless I start slowing down way early, but I'm getting better and learning new tricks. One of the hardest things for me to learn in the HDT truck is you slow down to downsift vs a car or bike where you can downshift to slow down.   

I took Sarah out on her first lesson in the HDT some time back only in a school parking lot that has a large running track you can drive on. Bascially you can just keep going in circles around the track and there is nothing to worry about except staying on the track. She was adamant that she did not want to learn how to float the gears (she considered that advanced) and so wanted to use the clutch. The first thing we had to work on was teaching her to engage the clutch brake to shift into gear not moving and then slowly engaging the clutch without any throttle to get the truck moving. We did this many times and her start off in several different gears (2-5 from a standing still to show her the difference of starting in different gears) and she got that part with ease. However, she kept wanting to start in lower gears that I never even use like 2nd where I almost always start off in 4th or 5th bobtail, but since we were in a parking lot, the lower gears didn't matter and it kept the speeds lower. The next part came to try to shift to the next gear while moving with double clutching but not pushing the clutch down so far as to engage the clutch brake when doing a double clutch. The whole concept of double clutching here is you clutch to N, and then clutch to gear. It's a quick fluid motion that takes time and practice to do it well every time you shift. However, even with double clutching, you still have to generally match the transmisison speed and road speed for the gear you want. If your speed differential between them is too great, you will still grind and miss a gear. The clutch just gives you a bit more freedom to be a little but further from actually matching precisely the transmission speed to road speed, but not by much.

We had her playing around in 2-3 and 3-4, and 4-5 shifts. She would generally get the 2-3 shift, although this is pretty low in the rpm range and a pretty quick shift which I think added to the difficulty. Sometimes she would get the 2-3 shift, but then she would almost always miss 3-4 shift and would have to start over. I think in most cases when she missed a gear, she was too slow on the clutch to N, clutch to gear and the RPM's would drop so much she'd be below the range needed to engage the gear. At that point, I tried to teach her about bringing the RPM's back up to match the tractor speed so you could get in your gear, but IMOP having the clutch pushed in while doing this just leads to lots of frusteration when it won't go into gear as you would expect a normal car to do. When she'd get frusterated that it won't go into gear, she'd start pushing the clutch too far that she was engaging the clutch brake and it will never go into gear like that. So at that point it would become a lost cause and she'd have to stop again. After a few of these over and over again, any normal person becomes frusterated and it's scary to think if you were on the road and couldn't get a gear, would you have a place to pull over and start again. 

So this is where I feel floating the gears has the advantage. The only two things you are focussing on while floating gears on an upshift is coming out of gear with no load on the transmission, and then just timing it right to go in the next gear as the RPM's fall. If your timing is right, it's a 1-2 shift and easy as can be. If you are off a little bit you can feel the shifter bump against the gear, but with just a little pressure as your RPM's get closer, the bumping slows down and the shifter is literally sucked into the gear. If you are two slow, the bumping gets faster as you get further from the actual RPM range, you just give a quick blip to the throttle and try again as the RPM's fall. There is No clutch to N and then clutch to gear which takes time and takes your focus away from the actual shift you are trying to make in a certain RPM drop. Generally speaking, it's about a 500rpm drop between gears on a 10spd so if you shift out at say 1400, you would watch the rpms drop and start applying pressure around 1000 and by the time it falls to 900 it goes right in. Once you get the timing right, it's a smooth as can be shift. For downshifts, it's the same principle, but you add a little throttle blip in there while in N. So on a typical a downshift you let the truck slow down to say 1000rpm, you shift into N, blip the throttle to 1700 and then let ease into the shifter on the next gear and let it catch as it falls to 1500 for the next lower gear. Sometime back, I watched a youtube video that explains about recovering a gear after a missed shift. His advice was if you missed a gear to never use the clutch to recover the gear and instead focus on the RPM's and matching your transmission speed to your road speed and ever since I've started doing that I've never had to stop because I got lost in the gearbox and couldn't find a gear. I now have pretty high confidence that if i miss a gear, I know how to recover it safely and quickly and pratice this all the time. That has greatly helped my confidence knowing a missed shift is not the end of the world.

As I've driven more, I've started to practice using the clutch more on shifts, but I still find I'm generally a much better shifter wihtout the clutch. Now there are times using the clutch makes sense and I've started do like a hybrid shift on downshifts. For example when coming to a stop if it catches you by surprise and you didn't get the shifter out of gear in time while the transmission was unloaded before the truck started slowing down in gear, you can just use the clutch to release the pressure and get into N, then do a rev match for the next lower gear. So generally 9 times out of 10, I'll still float remaining shift back to gear with a rev match vs using the clutch for the 2nd part. I find it's smoother and quicker and that gives me more time to do the next downshift. 

Now in the end, I'm not a pro or expert on shifting by anymeans and spouses teaching each other can sometimes be a challenge and we both recognize that. I've found what works for me and i'm happy with that. I originally went into learning the HDT shifting with using the clutch, but I found I got the timing and concepts much better with floating the gears. I'm not trying to convince her not to use the clutch, but I just know it helped me learn quicker. I feel like once she gets the timing down of the gear changes, then if she chooses to clutch each gear, that's fine, but at least she'll understand the timing. I keep working on being a better shifter and getting better each time I drive. I've really learned you can't rush the shift at all and when I take my time, I get butter smooth shifts that even impress myself sometimes. I still certainly have my moments of well that wasn't very good, but no more getting lost and having to stop and start over again which was the biggest confidence booster to me. 

BTW, here is my lovely wife Sarah and when we first got our HDT.
2017-04-10%2015.30.16-L.jpg

2017-04-09%2018.47.40-L.jpg 

2017-04-09%2018.47.55-L.jpg 

 

Blue,

U....R....Da Man,

I would freeze to death in the shadow of your story telling and word-smithing talents........

IF I had a agent she would be sending you a check soon for the 'credits" that you sent my way.........

NOW......you ask for "ADVICE" so..........Listen up........trucking is way more complicated that a lota folks here let on.....


 

So you are going about this teaching-trucking all WRONG......Period.


 

First........get you wife a fist full of wrenches a creeper and a tranny-jack and have her pull the old road-rager out and throw it on a bench and tear-it-apart and don't let her lose any of the 3.317 itty-bitty-needle bearings...........

Once your bride has the Road-rager apart she will notice that it has NO.......RUBBER-GEARS......so being female she will notice this minor detail and then she will know why gears tend to grind if treated badly.........

Next have her put the Road-rager back together and stuff it back in the truck........

Now Listen up hard here............you are Way.....Way....too much over thinking this trick-truck-shifting-thingy......Way Too Much........here is the deal..........A SHIFT is a SHIFT.......Period.......The auto-manual-geeks here in the forum will spout on and on about how different their "super-trannys" are but this is because they are "addicted-tech-drunks" and half have no idea that the 'Supper-tranny" under them is nothing more that a manual being shifted on "insider-information" from the engine,spedo, and a wedgie-board in a black-box some where.

OK now about ANY shift..........every shift is a shift........the difference is ............was the engaging gears loaded OR unloaded when the shift occurred.........IF properly shifted with a double clutch shift the engaging-gear-set becomes FULLY engaged BEFORE the gear-set becomes LOADED...........a PROPER Float-Shift with the EXACT same sequence as the double clutch shift ......AND .........the Auto-Shift (if it all sensors and software and, and, and, agree,,,,,)

So why do the tranny builders tell you to NOT float-shift???? Well Blue…. they know that sooner or latter someone will float gently just to about the 20% gear engagement and then only a tiny portion of the gears are loaded with 100% of the load and then your gear teeth break off and you will blame this on your bride and then you sleep in the sleeper of the truck for a long time.....

So before the next Bride-truck-driving lesson go down to the smoke shop and get a few cans of Prince Albert Tabacee and a few packs of Zig Zag cig-papers............Now give driving a lesson by example…….so find a busy congested part of town with a lotta stop lights and then start driving WHILE you drive with your Left hand and hold the Zig Zag-fag-paper curved in your Right hand and then while clenching the Prince Albert can lid in your teeth you gently AND evenly sprinkle the tabacee into the curved Zig Zag fag paper……….while cross shifting the tranny with your left arm looped the spokes of the steering wheel……...NOW…….IF…….you spill ANY tabacee……...get your wife a new driving instructor……

Now this may get me banned but shifting is but a itty-bitty-tiny part of operating a truck and the Auto-tranny-fetish is just a logical step into the realm of self-driving trucks like Otto-the-self-driving-beer-truck.

Grumps used to say……..”you only find two types of people in the cab of a truck……...one type, drive the truck…..the others have the truck drive them”……….truer words were never spoken…..

Grumps driving test of rolling your own fags while shifting a five and four tranny set seemed pretty simple…….every driver did it many times a day……….Grumps would remark, “if a guy smokes ready-made-fags he just might NOT be able to drive a truck”.


 

Drive on……..(don't spill Prince Albert…...)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Blue,

All kidding aside teaching shifting is one of those things that just takes time and practice.

Perhaps the hardest item to try to teach is to take it easy and not to get in a hurry........it takes just the right moment to engage those gears it's just the way it is.

 

My youngest sister managed to chip a gear tooth when I was teaching her my speedy-method-to-double-chutch so...........I got to fix the tranny (AND pay $$$) and Grumps made sure that shifting-teaching gig was over..........he said I was so bad at trucking driving that the only thing I could teach was how to NOT operate a truck.......he was right again......

 

Any how when you teach double clutchying make sure that the student get the gear FULLY engaged BEFORE letting the clutch out or a gear or two might need replaced........

 

Drive on..........(Don't follow my bad example(s)......)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha, I loved your post. I was gonna say she's actually quite the mechanic when she wants to be. 

She's always worked on her bikes and who doesn't like a wife that suggested getting rid of the kitchen table so we can work on bikes in the kitchen in the hot or cold weather. :D

101_6399-XL.jpg

Working on the front brakes
101_6397-XL.jpg

101_6393-XL.jpg

Then there was the Mazda Miata that we got from a friend. The car had sat for awhile after it stopped running on my buddy and he just watned out of it. It turns out it had just jumped time after the crankshaft key came out. Thankfully they are non inteference motors, but it was a common issue on the very early ones and there was a retro fit kit that fixed the problem. We got the car and Sarah went right to work tearing it down, ordering parts and putting it back together. The only part I helped with was using the gear puller to remove one of the pulley's. 

100_9930-L.jpg

100_9932-L.jpg

That was the culprit
100_9937-L.jpg

100_9938-L.jpg

100_0053-L.jpg

And happy mechanic at the end (Click for video)

100_0057-M.jpg

 

Edited by BlueLghtning

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Blue,

I know a bunch about wives....way more than I should.......

Your worried about her shifting is the least of your worries.......pretty soon your bride will figure that you are teaching her most of your bad shifting habits and then she will get those bad habits un-learned and then you are toast.......

After a couple hours of Grumps teaching my sis to shift she could out shift me with her eyes closed.....

Dollymomma has a cowgirl friend that is near her 4,000,000 mile pin with a lotta Seattle 18 speed accident free miles and I suspect she does not know that she is shifting most days.....she tells Dollymomma ......"oh cowgirl is just like breathing......you just don't even give it a thought after the first million miles or sooner....."

Drive on......(did I shift.....today)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/11/2017 at 9:57 PM, Darryl&Rita said:

BTW: The Jake is controlled by your right foot, not a switch on the dash. Leave it turned on, and use light toe pressure on the throttle to enable/disable the Jake. If you need to move your right foot over to the brake, but don't want to wake the good people, cover the clutch pedal with your left, just taking up the slack.

Darryl&Rita,

I just want to thank you for your suggestion. I played around with the Jake today driving the truck and you are right. A light a touch on the gas keeps the Jake off and just covering the clutch does the same. I did a few fast shifts with the Jake on too and I like it! I need more practice, but it was cool to try out! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...