Good afternoon all, leaving to Joplin on Sat. to start training with CFI and have never driven a 13 speed trany before, heck have never even seen a 13 speed trany (new CDL grad.) How much different is it than a straight 10 speed??? hard to pick up???? no i dont mean the weight!!!!!!
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Okay, first, if they are going to train you, they are going to explain the shift pattern of the truck you will be driving if it is one that is not familiar to you.
Now, I'm gonna tackle what may be the hardest things possible to do with mere words, when a few pictures would make it much easier.
The 13 speed, like almost every truck transmission, is based on the standard 5 speed pattern like is used in a typical Honda or any other car. You merely use and reuse the gears as you go along in a pattern. On the shift lever of the 13 speed, you will find 2 buttons vice the single flip up button that is common on a 10 speed transmission. One button is the range shift, and it moves in the standard up and down pattern you are used to. If you were to start in low gear, you would shift 1-5 as you normally would, and then would flip the button up for the next range as you are used to.
The other button gives you direct drive, and overdrive in the upper 4 gears, since the low gear position is not reused in the pattern. So coming out of 5th gear, you would be moving to the 2nd gear position, rather than going back to the normal 1st gear spot that you would with a 10 speed.
So When you start moving the truck, you will be in low gear, with the range selector on the low side, other button set in it's direct position. You go through gears 1-5, range shift and shift to the 2nd gear position, direct, which is 6th gear. You are now through with the range shift button, and will do all your further shifting with the direct/od button or through stick movements. As you reach the top of 6th, pre select the overdrive side of the Direct/OD button, and release the throttle and the truck will shift to the 7th gear position in response to the throttle being eased. At the top of 7th gear, you will preselect the direct position again, and release the throttle and float the gear lever to the 3rd gear position, which will be 8th on the high side.
The process then repeats itself up through the gears, using the button for every other gear, and the button, stick movement combo for the remainder.
So the pattern is as follows
Low 1st gear position
2nd 2nd gear position
3rd 3rd gear position
4th 4th gear position
5th 5th gear position
range shift up from low side to high side
6th 2nd gear position, direct
7th 2nd gear position, OD
8th 3rd gear position, direct
9th 3rd gear position, OD
10th 4th gear position, direct
11th 4th gear position, OD
12th 5th gear position, direct
13th 5th gear position, OD
It probably clear as mud, and if I had access to a paper and pencil, or 5 minutes with access to a transmission, I could make it clear as day.
Anyone else who can explain it more clearly, you won;t hurt my feelings one little bit....
Never thought of it in those terms, but that would be a pretty fair way of describing it. They are fairly quick and easy to learn, and once you drive one, you don;t forget how to do it. Before I went for my road test for a CDL about 10 years ago, I hadn't been behind the wheel of any truck for about 7 years. I drove around for 15 minutes the night before just refamaliarize myself with the 13 speed trans I would be using, and took the test the next day with no problems. Once you learn, you don't forget.
In fairness, I should point out that the 13 speed is very amenable to skipping shifts, and you can come out of low range into the high side, and never touch the direct/od button until after making your final stick movement into 12th gear. At that point you can shift to OD one time and be done. It is basically run like a 9 speed with the ability to split the upper gears. I drove one for years and based my shifting on what I had behind me. Empty I drove without splitting, and loaded to 100K, I shifted as needed.
One way to utilize a 13 speed is to skip up, and split down. As Burky stated, you could keep it in direct up to top gear, switch to overdrive, and switch back and forth between direct and OD while downshifting as needed for climbing hills.
You can shift a 13 speed just like a straight 9 speed, 400 rpm split on the top side. The only differance is, if you use the splitter on the top gears, instead of having a 400 rpm split it will have 200. Once you have selected a split you have to let it shift. If not you will hear some grinding and binding noises and you will think the tranny is about to fall out. When down shifting you will only raise 200 rpm if using the splitter. This is great for hills.
I agree, and I drive a 13 in varying ways, according to the load I have and the terrain in front of my widshield. But remember, the point of this was to give someone who has never seen one a remote class in how to shift one, and once they have spent a little bit of time with it, they will pick up the enhancements that make it such a useful trans to drive.
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