float gears or Double clutch ?

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by fireman451, Nov 10, 2014.

  1. rgomez191

    rgomez191 Light Load Member

    May 24, 2014
    San Antonio, Texas
    At times you will need to float since it would take you awhile to double clutch down to 30mph offramp when you are less than 1/2 mile from it at 65mph. You should learn the proper way since the tester will be looking for that but as you gain experience you will to do it every type of way.
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  3. Brandonpdx

    Brandonpdx Road Train Member

    Dec 27, 2007
    Elkhart, IN
    Depends on the transmission. Some will float easily and some don't like it. You can damage the driveline if you mis-float a gear though.
  4. beemergary

    beemergary Light Load Member

    Apr 11, 2014
    My 13 speed behind a 3406 cat doesn't like to float. Doesn't like to come out of gear (may be slow response of cat). Going into gear lever will hang up sometimes and will have to hit clutch to get all the way in. Will float most times going around corner.
  5. gpsman

    gpsman Road Train Member

    Dec 10, 2013
    Your rig has brakes... right...?

    If double-clutching is taking too long, maybe you're not lifting off the throttle soon enough.
  6. snowwy

    snowwy Road Train Member

    Jul 6, 2009
    What's a clutch? and how does it double?

    Wondering if that's what the 3rd pedal doing nothing is for.
    Dreamboat and Mudguppy Thank this.
  7. Quickfarms

    Quickfarms Heavy Load Member

    May 29, 2012
    Los Angeles, Ca
    I can do all three, float, double clutch or automatic (or auto shift), just depends on the truck and transmission.
  8. GasHauler

    GasHauler Master FMCSA Interpreter

    Oct 23, 2005
    I believe you should learn to double clutch first then go on to floating if you like. I say that because you'll have to double clutch on your driving test to get your CDL. Also if you are using the clutch as designed no company will gig you for that. When I gave the road test for new drivers this is what I wanted to see.

    First you double clutch then float and then skip gears to match your road speed. There is a problem with floating that has happen to me and others. If the shift does not go all the way in and then you apply power you can BANG the transmission. I mean a loud bang to where the stick jumps out of gear and you wonder if there was damage. I'm not saying floating is bad, I just feel that floating should only be done once a driver knows the truck. When skipping gears I do not want to see if you can skip gears on the up shift. What I want to see you skip on the down side matching gears to road speed. For example; you're getting off the interstate and you know you'll have to stop at the end of the off ramp. On a 10 speed you can go from 10th to 8th then to 6th and stop. You let 6 bring you RPM's way low then you just use the clutch and stop. It really gets good when you see there might not need to stop at the end. A traffic light may change to green. Then if it does change to green and you know your road speed to gear you just select that gear and go. But that take experience in THAT truck because we all know each truck is different. Floating is easier on you but just make sure you know the truck. Some new drivers believe that floating makes a truck driver. I believe that knowledge of all types of shifting makes a better driver.
  9. THeGAME

    THeGAME Bobtail Member

    Nov 11, 2014
    Here are some things I read about and it makes sense. Some may argue, but to each their own.

    1. You will be docked points on your skills test if you dont double clutch. You may need those points for something else.

    2. At some point and time, you will NEED to double clutch.

    3. Nearly all non synch transmissions today are designed by the manufacturer to be double clutched.

    4. A lot of trucking companies require you to do it.

    5. A clutch plate is far less expensive to replace than gears.

    This being said, IMO, if you are asking this question, you should probably learn it and get good at it before going on to floating.
  10. lostcauz

    lostcauz Bobtail Member

    Nov 10, 2014
    I can do both, but I floated the gears during my time on the road.
  11. Lepton1

    Lepton1 Road Train Member

    Nov 23, 2012
    Yukon, OK
    I learned to float when I first started to drive decades ago. Getting back into driving I soon realized I'd have to learn how to double clutch to pass the DMV skills test, and later to pass the drive test for a mega carrier.

    I'll have to say that double clutching opened my eyes to using the technique in situations that make it easier to shift, like pulling hills with a heavy load. Now I float about 95% of the time and either double clutch or single clutch (tap out of gear and float into gear) about 5% of the time.

    As a trainer I encourage new drivers to double clutch, BUT I also teach them to float. The two biggest problems for new drivers are:

    1. HAPPY FEET - either ROMPING on the accelerator or completely getting off the accelerator. I have them park it then practice moving RPM's between 1500 and 1100 to get used to HOW LITTLE you have to move the accelerator to get to your target RPM.

    2. MOHAMMAD ALI "JAB" SHIFTING - it never fails but new drivers will get out of gear then wait and JAB that sucker into the next gear. I mean the all out "Stings like a Bee" jab with full on knock out force. I try to get my trainees to learn to GENTLY put pressure into the next gear until it drops in like a well oiled maiden.

    IMHO there is crossover skills to either type of shifting. Teaching my trainees to float seems to help them in overall understanding of the relationship between speed, gear selection, and RPM's to let the shift happen effortlessly. Double clutching gives them more confidence once they've learned those relationships.
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