Floating Gears

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by sage92886, Aug 24, 2007.

  1. sage92886

    sage92886 Bobtail Member

    Aug 23, 2007
    Hi everyone,

    In my earlier post about downshifting I saw the phrase "floating gears". What is it and how do I do it?

    Some people give me the impression it's a bad thing to do? Any opinions?

  2. dancnoone

    dancnoone "Village Idiot"

    May 6, 2007
    It's not a "bad" thing to do. But, it is a bad thing to teach "student" drivers. Namely, because it will place 10 years of wear and tear on a trainers gearbox within a 2 year period.

    I PO'd more than one student when I told them they could learn to float gears in their truck, not mine.

    FLOATING: Is shifting without the use of a clutch. Good in some situations, bad in others. Up shift, allow the RPM's to fall off. Downshifting, Bring up RPM's. Grinding is usually a symptom of choosing the wrong gear, or poor RPM selection.
  3. tomhorn

    tomhorn Light Load Member

    Aug 9, 2007
    Jacksonville, FL
    floating is a fine art that any successful race car driver has learned. Winning race car drivers only use the clutch when pitting. It seems like it'd be harder in a truck though. Especially under a load.
  4. dancnoone

    dancnoone "Village Idiot"

    May 6, 2007
    Floating has it's benefits. And yes, a load can make things a bit more difficult. I know some people will argue that fact. But, when I refer to difficult. I mean the action itself is more time consuming when pulling a hard grade with a heavy load. It's quicker for me to double clutch when I have the drive line loaded up, and need to shift. I lose less speed, and drop fewer RPM's between shifts.

    Overall: I float and use the clutch. It depends on the load, the terrain and road conditions.
  5. BigBoytoys

    BigBoytoys Bobtail Member

    Nov 14, 2007
    Virigna,North Carolina
    yeah i agree it is less time consuming for me to Double Clutch. I mean if you drive the correct way and have had good training you dont even think about the clutch you just do it. Floating is a sign of a lazy driver to me. I mean yeah I get tired just like everyone else but it comes with the job. Beside who wants to tear up your tranee. Down time is not good if you want to keep ya wheels turning,
  6. dieselhound

    dieselhound Medium Load Member

    Mar 23, 2008

    Lazy??? I don't think so. Why use a clutch when it's an unnecessary wear item. Your tranny is going to take the gear when it wants it anyway. You can hold that clutch in all day and if you tranny and drive line isn't lined up, you won't be able to shift. So with that said, you are floating the gears anyway. You have a gear step. That clutch does NOTHING to curve that.
  7. Skunk_Truck_2590

    Skunk_Truck_2590 Road Train Member

    Feb 16, 2007
    Shreveport, LA.
    I have to agree with dieselhound here. Also from what I hear, floatin' save's fuel and if done right save's wear and tear on the truck. Only time I've ever grinded gear's when floating is when I was really tired. However it is correct that a student should double clutch in a trainer's truck. Wait till you get your own to learn floating. Floating isn't hard at all. It's actually easier than driving a car. To me it is anyway.:yes2557:
  8. Lurchgs

    Lurchgs Road Train Member

    Feb 13, 2008
    Denver, CO
    Y'know, as a recent student, I have no first hand experience with floating (though my instructor would occasionally float 'em to get me out of a pickle)

    I have no problems with the concept, and in the future might even learn to do it myself.

    I DO have a small issue with a company that *requires* you to float the gears - even though they'll teach you. (I'm discussing employment with them anyway - I'm about out of peanut butter). In my opinion, it should be up to the driver whether he floats or not, if company policy allows it at all.

    After all, the system is designed to be used with the clutch. If you are experienced enough to float, so be it, but forcing it on any driver - experienced or no - strikes me as a recipe for disaster.
  9. thestoryteller

    thestoryteller Medium Load Member

    Mar 18, 2008
    Kern County, California
    I am currently a student at one of those wonderful driving mills :biggrin_25520:

    I am being taught to downshift by floating the gears...... I haven't been given a choice.

    My trainer is going to love you guys :biggrin_25523:......... because in a few hours I am going to ask why I haven't been given the choice or option of double clutching down as well as up......... I at least think he should have told me it was okay either way........:biggrin_25511:

    I have been able to downshift well so far but it still bothers me sometimes when I am slowing down in traffic or coming up to a light and I am raising the rpms to get the lower gears ...... I have often thought I would be more comfortable using the clutch......

    I guess I wil get to find out tonight ....... my poor trainer .... :biggrin_2559:

    But then I do supply the Starbucks, the jokes and the stories .... and of course I make sure he knows we could never become truck drivers without him........ it's all good!
  10. GasHauler

    GasHauler Master FMCSA Interpreter

    Oct 23, 2005
    You can rake a gear or grind a gear but the damage will occur the most when you BANG a gear. And you'll only bang a gear when there's a load on the drive line. You've lost that control when you take the clutch out. That's where the problem is. Alot of these new drivers think you're not a truck driver until you can shift without the clutch. That's when they bang a gear under load and break off a tooth in the gear box.

    After all my years of driving I still use the clutch in everyday use. But I can also select the right gear for the road speed. I hardly ever go in order and will skip gears all day long. I know my shifting is the same whether I use the clutch or not but someone that doesn't have the experience might not find the hole perfect every time. And I've said it before a clutch is alot cheaper than a transmission to repair.
    Billy-Boy Thanks this.
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