Handle most 10 speeds pretty well....but not this 2008 Freightliner; Why is this?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by lokel93, Apr 5, 2014.

  1. lokel93

    lokel93 Bobtail Member

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    Hi everybody,

    So we recently bought a single axle 2008 Freightliner with a 10 speed EA. And I can not drive that thing to save my life! (And I am Class A CDL licensed)

    I started out driving old 70s and 80s International Loadstar and Ford grain trucks with the 5 speed high-low years ago, and can shift pretty much flawlessly without even thinking about it. Last year I worked at a fertilizer and seed plant and I used their 1980 Ford LT-9000 with a 10 speed to haul fairly long distances... I could practically float every gear in that truck. I also drove some fertilizer tender trucks including a 90s Peterbilt and a 2000s International...both with 10 speed EAs. Those were a little bit more difficult, but I could manage to hit my gears using double clutch.

    This Freightliner that we just recently bought is by far the most frustrating truck I have encountered; It makes me feel like I have lost my touch. It seems like I have to fight to make it go into the next gear, and trying to float the gears is practically impossible. It is literally to the point where I start out in 2nd, hit 3rd, get locked out of 4th or 5th, almost come to a complete stop (lose all momentum) and then repeat the same process. I can get the truck up to 10th gear on occasion. It just doesn't seem like it should be this difficult! I know that the trick is the RPMs, I know how to properly downshift, I know how to double clutch, I know how to float...this thing just cant be tamed :biggrin_2552:


    Does anybody have any ideas as to why this Freightliner could be throwing me off of my game? Any suggestions on driving it?

    I plan to operate a cement truck next year as a part time job while in school, and this Freightliner has really got me worried about operating a 10 speed again.
     
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  3. FozzyNOK

    FozzyNOK Road Train Member

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    Just to clear the point.. you have driven electronic engined tractors before? 70's and 80's (85 the ECM came in) still would have a very high RPM operation range (1700 - 2100) these newer tractors operating range is 1200 - 1700 RPM. If you see anything much past 1700 you are over reving and torque locking the transmission pretty hard, No disrespect intended.. just want to make sure... the first electronic engine I drove, I thought it was junk.. till I found out that I was the problem and the truck was just not going to do what I wanted it to do.
     
    gpsman Thanks this.
  4. snowwy

    snowwy Road Train Member

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  5. RogerThat72

    RogerThat72 Road Train Member

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    I'm just going to guess it has progressive shifting. Try shifting at 12-1300 rpm. I'm not sure about floating that's some one else's cake.
     
  6. WitchingHour

    WitchingHour Road Train Member

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    Is your clutch properly adjusted?
     
  7. dfaf

    dfaf Light Load Member

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    A friend of mine recently started driving a frieghtliner, after only driving Petes and Volo's, and he was having a lot of trouble shifting as well. This is the advice I gave him, he told me it helped immensely.

    I've driven a 2011, 2012, and a 2013 Freightliner, all 10 speeds, they all had one thing they in common. If you wanted to shift smoothly, you had to turn your Jake off while shifting, especially in lower gears. If you are still having trouble shifting with the Jake off, it's probably time to put it in the shop.
     
  8. Sublime

    Sublime Road Train Member

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    There's no reason to be accelerating and upshifting with the jake on, period.
     
  9. WitchingHour

    WitchingHour Road Train Member

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    Put it in the shop for what? And if your friend is experienced and needed this advice.. well, doesn't really say good things for him.
     
    poppapump1332 Thanks this.
  10. lokel93

    lokel93 Bobtail Member

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    Apr 5, 2014
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    That's what I had learned from reading about lower shift rpms on some website, so I figured that was my problem. I tried shifting around 1300-1500 RPM just to see if this was true and it didn't work. So trying to resolve the situation, I made sure to watch at what RPMs the gears would drop in...Low range it seemed to be about 1800-1900. So I figured I would just shift at those rpms and I would most likely always hit my gears....that was not the case, the thing acted squirrely and I would have to neutral rev the engine until a particular gear slipped in.

    The only thing I can think of is that in the heat of the moment I push the clutch in too far and engage the clutch brake, however I don't believe this to be the case because it is just as hard to float the gears as it is to use the clutch.
     
  11. WitchingHour

    WitchingHour Road Train Member

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    It really sounds like you just need to get a feel for that truck. It's quite different from what you're accustomed to.
     
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