having trouble downshifting 10 speed in the lower gears

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Catrachotrucker, Mar 31, 2020.

  1. Catrachotrucker

    Catrachotrucker Light Load Member

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    I started driving automatic but now I’m driving manual and After a couple months I'm still not a pro at shifting. I can float all the way through the gears going up, and float part of the way down, but I just can't get the hang of which gear to downshift to in the lower gears without lurching the truck. The top 5 gears I’m ok. but the bottom 5 are so close together that when I'm downshifting I have a hard time finding the right one sometimes. And at that low speed the speedometer is no help in telling you what gear you should be in. Any tips that would help
     
  2. Upinsmoke

    Upinsmoke Medium Load Member

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    No need to downshift in the low range.
     
  3. Mid-May Trucker

    Mid-May Trucker Heavy Load Member

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    Go down to 3 or 4 if you have to come to complete you should be able yo put it in 2 or 1 right as you stop
    In emergency you could always start in three or four as long as you give enough gas.
     
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  4. AModelCat

    AModelCat Road Train Member

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    Ignore the speedometer. Watch the tach. I never like to get the RPM below 900. Once it gets into that range while slowing down I just drop a gear.
     
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  5. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

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    The truck lurch comes from the reduction in that low range.

    Might as well stay in say 3rd as you come to a stop at red, then shift to 2nd or 1st depending on your load situation and pavement upgrade or downhill. Most of the gears down there are close together and wont take excessive shifting on flat.

    Ignore the speedometer. Your RPM gauge tells you what you need to do. It dont take much fuel at all to go through low range. Slowly. Just don't let the rpms fall off too much.

    There will be times you need every gear in that low range, usually on a mountain from hell and one of them somewhere will be what the engine needs to stay in until you get to the top.
     
    BigDog Trucker Thanks this.
  6. Snow Hater

    Snow Hater Light Load Member

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    Stop in 5th gear. No need to downshift farther when stopping. Start out in 3rd on level or uphill and start in 4th when downhill. If you want to downshift past 5th just wait until the tach hits 1000 rpm while in gear and tap the throttle to 1500 rpm while double clutching to the next gear. Rinse and repeat. The key is 1000 rpm. Try to downshift above that and you may have some problems.
     
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  7. AModelCat

    AModelCat Road Train Member

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    I don't know why they teach "use X gear for Y speed". Its the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Its about engine RPM, not speed.
     
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  8. Snow Hater

    Snow Hater Light Load Member

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    For the Freightliners we have they're geared so the speed, gear and tach match at 'X gear' for 'Y speed'. Ymmv.
     
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  9. PE_T

    PE_T Road Train Member

    In my 9-speed truck (sometimes called an 8-speed), I do not downshift for the lower 3 gears because there is no need. The bottom 3 gears can go in gear by bringing the truck to somewhere under 5 mph or to a crawl. To do this, you depress the clutch (halfway) and slowly direct the gear stick until it goes in. Don’t force it. If it won’t go in, try slowing down a little more. This takes practice.

    Now the reason some drivers call a 9-speed an 8-speed is because of the numbers on the gear stick. The first gear has no number. It’s labeled as “LOW” and called the granny gear by some. I personally only use the granny gear if I’m starting on an upgrade. Gear 1 is if I’m loaded, and gear 2 if I’m empty.

    To answer your question, if I’m driving at highway speeds and need to bring it to a stop, my downshift pattern (on my 9-speed truck) is:

    7th, 5th, and 3rd gear, then stop.
    or
    6th and 4th gear, then stop (if on 8th gear).

    To do this, yes, I do go by speed to know when I need to downshift. I can tell you at what speed I downshift, but it won’t be helpful as not all trucks are spec’d the same way. You need to find out the speed range of each of your gears by putting it to the test. Find out what that speed range is by driving from 1000 rpm to 1500 rpm on each gear. When you downshift, you want to land in a gear somewhere between 1300-1500 rpm.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2020
    Reason for edit: More info.
  10. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

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    Low range has a slightly lower (200) RPM range than high range. Freightliner doesn't mark anything on the Tach. On Detroit manual 9/10 speed I used 900-1100 RPM for low range and 1300-1600 RPM for high range.
     
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