having trouble shifting

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by msfern29, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. msfern29

    msfern29 Light Load Member

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    Sep 23, 2010
    SW Kansas
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    I am am month out of school, where they taught the 'double clutch'. when I took this oilfield water hauling job, they taught me the basics for 'floating' (which I do like much better).
    I am still on slip seat with the company I'm working for, and cant blame them.
    they have all macs, couple are 8, couple are 10, several 13, and I have no idea Leon's truck, he's is newest and quite fancy - a 13 I think. anyway, I do not understand splitter at all (to split the top gears). I think I have figured out how to split the top gear at highway speed when empty. but no clue how to split correctly to go up or down using the splitter. when I tried to go down after splitting the top, it was not a friendly noise, sure I didnt do it right. I was advised to just not use it at all, drive it like a regular 8.
    I am also having trouble in some of the trucks getting it fully out of gear, going up or down. and some trouble getting it into gear, going up or down. it seems to get hung up half way in, or half way out. have to give it lil rev to get it fully clear? I have no idea what I am doing wrong. one truck I have a lot of trouble with this. couple others is only sometimes, but the one is on every shift attempt.
    I've been advised shifting by the tac/rpm is wrong, I should shift by sound. one truck tho, when I think the sound is wound up, I try to shift, and it will not go into gear, I end up going back down, and fight the thing all day. I dont understand what I am doing wrong. (same truck I'm having so much trouble with it going into gear).
    the guys I work with say is just a matter of getting used to the truck, but since I'm on slip seat, not assigned a truck, that isnt much help. few of the guys says is cause they been doing it long enough they know, but no real advice on how to make it better.
    I think if I cant get this figured out, I wont get assigned a truck. I dont know what I'm doing wrong or how to fix it. I'm slow anyway, being newbie and scared of screwing up, having trouble with truck just making my anxiety go thru the roof.
    any ideas??
     
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  3. Dix_

    Dix_ Light Load Member

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    Dec 11, 2010
    W.Poland, ME
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    If the 13s you're using are Eaton-Fullers, I actually found them to be quite easy personally.

    Going from direct to over (or back) in the same gear is a piece of cake... flip the button from direct to over, clutch it once & you're in... going from over to direct, just flip the button back to direct, back off the throttle & it'll drop.... that's it, you're done.

    Splitting gears isn't a big difference from a regular shift save for two things... first preselect the direct/over button before you take it out of the gear, & then remember you're only shooting for half the engine RPM difference you would be for a regular shift... in other words going from say 7th direct to 6th over you'd move the button from direct to over first, then clutch & pull out of 7th... now you only want a light "burp" of the throttle 'cause you only need a couple hundred RPM or so to slide it into 6th.

    Going up from say 6th over to 7th direct, again, preselect direct on the button, clutch & out of 6th... only difference now is you want to be a little quicker with the stick than you would be normally cause you only want to lose a couple hundred RPM rather than the usual 400 you'd be waiting for.

    That's how I was trained on a Fuller 13... I actually found it to be my favorite of the trucks we trained on.

    In your case where they like to you float gears, the routine would be the same, except for the double clutching.
     
  4. NO-WAY-OUT!!

    NO-WAY-OUT!! Bobtail Member

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    Apr 15, 2010
    pennsylvania
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    i dont know what you mean by not using the splitter but if you are having trouble shifting with the clutch try "floating " the gears
    start out by puting it into 1 gear with clutch
    slowly let the clutch go and press the accelerator once you get her rolling rev it up to about 1500-1700 rpms and try putting it in to the 2 gear ( you might get a griding noise from the gears ) if it does not go in try keeping it their until it goes in try reving or letting revs drop until it just slips into gear ( you should be able to feel it going in ) and repeat this for all the gears
    now for the the splitter part when you want to downshift from high range to low range you have to be in the last high gear before you splitt meaning 9-8-7-6 __ 5-4-3-2-1 you wan tot be in 6 to downshift to 5 ,just preselect the splitter to the low range(meaning pushit down with finger ) take it out of gear and rev the engine till you feel the shifter slip into 5 gear try not to over rev the engine or you will get a lot a grinding noise if your driving an 8 speed gear pattern is 1234__ splitter___5678 or 9 speed - low-1234__splitter__5678 the only difference between an 8speed and a 9speed is 9 speed has the low gear as far as i know but the 10 speeds are like this 1-2-3-4-5__ splitter__6-7-8-9-10 and so are 13 and 18 speed tranys
     
  5. NO-WAY-OUT!!

    NO-WAY-OUT!! Bobtail Member

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    Apr 15, 2010
    pennsylvania
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    or better yet just look it up on youtube on how to shift a truck or 8 9 10 13 18 speed youtube will defiantly have what you are looking for !!!!!!!!!!
     
  6. KO1927

    KO1927 Medium Load Member

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    May 19, 2009
    NH
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    I think the Mack 13 speed is different than the Eaton-Fuller, in that the splitter engages an underdrive rather than overdrive.

    There are a handful of Mack drivers here, hopefully a few of them will chime in with more information.

    To the OP, you might try asking one of the experienced drivers to ride with you (after hours or during a break perhaps) for a few minutes and tell you what you're doing wrong.

    The outfit that I work for has Mack 13 speeds and Eaton-Fuller 15 speeds I have trouble going between the two because of different "rhythms" between gears. The 13's need more time between gears, and the 15 it feels like I've got to shift it faster than my pickup. (An exaggeration of course)

    While I've got a good grasp of the deep reduction in the E-F 15, I've got less time with the Mack 13 and I've yet to master the split. I've tried it a few times, heard bad noises (as you did) and so far, I've stuck to driving them like a 9 speed. 95% of the time, I run a truck with a E-F 15. If I get assigned to one with a Mack 13, you can bet the farm that I'll be asking one of the experienced drivers to show me how it's done. (or at least tell me)

    I didn't find very many youtube videos featuring a Mack 13 speed; many Eaton-Fullers but not many Macks. Mack's website was also less than helpful.

    Then again, if I am wrong about the under/overdrive it's irrelevant and would be the same as the Eaton-Fuller.

    I guess when it really comes down to it, I am in the same boat as msfern. Except for the floating bit. I prefer double clutching. The principles of matching engine speed to wheel speed, accounting for gear ratios still apply though. I found it easier to focus on rhythm and timing rather than rpm, as long as I'm within the operating range. I've yet to fully experiment with progressive shifting though I am eager to as I've been told this gets the best fuel mileage and least wear and tear on the equipment.
     
  7. chopper23966

    chopper23966 Light Load Member

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    Sep 4, 2010
    farmville, virginia
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    just stop worrieing about it and drive the truck it is more important to keep it between the lines. shift it, stall it what ever time will make it better. worrieing will make it worse soon it will not matter to u what transmission it is .remember the saying practise makes perfect
     
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  8. lobes1985

    lobes1985 Medium Load Member

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    Aug 9, 2009
    Wappingers Falls, NY
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    I was in the same situation about a month ago, kind of. I have driven plenty of 8 and 10 spds. I just started a new job and now have an 18spd. I first started driving it like a 9spd with the clutch up and down. Once I got the hang of that, which didnt take long, I then started using the splitter on upshifts only still using the clutch for stick shifts. Once I got comfortable with that, I started using the splitter with downshifts using the clutch still. Then started shifting without the clutch all the time. It just takes time. I find it better to do a little at a time. Phase in more once you are comfortable with the others. All trucks are very different, as you have found out. It really is just a matter of time and practice.
     
    msfern29 Thanks this.
  9. GasHauler

    GasHauler Master FMCSA Interpreter

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    Oct 23, 2005
    Vegas/Jersey
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    I'll bet you're winding the engine up against the peg (governor) and trying to shift. Just relax, shift a couple of hundred RPM's from max and don't rush the shift. You can shift any truck by sound or the RPM/Speedo but the whole trick is to match the right gear for the road speed. I could show you much better than tell you but you got to know there's more than one way to shift a truck.

    It's always best to get in the highest gear as quick as possible but that will take some practice. The old timers are right that you'll get it sooner or later. But for right now you've got to change something you're doing to make it work. You can try the old method for the 2100 rpm engines. Go to 1800 and shift the engine will drop to about 1400 and then go back to 1800 and shift. For downshifting just go in reverse. Don't try anything fancy and stick to what you were taught. Everyone can tell you how to do it but I believe for right now you need to relax and slow down in your shifting.

    Let us know how it goes. We've all been there before where you're very apprehensive about the gears. You know you'll have trouble and it bothers you. Just relax and check out a few videos. You can go to Yahoo and search "How to shift a big truck" and select video and you'll see many different ways.
     
    msfern29 Thanks this.
  10. msfern29

    msfern29 Light Load Member

    180
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    Sep 23, 2010
    SW Kansas
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    think you are talking about the high and low range, not the splitter I'm talking about. what I mean is low range: low.1.2.3.4 - then flip to high range: 5.6.7.8 ; now the splitter, you split 5.6.7.8. so is 1234-flip-low 5,split,high 5.low 6,split,high 6, low 7, split, high7, split, low8, split, high8. I'm told this is how they get 13; 1-4, splits 5-8, and low gear makes 13 gears. most the guys tell me is no point in splitting 5 and 6, is best just to use splitter on highway speeds. most tell me I'll get to know when to use and when not to bother, but they wont actually tell me what those situations might be. so far I get "you'll figure it out, for now just drive like a straight 8 or 9", thus not using the splitter for 5-8, just going thru the gears on the low split, using the high and low range only. make sense?
    I'm having trouble shifting period. with or without the clutch now. as I said, I prefer "floating", but one truck I'm having so much trouble getting it out of and into gear, I have to use clutch to get it to neutral, and I've been trying to "float" it into next gear (up or down), because they would prefer I learn to float all the time.
    I was ok till I got on payroll full time and started jumping between different trucks. know part of my problem is they saying I using the break to much, and cant use the engine break on two I'm driving, and I have no clue how to get slowed down, or how to downshift without using the break. I driving slow anyway. tried using the break as little as possible other day when I had D's truck out, and I still managed to screw up his breaks, was losing air by time I was ready to bring truck in. other reason I have no idea what I'm doing wrong. it wont clear the gear coming out, it doesn't quite go into gear going in. and no, I am not reving or winding it up to the max before trying to shift. up I've been trying to hit at around 18-1900, down trying to hit 12-1000. I know 1000 is to low, they told me between 13-1200, but one truck I swear it shifts better if I let tac drop off and speed down 5mph slower than recommended. no clue why.
     
  11. good for nuthin'

    good for nuthin' Light Load Member

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    Dec 8, 2010
    Las Vegas NV
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    the real secret to all shifting is slowing down.I was always told by my trainer,"your not in a racecar!"Of course he got so tired of me grinding gears, that the frontage raod along I-10 in Texas is where he made me drive until I stopped grinding gears.I just about went accross that whole state On that frontage road.
    As far as slip seating,you just need to get comforatable with the truck your driving that day.Simply slow down, listen to the engine.The splitter is easy once you recognize the difference between the hi/low gears.When you get into the new truck,look at the placard that shows the shift order.then take it slow.Dont worry about the vehicles behind you.also realize that when you load that vacuum trailer,the characteristics on that vehicle will slightly change also.Be safe, go slow, and the rest will follow.
     
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