Is it bad to skip gears while loaded (13 speed)

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Cobrawastaken, Feb 28, 2020.

  1. Cobrawastaken

    Cobrawastaken Light Load Member

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    Not necessarily a brand new driver (been driving over 2 years), but I wanted to get a second opinion on something. I've driven 13 speeds at least half the time I've driven trucks and the other half 10 speeds.

    A driver once said his transmission was broken because a previous driver didn't know how to drive a 13 speed. He claims the driver wasn't splitting the gears when loaded and that's bad for the transmission.

    I always thought whether or not you split was just a matter of staying in the power band for your engine and had nothing to do with the transmission wear. Is it really bad to not split the gears with a heavy load? If anything I would say maybe it could be bad for the engine if you're lugging it at low RPMs a lot, but I seriously don't see how it could affect the wear on the transmission.

    Edit: bonus question:

    I know this could have been a dumb idea, but hey it was a company truck and I was curious. So my question is, why can you split 4th gear? Yes, it's true that you can't move the splitter if you're in the low range, but there is a workaround. If you're in 4th gear and you move the range selector to the high range, you can then also switch the splitter to high. If you leave it in 4th gear and let off the throttle, it will split into a "4hi" (at least in the truck I was driving at the time). No, this is not just the same ratio as another gear, like 5lo, because you can then shift into 5lo and the RPMs are distinctly lower. So isn't it technically a 14 speed? Why is it not? Does it damage the transmission to do that?
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2020
  2. cke

    cke Road Train Member

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    Skipping gears don’t hurt nothing at all.
     
  3. Opus

    Opus Road Train Member

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    The way I always saw it was that a 13 speed was a tool.
    Heavy load going uphill, use them all.
    Light load or mty going downhill, treat it like a 10 speed.

    Personal opinion, not based on any mechanical knowledge whatsoever
     
  4. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

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    I don't think it really matters. Just stay in the correct RPM range. I have seen a lot of drivers "lug" an engine. This means having it in too high a gear for the speed of the vehicle. You can do serious damage to most any engine by doing this all the time.
     
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  5. MooneyBravo

    MooneyBravo Heavy Load Member

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    Just make sure if you're a new driver operating a 13 or 18 speed that you go through all of the gears when you're empty. LOL

    And also make sure that you have a very tall shifter so everybody knows you one of them real truck drivers. LOL

    And don't forget the jake brake with them straight pipes every time you have to come to a stop. LOL
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2020
  6. SmallPackage

    SmallPackage Medium Load Member

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    With the new age higher torque engines you can be a lot more creative with gear selections on the 13’s. That allows you to start rolling from a stop in a higher gear and to skip them or use different combo’s that really couldn’t be done with the older trucks in the past.
    The lower torque engines almost always needed all the gears when loaded from 2nd in the low side all the way up to 8od to pull good. I’ve never been able to skip much with my old stuff pulling but sometimes I don’t have to split the bottom 2 in the high side if that makes sense.
    Can skip on decel downshifts when not needing the power to stay up because the truck is stopping but if the power needs to stay up to accel its best not to.
    This is all my experience with older stuff.
     
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  7. MooneyBravo

    MooneyBravo Heavy Load Member

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    I remember the engines of yesteryear had n operating range of 1500 to 2000. Below 1500 they hd no.... power.

    Detroit was even higher. 2400 or higher I think.
    They called them screaming Detroit's.
     
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  8. SmallPackage

    SmallPackage Medium Load Member

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    Yep. Cummins and Cats 2100 rpm all day long. Some brave hot rodders would turn ‘em around 2300-2350 all day long.
    Screamin’ Demon’s could turn 2500 all day without hurting them.
     
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  9. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

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    *Wipes tear, you take me far back with those thoughts.

    Indeed we shifted those engines I think around 1800 for torque and up to 2100 to upshift with a little room towards 2300-2400 Redline. The engines we had usually did not "Wake up" until 1400 give or take. We had that one Reo with the 13 double under and that rig goes back, way back. One of the oldest in my memory. We used every gear up and down keeping power to the drives at all times. The double under would give you half a gear without having to downshift physically with the clutch or stick which was a good match to the rolling terrain of Maryland in those days.

    Its not terribly fast, you could get up and roll. Maybe 70 all out which was plenty fast considering you had no real schedule other than being regular like clock work in those days.
     
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  10. AModelCat

    AModelCat Road Train Member

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    I really wanna know how someone could honestly believe that not split shifting gears could wreck a transmission?
     
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