Learning to drive manual

Discussion in 'Refrigerated Trucking Forum' started by ProtectiveEdge, Apr 9, 2022.

  1. ProtectiveEdge

    ProtectiveEdge Bobtail Member

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    I currently have 2 years of cdl work history. I unfortunately never got the opportunity to drive a manual cmv because all my past employers only had automatics so I never got the opportunity to drive stick in my career. My car is manual though and I've been driving stick all my life. How hard is it for an experienced driver like me to transition into a manual. Will I need a trainer or do you think most people just figure it out real quick? People told me if I took my cdl test in an automatic ill have a manual restriction on my license and I'll need to retake the test as if it's some sort of an endorsement, but I'm looking all up and down my license and can't find where it actually restricts me. Is that actually true?
     
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  3. 201

    201 Road Train Member

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    I'm not up on the regs, I do believe you cannot drive a manual without an endorsement, as silly as that sounds. Since you have the clutch part down, and believe me, some people for the life of them, can't grasp the fact the clutch engages the motor to the wheels. Biggest difference, is in a car, the gears are spread way apart, and with a truck trans. the gears are real close. Only a few hundred rpms between shifts, unlike a car, that may be several thousand rpms. Just remember, ALL truck transmissions are based off a 5 speed, for example, a 10 speed is just 5 low, 5 high, and a 13 speed, same thing except "splits" each high side gear in half. I'd have to think, if a company was going to run a manual, it would probably be a 9 speed ( no high range low) or a 10 speed today. Downshifting, same thing, many over rev the motor, and waste valuable road speed, remember, just a couple hundred rpms gets 'er in. Hope this helps, good luck and whatever it takes, get the manual endorsement. You never know.
     
  4. GYPSY65

    GYPSY65 Road Train Member

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    Correct
    Test on auto. No manual allowed
    Also
    Truck clutch does not go to the floor. You’ll engage the clutch brake
     
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  5. kranky1

    kranky1 Road Train Member

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    First clutch brakes I ever saw were air. Pushed a small valve on the shift bar to engage it.
     
  6. AModelCat

    AModelCat Road Train Member

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    You're probably at a slight disadvantage having spent considerable time driving a manual in a car to be honest.

    First being NEVER touch the throttle to get a truck moving. You shall NEVER have a foot on the clutch and one on the throttle at ANY time. One or the other. You will significantly lower the lifespan of the clutch by using the throttle to take off (not to mention put a ton of unneeded stress on the driveline).

    Clutch pedal only goes to the floor when the truck is stopped. This engages the clutch brake, which stops all the gears in the transmission so you can get it into 1st or reverse. Once in motion, you only ever touch the clutch enough to break torque and only for about a second.

    You have to rev-match. The only synchro in a commercial transmission is for the range shift. Every time you move the stick to a new gear you HAVE to match the road speed and RPM to have it fall into the gear. This means you have to pause for a second or 2 in neutral to let the RPM fall when upshifting. When downshifting you actually need to rev up the engine a few hundred RPM when you're in neutral in order to match the lower gear.

    Despite what I've said, its really not overly difficult to get the hang of.
     
  7. OLDSKOOLERnWV

    OLDSKOOLERnWV Captain Redbeard

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    5F7E3DD1-50DF-4841-B5F8-DE682D77E424.jpeg For those who have never seen a clutch brake….
     
  8. kranky1

    kranky1 Road Train Member

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    The one foot on the floor at all times thing went out the window when you were trying to lift 125,000lbs with a 290 or 335. They didn’t have enough clutch engagement torque. Even with ridiculous gears like 4:56, 4:63 and 4:88 you had to come off the clutch at about 1000rpm or it would stall.
     
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  9. AModelCat

    AModelCat Road Train Member

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    True there's always exceptions but with modern engines and typical loaded weights and conditions 95% of drivers will never be in that situation. I was aiming more at the "I have to take off in 2nd loaded and 4th empty because my trainer told me that I have to" crowd.

    Believe it or not that was an actual thread on here.
     
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  10. kranky1

    kranky1 Road Train Member

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    Old habits again. I tend to lift in the lowest one I’ve got when I’m loaded. If that first shift is 3 holes who cares, you didn’t torture the driveline lifting it.
     
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  11. AModelCat

    AModelCat Road Train Member

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    I always get a kick out of those clowns who've got an empty trailer and all you hear is a revving engine and a violently shaking truck because they're too lazy to make 3 extra gear shifts when starting off.

    I remember the one time I ever so slightly touched the throttle taking off in 1st in dad's truck when moving it around the yard. He came up to the door and told me if I ever did that again I wouldn't ever so much as sit in the driver's seat again. Needless to say, I've not done that since lol.
     
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