Where to learn truck downshifting?

Discussion in 'Trucking Schools and CDL Training Forum' started by trizbeats, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. trizbeats

    trizbeats Bobtail Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    hello i have a class b cdl n i just got cut from crst's training program because i had trouble downshifting i felt that a hour a day driving isnt enough time to consistenly improve so i was wondering should i attend sage trucking school or should i rent a car n practice downshifting i drove a straight truck n never downshifted just threw it n neutral when comin to a stop (the lazy way)plus they said that i dont look at the tach but is tryin to listen but thats how i was taught just need a professionals opinion to which would help to reprogram my way of driving a stick shift
  2. Eaton18

    Eaton18 Road Train Member

    Sep 3, 2011
    Waverly, KS
    Downshifting a truck is not the same as downshifting a car. Totally different. I learned to drive a car/pickup when I was 14yrs old, that had standard transmission. When I was 16 I could drive a semi tractor, working in a truck stop. Fast-forward 36 yrs now, after not touching a semi for all those years, I found myself looking like a moron trying to shift. I had problems until I got my head around, you do not use a clutch, and watch rpms, by tach or sound. I too use the sound of the engine more than a tach. Main reason, the tachs would not work most of the time in the trucks I've recently driven. Shifting up/down a semi is done similar but yet different enough, that I think trying to do the same in a car, not using a clutch, will destroy the car's transmission. Just my opinion.
  3. Everett

    Everett Crusty Shorts, What???

    Oct 20, 2009
    Well everyboby is differnt, that's is true, for me too downshift a truck is second nature for me,it's just take's lot's of pratice too get it down, but the way i do it, is i know that stop sign up there aways , i plan for that stop, so i let the truck do all the work, i pick out certain landmark's along the road, okay there's the stop ahead sign, i start my downshifting there, i let off the pedal , let the truck moutaim slow me down too a certain speed , float it in the lower gear, then keep going till i am at the stop sign , which by that time im in the lower sector, ready too start out, depending what gear i'm in if loaded heavy or empty, so i never really depends on the gauges, i go by sight and movement, my dad taught me that way and it worked for me, dad said never rely on your gauges , like at night the bulds might burn out,had a company road test , started my road test , did it my way, he slap's the dash, yells at me too double clucth for downshift, i said okay np, so i did and he said that was the best double clucthing -downshifting all day, i just trick him, i was just put my foot on the pedal en moved my knee :biggrin_2559: but yes i agree a hour is not enuff , unless you faild in kirkwood college there , they use that school there for traing there new drivers, unless you got some money laying around now , you can rent tractors with 9 speeds in them and practice in a safe place , like a dead end street :biggrin_25525:
    airforcetoo Thanks this.
  4. OneCaveman

    OneCaveman Light Load Member

    Jun 25, 2011
    Roscoe Il
    I too fooled my instructor a few times on the road. The way they taught was double clutch. You have to or you'll fail the D.M.V. test in IL Learn to float them later.
    All the instructors admitted they floated them during their driving days.
    The way I "accidentally" did it was during a double clutch trying to use just enough sometimes wound up using none. That's when I could feel I was not using the clutch and knew this would work easily enough later on. I had an old rambler when I was a kid that I could float the gears real easy. I know I'll have to double clutch during training but I'm gonna slide right into the next gear once they throw me a key!
    Mekanic and airforcetoo Thank this.
  5. Mekanic

    Mekanic Light Load Member

    Aug 6, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I was wondering if floating the gears was allowed during a lic test drive.
  6. FwL

    FwL Medium Load Member

    Aug 30, 2011
    Sandpoint, ID
    My instructors are adamant that downshifting is all about road speed and RPMs. If you do it like they tell you, you nail it every time... easy as pie.

    Doesn't matter if you're floating or double clutching at that point.

    As far as Idaho goes, the tester is looking to see if you're double clutching or not. You'll get points against you if you're not.
  7. Sea0fgreen

    Sea0fgreen Light Load Member

    Jul 1, 2009
    Rural USA
    Just look at the tach. I listen on up shifts but its harder for me to discern the difference between 1200, 1000 or 800 rpms by sound. If its a eaton fuller 10 speed just look at tach and brake it down to 1000. Or 800 and skip a gear if your wanting to be more aggressive.
  8. gearjammer-2000

    gearjammer-2000 <strong>Clutch User</strong>

    Dec 18, 2007
    columbus Ohio
    you could learn downshifting going down fancy gap,by the time you reach the bottom I guarentee that you will have it mastered either that or the shifter will be broken in half and you will know what it feels like to do 150 in a truck,lol
    J R W Thanks this.
  9. Cyclesdalecummins07

    Cyclesdalecummins07 Light Load Member

    Sep 6, 2011
    slidell, la

    In Louisiana floating is not allowed during your driving test. I took the easy way out and just used an automatic to get mine (hold back the laughing) During my test I did ask the instructor if he failed anyone for floating and he said no he did not he did not really mind if they double clutched or not as long as they did not grind the gears on every shift. I wish I would of known that because it took me a while to find an automatic to use haha because I only know how to float gears and to me if you can float you are a better driver then someone who can not float because you can drive with out gauges and are more in tune with you truck but that is just a newbie talking.
  10. weatherguesser

    weatherguesser Bobtail Member

    Oct 10, 2011
    I learned how to do it by whatever RPM you shift at you let tach drop about 300 RPM and downshift. Besides I believe coasting in neutral is illegal in most states
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