Shift gears are something you’ll need to learn if drive a truck for a living
When you first start off driving a truck, you are going to suck at shifting gears.
It’s just the way it is.
When you learned to walk, all you did was fall down. You fell down over and over again. Same when you learned to ride a bike. You failed miserably at first and then fell down over and over again.
The same will hold true when you start to learn how to shift gears on a truck. In the beginning, you will be just terrible.
Oh, you will be worst than terrible! You are going to be-be godawful and stall the truck all the time!
Every New Trucker Sucks At Shifting
I’m sure when you first saw someone gracefully shift through 8 speeds, 10 speeds, or 12 speeds, you thought to yourself…”I will NEVER be able to do that!”
Of course, you thought that! How could you not? You’ve never done it before so how could you possibly be good.
The weird thing about truck drivers is that they think they are SO good at what they do. It’s almost as they have forgotten how terrible they were at the beginning. They all were! Don’t ever think that wasn’t true.
The thing with big trucks is that they do not shift like a standard car where you need to push the clutch to change a gear. In a truck. It doesn’t work that way. It is only required to start moving in the first place. And here is the cool thing with that little fact. If you slowly let off of the clutch in a truck in first gear, the truck will start to get rolling with only that. There is no need to hit the gas pedal and balance it out like a car.
That is a huge difference between a car and the first thing you will quickly realize and learn.
Once you let off the clutch and get the truck rolling, you simply need to accelerate the truck in first gear almost to as high as it will rev up in RPM’s
Let off the gas pedal and pull the shifter out of gear. You will hear the RPM’s start to go down pretty damn fast and at that point, you shift into the second gear. Let the RPM’s go down for a split second and push in the shifter to that gear. It will probably grind as you listen to the RPM’s go down and the shifter simply falls into the gear on its own.
Next, hit the gas again and rev it up to almost as high as the RPM’s will go again. Pull it out of gear. Listen for the RPMs to drop again and get ready to go into third gear now. Shift into third and again, you’ll more than likely hear some grinding. Don’t worry! You’re going to be grinding a lot and for a long time till you get the timing and feel of it all.
Keep repeating this process for all the gears.
Like I mentioned before, learning how to shift is going to take you a very long time.
If you happen to miss a gear, you will know when the grinding is way too slow and you will not be able to push the shifter into the new gear. At that point what you need to do is rev the engine back up and get the RPMs going up high again to allow you to shift into the gear.
With some practice and patience, you will start to get it down.
Downshifting Is Harder Then Regular Shifting
Now when you have to downshift the whole works in reverse. Let’s say you are driving 10-speed truck.
As you are driving, you begin to slow down. At this point, you will notice your RPMs will start to drop. In order for you to downshift into 9th gear what you’ll need to do is to quickly tap the accelerator to be able to pull the shifter out of gear.
Next, you need to rev up your engine and increase the RPMs. You need to make sure that you increase the RPMs high enough in order for you to downshift into 9th gear. All of this will take your understanding and start to feel the truck out. Once you get the RPMs High Enough to move the shifter into 9th gear.
The RPMs on the truck will be high once again. As you continue to slow down they will drop. You will need to tap the accelerator again and pull the shifter out of gear. Rev up the engine to increase the RPMs and now slam it into 8th gear.
Continue to do this until you no longer have to downshift to slow the truck down.
At that point, you’re just going to need the brakes.
Learning how to upshift and downshift a commercial truck will take you a long time. Other trucks will probably try to make fun of you and think they are super duper truck drivers. Do not let them disrupt your learning process. They all had to go through it and that they think they didn’t they are lying right through their teeth.