Floating The Gears

Ok, most of you have driven a stick shift before or at least have tried. I have been driving them all my life (driving life anyway). They have been anywhere from 3, 4, & 5 speeds. When I decided to get into this trucking thing, I knew they had alot more gears (8, 10, 13, 18), but had no idea about the “double clutching”. In your car you push in the clutch once & switch from one gear to another….easy huh? Well, in these trucks….you have to push it in twice between each gear. Yep, you push it in once & go to neutral, then quickly push it again to go on to the next gear. That is how the instructors in that school taught us. They also said that once we get out & get a job on our own we could “float” the gears, but they said they couldn’t tell us what it was or how to do it. They had to train us the right way. The clutches in your cars are synchronized, so pushing the clutch in once lets you shift. These big trucks have so much torque (power for pulling the heavy loads) you have to synchronize the clutch manually….that’s where the double clutching comes in. You have to get the RPM’s right & match it with a certain speed or your gonna grind them ( I’m sure some of you have done that in your cars).

The first night that I went out for training, my trainer asked me if I was gonna “double clutch” or “float”. I said “double clutch” because that is how I was taught (had never even been in one of these trucks before that 1st day of school)….so I had to do it how I was taught. Plus, I told him that I wasn’t sure what “floating” was. Well, the next day he taught it to me……it’s shifting without even using the clutch. (If you don’t have to use the clutch, then why isn’t the damn thing an automatic huh)? This is where you really have to match the RPM’s & speed or it won’t work. I had some trouble with it that first day, but have it down now. I felt really weird moving my arm & not my leg at the same time. It really does save your leg since you don’t have to push that heavy clutch pedal twice with each shift. It was really hard on me since my little ass only weighs 160 lbs. Anyway, just wanted to tease you all with a little of what goes on in this trucking world that I have thrown myself into. Gonna leave you a shot of the shifter that is in this truck I am training in. Til next time peeps…

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Categories: Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Floating The Gears

  1. I didn’t understand a single word you just said… lol… seriously though, don’t laugh but I have never once driven a stick shift car. Learned on an automatic and never looked back 🙂

  2. Strewth Jason, I’ve never driven myself, but reading your explanation of the driving technique really painted a vivid picture.. I suppose ‘floating’ just becomes second nature after a time.. Take care on those roads.. xPenx

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