Learning To Shift

Some people worry themselves silly about learning to shift. They think it will be too difficult or that they will have to learn it on their own. You will be taught how to shift during CDL training. Relax, it's not that hard to do.

Simple Tips For Learning To Shift

It is basic but useful for learning all things new.

  • Realize that you are not alone. No one was borne knowing how to shift. Some pick it up quick, some take a little longer.  Don't think you will stand out as the person who can't shift.
  • When the time comes simply breathe slowly and deeply in and out. This is not a joke or to be taken lightly. It actually creates a physiological change in the body. It's why meditation works to relieve stress and achieve other benefits.
  • Visualize yourself shifting like a champ. No scrapes, no misses but perfect shifting. Picture YOU doing this every time before you ever get in the truck. See the foot and hand coordination happen in your mind.
  • Mentally prepare by telling yourself, "I will learn this as I have learn so many other new things" Some would say instead, "I shift like a champ because I learn easily".
  • Pay attention. If you relax and focus on learning, not on messing up, you can pick up the process quicker from the trainer. Listen to the sound of the engine and look at the timing of the moves. Don't focus on a single part, look at the big picture of the process.  Eliminate the negative self talk.  In other words, DO NOT say to yourself, "I am going to mess up"
  • The most important thing..... Do not give up. Do not get discouraged. You will pick this up as long as you stay at it. It gets a lot easier after about 50 times. Don't worry about how long it takes you.  If you are anxious you will rush.  Relax.  Breathe.

Know that many are nervous for the first day or so of doing this.

Shifting Without The Clutch

Some drivers want to skip the basics and go to shifting without using the clutch. Ever heard the saying crawl before you walk?

I believe the idea in the mind of many who inquire of this magnificent feat is, "If I learn to shift without the clutch, shifting will be easier".

Sorry, you have to learn the basics of shifting first to know what to do in order to use the clutch. Besides, to pull off, you still must use the clutch.

When I was training they didn't teach shifting without the clutch. Whether you are taught how to shift without the clutch or not, you will easily learn how to do this after you get familiar with driving a manual transmission.

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Other forum posts about learning to shift

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Do they teach you how to shift multiple speed trucks in school? 
do they teach you how to use different shifter like 10,13,18 speed in trucking school?

Double Clutching. 
I dont Fully Understand Double Clutching. I Know Clutching and All. But I don't understand Double Clutching. Explain?

What are r.p.m.and road speeds for up and down shifting on an eaton 18 speed trying to learn.  Not rated yet
Rpm and road speed to shift smoothly on an eaton 18 speed not using a clutch. I was thrown in one recently. Any help would be appreciated

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