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You are watching: How to drive a 18 wheeler

The 18 rate transmission is strong, versatile and also easy to use, as soon as you get the cave of the patternand if friend are competent with hands-on transmissions.

It’s no the easiest of transmissions if you are just starting to learn to journey a tractor trailer.

Versatility is the best feature of the 18 speed.

The driver can constantly have the right equipment to keep the van engine to run at the exactly RPM to conserve fuel and help the truck engine last.


For most truck drivers, the 18 rate transmission has much more gears than you’ll ever before need come use, unless maybe you’re pulling trains in the mountains or heavy weight.

There’s a gear for all cases a driver can encounter.

Shift Pattern because that an 18 Speed

The 18 speed transmission is laid out in an ‘H’ pattern.

The easiest method to come to be familiar v the 18 speed is to exercise shifting in an H pattern.

The driver uses second, third, fourth, and fifth, climate splits up right into high range. Then, shift the H pattern again because that sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth gear.After reaching ninth gear, split up to overdrive because that the top gear.

There space plenty of other gears in between, together all key gears have a high range and low range, so the the driver have the right to split any kind of of the gears, double more.

It can sound a bit complex at first, yet it’s really not.

The more a driver practices, and also the more experience he gains, the may discover that the equipment being used, might not be quite the right one for wherein he desires the RPM’S to be.

In the case, they can be separation up or under accordingly, matching the RPM’S to the engine’s sweet spot.

Drivers who prefer floating gears have to like the 18 speed, as 12 the the 18 gears obtainable do not require relocating the shifter, as they are separation gears.

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Steps to shifting an 18 speed Transmission


The 18 speed transmission is laid out in one ‘H’ pattern. The easiest way to become familiar through the 18 rate is to practice shifting in one H pattern.

The driver supplies second, third, fourth, and fifth, climate splits up into high range and then transition the H sample again for sixth, seventh, eighth and also ninth gear.After reaching ninth gear, separation up come overdrive for the optimal gear.

There room plenty of other gears in between.

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3 turning back Gears

There room 3 reverse speeds in reverse. Why? an excellent question.

3 LO Gears

In this situation, the 3 low forward starting gears the the 18 speed, are just the ticket come a smooth start.

It’s basic to gain a heavy load rolling without abusing the clutch.

15 front Gears

There room 15 forward gears in 3 ‘H Positions’

For the median driver, numerous of this gears will never ever be used.

It counts on the load of the load, terrain and several various other factors.

REMEMBER: finding out to shift an 18 rate transmission sample is not difficult. Nonetheless, it does take it some exercise time to change smoothly.

7 shifting Tips for Truckers

Practice. Shifting appropriately is type of favor riding a bike. The more you practice, the much better you’ll gain at it.Every truck is different. You can have 2 trucks, identically spec’ed and they’ll shift differently. Every van shifts just a tiny differently. It’s like they each have their own personality.Find the sweet spot. Simply take the moment to gain to understand what your truck likes. Find where the sweet spots are.Be methodical. Shifting have to be done slowly and also methodically. Feather the clutch and feather the fuel to aid slide it into gear.Shift smoothly. Never shot to pressure a gear. The isn’t necessary. It will slide in practically on its very own if every little thing is inside wall up just right (the speed, the RPM and also the shifter.)Don’t rush. Relax.

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It’s no something to it is in rushed. Did I cite practice? and yes. Practice, practice, practice.

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