Floating gears vs double clutching. It’s a controversy among professional drivers everywhere!
Floating gears simply means shifting the gears without the use of the clutch.
Floating Gears Secrets
One of the secrets to floating gears is to apply or release a little pressure on the fuel pedal when pulling it in or out of gear. The purpose of this is to help it ease into the next hole.
Timing between shifts is also very important. Bring the revs up to where the transmission wants to pick up another gear. Then remove your foot from the fuel pedal, wait a second, then slip it into the next hole(gear). Then apply the fuel pedal again.
Remember, there is no need to force the shifter when changing gears without using the clutch. Only finger tip pressure is required when pushing and pulling the shifter. That way the driver can feel when the transmission wants to accept the gear. There is never a need to force a gear if you are shifting properly.
Floating Gears – For the New Driver
For the new CDL driver, I recommend using the clutch to shift each and every time you shift gears. This is a good idea in order to get comfortable with the use of the clutch.
Once you are comfortable with double clutching, then experiment shifting without using the clutch.
With the increasing number of the big trucking fleets spec’ing their trucks with automatic transmissions, there may no longer be a need to learn to double clutch or float gears.
I personally prefer a truck with a manual transmission rather than an automatic transmission. I much prefer to control when the truck needs the next gear. I don’t like the idea of the automatic transmission choosing the gear, when I’m driving.
I also prefer the standard transmission on slippery roads, as I can feather the clutch, in order to regain traction, in the even of a skid/slide. It can also be used to rock the truck if the truck is stuck in the snow.
I feel the standard transmission gives me more control over the truck and it’s drive line.
But most of all, I enjoy driving a truck with a standard transmission. It’s just part of trucking.