Spirit CDL TRAINING




Stick Shift and the Truck Driving Student



6/3/2011 by Tanya Bons

It's not unusual for students enrolling in truck driving school to be confused by the stick and shifting. Many students worry because they have never driven stick before; they think they're at a disadvantage.

The truth is, driving stick in a car is not the same as driving stick in a semi-truck and those that have experienced car driving may be the ones with the disadvantage.

Once you have learned to master a skill you also create habits, both good and bad, that go along with that skill. Truck driving school students that have driven stick before will have to forget what they had learned and listen to their instructors.

While attending truck driving school you will be taught the basics; shift patterns, shifting RPMs, what a splitter switch does and double clutching.

Experienced truck drivers will often avoid double clutching but double clutching prolongs the transmission life and makes smoother transitions between gears, therefore making a smoother ride.

Double clutching is not difficult if you practice the right rhythm, it's basically like dancing with the truck.

  • Press the clutch
  • Release the throttle
  • Shift into neutral
  • Release the clutch
  • Wait for the RPMs to decrease
  • Press the clutch again
  • Shift into the next gear


All truck driving students should master double clutching, most will need it to pass their skills test.

Drive safe,
Tanya Bons


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By: Spirit CDL.com By: Spirit CDL.com