It can be a daunting experience when it comes to driving a manual transmission truck, however the more you practice, the better your technique will be. Here is a guide on how to drive a stick shift truck.
Finding the Pedals
The first step you will need to understand is how to find the gas, clutch, and brake pedals. The gas pedal is situated on the right side with the brake pedal being the wider pedal that is situated in the middle. The clutch is the furthest left in your truck. Whenever you want to change gear, you will have to push your foot down on the clutch pedal. As the clutch pedal is commonly known as the most challenging aspect of driving a stick shift, once you have mastered how to use it, you will find driving much easier.
The stick shift is usually situated to the right of your seat (for trucks that have left side steering). Most stick shifts will have gear numbers that are printed on top, so you can locate them with ease. It will take time for you to adjust and understand how to use the stick shift so always make sure that the gear numbers are clearly visible, so you are able to drive the truck with ease. Websites like Black Smoke Media can give you more information on shifting in vehicles such as the Kenworth W900L Shifting.
Starting the Truck
Once you are ready to start the truck, you will need your clutch to be pressed down so that you are able to move the stick shift into a neutral position. While doing this, the emergency brake or brake pedal will also need to be engaged to eliminate the risk of your truck rolling when putting it into neutral. Make sure to use your left foot when pressing down on the clutch and your right foot when pressing down on the brake. If you have your emergency brake on, you will not have to push the brake pedal as hard.
To change gears, you will need to begin by pressing down slowly on the gas while using your left foot to lift off on the clutch. This will make your truck move forward. However, make sure not to slam down on the gas as you may end up stalling the truck. To switch to the next gear, you will need your RPM meter to reach 3,000 RPM. To get your truck into second gear, you will need to use your left foot to push down on the clutch.
Stopping and Reversing
Understanding how to stop and reverse are essential when it comes to using a stick shift truck. To downshift, simply press down on the clutch while simultaneously engaging the break which will enable your truck to go into a lower gear. Once it is in the next gear, make sure to lift off the clutch and press on the gas pedal so you can maintain your speed.
If you are still unsure on what it takes to become a stick shift truck driver, try and speak to those who are already in the profession who will be able to give you relevant advice and guidance.