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Old 12-08-2019, 06:13 PM   #20 (permalink)
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
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2004 CTD - '04 DODGE RAM 2500 SLT
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Originally Posted by elhigh View Post
First > Third > Fifth, when unloaded and on level ground.

It's really a question of the driver and the mission, so it's up to you to be aware of what you're doing to know when to skip, and if you should.

My truck with nothing in the bed, First is way low. Second would work but demands just a bit too much clutch slippage for my preference. Third, coming out of First, is low enough engage without lugging but still tall enough to comfortably pull all the way to 45mph, by which time Fifth is in the torque zone. Know your engine, transmission and loading and the shifts will suggest themselves.

My original clutch went about 200,000 miles, and I've been driving this truck this way the whole time. It was my second kid learning stick that killed it. And that was worth the sacrifice.

High reasonability. But the door open to, “man & mission“, is an escape clause negating the rest. (I get what’s being said). Below is general, not specific to the man or his post:

First on mine is a granny when solo (1200-lbs above ship weight). All that’s being done is getting momentum started. And, at that, it’s great. The First to Second shift is immediate. Just a few feet (is how it feels).

“Normal” for a vehicle is when loaded close to spec.

“Abnormal” (driver only) is NOT how to establish driving habits.

If I drive as if my trailer is always in tow (not an 8,000-lb truck, but an 18,000-lb combined rig where the tractor MUST pivot far outward on turns), anything solo makes problem-solving easier. The only corner I cut is a decrease from an almost 90-degrees. After all, one can never steer by following the front wheels. It’s always the pivot off the Drive Axle.

Driving is about timing. The order thence is Steering & Braking. Throttle Use is a far distant third.

The throttle exists to get you to the gear best suited. It doesn’t have much other use.

Best suited (means) fewest possible changes from lane-center while steady-state.

If that means a higher rpm than thought ideal so as to emphasize engine braking on a suburban feeder road, then such it is.

Weather shouldn’t much change the equation. Nor should load (see previous). Only traffic volume is the wild card. As the requirement for separation distance never changes (time, and speed, to impact).

So I can’t see the point of gear skip. Faster component wear PLUS habit incommensurate with loaded vehicle versus traffic volume problem.

What I’m speaking of isn’t “virtual”.

The belief that skill & awareness will overcome consequences is what’s not supported statistically, is the virtual construct.

The premise, “there are no accidents”, covers this.

(Brakes won’t and don’t solve operator-error problems)

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