How to Double Clutch a Tractor Trailer


Double clutching in a tractor trailer truck is the proper way to change gears. Although many seasoned drivers float the clutch, the only method accepted by the Department of Transportation during an exam is double clutching. Even the most experienced trucker will use the double clutch method in the course of a trip. Therefore it is essential that all tractor trailer drivers learn how to double clutch.

  • Perform all required tasks and duties before starting your trip. Put the seat belt on and prepare to drive.

  • Engage the clutch with your left foot while pressing on the brake pedal. Hold it while you release the tractor and the trailer brakes by pushing the levers on the console. Place the shifter in first gear. Lift the clutch pedal and as you feel the truck begin to tug, and let off the brake.

  • Accelerate by pressing the fuel pedal. When your RPMs reach the speed signaling a shift, press the clutch pedal to the floor and at the same time take the shifter and bring it into the neutral position and release the clutch pedal.

  • Quickly depress the pedal again, and place the shifter in the next gear. Then release the pedal again and continue to accelerate.

  • Repeat this process every time the next gear is required. When down shifting, do the same in reverse.

Tips & Warnings

  • Pay special attention to finishing every step before starting the next. When steps overlap, the trucks performance will suffer.
  • Don't attempt to drive a tractor trailer until you have obtained the proper training and a license.

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