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Old 25-06-2006, 09:55 PM   #1
schmidty
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Question Tips on using a road ranger gear box.

I'm looking at getting my Heavy Rigid license next month. The course is 2 days if you know how to use a road ranger gearbox, and 5 if you have no experience. I've got a truck i can get out and practice in before hand with a mate but was after some tips on how the shifts work and technique. I've heard its a bit of a skill to be mastered but once you get the hang of it its fine. Basically just want to know if there are any good tips to get the hang of it from anyone who drives.

Cheers, Schmidty
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Old 25-06-2006, 10:00 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidty
I'm looking at getting my Heavy Rigid license next month. The course is 2 days if you know how to use a road ranger gearbox, and 5 if you have no experience. I've got a truck i can get out and practice in before hand with a mate but was after some tips on how the shifts work and technique. I've heard its a bit of a skill to be mastered but once you get the hang of it its fine. Basically just want to know if there are any good tips to get the hang of it from anyone who drives.

Cheers, Schmidty
What type of truck is it and what box has it got?
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Old 25-06-2006, 10:04 PM   #3
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There are a few truckies on here who will give you tips

I havent driven a crash box since I got my heavy rigid but it's easier than it seems, just have to make sure to match the revs when changing
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Old 25-06-2006, 10:41 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by GasOLane
What type of truck is it and what box has it got?

The truck i've got to have a practice is an Iveco 4500. And think its a 16 spd
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Old 25-06-2006, 10:52 PM   #5
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Bonneted or Cabover?
Bonneted are easier as the gearstick goes directly into the box. Cabover anything feel a lot more like stirring a bowl of porridge

Should be a 15 or 18 speed. I'd say it's an 18 as they're the most popular these days in most new stuff, and you will probably only use the top 10. The bottom 5 are usually for starting B-Doubles or Road trains.

Timing is esential as a Roadranger has only about 200 rpm between gears.
You'll also find changing down is a lot harder than changing up, over revving is usually the main cause of crunching gears.

If you dont know how to double the clutch pratice on your car -unless the car is auto after a few years you'll find it's quicker and easier not to use a clutch at all except for initial starting.

Anything else, just holler, I've been praticing doing this for 32 years interstate
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Old 26-06-2006, 12:07 AM   #6
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Thanks GasOLane. Just checked and its an 18 speed. Its a cabover, was a prime mover and was not long ago converted into a rigid, had chassis extended etc. Its either 420 or 450hp which isnt bad in a rigid! Went in it to rochester a few weeks ago and the thing does 120 up some of the long hills near heathcote! I heard someting about being 400 rpm between ratios or 200rpm if u split. can u drive it without splitting? Is that more for if you're hauling a heavy load?
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Old 26-06-2006, 12:25 AM   #7
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My biggest tip would be........

Dont rush your gear changes but be positive about it at the same time ! These are much different gear boxes to the one in your car and if you arent positive, it will drive you! Know which gear you want next and make positive movents with out hesitation!
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Old 26-06-2006, 10:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidty
Thanks GasOLane. Just checked and its an 18 speed. Its a cabover, was a prime mover and was not long ago converted into a rigid, had chassis extended etc. Its either 420 or 450hp which isnt bad in a rigid! Went in it to rochester a few weeks ago and the thing does 120 up some of the long hills near heathcote! I heard someting about being 400 rpm between ratios or 200rpm if u split. can u drive it without splitting? Is that more for if you're hauling a heavy load?
120! Ahh, the good ol' days
Yeah, 200rpm is using all the gears, you can drive them without splitting usually when running light or empty. Dont forget when you take off from a standing start you should be in a gear able to get the truck moving WITHOUT using the accelerator. IE..from idle ease the clutch out slowly, then accelerate on up through the gears. Of course all this info is for a flat surface, taking off up or down hill is a whole new ball game but you'll get the hang of that later
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Old 26-06-2006, 10:31 AM   #9
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With your practice rig try smooth positive changes with a double clutch, 1800 rpm shift point should let you change real nice. Speed and rpm are relative. With an empty rig you might take off in 3rd, shift to 5th then split to next range. Smooth and positive will see your speed nicely climbing and the motor tonking along, Should never need to go below 6th when cruising empty.
If loaded use all the gears but smooth acceleration is the key. Shifting at around 1800rpm and using the torque to keep rolling along. Dont try and give it a boot full because its slow. This will only over rev the box and make it harder to shift. Good driving with the big rig also involves a good perception of what is going on around you and up ahead. Timing your movements and treating everyone on road as if they are idiots will see you right

John
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Old 26-06-2006, 10:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superpursuit83
Shifting at around 1800rpm and using the torque to keep rolling along.
That might be fine if youre driving an 892, not a lot of torque left at 1800 rpm in most things these days. If someone changed gear at 1800 all the time with me sitting next to them Id throw them out the bloody door.
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Old 26-06-2006, 10:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Noise
That might be fine if youre driving an 892, not a lot of torque left at 1800 rpm in most things these days. If someone changed gear at 1800 all the time with me sitting next to them Id throw them out the bloody door.
Mercedes and nissan v8 deisels, but been a while since I have driven much else. I suppose I should have said just be nice and everything will fall into place
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Old 26-06-2006, 11:06 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by superpursuit83
Mercedes and nissan v8 deisels, but been a while since I have driven much else. I suppose I should have said just be nice and everything will fall into place
These days revving anything over 1750 is pretty useless.Most engines have a power band between 1300 and 1700... 'cept Volvo which you can let pull down to about 1100.
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Old 26-06-2006, 11:26 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by GasOLane
These days revving anything over 1750 is pretty useless.Most engines have a power band between 1300 and 1700... 'cept Volvo which you can let pull down to about 1100.
Does that mean you would be lying on the road next to me after Full noise throws you out the door too? :
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Old 26-06-2006, 11:27 AM   #14
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Let me get this right now, Full noise, are you saying shift before you get near 1800 ??
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Old 26-06-2006, 11:32 AM   #15
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Does that mean you would be lying on the road next to me after Full noise throws you out the door too? :
Nah, I think Danny meant that 1800 was when you change DOWN. Like he said, the old GM's used to rev between 1800/1900 and 2400/2500.

But we dont worry about him as he's from Melb and we ALL know how Victorians drive their Camry's after they get out of their truck, dont we
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Old 26-06-2006, 11:36 AM   #16
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Ahh, a subject I know something about. I have been a heavy vehicle driver trainer since 1987, so:

As has been said there is 200 rpm between gears, but....

The double clutch process is very much a hand-eye co-ordination thing.

The best advice I can give on double-clutching is to move the gear lever and the clutch at the same time, do not push clutch and then move the gear lever.

Always use the clutch

Always only push the clutch in about half way, unless you are engaging 1st gear, and then only when the truck is stopped.

When up-changing go to about 1600-1700rpm, then when you change a full gear movment it should drop about 4-600 rpm, so you pull it in the next gear at about 1200. (not half gear, which with the button on the side. 18 speeds have 2 knobs on the gear lever, one knob is the range change, it will the black one underneath the gear knob, the other is a blue knob on the side, this is for half gear changes, it splits each gear in 2 if you like)

Sorry to go against what you are saying superpursuit, but the new engines don't need to be revved up that high unless you are in hills, and yes I have driven B-Doubles at 62.5t with a 420 hp Series 60 for a living.

You should note that there is 3-400 rpm drop between each full gear change, this principle works when down changing as well.

With this next part I am only talking about full gear changes, not half shifts, when you first start off in a new truck to you, you should note the rev drop between gears (this goes for all you pro's as well), take off in first gear, go to 1600 look at your speed and note it, then change gears, then go to 1600 in 2nd, note the speed and then change, do this all the way up to 8th - remember full changes only,

So know you should have a list of each gear at 1600 at a certain road speeed, for example, 4th gear - 1600 - 20 km/h, 5th gear - 1600 - 28-30 km/h and so on.

You use these numbers when down changing, for example if you want to down shift to 4th gear from 6th, you should slow down to 20km/h, clutch in, neutral, rev to 1600, clutch in and pull it in to 4th gear, this takes some practice but it does work, so be patient, 4th gear in a road ranger is the gear you go around most left and right corners in.
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Old 26-06-2006, 11:37 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Noise
That might be fine if youre driving an 892, not a lot of torque left at 1800 rpm in most things these days. If someone changed gear at 1800 all the time with me sitting next to them Id throw them out the bloody door.
I am with you, but I wouldn't throw them out the door, maybe one of us should print out a torque chart and attach it. I will, be back soon.
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Old 26-06-2006, 11:44 AM   #18
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Ahh, a subject I know something about. I have been a heavy vehicle driver trainer since 1987, so:
Ahh! not a teacher !

Perhape we should talk in PM about teaching them to wave (acknowledge) to other drivers, and how to park a truck without blocking off the whole parking area and a myriad other things that 'new' drivers seem to be doing these days
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Old 26-06-2006, 11:44 AM   #19
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Sounds like I need to drive a new truck. I did say it has been a while and 1800 used to be a magic number. Still is in the 45 tonne 4 axle nissan deisel crane
I miss understood Full noise and thought he wanted more revs (sorry). Also when I said "split", I meant go to high range, not split gear.

Anyway, most of my trucks now (all with heavy cranes attached and overweight) are either full auto or have full syncro boxes that anyone can drive

Good Advice Big Trev
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Old 26-06-2006, 11:51 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big_Trev
I am with you, but I wouldn't throw them out the door, maybe one of us should print out a torque chart and attach it. I will, be back soon.
Thanks for the chart Big Trev, explains it all now
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Old 26-06-2006, 11:56 AM   #21
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Anyway, most of my trucks now (all with heavy cranes attached and overweight) are either full auto or have full syncro boxes that anyone can drive

Good Advice Big Trev
Same here, dead bloody booring these days.

Get in truck.
Put gear stick in Auto.
Set cruise control.
Drive at a booring 100k's
Put feet on dash and put video on.
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Old 26-06-2006, 11:57 AM   #22
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I should explain to others how to read it:

The top graph shows the torque of the engine ( a Series 60 - 3), it shows peak torque at 1500rpm, then it drops off big heaps, interestingly the peak toque happens at 1200 rpm.

The middle graph is the horsepower of the engine, it climbs to a peak at 1670rpm, then drops off.

The bottom graph is fuel consumption under load, it's best reading for fuel useage is at 1500 rpm.

So what does this mean, it means that you souldn't take this engine over 1700rpm because you loose torque, horsepower and you will start to use more fuel, and your lower end should be 1200 to pick up the bes tof your available torque.

Ahh, the beauty of modern electronic diesel engines!!!
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Old 26-06-2006, 11:59 AM   #23
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I am with you, but I wouldn't throw them out the door, maybe one of us should print out a torque chart and attach it. I will, be back soon.
CHART? are you assuming that Truck drivers can actually read?
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Old 26-06-2006, 12:00 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GasOLane
Ahh! not a teacher !
Not a teacher, but a trainer! :king:
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Old 26-06-2006, 12:10 PM   #25
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Not a teacher, but a trainer! :king:
OK, I'll accept that. Every Circus has to have a trainer
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Old 26-06-2006, 01:00 PM   #26
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"Teacher" has connotations of school :wtf:
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Old 26-06-2006, 01:51 PM   #27
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"Teacher" has connotations of school :wtf:
hehheh.. just so long as you dont start using that bloodyawfull Seppo term 'Educator' !

But getting back to schmidty's first post. Where are you doing the driving course? I dont know if Big_Trev is connected with them but I've heard good things about DECA
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Old 26-06-2006, 07:08 PM   #28
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Just another small helpfull hint while you're learning Schmidty ... as someone said earlier, you must be very positive with your shifts and one way to help you do this is to grab hold of the gear knob very firmly ... like as if you let it go it's going to kill you.
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Old 26-06-2006, 07:35 PM   #29
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I don't know about modern RR's (my experience was with RT915's in the early to mid 70's).
We never used the clutch when the truck was moving but most important was to change gears with TWO definite but quick movements ie from the previous gear to neutral and then to next gear... it's hard to describe but sort of "click (neutral)...click (next gear)".

Last truck I had a drive of was a 460HP Volvo a few years ago and it was like changing gears in a car - synchro box, not as critical to match revs as in the old RR's.
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Old 26-06-2006, 08:03 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidty
The truck i've got to have a practice is an Iveco 4500. And think its a 16 spd
Some of those Iveco's use the 16 speed ZF synchro box, but Road Rangers are a piece of cake, i have a RT14615, 15 speed in my truck, basically indestructable.

I use the clutch to get moving off the line, and only use it again on really steep hills to down change, so i dont twist the tail shaft to bits.

Auto shifts and synchro boxes are for nancy boys !
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