How to shift 10-speed transmission in truck

Written by gregory crews
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How to shift 10-speed transmission in truck
Ten-speed transmissions are found in large trucks. (Truck image by JASON WINTER from

Driving a truck with a 10-speed transmission is similar to driving a car with a five-speed. The only difference is there will be five more gears to climb through. The 10-speed in a truck also offers two reverse gears. Shifting gears is the same, except that when it is time to shift to sixth gear, there will be a high/low switch to press. Once this switch is pressed, the truck will climb through the higher gears.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • A truck with a 10-speed transmission

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  1. 1

    Ensure the truck is in neutral by moving the gear shifter toward the middle. There will be plenty of free travel to the right and left. Ensure the hi/lo switch on the gear shifter is in the down position.

  2. 2

    Press the clutch pedal to the floor. Start the truck by turning the key or pressing the starter button, whichever the truck requires.

  3. 3

    Allow the truck to build air pressure. The air pressure gauge will build up to 120 psi of air. Once the air gauge reaches that level, push in the yellow parking brake. You should have one foot on the clutch and the other foot on the brake pedal.

  4. 4

    Place the truck in second gear. Second gear is all the way to the left and down. Never start off in first, as that is for starting on a hill.

  5. 5

    Press the accelerator pedal while releasing the clutch pedal. The truck will engage and start to move.

  6. 6

    Observe the tachometer gauge as it will rise. Once the tachometer rises past two thousand RPM's, it will be time to shift to the next gear.

  7. 7

    Push the shifter up and slightly to the right. Push up in to third gear. Allow the RPM's to rise again to shift to the next gear. Pull the shifter straight down. Continue shifting through the gears until the truck is in fifth gear.

  8. 8

    Shift to sixth gear by pulling the shifter in to neutral, pull the high/low switch up and continue to glide the shifter all the way to the left and up.

  9. 9

    Brake by pressing the clutch and brake pedal all the way down. Downshifting will assist in slowing down. Downshift by pressing the clutch pedal and putting the gear shifter in a lower gear to slow down. Brake once the shifter is in second gear. Ensure the high/low switch is pushed down.

  10. 10

    Place the truck in reverse by pressing the clutch pedal down and pulling the shifter all the way to the right and down. Reverse has two gears. Low speed will be with the high/low switch down and high speed will activate once the switch is up.

Tips and warnings

  • Learn to shift without the use of the clutch. Once the RPM's are high, the truck can be shifted in to the next gear without the clutch pedal being pressed.
  • Never operate a large truck without proper licensing or a licensed driver with you to supervise.

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