Why Do Trucks Start In Second Gear?

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Why Do Trucks Start In Second Gear?

The engine and the overall size of an automobile say about the number of gears in the transmission. The type of vehicle also manifests the number of gears as well. There is sometimes a difference in the number of gears if the transmission is automatic or manual. Manual transmissions generally have more gears than automatic transmissions.


When it comes to manual transmissions, the driver has to know exactly when to switch between what gear. The reverse gear is always present in all automobiles. Apart from the reverse, there are forward gears that vary with the size of the engine and transmission type. For a typical sedan, there maybe four or five gears for the forward motion. These are called 4-speed or 5-speed manual transmissions. Sports cars generally have more gears. They can go up to 6-speed or 7-speed transmissions. Larger utility vehicles such as trucks the transmission can be 8-speed as well and might even have more than one reverse gear option.

The amount of power that the engine carries and the torque which it can generate reflects the number of gears. For larger vehicles like trucks, there are huge engines and are able to produce a massive amount of torque and acceleration. Their clutch and brake are stiffer as well. This is the reason that driving such large vehicles is not an easy task.


For manual transmissions, each gear has a different range and fuel distribution is also specific. The gear ratio varies with the engine and the number of gears. A normal manual sedan usually starts in the first gear and allows it to progress at a certain speed. It is then shifted to 2nd gear and the third and so on. It is advisable not to drive in the same gear for too long and also not to drive in lower gears for too long. As and when the speed of the car increases the gears have to be switched to one above. When it comes to a normal sedan and starting in the second or third gear creates pressure on the clutch plate and cable and further damages the pressure plates as well. Hence, for the best results and performance, the car needs to start in first gear.

But, this is not the case when large vehicles are taken into consideration. Utility vehicles such as trucks have huge engines. These engines develop massive torque and acceleration. Truckers generally avoid starting a truck in first gear. The reason is the loss of control. If a truck starts in first gear it gains higher speeds more easily due to higher fuel distribution in first gear and also other gear mechanics. It even becomes difficult to control the truck in first gear and there may be a possibility that the driver might lose control and spin the truck. A spinning truck is very dangerous as it can crash into anything and topple over at the same time.


Precautionary steps

It is always advisable to start the trucks in second gear so that the shoot-up effect of the truck is reduced and take off is slower and in a controllable situation. The speed rises slowly and the truck remains stable. The main objective is to avoid the wilder takeoff and difficult braking motion. Though, a vehicle that size is not easy to come to a complete stoppage. Hence, the second gear stabilizes and controls the truck’s motion and allows the driver to accelerate gently and smoothly.

Well, it is quite a commonly used technique by truck drivers all over the globe. Any large vehicle must not be allowed to start off with a speedy start because the design on them does not allow them to accelerate quickly to high speeds.

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