Extending the Gearbox Life in Your Trailer

February 21, 2020 4:02 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The gearbox in a vehicle is the housing that contains the gears that allow the vehicle to shift up and down. The gearbox exists in both automatic and manual transmission vehicles, although the way it functions obviously differs a bit across these two types of transmissions.

The gearbox is just one part of the vehicle that can wear out over time, so it is important to know what you can do to extend the life of your gearbox so you can avoid having to spring for some significant and costly semi truck repairs. Here’s a bit of information to help you prolong the life of your gearbox.

Double clutching as a gearbox-saving tactic

Double clutching is one method of shifting gears in a manual transmission vehicle that can help you to extend the life of the gearbox. In most circumstances, the driver will press the clutch once and change gears. But in double clutching, the driver first puts the gear transmission into neutral, then changes the gear while pressing the clutch each time they wish to change gear levels.

This was once a common practice in passenger cars with manual transmissions, but today this tactic is generally only used in racing vehicles and commercial trucks, which do not have the same degree of synchronization in their transmissions. For particularly large vehicles such as semi trucks, this method of shifting can significantly cut down on the wear and tear of the gearbox, which means a lower need for repairs and a cut in potential expenses associated with ongoing wear and tear on a vehicle.

When using this method, the driver will generally shift the transmission to neutral, then release the clutch. This results in the engine either slowing down or speeding up, which then allows the vehicle to correct the RPMs in that instance, allowing a smoother gear transition. The driver will press the clutch and then shift to the desired gear before releasing the clutch. This will happen a couple seconds before the engine speed matches up with the gear speed, and all of this can occur in one fluid motion.

As already mentioned, the biggest benefit of this method of gear shifting is that it results in much lower wear and tear on the gearbox and the transmission system as a whole. If the gear transmission and vehicle engine are not appropriately synchronized, the gear teeth selectors will grind against each other, causing some avoidable damage. Large trucks often do not have sufficient synchronizers that protect smaller manual transmission vehicles, so it is important for fleet managers to encourage the practice of double clutching among all of their commercial drivers so they can lower their fleet-wide maintenance needs and costs.

If you’re interested in learning more about the double clutching process and some of the other steps you can take to extend the life of your gearbox, or if you’d like to schedule professional semi truck repairs with our experts, reach out to the team at J.H.T. Service & Repair, LLC today.

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