Article written by: LHB Prez Sancho


Part 1

Welcome to LHB's FREE Online Truck Driving School of Hardknocks!

Whether you are thinking about going to a Truck Driving School to get your Class A CDL or if you've been driving 18 wheel semi trucks for the past few years, after you read this website in its entirety I will promise you 1 thing:

I promise that you will learn the “Truth about the Trucking Industry” and that you will be able to make educated decisions moving forward in your truck driving career.

Knowledge is Power!

2 1/2 yrs after I received my class A CDL. I became a single truck owner operator rolling in a manual 18 speed Peterbilt with paper log sheets flying out the window.

With the help and advice from my many mentors, I was able to expand into 3 trucks with 3 company drivers while pulling 4 reefer trailers and earned over $500,000 gross after only 1 1/5 years as an owner operator.

While doing all of this I aquired about 30k truck driving fans on Facebook that encouraged me along the way. Feel free to like the page as well by following this link

I have appeared as a guest speaker on a couple trucking podcast shows including an interview with Buck at [] and another interview with Troy and Ruthanne at [].

Would you say I'm qualified to educate anyone?

No?! Well me neither! So good luck with your career! Ha ha I'm just kidding!

Now on a serious note, If you've NEVER had your Class A CDL or maybe you've only been driving an 18 wheeler for a few years, I am going to be YOUR BEST FRIEND that helps you along your journey in becoming a Professional Truck Driver.


About LHB's Truck Driving School of Hardknocks:

Part 2

Are you actually sticking around to read the rest? Well all be damned...

There might actually still be hope for us truck drivers after all...

I would like to start off by making sure you are not confused about my website before we go any further.

Let's find out if this is the right website for you.

Are you about to sign any paperwork to attend a truck driving school or a contract to have your schooling paid for by a trucking company?



School recruiters and trucking company recruiters will lie to you without losing an ounce of sleep!

All they care about is bringing on enough drivers to meet their monthly quota to get a fat bonus on their paycheck!

Some companies even pay their recruiters an additional bonus if you stay with them over 6 months!

LHB's FREE Online Truck Driving School of Hardknocks is NOT designed to replace any "in person" truck driving school.

LHB's Hardknocks Truck Driving School was put together for 3 main purposes:

The first purpose is to WARN YOU about your journey.

If you lack knowledge and foresight on this path to a trucking career then you risk the chance of finding yourself trapped in some very bad deals and in some cases, stranded on the side of the road thousands of miles from home.

I've seen this happen countless times.

Let's be honest, IF you have never had your CDL... YOU NEED ALL THE HELP YOU CAN GET.


Do not rush into it.

You will live.

The second purpose is to ensure your safety OTR (Over The Road) by teaching you tips and tricks from our mentors.

Finally the third purpose is to help guide you along the way in your truck driving career. Whether you want to just be a company driver, a lease operator, an owner operator, or if you want to go balls out and become a trucking carrier.

No matter what your goal is LHB Truck Driving School of Hardknocks will present you information that you will find no where else.

Truck Driving Schools are so overwhelmed by the amount of information they need to teach you to pass the CDL Test, that they have to leave out tons of basic information such as;

"Truck Driver Etiquette", the basic "Do's and Don'ts" of the road, more importantly, "How to not get your ass kicked by another driver" because you didn't know the "unspoken rules of truckers", along with countless other life saving lessons.

I can only hope that you take your journey into the trucking industry very seriously.

The truth is that truck drivers die everyday in extremely horrific accidents.

So I'm going to ask you a very serious question...

Will YOU be another statistic that ends up as a blood stain on the road like so many of my fellow brothers and sisters already have?

I sure hope not.

I don't wish that on anyone.

NOW, do I have your FULL ATTENTION?

Truck Driving is NOT a joke and you better start realizing that real quick.

Your CDL is the last thing you should be concerned about right now if you don't know the basics.

Educate yourself before you go to the trucking school near you.

I've only traveled 450,000 miles in the last 4 years, yet I've seen so many dead bodies torn to pieces on the road that it doesn't even shock me anymore.

Once you become a trucker you become part of a family, "The LHB Family".

The Long Haulin' Banditz family is a community of real truck drivers, world wide dedicated to educating student drivers the ways of the road, free of harassment.

LHB doesn't stop at education, we also offer a lending ear and advice to those suffering from depression.

Trucking isn't easy, and it will test your mental health, but with a community of people in your corner it makes the long trips home a little easier.

So many truck driving students are getting screwed every single day. If I can save YOU from being brainwashed by the endless lies from; mega carriers, DOT, and FMCSA, while providing you knowledge that will impact your career and even save your life, than I will sleep a lot better tonight.

What I offer you is priceless.

I offer you KNOWLEDGE from LHB's FREE and PAINLESS "School of HARDKNOX".

Not only do I offer you my own personal experiences, but more importantly, I offer you the experiences from 100's of my old school outlaw mentors.

After driving an 18 wheeler for 10 years did you know that you will have driven close to 1,000,000 miles?!

Now multiply that number times 100 old school truckers that have been driving for over 20 years EACH!

I bring to you LHB's driver's knowledge, on top of their dad's knowledge, on top of their granddad's knowledge... etc.

Are you starting to grasp my point?

Would you agree that is an insane amount of knowledge backed by experience?

That's over 200 million miles of experience at your finger tips!

You can find the info needed to pass your CDL test anywhere.

Big Deal.

You won't find this information anywhere and that is how our school stands out.

So as I said earlier, the information I have to offer you is priceless.

The only question is this:

Do you want to be part of the problem in trucking or would you rather be part of the solution?

Of course you want to be part of the solution!


LHB is here for YOU.

Truck Drivers World Wide.

Helpless we stand divided.

Harmonic we stand together.


Need a quick favor...

Part 3

Now before we move on, I'm going to ask you to help LHB.

1) Please click the 3 dots above on your browser toolbar and add your new favorite website to the home screen on your phone, tablet, or desktop,

2) Please copy [] and share it to 1 of your favorite trucking groups on social media.

Let's face it, at this point you've probably realized I'm the real deal and I'm about to blow your socks off with an overwhelming amount of information about the trucking industry.

I recommend coming back at least once a month to check for any upcoming events or updates.

Don't forget to check out the music playlists, videos, and podcasts that I have available as well.

Let's begin and thank you for sharing my website to 1 of your trucking groups on social media.


Hardknocks Free Online Truck Driving School Lesson 1

Need money to attend Truck Driving School 101

Did you always dream about being a truck driver or are you a little more like me with a trail of burnt bridges fogging up the windows to your future?

No matter what your answer is most of us arrive to the same problem once we decide to pursue a trucking career.

That problem is the large amount of money needed to attend a CDL training course.

Pursuing a trucking career is a great way to change your life and help move the world. The average truck driving salary is $40,000 starting as a rookie. Who can be that entry level?

But if you are living in a car the way I was when I decided to get my Class A CDL, $5,000 was a ton of money!

Hell, even today it's still a ton of money.

For starters I began my journey as a truck driver just as most of you did or are about to.

I was broke, discouraged, wondering what the hell I was going to do with the rest of my life, and to top it off I had to deal with a crazy ass ex.

Does that sound like you just a little bit?

If so we have a little bit in common already! I think we are off to a great start!

I'm writing this to share the solutions I found that enabled me and a lot of other people I know, the opportunity to begin their Truck Driving Career.

I will present you 4 solutions to getting the money you need to pay for an accredited truck driving school of your choice.

The 4th solution is actually a problem disguised as a solution.

Beware because if the first 3 options don't work the recruiters from the truck driving schools and the mega carriers will make it seem like it's AN AMAZING OFFER while trying to shove it down your throat all day long.

If you HAVE to take option #4, at least you will actually know what to expect so you don't find yourself 6 months down the road with your first truck driving company saying, "I wish someone would've told me!".

Let's Begin:

1) If you have decent credit try getting a loan from a bank. Duh. (The bank laughed at me, but you never know unless you try.)

2) If you are a Veteran seeking a career as a truck driver go to the VA and ask about the GI Bill, or anything they might have to offer.

One of my family members was successful with this option and had 100% of his CDL Training paid for with no strings attached.

3) If you can't do the first two options go to your state government building that deals with “educational grants” and apply.

When you show up to the building to apply for your grant be specific with them about your needs, tell them you NEED to get your Class A drivers license but you need CDL training at your local truck driving school to start your new career as a truck driver.

Educational Grants otherwise known as, Student Grants, can vary from 10% to 100% the cost of your CDL Training.

If you are approved they will pay the school directly and they will follow up with you once a month to verify whether or not you started working yet and once you are they will call you once a month to see if you are still employed.

They will ask you to send in payroll stubs as proof of employment.

If I remember correctly they only followed up with me for about 6 months.

I got my grant for 100%, but I had to put in a lot of leg work to get it done and it took almost a month.

Talk to your CDL Class Director for more info about grants, in fact He or She probably knows the phone number for the people you would need to call to get your Student Grant.

Note* You will need to apply to multiple truck driving companies and ask for a "letter of intent to hire" before applying for the state's truck driving grant, this is very common.

Believe it or not the more broke you are, the better the chance you have of getting it fully approved.

The state doesn't want you leaching off of society so they tend to help those in desperate need a lot quicker.

Be sure to go in with a smile and be persistent, and remember laziness will get you nowhere.

4) Now I'm going to crack a lot of eggs with this option but I'm not on anyone's payroll so I don't really care.

Some trucking companies, typically your mega carriers (100+ trucks OTR), offer to pay the $5k for your truck driving school IF you sign a contract to drive for them for 6 months to a year if not longer.

The problem is they have the nerve to cut your pay way below .40 a mile for a very long time, so while you are risking your life everyday OTR, you have to do so while living off peanuts and Top Ramon just to finish out your contract.

- But Sancho, they helped me out and I have to pay them back no matter how long it takes! I'm okay with eating peanuts for 6 months!

I totally agree with you. You should pay them back. That's what honorable and respectable truckers do, but let's look at how you are getting screwed...

When you are out there working, the one thing you will never be told is this:

The amount of money the load you are pulling is actually being paid to your company. This is where it gets interesting.

The average load in 2019 pays about 2.00+ a mile give or take .25, but keep in mind I've seen loads up to $10 mile but that's pretty rare and it's mostly military contract stuff, or heavy haul, but that's a whole other topic and not nearly as profitable as it sounds, so let's just focus on that $2 RPM (Rate Per Mile) for now okay?

Let's say you pull a 2,500 mile load of freight in your semi truck in 1 week (FYI 2.5k miles per week OTR is very average) that's $5,000 gross your company just made for that week correct?

Technically yes, well at least that's what they will have to claim on their taxes, but out of that $5k comes A LOT of business expenses right?

So let's add them up shall we?


First off every trucking companies biggest expense is always the fuel.

If you drive 2,500 miles in a wk and your big rig gets 7 mpg that is close to 357 gallons of diesel fuel.

Now we multiply 357 gallons by the avg price of diesel at the pump. In 2018 the avg price was around $3.

So $3 x 357 gallons = -$1,071.42

Avg Truck Payment = -$700/wk (many variables)

Avg Truck Ins = -$350/wk (many variables)

Avg Truck Maintenance = -$400/wk (many variables)

Avg Annual Permits = -$100/wk (many variables)

Driver Pay @ .40 cpm (cents per mile) x 2500 miles = -$1,000

Factoring (This is a process used to get paid quickly on the BOL's (Bill of Ladings) turned in.

BTW - NEVER EVER LOSE A BOL. If you lose 1 of those don't even expect to get paid.

You better hold onto those BOL's like they are a $1,000 bill.

Anyways Factoring is normally 4% of the total gross $5,000 x 4% = -$200

(There are a few more expenses but at this point we will be nickel and diming)

So we started with $5,000 dollars right?

Well looks like we are left with only $1,178.

Now multiply that number times 100 trucks.

How much money did that trucking company actually PROFIT just for that 1 week?

$500,000 gross and after expenses they profited right about $117,800 THAT WEEK.

So with those numbers you actually paid them back in 5 solid work weeks.

But wait... YOU AREN'T GETTING PAID .40 MY FRIEND! NO NO NO! You my friend will only be earning .29 cpm - .35 cpm.

You actually paid them back completely in 3 weeks if not LESS. LOL

You smell that? Ya that's the fresh scent of Big Daddy Mega Carrier standing behind while you have your pants around your ankles.

I told you I was going to educate you didn't I?

Basically what I'm telling you is this, after you drive for a max of 1 month for them you've already paid them their $5k back.

Don't even get me started on becoming a lease operator...

You know why most truck driving companies have an extremely high turnover rate? Because no one will tell you the truth.

You are just a number.

Insurance sees you as a liability, your company sees you as a pawn, your dispatcher sees you as a crybaby.

Any truck driving company that tells you to get a contract with them has no concern for your well being at all.

I've seen guys that drove for 1 company for 10+ years and got fired for 1 tiny accident.

Oh and BTW guess who got a FAT REFERRAL BONUS for signing you on to their company, your Truck Driving School.

Now does it make any sense why you might have seen some recruiter come into your truck driving school talking about how awesome his company is during your cdl training class and handing out a bunch of business cards?

Ahhhh I see said the blind man...

(Disclosure not all trucking companies are slimy but more than likely the place you are thinking about going to probably is.)

Now here's a positive note about the school and the trucking company.

If you have no other option to get your Class A CDL and you can honestly say you tried every other route necessary then by all means, get the contract.

You can learn just enough to get your CDL license from a truck driving school, but dont expect to learn much more than that.

Don't worry, you'll survive and our LHB Family will help you along the way.

Now maybe some of you are having this bright idea... "Sancho! I will just go drive for a small trucking company with only 3 - 20 trucks!"

Well, friend the truth is most small trucking carrier's insurance will not allow them to employ any student drivers.

So unfortunately you will have to do your time like the rest of us did. I served my 2 years with a mega carrier and then I moved on. Now you will have to serve your 2 years as well.

Once you have those 2 years served under your belt and you kept a clean driving record aka MVR, you will be able to move to a smaller more relaxed, family type of trucking company.

I hope this section helped you.


There are more articles coming soon... for more on trucker etiquette and tips and tricks please visit the "LHB Trucking School 101" tab

Please don't forget to share, the button is located on the bottom by your thumb. Thank you.

LHB President Sancho

It's time us truck drivers quit pointing our fingers at everyone else. It's time we turn those fingers around and realize that change starts with us. You could help simply by sharing this weblink, the question is - Will you?
LHB Prez Sancho

Who can join LHB Trucker Community?

Anyone thinking about starting a career in trucking, students in truck driving school, rookie drivers, veteran drivers, their families and friends, along with anyone that appreciates our hardwork; not only are you welcome, YOU ARE NEEDED.

What is LHB?

Long Haul Banditz is a community of truck drivers, from student truck drivers that haven't even attended their first day of truck driving school yet to 4th gen owner operators including their families, and their friends, WORLDWIDE! LHB truckers are dedicated to bringing the respect and the old school attitude back by educating everyone about the UnTold Truths of the Trucking Industry.

Where is LHB located?

We have semi truck driving supporters in over 100+ countries, but we are based out of the wonderful United States of America.

Why is this important?

Today's truck driving schools are overwhelmed with the amount of info needed to properly train a student driver. It is impossible to cram the amount of knowledge they will need to stay alive on the big road in only a 4 week school.

I have a problem with Mega Carriers because they will take a driver that has only been on the road for 1 to 2 years and have the nerve to put them in a trainer position. This is the stupidest thing I've ever seen. This is how bad habits are born. No one should be training unless they have a decade of experience. The only reason why Mega Carriers don't follow a guideline like this is because veteran drivers have seen too many student drivers kill themselves and their trainers in accidents. Veteran drivers rarely want to put their life in a students hands. That does not mean you lower the qualifications of trainers. That should mean you slow down your growth and do it the right way.

Mega carriers leach on student drivers and rookie drivers by teaming them together to get double the miles at a fraction of the cost they would have to pay an experienced driver. They gamble on students lives simply to earn an extra dollar. To make matters worse they are all self-insured so they are virtually unstoppable. This is absolute bullshit. Truckers are people, not pawns.

Simply put, LHB is stepping in to assist where the trucking schools fall short.

When can I become a LHB member?

If you believe in our mission of ressurecting the trucker brotherhood, you are already a member, but that doesn't mean we don't need your help. We encourage all truck drivers to scroll down to our "Trucker Community" tab and click on the FB group and request to join our free trucking school!

We have LHB Certified Mentors that are available to help anyone with advice. If you want to become a LHB Certified Mentor you must have 10 years of OTR driving experience.

If you love our mission we encourage you to help us spread the word by purchasing one of our trucker shirts, hoodies, hats, or stickers. If money is tight no worries! You can help for free by simply hitting the share button at the bottom of the page! We need YOU to help us make a difference.

How can I get involved?

It's super simple! Just do more courteous things through out the day. LHB is 1 of the only trucking groups coming together to make a difference! We believe if more people are seen doing good things while wearing one universal trucker shirt it will spark others to get involved as well. The more truckers we have wearing LHB shirts while doing good things, the faster it will catch on! Order your LHB Trucker Shirt today!

It is not appreciated by anyone to see you grabbing gears in the truck parking lot.

Check for people and pets under your tractor trailer before moving.

Do not litter and do not blow your trash from inside your truck to the outside (if you do pick it up when you are done).

Do not dump piss out your window and don't throw piss bottles and shit bags in the parking lot.

Truck Drivers have a bad reputation of being nasty. LHB is trying to fix that.

Try not to blast your jake brakes or air horn near a truck stop because others are trying to sleep.

Pump fuel and pull up to line BEFORE doing anything else.

Why? Not everyone is running on your available hours. Don't be a dickface.

If your semi truck is broke down at the fuel pump put a cone or trash can behind your truck.

If you took an abnormally long time fueling... check your 5th wheel pin, it might have been pulled in retaliation.

*If you pull someone's pin expect an asswhooping from anyone that finds out.

*It is never funny, rather; dangerous, and inconsiderate to the owner of the truck, the owners of the fuel stop, and everyone else involved, not only that but you can negatively impact your trucking career.

Always turn your flashers on while backing up, honking your city horn is not a bad idea either.

GO SLOW when backing up a semi truck!!!

Why? Fast backing shows REAL TRUCKER drivers that you are dangerous and ignorant.

Asking for help is NOT a sign of incompetance, it is rather a sign of humility.

Why? Believe it or not truck drivers would rather you ask for help then for you to hit their sexy big rig. Pride comes before the fall.

If you see a line of semi trucks waiting to pass you while struggling to park let them pass by instead of rushing yourself.

If it's dark you can laydown a flashlight to help guide you.

BE AWARE of the 1 empty spot in a FULL Truckstop... there's probably a reason why it is empty.

Do not videotape anyone struggling to park a semi truck. Get off your fat ass and help them.

Maybe someone will videotape you doing something good for the trucking industry.

Do not park an 18 wheeler on any scale to go inside.

Check your mirrors and take your time pulling onto the scales.

Make sure all your tires are actually on the scale... before hitting the call button.

When adjusting your axle weights each pin (depending on trailer) could vary from 250lbs to 500lbs.

Don't drive a semi truck with your feet on the dash.

Keep a safe driving distance, WHEN you get cut off slow down to get a new safe traveling distance.

*This will continue to happen ALL DAY LONG. No need to get upset and stress about it, rather expect it to happen and laugh.

Keep a knife in your pocket... if you flip your 18 wheeler in a ditch you can cut the seat belt straps so you can get out.

Keep tools, extra food, water, first aid kit, and blankets in case you need to rescue someone.

Look 30 seconds ahead of you and behind you. Expect everyone to hit you.

Don't be stupid when it comes to pre trips, your trucking career depends on them. 20 to 800 miles of vibration everyday can loosen a lot of bolts and hoses.

Yes, flip flops or socks are comfortable to wear while driving your semi truck, but if a wreck happens in front of you, will you be able to jump out and save someone?... think about it.

Move over or slow down for all pulled over vehicles.

Don't stop on the shoulder to piss or take a 30 minute break. Find an exit... or a bottle.

Don't stop on exit ramps. It is safer to stop on an "On Ramp" instead. (Getting hit at a slower speed is always better than a faster speed)

Keep a road atlas and loose leafs in case you ever need more tim... nevermind.

Making a right turn in your semi truck can be dangerously tight. Take ALL the room you need, no matter what you learned in truck driving school.

Keep wide, check your passenger mirror, slow and safe, watch for the idiots that WILL try to sneak by on your right side.

*Just because your GPS tells you to turn, it doesn't mean you should. YOU DRIVE THE SEMI TRUCK NOT YOUR GPS,

When in New York / 5 burrows / Long Island stay off the parkways while driving a semi truck PAY extreme attention to the signs.

Pay attention to bridge heights. In north east America some places height signs are based off the curb not the road.

*It is your responsibility to check every bridge before driving your semi truck under them, no one else's.

Pay attention to every sign whether you are driving or riding shotgun. You are a professional truck driver, act like it.

Always keep a safe traveling distance while driving your semi truck unless you are in a convoy and blowing chicken coo... nevermind.

If you aren't passing someone stay out of the hammer lane (left lane).

If "Semi Truck A" is in front of "Semi Truck B" and both trucks are traveling in the hammer lane to pass "Semi Truck C" which is in the slow lane (right lane)

"Semi Truck B" should WAIT for "Semi Truck A" to completely pass "Semi Truck C" before "Semi Truck B" attempts to pass "Semi Truck C" as well.

Why? "Semi Truck B" can't see in front of "Semi Truck A or C", someone or something could be stopped ahead that "Semi Truck B" would not be able to see.

Never pass on the right. There could be a stopped vehicle in that lane and you would never know.

They call them accidents for a reason. Limiting the dumb things you do will cause you and others to stay alive longer while protecting your Class A CDL license.

If you drop below 10mph of the posted speed limit while driving your semi truck put your flashers on.

Believe it or not but, the less you shift the faster you will get up the hill...

In a 13 speed or 18 speed don't split into the higher range while climbing hills. The top end of your tranny is for top speeds on flat ground

while the low end is for power to climb steep hills.

How to float gears in your semi truck tips

Example: in 8 high wait for your RPM's to drop to 1,300 before splitting to 8 low.

Then wait for RPM's to drop to 1,000 before downshifting to 7 low.. then 6 low... etc

(remember to "ease" your RPM's up to 1500 from 1000 while floating to each lower gear)

Don't be a steering wheel holder drag racing up a hill at 40mph with a mile of cars behind you.

Let off of the fuel, swallow your pride, get over, dont be a douche bag, and let the cars pass. Share the road.

Put your semi truck in neutral with your buddy in his 18 wheeler next to you. First one to hit their brakes loses! I'm kidding... don't do that.

Rule of Thumb: whatever gear you were using to climb up the hill, drop 1 to 2 gears to go down the hill.

Only rookies don't shift downhill. Practice, Practice, Practice.

Example: Let's say you didn't realize you were on a big grade cuz you were being an idiot and you are in top gear going really fast down a hill.

What do you do? FIRST: Breathe. Relax. Think.

Gently apply your brakes and slow your truck down to 1000 RPM's, put tranny in neutral, ease your RPM's up to 1500 - 1800, then slip into next lower gear.

Wash, Rinse, Repeat.

Stay Tuned For More Lessons Coming Soon!

[Topic] How to shift a 10 speed transmission:

Okay push in the throttle and lets gain some speed. 5mph! Woohoo we moving now!

Flip Range selector "down" into low range (the range selector looks like a black rectangular "flappy paddle" on the front of your gear shifter)

Rule of thumb Speed to Gear:

1-2 mph 1st gear 3-4 mph 2nd gear 5-7 mph 3rd gear 8-10 mph 4th gear

Flip Range selector "up" into "high range".

11-14 mph 5th gear

Now if you are new to shifting you might have a hard time remembering what gear you are in.

So I formulated a system for you to learn what gear you should be in once you get your large car rolling down the big road.

Now Pay Attention:

Look at this 15 MPH sign approaching. Without looking at the chart above what gear should you be in?

Before you answer look at the number 15. What do you see? 1 + 5 = 6th gear

Whoa! Pretty cool huh? That my friend is a Sancho original. Let's try it again shall we?

Next speed sign we see coming up is 25 mph. What do you see again? 2 + 5 = 7th gear!

No way! Let's try it one more time no way that system will work. Next sign is 35 mph. 3 + 5 = 8th gear!

Next up we have 45 mph. 4 + 5 = 9th gear

Next up we have 55 mph. 5 + 5 = 10th gear

*Note Turn your Jake brakes off to shift smoother. Jake Brakes drop your RPM's at a very fast rate making it difficult for a new driver to shift.

*Note when climbing hills keep your eye on the engine temp. Make sure your engine fan is on if your engine temp is over 210 degrees. Turn your A/C OFF when climbing hills.


[Topic] How to Shift a 13 speed:

In a 13 speed semi truck you can only split the gears in the high range.

As we stated before high range gears are 5th gear and up. To get into the high range gears you must have the black rectangular "flappy paddle" in the up position. It is located on the front of your gear shifter.

In order to split the high range gears on your 13 speed, simply place your thumb in it's natural position on the shifter and you will find a red button.

If you push your thumb forward on the red button in the direction of your motor you are putting it into the high end of the gear you have selected.

If you pull the red button back in the direction of your sleeper birth you are putting it into the low end of the selected gear.

Note* When climbing hills only keep the splitter in the low position (pulled back).

The low end allows the transmission to utilize it's full torque capabilities.

The high end (red button pushed forward) is only for gaining top speed on flat ground.

** Note If you have your Jake brakes turned ON while trying to climb a hill you are asking for trouble.

Turn the Jakes OFF and save yourself the headache.

Some Jake Brakes have a delay which allow you to shift with them in the ON position, but if there is no delay...

my hats off to you if you can do it climbing a hill.

We will cover the technique of floating in another section.

On a 13 speed you have a reverse speed which is it's own gear.

A 13 speed is shaped in a standard H pattern. Reverse is found by pulling the shifter into your side and pushing forward in the direction of the motor.

Shifting the 13 speed is super simple and very easy to do. Don't let the high amount of gears intimidate you.

Once you learn the technique of floating you will love this 13 speed transmission.

We will cover floating in a different section.

As stated above, when you are in a 13 speed (red button) and the "Black flappy paddle" is down, YOU CAN NOT SPLIT any of the low range gears while you are between 1st and 4th gear.

You can only split the gears from 5th - 8th

Note* If you are in the high range (5th gear +) and you are trying to down shift to 4th gear you must return the red button back to it's low setting (which is pulled back toward you).

So how does the 13 gears add up? Good question.

Low Range (Standard H Patter):

1st (1 gear) 2nd (1 gear) 3rd (1 gear) 4th (1 gear)

High Range (Trace Standard H Pattern):

5th Low & High (2 gears) 6th Low & High (2 gears) 7th Low & High (2 gears) 8th Low & High (2 gears)

Reverse 9th gear (1 gear)

= 13 speed tranny

Note* Remember, low is for climbing hills and high is for gaining top speed of flat ground.


[Topic How to shift an 18 speed]

Now check it out this is pretty cool. In 18 speed semi truck you can split any gear in your transmission whether you are in low range or high range simply by using your thumb on the shifter.

You will see a gray knob conveniently placed where your thumb would naturally sit.

If you push your thumb forward on the button in the direction of your motor you are putting it into the high end of the selected gear.

If you pull the button back in the direction of your sleeper you are putting it into the low end of the selected gear.

The benefit to being able to split the low range gears is crucial in heavy haul. If you are pulling a heavy load and you stall on a hill climb...

lol GOOD LUCK HAHAHA and it will happen at least once...

normally once you do it you learn real quick never to let it happen again, but in the event you find yourself at 0 mph on a 7% hill climb you are going to WISH you had a 18 speed.

An 18 speed allows you to access an extreme amount of torque by not only going into 1st gear, but by allowing you to go BELOW 1st gear into a deep reduction gear aka 1st Gear Low.

Once you start climbing wait until your RPMS's hit 1100 and then go into 1st Gear High (by pushing the gray thumb button towards the motor).

Now in 1st high wait until you get until 1300 and put into 2nd gear low.

Once your RPM's reach 1300 you can shift into 2nd gear high.

Once you get into 2nd gear high wait until your RPMS's hit 1300 again and Shift to 3 low, then 1300 again and shift to 3 high, then wait until you get to 1500 RPM's and shift into 4th low, 1500 again 4th high...

Now if you are still on this hill you will more than likely be stuck right here if you are very heavy because you need to do a very big shift from 4th high to 5th low.

This will require you to get the RPMS's up to about 1700 and then extremely quickly float into 5th with a slight tap of the throttle while your tranny is in the neutral position...

This technique is called progressive shifting.

** Note If you have your Jake brakes turned ON while trying to climb a hill you are asking for trouble. Turn the Jakes OFF and save yourself the headache.

Some Jake Brakes have a delay which allow you to shift with them in the ON position, but if there is no delay...

my hats off to you if you can do it climbing a hill.

We will cover the technique of floating in another section.

On a 18 speed you have a reverse speed which is it's own gear and you can actually split reverse which counts as 2 gears.

I do not recommend ever splitting reverse nor do I recommend accelerating in reverse.

An 18 speed is set in normal standard H pattern. Super simple and very easy to shift. (Once you learn technique)

How do you get 18 gears? Good question.

Low Range (Standard H Pattern):

1st Low & High (2 gears) 2nd Low & High (2 gears) 3rd Low & High (2 gears) 4th Low & High (2 gears)

High Range (Trace Standard H Pattern):

5th Low & High (2 gears) 6th Low & High (2 gears) 7th Low & High (2 gears) 8th Low & High (2 gears) Reverse 9th gear (2 gear)

= 18 speed tranny

Grey knob pulled back to you is low & Grey knob pushed toward motor is high.

*Note If you are starting from 0 MPH on a hill it is okay to split every gear low to high

BUT if you are approaching a hill at high speeds and you are in the High End wait for your RPM's to drop to 1300 then split to the low end.

This should bring your RPMS's back up to 1500.

Now wait until your RPM's fall to 1000 THEN down shift to the next lower gear in the low end.

DO NOT GO INTO THE HIGH END during your climb.

*The less you shift going up a hill the faster you will get up the hill. It is not necessary to scream your RPMS's up a hill.

1000 RPM's should be your target shifting point into a lower gear. Don't allow it to go below 1000.

If it does you are putting an extreme amount of torque between your transmission and driveline and you can do some serious damage.

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Trucking Podcast: LHB President Sancho interviewed by Buck Ballard

November 28, 2018

Trucking Podcast Play and Drive!:

In the spirit of being grateful, I had a conversation with Sancho Gonzalez a few weeks back. Sancho has a website, From there, you’ll find the link to his Facebook groups. This isn’t an advertisement or endorsement. I’m sharing this conversation because of Sancho’s love and enthusiasm for the trucking industry. Frankly, I find it refreshing. Sancho is a younger truck driver, and relatively new to the trucking industry. He may have a more starry eyed view of trucking history than others, but he wears his heart on his sleeve when he shares the story of his trucking career. I know you’ll enjoy the conversation. Here is the link to his Facebook Page

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