Home > Exhibition > Content
Introduction to the contents of the Semi-trailer truck
Jun 08, 2017


Traditional manual transmissions have 4-5 ratios on main shift and 3-4 on the auxiliary: pictured is a 5×3 with five main ratios and three auxiliaries

Because of the wide variety of loads the semi may carry, they usually have a manual transmission to allow the driver to have as much control as possible. However, all truck manufacturers now offer semi-automatic transmissions (manual gearboxes with automated gear change), as well as automatic transmissions.

Semi-truck transmissions can have as few as three forward speeds or as many as 18 forward speeds (plus 2 reverse speeds). A large number of transmission ratios means the driver can operate the engine more efficiently. Modern on-highway diesel engines are designed to provide maximum torque in a narrow RPM range (usually 1200-1500 RPM); having more gear ratios means the driver can hold the engine in its optimum range regardless of road speed (drive axle ratio must also be considered).

A ten-speed manual transmission, for example is controlled via a six-slot H-box pattern, similar to that in five-speed cars — five forward and one reverse gear. Gears six to ten (and high speed reverse) are accessed by a Lo/High range splitter; gears one to five are Lo range; gears six to ten are High range using the same shift pattern. A Super-10 transmission, by contrast, has no range splitter; it uses alternating "stick and button" shifting (stick shifts 1-3-5-7-9, button shifts 2-4-6-8-10). The 13-, 15-, and 18-speed transmissions have the same basic shift pattern, but include a splitter button to enable additional ratios found in each range. Some transmissions may have 12 speeds.


Another difference between semi-trucks and cars is the way the clutch is set up. On an automobile, the clutch pedal is depressed full stroke to the floor for every gear shift, to ensure the gearbox is disengaged from the engine. On a semi-truck with constant mesh transmission (non synchronized), such as by the Eaton Roadranger series, not only is double clutching required, but a clutch brake is required as well. The clutch brake stops the rotation of the gears, and allows the truck to be put into gear without grinding when stationary. The clutch is pressed to the floor only to allow smooth engagement of low gears when starting from a full stop; when the truck is moving, the clutch pedal is pressed only far enough to brake torque for gear changes.