Top Driver Training Tip: The Plunger Shifter

plunger shifter

Taking the plunge: eliminate the guesswork out of shifting.

While many fleets are slowly moving towards automatic transmissions, manual transmissions and the art of manual shifting will be around for many years.

If a new driver has never driven a manual, getting the rhythm down can be perplexing. Previously we noted how one instructor used the windshield as a “whiteboard” to show the shift pattern.windshield

But some things have to be memorized. There is not enough room on the windshield for all the learning cues. Learn it in muscle memory and forget it, I would tell my students.

Understanding how to smoothly shift takes practice— hours of practice, in a variety of traffic environments. I’ve heard it takes about six hours to learn how to hover a helicopter. Learning to shift smoothly from scratch takes at least as long if not longer.

The key is to always know your target gear— and then know how to recover when things don’t go so well.

The plunger is a good learning prop. A student-driver can take the plunger home to practice, memorize speeds, or carry it on-board until they feel confident in their shifting.

Thank you for reading this.

More . . . Perfect Practice Makes Perfect?


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