3 Signs Your Semi Truck May Have Shifting Problems

As a semi truck driver, the last thing you want to deal with on a run are mechanical problems, especially issues with shifting. While shifting problems don't always indicate a problem with your transmission, they shouldn't be ignored. These are some warning signs that can give you a heads up to shifting issues before the problem goes from bad to worse. 

Sticking In Gear

When you find your truck sticking in gear, you need to address the problem yourself or get an opinion from a qualified semi truck repair mechanic. There are a few possible causes such as the clutch not releasing as it should due to the hydraulic or air pressure, or gears locking behind the hopping guard. Sometimes, sticking in gear can point to wear and tear that occurs over time. In this case, the problem will only worsen as time goes on. 

Noisy Shifting

There are a few sounds you really don't want to hear when shifting gears, such as hissing, grinding, humming, and rattles. Each sound usually points to a different problem. 

  • Hissing - If you hear a hissing sound, odds are good you have worn bearings that may be beginning to break apart. 
  • Grinding - A grinding sound is serious and indicates worn out gears. Gears can become chipped or cracked over time. As the problem worsens, so will the grinding.
  • Humming - A humming sound is basically a precursor to grinding. It's caused by gear damage, and it's best to catch it as early as possible.
  • Rattling - Some rattling is normal in semi trucks, but if you notice a change you may have a problem. This can be caused by a wide array of problems including a faulty injector or an issue with the P.T.O unit. 

Jumping Out of Gear

If your truck jumps out of gear quickly or seems to slide out of gear slowly, you may have an issue with the shifting mechanism, worn out shift rods or springs, or worn out or missing washers. A semi that jumps out of gear needs to be evaluated by a mechanic, to make sure the transmission isn't to blame. You may notice that the problem seems worse on rough roads, which is common. Sometimes the problem is simply a clutch that isn't operating as it should. 

You know the importance of driving a semi in great shape. Keep yourself and other drivers on the road safe by taking care of repairs quickly.