How Does a Truck Transmission Work?

Car gear-changing devices are designed to allow the gear ratio between the car engine and wheels to change when the car is slowing down or speeding up. Gears have to be shifted for various reasons including preventing engines from being overworked and maintaining the engines’ optimal performance. There are many types of car shifters including automatic and manual transmission.


The two main types of vehicle transmission are unsynchronized and synchronized shifters. The former features a number of gears including a reverse gear. The gears in this type of transmission shift by engaging and disengaging the clutch. This type of gear-changing device is suitable for large trucks, racecars, and machinery.

One of the benefits of the unsynchronized shifter is its simpler design, which makes it more reliable and less costly long-term. Large trucks that use this type of shifter experience reduced weight, which allows for significant amount of cargo to be carried.

The gears in a synchronized shifter are usually meshed together in the gearbox, which translates to less effort required to shift gears. The clutch in this type of gearshift is typically made from brass. The synchronized gear-changing device is used to match gear speeds before locking in the change in gear.

How Truck Shifters Work

Trucks use different types of gearshifts. Recreational trucks feature gearshifts that are quite similar to car gearshifts, having up to six gears, and can be either manual or automatic. Three types of gearshifts are used in large or heavy trucks including range, splitter, and range splitter. Smaller trucks usually have the range gearshift, which have high-low gear splits to allow reuse of the same gearshift position.

The splitter gearshift works almost in the same fashion as a range shift. The only difference between the range gearbox and the splitter shift is that the former uses a high-low gear division. This means that the gears in a splitter shift are split into two with each position of the gearshift split into two: a high one and a low one. The range-splitter gear combines the features of both the range gear and the splitter gear, allowing for greater gear selection and positions.


The main function of the shift fluid is to supply an automatic shift with adequate amounts of hydraulic pressure for optimal gearbox performance. Manual shifts use gears, levers, and linkages that are operated manually to shift gears and engage or disengage the gearbox. On the other hand, automatic shifts rely on the gearbox fluid to perform important gear-changing device functions. Gearbox fluids flow under varying levels of pressure in automatic shifts. The gearbox fluid pressure is determined by various factors including engine load, gear selection, and driving conditions.

The main similarity between an automatic and a manual gear-changing device is that both require manual shifting into reverse and neutral gears. However, unlike a manual gearbox that requires the driver to shift each gear themself, an automatic gear-changing device only requires the driver to shift into “drive” and the car will handle the rest.

A car transmission or shifter plays various important roles in vehicle performance. Knowing the type of shifter you have on your truck will help you determine which one to purchase in case you need a replacement.

For more information on maintaining your car’s transmission, New York residents can go to

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