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Trucks with 5x4 transmissions
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ND_farmer
Posted 3/7/2009 19:36 (#635130)
Subject: Trucks with 5x4 transmissions


SW North Dakota
I am trying to find a cheap work truck for just short hauls from the field to the farm. I came across a Western star and chevy tandem with a 5x4 transmission. There are two transmissions in the truck. Sounds like the 4 speed is kind of like ranges in a tractor. How do these transmissions hold out? Can you shift the 4 speed on the go? And is the 5 speed syncronized? Anyone have experience with these? Thanks!
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WTW
Posted 3/7/2009 19:47 (#635142 - in reply to #635130)
Subject: Re: Trucks with 5x4 transmissions


R.M. of Stanley, Manitoba Canada
Likely neither transmission is synchronized. If you can double clutch well or match rpm to ground speed with the accelerator you can shift on the go. If you mean are they powershift like in a tractor, definitely not. The difficulty occurs when one has to shift both transmissions to obtain the next gear selection.
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glensts
Posted 3/7/2009 19:48 (#635143 - in reply to #635130)
Subject: Re: Trucks with 5x4 transmissions



Ran a lot of 5 and 4's in the oil patch as I never had any trouble with them. The 4 speed would shift in a U pattern not an H pattern. Sometimes need to double clutch to downshift it. The 5 speed may or may not be synchro'd depending on the trans. In a Louisville it was an Eaton tranny not synchro but in a Chevy it was synchroed. The 4 speed wasn't synchroed in any truck.

Edited by glensts 3/7/2009 19:48
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Indianajones
Posted 3/7/2009 20:36 (#635202 - in reply to #635130)
Subject: RE: Trucks with 5x4 transmissions



Never drove one but guys that have say there is an art to driving them. When you have to shift both, looks like hand to hand combat in the cab. Most of them are synchro in the first trans and non synchro in the 2nd. If you have inexperienced help that will drive it, better look elsewhere.
INDY
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msb
Posted 3/7/2009 21:57 (#635303 - in reply to #635130)
Subject: Re: Trucks with 5x4 transmissions


Lapel, In
If I were you, I would keep looking. Had one and that was one too many.
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801486
Posted 3/7/2009 22:31 (#635349 - in reply to #635130)
Subject: RE: Trucks with 5x4 transmissions


I drove one once just kinda shifted which ever one I felt like at the time and got along ok, but it was flat pavement and no load. A lot of the old macks had them and they alwalys said if the guy driving it waved at you he was either lugging it, going downhill or had three arms. Lee
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jgry
Posted 3/7/2009 22:32 (#635356 - in reply to #635130)
Subject: Re: Trucks with 5x4 transmissions



Argyle, MN
We have 2 trucks with them. Lots of different drivers would have to drive them. We kept it very simple for the aux. trans. (loaded trucks) 1st only in the field. Get off the field and stop shift to 2 if less than a 2 mile haul on gravel. Shift to 3rd if you are on tar. 4th only when empty heading back to field on longer than a 2 mile haul. Chevy truck with 366, Ford had a 534. Used for potato harvest. Keep it simple, keep the tranny is our philosophy for these trucks. Never had an engine or transmission problem with over 100,000 miles on each truck.
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Trent2520
Posted 3/7/2009 22:33 (#635358 - in reply to #635130)
Subject: A video is worth a thousand words....



Statesville, NC
I-H 549 gas tandem with 5 x 4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAADEoJpTFQ
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DBH
Posted 3/7/2009 22:52 (#635390 - in reply to #635130)
Subject: Re: Trucks with 5x4 transmissions


Eastern Washington
We used them for years on our place, taught a lot of guy's to drive them just fine using our system. Once on hard surface, put the brownie in 2 and run the main box till you were in 5, then run the brownie up to 4th. That way you were only splitting the top gear in the main box, after a bit most guy's learned to split shift if they needed to. When you learned how you were declared a real truck driver............LOL
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Orin
Posted 3/8/2009 01:20 (#635509 - in reply to #635202)
Subject: RE: Trucks with 5x4 transmissions



Nusbaum Farms LLC Bellfountain, OR
Indianajones - 3/7/2009 17:36

When you have to shift both, looks like hand to hand combat in the cab.
INDY


Oh, it's not so bad. Just grab one lever with your right hand, then hook your left arm through the wheel and grab the other lever.

Just kidding. I've seen guys actually do that, but I can't endorse it.

2 stick trannys really aren't that bad when you get onto them. A tach is pretty much a must, and always remember when shifting both transmissions for a single ratio change, always make the upshift before the downshift. That is to say when shifting from 3rd & over to 4th & under, shift the main up first, then drop the aux down. Same deal on a downshift. Shift the aux up first, then drop the main down.

-Orin
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JohnW
Posted 3/8/2009 01:47 (#635518 - in reply to #635509)
Subject: RE: Trucks with 5x4 transmissions


NW Washington
The old joke used to the if you drove a Mack you had to be able to steer without using your hands because it took both hands to shift gears.

I think the 5-4 transmission used to be very common in heavy trucks on the west coast and in logging trucks.
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Plotski
Posted 3/8/2009 07:07 (#635560 - in reply to #635356)
Subject: Re: Trucks with 5x4 transmissions


Massachusetts
jgry - 3/7/2009 10:32

We have 2 trucks with them. Lots of different drivers would have to drive them. We kept it very simple for the aux. trans. (loaded trucks) 1st only in the field. Get off the field and stop shift to 2 if less than a 2 mile haul on gravel. Shift to 3rd if you are on tar. 4th only when empty heading back to field on longer than a 2 mile haul. Chevy truck with 366, Ford had a 534. Used for potato harvest. Keep it simple, keep the tranny is our philosophy for these trucks. Never had an engine or transmission problem with over 100,000 miles on each truck.


Yes.

I had a chevy w/366 and 5X4, for potatoes. We did what you describe.

The good thing, with ours at least, is low-low really crawls in the field, for going alongside the harvester.

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95h
Posted 3/8/2009 09:16 (#635607 - in reply to #635390)
Subject: Re: Trucks with 5x4 transmissions not so hard.


Kittitas Co. Wa. State

Grew up driving trucks with 4-5 speeds w/ 2 speed's AND 3-4 speed trans behind the 4-5 speeds. I was driving them at 16 yoa.  The aux. 3 &4's weren't scnro'ed. Used to grow allot of potatoes in the area, required trucks to 'craw' along at a walk.

 

DBH is correct, put the aux. in 1st in the field and use the 'main' trans. for shifting gears.

Once out on asphalt, stop and shift 3/4 aux into direct/over or what ever. The idea is being able to slow the truck down enough in the fields with enough engine rpm's to not lug the engine to death. Just because there's 2-3 seperate transmissions in a  truck,, DOES NOT mean you have to be a little kid playing with sticks.  And, yes after getting experienced I could easily reach thru the steering wheel and shift both transmissions at the same time. (didn't mean it was necessary)

Drove 2 trans. spud trucks for years in fields so steep the spud harvester's could ONLY dig going up hill. Digging down hill the spuds would just roll back down the primary digger chains.  I had to drive uphill along side the digger, then BACK down the hill pickup the 2nd digger and load while digging up hill, repeat.   LOL... 5 "truck drivers" quit the first 3 hours we started digging, and walked 5 miles back to the shop to get their vehicles. They seemed to think the fields were "too steep".  LOL...  (weenie flatlanders..)

Just because there's 60+ 'possible' trans combinations does not mean you have to use every one of them every time a person shifts gears.

 

 

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Farmer at heart OG.
Posted 3/8/2009 09:49 (#635634 - in reply to #635130)
Subject: The old Ford F-800 tandem had that.


Wisconsin
The worst I felt about it was it was a gas engine. The tranny like other's said put in 1-2 in the main gearbox work up the five and then use under and overdrive 3-4. If you drive it by slitting and running both you get nice sound's and look like an octopus and really isn't much faster. Also never ever force the four speed if the tranny is cold get it warmed slowly and if you miss a shift start over. If you force it you will be stopped until you crawl under it and pry the gear's apart. I coasted a couple times to the side of the road and started over cause I was warned about prying and I wasn't doing that ever.
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iseedit
Posted 3/8/2009 09:49 (#635635 - in reply to #635358)
Subject: RE: Jeeesh my Knee just locked up . . ..



central - east central Minnesota -

That was good. My knee wouldn't be able to take a day of that . . . .



Edited by iseedit 3/8/2009 10:03
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pat-michigan
Posted 3/8/2009 10:46 (#635688 - in reply to #635130)
Subject: RE: Trucks with 5x4 transmissions


WQe've had a number of 5/3's and 5/4's over the years. Still have a truck with a 5/4. Looks more intimidating than I think it really is. I've never seen the need to move both sticks at once, but have seen it done. We shift the aux maybe twice as often as the main.
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E718
Posted 3/8/2009 11:26 (#635742 - in reply to #635130)
Subject: Re: Trucks with 5x4 transmissions


I have heard the idea of the twin shaft transmission was a true stroke of genius.
I just got rid of my 2 lever truck this week. It was ok, just the world isn't going to 2 levers from 9 - 10 - 13 transmissions.
Way safer to keep the guy's mind looking outside than thinking about shifting.
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ronm
Posted 3/8/2009 14:25 (#635972 - in reply to #635130)
Subject: Re: Trucks with 5x4 transmissions


Fruita CO
One thing nobody has mentioned, maybe it doesn't matter to you flatlanders, but the first thing drivers were taught about a 5X4 in the mountains-never, EVER, get both boxes in neutral...recipe for a runaway...
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still workin
Posted 3/8/2009 21:51 (#636624 - in reply to #635509)
Subject: Re: Trucks with 5x4 transmissions


Medora, Manitoba
Father in law used to have an IHC and a GMC with 5/4 trannys. He kept a spare set of fan belts on hand for when a new guy really screwed up ashift. Saw it happen one night late in harvest. The guy didn't know it happened and dasmn near cooked the motor. Buy a truck w/ 13, or 18 tranny.
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95h
Posted 3/8/2009 23:03 (#636764 - in reply to #635742)
Subject: Re: E718 just curious,, new truck an automatic ??


Kittitas Co. Wa. State

Shifting and thinking about when to shift is not that big a task... Driver's straining both brain cells thinking about shifting ?? They should be able to know where that shifter is with out having to study the shifting pattern on the shifter knob, or even take their eyes off the road to reach the shifter.

 

If they've got to 'think' that hard about shifting,, they shouldn't be driving anything that doesn't have pedals on the front wheel.

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560man
Posted 3/9/2009 12:37 (#637290 - in reply to #635130)
Subject: RE: Trucks with 5x4 transmissions


NE ND
I like my 74 chev with 5 & 4 and 427 gas. And also the 61 GMC with 5 & 3 and 366 gas. A lot more low gear selections for getting out of fields compared to a 5 & 2.

I've never driven a truck that has a diesel tied to a 5 & 4, so I can't say much about that.

Modern 10 speeds are nice, but only when you've got enough power out front.
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