Do you downshift while towing up a grade? - Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Do you downshift while towing up a grade?

Yesterday I was towing my 24' livestock trailer with 8 horses, and my truck was wanting to stay around 1,750-1,800 RPMs even while ascending a fairly steep grade. It felt to me like the truck should downshift to 5th or 4th gear. The truck sort of sounded like it was bogging down, and I ended up downshifting manually so I had more power on hand.

Am I overthinking it and should just let the tranny do it's thing?

I have a 2018 dually with the Aisin, 4.10 gears and 12k miles.

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 05:35 PM
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I routinely downshift manually. I pull a 14K lb 5er with the 68rfe and 3.73 gears. 6th gear is always locked out when towing heavy and I will shift down to 4th before starting up a long grade.


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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 06:38 PM
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I usually tow( 18,000 lbs) on secondary roads and often manually shift to keep my engine in itís sweet spot. My Aisinís programming also leaves a little to be desired.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 08:20 PM
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Nope, leave it in tow mode, exhaust brake and Drive and let it shift on its own. With my 5th loaded and truck were at 26,000 going down the road.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 09:49 PM
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Nope. Just put it in tow mode and set the cruise control. Grossing 18k no issues on some of the worst grades in the us. I40 over the nc and tn border is ranked in the top ten grades in the us.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 11:11 PM
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Yes! I downshift manually with my 2016 3500 drw aisin and 4.10 gears. Anything over 20k trailer weight I feel the transmission doesn’t downshift fast enough. If I don’t downshift it kills my speed at the beginning and I never can get it back. Plus it runs cooler.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 11:21 PM
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For the most part, I let my Aisin do its thing, but...

If the sound tells me that the engine would like to rev a bit more, or it feels like it, or the temps suggest that I should, I downshift manually.

I've actually wondered why more people don't drive an automatic more like a stick. Just because there's no clutch pedal it doesn't mean that we can't shift them as we please. Or shouldn't we?

Maybe if we start telling people that the brain is an app, they will start using it?

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 11:28 PM
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I drive my 68 like it's a manual!! Loaded or not I down shift coming down grades or coming to a stoplight. I have installed the Center Console shifter in my last 3 trucks for manually shifting easier!!
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildmaN14 View Post
Yes! I downshift manually with my 2016 3500 drw aisin and 4.10 gears. Anything over 20k trailer weight I feel the transmission doesnít downshift fast enough. If I donít downshift it kills my speed at the beginning and I never can get it back. Plus it runs cooler.
What he said
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 12:23 AM
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Run it in tow mode, down shifts when it needs to on most of the calif, nev, & az desert grades. On an extremely twisty, steep, 2 laner in the eastern sierras I manually shift it to use the exhaust brake downhill to keep all the brakes cool. It’s a 2nd & 3rd gear climb and no need to push it. It works best @ 1800 rpm range with what we tow.

2014 2500 Laramie Crew, short bed. 2014 30í 10k Timber Ridge TT, Nascar Nut.......

Last edited by hooked55; 10-14-2019 at 12:25 AM. Reason: 68rfe
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeanRT View Post
I routinely downshift manually. 6th gear is always locked out when towing heavy and I will shift down to 4th before starting up a long grade.


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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-15-2019, 04:16 AM
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The answer is, YES!

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