I'm grateful to Neil Temple who sent me this video link of a guy driving a 197I Kenworth cabover with a Cummins and two gear levers and no power steering! As Neil says it looks like he's got his work cut out.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0QPajx2xnk To Biglorryblog he looks more like a one-armed paper hanger in a thunder storm---but he can sure drive that thing! All of which reminded me about the terrific DVD on 2 Stick Trucks I got some time ago and click through here to find out all about it...
And if you fancied driving a truck with two gear levers then this DVD is going to be right up your street. It's produced by Long Road Productions in the States www.longroadpro.com and is a superb two-disc story of how twin stick trucks work, featuring beautifully-restored vintage 50s and 60s American trucks with twin-sticks and several old-time truckers who have restored them and show you how to drive them.
Biglorryblog owes his copy to Gil Wortsmann in the States who sent me my copy---and let me tell you when it comes to the subject of old Macks and twin-stick trucks Gil is a real font of knowledge. Nowadays, 'auxiliary' transmissions as they were called (where you have two gear levers in the truck, one for the main box and one providing extra high or low gear splits) are something of an mechanical curiosity, not to say an HGV evolutionary back-water.
But believe me there was nothing unusual about them in the States or even over here during the 50s and 60s. I believe Foden had a twin-stick model (BLB anoraks please provide info if you have it!). Then, I presume, it all changed when the twin-stick set-up was superceded in the US by the likes of Fuller coming up with the integrated single range-change lever on its twin-countershaft gearbox. Over here we've had single-function range-change/splitter gearlever for decades not least from ZF and the likes of Volvo and Scania..
You can imagine driving a truck with two sticks was quite an art...only I think I'll stick to I-Shift!