What Is A Wig Wag CDL?

Are you curious to know what is a wig wag cdl? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about a wig wag cdl in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is a wig wag cdl?

The term “wig wag” in the context of CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) typically refers to a specific type of shifting technique used in manual transmission vehicles, particularly trucks. This method, often termed “Wig-Wag” or “Floating Gears,” involves a particular skill set and finesse in handling gears and controlling a vehicle that many commercial truck drivers need to master.

What Is A Wig Wag CDL?

In the realm of commercial driving, where precision and control are paramount, the “Wig Wag” technique stands out as a specialized skill used primarily with unsynchronized manual transmissions. CDL holders, especially those operating heavy-duty trucks with non-synchronized transmissions, rely on this method to smoothly shift gears without the aid of synchronizers found in most modern cars.

Understanding Manual Transmissions In Trucks

Unlike the synchronized transmissions in most passenger vehicles, many commercial trucks utilize non-synchronized transmissions. These transmissions require the driver to manually match the engine speed (RPM) with the gear speed when shifting. In the absence of synchronizers, precise timing and finesse in gear shifting become essential.

The Technique Of Wig Wag Shifting

Wig Wag shifting involves a coordinated rhythm between the clutch pedal, accelerator, and gear shift lever. It requires the driver to modulate the accelerator and clutch pedal simultaneously to achieve smooth gear changes without causing excessive wear on the transmission components.

The technique is named after the motion of the gear shift lever, which resembles a back-and-forth movement, akin to the movement of a “wig wag” motion. This technique minimizes the stress on the transmission gears by matching the engine speed with the desired gear ratio before engaging the clutch.

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Mastering The Art Of Wig Wag CDL Shifting

For commercial drivers obtaining a CDL, mastering the Wig Wag technique is crucial, especially when operating older trucks or specialty vehicles with non-synchronized transmissions. Proper training, practice, and experience are essential in honing this skill to ensure smooth gear changes and prolong the lifespan of the transmission system.

The Significance In Commercial Driving

Proficiency in Wig Wag shifting showcases a driver’s expertise in handling manual transmissions, demonstrating their capability to operate a wide range of commercial vehicles effectively. While modern trucks predominantly use synchronized transmissions, the Wig Wag skill remains relevant for specific vehicles and scenarios, showcasing a driver’s versatility and adaptability.


In the realm of commercial driving, where precision and control are imperative, mastering the Wig Wag shifting technique stands as a testament to a driver’s proficiency and adaptability. This specialized skill in maneuvering non-synchronized manual transmissions highlights the finesse and expertise required in the art of gear shifting, ensuring smooth operation of commercial vehicles on the road.

As drivers hone their skills in Wig Wag shifting during CDL training, they equip themselves with a valuable tool that showcases their expertise and readiness to navigate the diverse landscape of commercial driving.


What Is A Wig-Wag On A Truck?

A wig-wag is a device for flashing an automobile’s headlamps, in its simplest form, so only one of the two headlights operates at a time, with the two flashing at a preset rate.

What Is A Wig-Wag Used For?

Light signals to diagram 3014 are commonly called wig-wag signals. They are used to control road traffic at level crossings, swing or lifting bridges, tunnels, airfields or in the vicinity of premises used regularly by fire, police or ambulance service vehicles.

What Is The Wig-Wag Air Warning?

Air brakes need air – When there’s a leak the driver needs to know immediately and Wig Wag’s sign is an crucial visual indicator that the vehicle needs to stop right now.

What Does A Wig-Wag Look Like?

In most cases, wig-wag will look like lights that are flashing in specific yet irregular patterns.

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