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Force an automatic transmission into a gear? Answered

Is it possible in the technological day and age to force a computer controlled automatic transmission to start in a higher gear like second.  About 90% of people will never need this, however out on the farm in a big diesel truck with 800lbs of torque you need it.  By starting in a higher gear it allows us to get through snow much better and this becomes extremely difficult with an automatic transmission.  Sure we can set the highest gear it will go into, but we can't lug through the snow and mud like we would like to.  Do any of you know of a chip out there already, or one you can make that will let you pick and chose your lowest gear.


Does your gear selector have any positions after D? If so you might be able to find someone that could reprogram it to choose 2nd. Have you talked to the manufacturer or looked into any after market tow packages?

I have looked into the tow packages, but I haven't been able to find what I am looking for so I am looking here. I actually like the idea of contacting the manufacturer. That is a great idea. It has buttons which allow you to select any gear you would like for the top gear 1-6. Thanks for your advice I will see what they have to say.

I would help to know what model and year vehicle we are talking about here.

Most vehicles i've driven have a selection for 1st or 2nd gear. Those that don't had semi-auto transmissions where you could put the sifter all the way down and  nudge it left or right to manually move up and down through the gears. I'm surprised to hear a nice big diesel truck doesn't have either option.

There is no simple chip swap that will let you designate the gear you start at. Apparently there are kits available that will turn a full electronic automatic transmission into a semi-auto transmission. Don't know if your vehicle will support it but you can look into it. From the little bit of looking around i've done the cost of the kit and any labor involved in installing it will not be cheap. You may be better off buying a used truck with an Manuel transmission for working around the farm.


It's a 2011 RAM with a cummins high output diesel. It has the semi-automatic transmission, but as I pointed out that only sets the top gear. It is used ONLY for downshifting and has no influence upon up-shifting. The semi-automatic transmission allows for us to use and engine brake to slow down without having to cause wear on the real brakes. For example, pulling a load of cattle down the road coming up to a stop sign you turn on the engine brake and use the buttons on the column shiftier to shift down from your current gear so from fifth you can force down to forth then third and so on. If you go back up to five however, you don't start in fifth, you start in first then second, then third and so on up to fifth, but it won't go into sixth until you allow it to.