Jamming A Truck Into Reverse At 40 MPH Doesn't Do What You'd Expect

Truck YeahThe trucks are good!

First, I just want to point out how vastly better this demonstration is than the other video we had of someone jamming their car in reverse at speed. Mostly because something actually happens in this one, and I’m a sucker for things actually happening in videos. I’m just not sure I’d have guessed that this would be the particular thing to happen.


The unknown person in the black, snow-dappled Ford Ranger is someone who’s really appreciating the joy of a beater truck, because you really cannot be the owner of any fucks to donate if you try something like this.

The Ranger gets up to what the video title suggests is 40 mph, then this:

Holy shit, it didn’t blow up! I’ll admit, I’d always sort of figured if you jammed your transmission into reverse at 40 mph or so you’d hear some horrible noises, and then there’d be some kind of dramatic lurch and clunk, and then your transmission would be a jangly mass of gear slices inside the bell housing.

I was wrong. Well, at least in the case of this Ranger and what I think is its Ford C3 transmission. Though, as some commenters are pointing out, there are hints that this could be the Mazda-sourced M5OD five-speed gearbox, too.

There’s weird noises, sure, a more intense version of the usual reverse gear whine, but that transmission is able to spin those wheels backwards, with a lot of smoke and fury.


Reverse is a very low gear, usually lower than first, but perhaps there’s not an over-rev issue because the wheels are attempting to turn in the opposite direction? I suspect all the wheelspin and loss of grip are really what saves everything here.

Once those rear wheels brake free, they’re no longer subject to the forward rotation imparted by the road, and they’re just spinning in reverse, turning tire into smoke and noise.


If the car had some kind of very grippy tire that was less able to lose grip, I wonder if this would have turned out differently.

Either way, this just makes me like old Rangers even more.

(Thanks, S K!)

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Jason Torchinsky

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)