First, the truck has a really hard time shifting (it is a manual) when cold. What could cause this? My other problem is the coolant gauge used to always read right in the middle when warm prior to my service. Now it never gets to the middle. Is that ok?
Not sure about the shifting. However, on the coolant if the temperature you see now is correct it would indicate the motor is running cooler (i.e. less friction) and that is most likely a good thing. However it is a little odd because cold or hot the temp reading should be about the same because of the thermostat...
Just thinking out loud here. If it is an air bubble in the cooling system you might be able to work some of it out by just taking off the radiator cap WHEN THE VEHICLE IS COLD and then letting it warm up with the cap off. Depending on how full it is (or not) the air bubble may work itself out by just running it for several minutes with the cap off after it is warmed up.
Let me reiterate again, DO NOT TAKE THE CAP OFF WHEN YOUR MOTOR IS AT FULL TEMPERATURE UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING, HAVE DONE THAT TYPE OF THING BEFORE, UNDERSTAND THE RISKS OF GETTING SCLADED, AND KNOW HOW TO MANAGE THE PROCESS!