Automatic Versus Manual Transmissions: My Experience Thus Far

Topic 21464 | Page 1

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Iron Emu's Comment
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This may have been beat to death in other posts but I did not see any, just wanted to give my honest opinion after having driven one for awhile. Driving a 2016 Freightliner Cascadia with the highly touted, and supposedly best, first transmission to be build from the ground up to be automated. In Summary, I do not like it. I would borderline to say they are dangerous.

Pros: A perfect shift every time, easier on the leg (I never considered this an issue but I've talked to some older guys that mentioned this), the Jake is my new best friend. That's about all I got to be honest.

Cons: It is buggy at low speeds (jumps around in the gearing ALOT), can't lock it in a gear for climbing or downhill (This may not be true and if I am wrong, please correct me and tell me how. Please.), the massive lag between hitting the throttle and the transmission trying to remember that it is a transmission (This is the most dangerous thing to me as the delay varies alot and if you are trying to get moving, for some reason that's a necessity, I've just sat there for as long 3 or 4 seconds while it tries to decide what it wants to do.), the fuel economy I'm experiencing is less than .2 difference in favor of the auto while having way more headaches.

I'm not enjoying this change, and it is almost enough to make me consider jumping companies if I could find one who would guarantee me a good old cog box. I probably wouldn't cause I have a degree of loyalty to a company that has treated me well in every other department, but still.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

MC1371's Comment
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I agree with some of your points. The lag at stop signals is the one that really annoys me. Especially if you're almost stopped and get a green

Conversely, in traffic or city driving my left knee loves the auto. Heavy loads and a 13spd are not happy making in stop and go traffic.

*Everyone I've talked to agrees the Cascadias are dogs on hills even when you manual shift the auto.

To manual shift just slap the stalk forward if you want a lower gear early. For going down and holding a gear push the button on the end of the stalk in for 5 sec until you see Manual show up on the display. Then push/pull till you get the gear desired.

Iron Emu's Comment
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I had tried selecting a gear I wanted, but after a few seconds it just did whatever it wanted. On a downhill that meant almost always going into "ecocruise" which is a complete idiom. It is common knowledge in the auto/diesel world where I started, that modern petrol and diesel vehicles use less fuel if you leave them in gear while going downhill, in fact some use none, as opposed to going to neutral where the engine has to keep itself going instead of letting kinetic energy from the wheels do the work.

Errol V.'s Comment
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I'm not in my truck just now, but I do believe that shifter handle has a selector for "M" and "A". It's not a button, but the top half of that handle is a side switch. Slide to "M" and don't forget to shift each gear.

Cwc's Comment
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I've been in both a manual and an auto... They just take time to adjust to.

If you don't feel like shifting in the mountains just tag the brakes hard enough to slow down enough to downshift and then ride the Jake.

Just put in the time on either one and you'll be fine no matter what. And whatever you start with first you'll probably favor over what comes after until you put the time in on it also.

MC1371's Comment
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I'm not in my truck just now, but I do believe that shifter handle has a selector for "M" and "A". It's not a button, but the top half of that handle is a side switch. Slide to "M" and don't forget to shift each gear.

Button/slide switch. Long press in towards steering wheel will engage manual mode. If you do not or cannot get Manual to appear on your display bring it in to the shop.

Pianoman's Comment
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I pretty much agree with your list. I don't mind the autos, but I do prefer a manual.

I've heard from several drivers that Freightliner's auto transmissions aren't as good as some of the others, like KW and Volvo.

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
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I pretty much agree with your list. I don't mind the autos, but I do prefer a manual.

I've heard from several drivers that Freightliner's auto transmissions aren't as good as some of the others, like KW and Volvo.

I like my International auto a lot better than the Freightliner. It doesn't jump gears, and is easy to choose a gear and have it stay in that gear, even when in auto mode. My biggest learning curve with it is in reverse. It likes to rev/lurch when straightening out. Give a person some serious motion sickness. I am getting the hang of finessing it better, but she still gets away from me at times.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Iron Emu's Comment
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Sorry it has taken so long to respond, running alot. The international automated is difficult in reverse, drove one a couple times, it does have the rev and then launch backwards. I know that I will adapt to it, it's just irritating. CWC is correct that you will almost always favor what you learned on.

Rob's Comment
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We have a couple freightliner automatics I've driven and I definitely prefer the manual while backing. In the automatic I've noticed that if I push lightly on the pedal it still lunges but not as bad. My biggest dislike is that I need to use the fuel pedal while backing. I'd estimate 90% of my time is spent in the city so I definitely prefer automatic overall, however the backing has taken some getting used to.

Sorry it has taken so long to respond, running alot. The international automated is difficult in reverse, drove one a couple times, it does have the rev and then launch backwards. I know that I will adapt to it, it's just irritating. CWC is correct that you will almost always favor what you learned on.

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