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Are trucking companies switching to automatic transmissions?

Topic 4925 | Page 4

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David D.'s Comment
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The question I have is, "When will there be Robotrucks running the cross-country routes with a driver on each end to handle the local navigation? I see Daimler-Benz is working on one.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Jon R.'s Comment
member avatar

I read that the industry is moving in that direction. Yet another skill that's going to be replaced by something else because it's "easier." What do you guys think? Will manual transmissions gradually disappear?

I have mixed emotions ....I have been in the industry for 34 yrs ..driven every trans made ,,including 2 stick Browning 4X4 & 5X4 ( 16&20 ) speed ..

then was placed in a road ranger ultra shift w/ a west coast co. Boise id.to Seattle Wa.( pulled hills ok .in man mode but pushed to 1800 rpm for power or it will shift down @ 15000 for economy ) ,,and had the dammed thing lock out while backing to the dock in Seattle Wa....had to wait 20 min. for it to UNlock .. electronically "..."was I embarrassed "

on flat land (mid west ) they'd be ok ....in west coast / massive hills ...not so good !

I can see the good & bad ...I was informed when they fail they fail BIG TIME ..AND THEY HAVE TO BE TOWED IN ..AND COST 3X THE $$ OF A MANUAL TRANS .. but are supposed to save fuel $$ ( up to 8.0 PG) and gain up to 3 cents per Mi. and unless you hold in manual mode for shifting they shift at 1500 and use a power band of 1000 to 1500 and take 50 miles to get to 60 MPH .. but if you set cruse & jake ...they will do both jobs ..and all you have to do is steer ...unless you want to hold manual gear pattern down hill & brake ...

then I'm VERY old school ..and PREFER SHIFTING a 13 or 18 speed w/ DD15 ( I loved the CAT's 3406's w/ the 18 speed ) but cats are gone ..... but will adapt if necessary !

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Trucktographer's Comment
member avatar

If 7.4 mpg is all they are getting, I'll stick with the stick. Over the past two months of driving, I've averaged 7.5 mpg. This is with loads over 46,000 pounds, and over hills/mountains. Just takes a soft touch with the shifter. It isn't hard to maintain good fuel efficiency. I'm new, and already outperforming the "fuel efficient" auto transmissions.

Trucktographer's Comment
member avatar

screenshot of truck drivers electronic fuel usage

Most recent trip fuel usage.

Gary W.'s Comment
member avatar

Regarding the industry going total auto transmission's is ok. I am old school,all i have ever known,is everything from 3 on the tree,to 10,13,18 speed trannys. When the ultra shift,and the auto shift starting coming out in the last few years,my thought was you got to be kidding! They will never last or hold up. But as i have read, many pro's and con's about them,and has been said in the TT forum,that it seems like the wave of the future. It's kind of like what we grew up with,and were taught is now going by the wayside. Kind of like everything else that changes. I do not mind change,as long as it is good change,and benefits the industry and the drivers. So we go on!!!!!!! One day at a time!!!! Gary

Eckoh's Comment
member avatar

From what i was told by a senior driver that just came back from talking to the powers that be at swift is many of their 2015s are autos and most of the 2016s will be autos. Pretty buch all the internationals and feightliners they are buying will have ultrashifts.

Trucktographer's Comment
member avatar

When my mentor was talking with the O/O manager in Phoenix, he said pretty much the same thing. Swift is leaning strongly towards autos. I'll be holding on to my KW as long as possible.

Eckoh's Comment
member avatar

When my mentor was talking with the O/O manager in Phoenix, he said prettying the same thing. Swift is leaning strongly towards autos. I'll be holding on to my KW as long as possible.

they are aslo looking at getting trucks with APUs again. Once they work out this deal to get a certfied refer mechanic in every terminal shop they will start getting APUs as that guy can work on APUs and refers.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APUs:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Cleft_Asunder's Comment
member avatar

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I read that the industry is moving in that direction. Yet another skill that's going to be replaced by something else because it's "easier." What do you guys think? Will manual transmissions gradually disappear?

double-quotes-end.png

I have mixed emotions ....I have been in the industry for 34 yrs ..driven every trans made ,,including 2 stick Browning 4X4 & 5X4 ( 16&20 ) speed ..

then was placed in a road ranger ultra shift w/ a west coast co. Boise id.to Seattle Wa.( pulled hills ok .in man mode but pushed to 1800 rpm for power or it will shift down @ 15000 for economy ) ,,and had the dammed thing lock out while backing to the dock in Seattle Wa....had to wait 20 min. for it to UNlock .. electronically "..."was I embarrassed "

on flat land (mid west ) they'd be ok ....in west coast / massive hills ...not so good !

I can see the good & bad ...I was informed when they fail they fail BIG TIME ..AND THEY HAVE TO BE TOWED IN ..AND COST 3X THE $$ OF A MANUAL TRANS .. but are supposed to save fuel $$ ( up to 8.0 PG) and gain up to 3 cents per Mi. and unless you hold in manual mode for shifting they shift at 1500 and use a power band of 1000 to 1500 and take 50 miles to get to 60 MPH .. but if you set cruse & jake ...they will do both jobs ..and all you have to do is steer ...unless you want to hold manual gear pattern down hill & brake ...

then I'm VERY old school ..and PREFER SHIFTING a 13 or 18 speed w/ DD15 ( I loved the CAT's 3406's w/ the 18 speed ) but cats are gone ..... but will adapt if necessary !

My trainers new cascadia with 450hp cummons and eaton 13-speed was getting over 8 mpg average over 38000 miles. I don't see where the problem is that needs to be solved. Once you get the intricacies of the manual trans down, you are no longer abusing it. I double clutch almost all the time btw, don't like to float. I love the 13 speed.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Cleft_Asunder's Comment
member avatar

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I read that the industry is moving in that direction. Yet another skill that's going to be replaced by something else because it's "easier." What do you guys think? Will manual transmissions gradually disappear?

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if they do i do not think it is because its "easier" they have been proven to be better on fuel. Using less fuel saves the company money and money is what they care about.

On another side of things its one less thing driver has to think about and can better focus on the road. I personally would not mind ending up in an auto but i want to learn on a stick just to have the skillset.

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I'm not opposed to auto's. I have read how well designed they are. What I'm opposed to is auto's replacing manuals. Double clutching , shifting without grinding, and knowing what gear to be in takes some skill. If we gradually eliminate things that require skill because of technological advancement, we are reducing the skills of our species. And many things are going in that direction now. "Less things to think about" translates to 'less thinking and less skill' in my mind. Sure, if you're great with a manual and want to switch to an auto, I understand. But a manual should be the heart of trucking. What is that CG film with the robot? Well the humans live in an "easy" society where all their needs are taken care of, but there's no depth.

Also, would you like pickup trucks and cars to all have auto's because of 'technological advances?' I don't think so.

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the Euopan super cars like ferari and what not going to autos because they are better on gas and actually out perform the stick shifts but they are super advanced autos

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The question I have is, "When will there be Robotrucks running the cross-country routes with a driver on each end to handle the local navigation? I see Daimler-Benz is working on one.

EASIER is better; such a stupid direction to go towards. Lets get rid of everything that is challenging.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Double Clutching:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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