Automatics In Winter Question?

Topic 11403 | Page 1

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Second Chance's Comment
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There is a very good chance after I pass my SQT,s again, that I will be given an automatic for teaming at Schneider. My question is, when and if I start sliding on snow/ice, how do I release power from the drive tires? Could it be as simple as flicking the switch to neutral? I wasn't sure if that would mess up the trans or if the computer would even allow it.

I have been driving auto for the last two weeks so a bit nervous jumping back into a 10 speed for the test. Dang it...Tbar, get down when I am trying to shift to 5th!

The Persian Conversion's Comment
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I'll probably be corrected by someone with actual knowledge of this, but it's my understanding that simply lifting your foot off the pedal will stop applying power to the drive tires. Also, I'm not sure I would want to switch to neutral, you may need to apply power again quickly and you don't want to have to wait for the transmission to find the gear. I was taught that being in neutral while moving is a no-no.

Second Chance's Comment
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I can understand that. My of understanding is I can push in a clutch to disengage power when skidding on ice in a manual. This way it allows my tires to match speed of each other to recover. I know on my automatic I drove, taking your foot of the gas could quickly cause your truck to downshift in certain instances, which could cause a big problem in very slippery conditions. Thanks for your input!

Old School's Comment
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Perssian, is correct! I drive an I-shift Volvo, and it is just super nifty on the snow and ice in my opinion. I have better control with it than I did with a manual. The design of these new autos, is completely different from what you think of as an automatic transmission in a car. These are still a standard gear box, the main difference is that it shifts the gears itself instead of you shifting it. I am not familiar with the other brands, but I know this Volvo tranny is pretty amazing to me. It took me a little while to get accustomed to it, but I have every confidence in it now in all kinds of road conditions - I have discovered that it is way smarter than me - of course that may not be saying much! smile.gif

G-Town's Comment
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Second Chance checked in and inquired:

There is a very good chance after I pass my SQT,s again, that I will be given an automatic for teaming at Schneider. My question is, when and if I start sliding on snow/ice, how do I release power from the drive tires? Could it be as simple as flicking the switch to neutral? I wasn't sure if that would mess up the trans or if the computer would even allow it.

I have been driving auto for the last two weeks so a bit nervous jumping back into a 10 speed for the test. Dang it...Tbar, get down when I am trying to shift to 5th!

No, probably not a good idea.

Although the truck will let you put the trans in neutral while you are moving (because I did it by accident...once, fortunately caught it within seconds). It's the equivalent of freewheeling. I have driven quite a bit in snow and never drove with the truck out of gear or for prolonged periods of time with the clutch in.

In an automatic, my suggestion is to shift manually, especially when downshifting. Go easy on the throttle just like you would with a manual. The only difference is there is no clutch. I have only been in an automatic for a couple of months and just started practicing "manual shifting" before I am in a situation where I need to be proficient. It's a bit of trick...but will likely work in the snow.

Since my experience in an automatic is limited and this will be my first winter with this "technology", I am hoping drivers with automatic experience in the snow will chime in on this. All ears on this. 4-10 ?

Old School's Comment
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I know on my automatic I drove, taking your foot of the gas could quickly cause your truck to downshift in certain instances, which could cause a big problem in very slippery conditions

I've never experienced that, the way you get these Volvos to down shift would be to use the brake so that you reduce the RPM down to around 1,000 then when you let off on the brake it will down shift. I mean I guess you could put it into neutral, but then you are losing a major part of your control of the vehicle, and I don't like that scenario.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
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The Volvo automatic is probably one of the best in the business. I've read that the new 18 speed they're using in the Peterbilt is pretty impressive too but I haven't driven one. I'll stick with my manual.

G-Town's Comment
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Perssian, is correct! I drive an I-shift Volvo, and it is just super nifty on the snow and ice in my opinion. I have better control with it than I did with a manual. The design of these new autos, is completely different from what you think of as an automatic transmission in a car. These are still a standard gear box, the main difference is that it shifts the gears itself instead of you shifting it. I am not familiar with the other brands, but I know this Volvo tranny is pretty amazing to me. It took me a little while to get accustomed to it, but I have every confidence in it now in all kinds of road conditions - I have discovered that it is way smarter than me - of course that may not be saying much! smile.gif

Sorry Old School, sent my reply before I saw yours. I will defer to your winter experience with an automatic.

I am in a Cascadia 12 speed auto (I think it's an Eaton Trans.), first winter with it...not sure if it's similar to your Volvo. One quick point, whenever I take my foot completely off the throttle it tends to quickly progress through the downshifting sequence (when on a relatively flat road surface, so my thought was to downshift manually when in snow and ice. I will need to spend more time with it to make a determination on what will work best. Thoughts?

Second Chance's Comment
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I am just confused. In Schneider training the said if you hit ice and start sliding you want to press in the clutch take take all power away, including engine deceleration. You can do that by simply taking your foot off the fuel. This way your tires can catch up to each other and you can straighten back out. Was doing this on the simulators and while that's all it was, it was impressive. However, simply taking your foot off the fuel would not do this, you need to disengage the diff from spinning the tires from the drive shaft. In an auto, I am not sure how this is done. I never drove a volvo auto but a Cascadia 12 speed auto by Eaton I think. Simply taking your foot off the gas would eventually cause your trans to down shift.

Here is the thing too. I am not talking about straight snow driving, I am saying when you are no longer in control, and your going sideways and skidding....I am anticipating what I would do in the worse. Id rather have a idea. I agree these autos are amazing! I love them! I am just concerned about any situation where it's imperative to cut all power acceleration or deceleration. There is always power to the wheels, unless you disengage the clutch. Which is what I was taught to do when skidding on ice or black ice.

Old School's Comment
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I suggest you ask the folks at Schneider. I am completely ignorant of how the other brands of autos work. I'm confident in my Volvo, but I might be slipping off a mountain pass in your Cascadia. I defer to Schneider's training department on this one, because I do not want to get you into a bind.

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