New Swift Automatic Trucks

Topic 13328 | Page 1

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Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

I will be starting at Swift on April 11th. I'm concerned about all of the new automatic trucks. NOT because I don't want to drive one, I would LOVE to be issued an Automatic! I've been driving mostly stick shift since I was 16. (almost 40 years!). Whenever I drive my Mother's or Sister's cars with automatics, I feel as if I am in Heaven. What I am concerned with is the Automatic Only restriction on my CDL. Will I be trained in an Auto or Manual? Can I request to take my road test in a Manual truck? Would hate to be stuck with a restriction on my license.

Thanks!

Tractor Man

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Mr. T's Comment
member avatar

I will be starting at Swift on April 11th. I'm concerned about all of the new automatic trucks. NOT because I don't want to drive one, I would LOVE to be issued an Automatic! I've been driving mostly stick shift since I was 16. (almost 40 years!). Whenever I drive my Mother's or Sister's cars with automatics, I feel as if I am in Heaven. What I am concerned with is the Automatic Only restriction on my CDL. Will I be trained in an Auto or Manual? Can I request to take my road test in a Manual truck? Would hate to be stuck with a restriction on my license.

Thanks!

Tractor Man

I just graduated Swift Academy in Salt Lake City, Utah on March 2, 2016 & we had nothing but manual transmissions (9 speed) so I doubt you will have a problem there.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Theron. That is the answer i was looking for. I'm attending the Phoenix Academy. Hopefully they do the same! Did they issue you a Manual or Auto?

Mr. T's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Theron. That is the answer i was looking for. I'm attending the Phoenix Academy. Hopefully they do the same! Did they issue you a Manual or Auto?

I'm waiting on orientation to start tomorrow. It's 3 days Monday - Wednesday. Then if a mentor is available I will go out with my Mentor for the 200 hours of training. After that I will get to test out & receive the keys to my own truck.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Not to worry, T.M., like hand me downs, the new automatics go to revenue producing drivers way before they show up at the Academy. You'll be practicing in trucks with 500k miles - several years old.

You'll be a shifty Swifty long before you're shiftless.

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

Thank you Errol. It seems that some people think that if it has an automatic transmission, it's not a REAL TRUCK. I've been a shifter most of my life, I would welcome an automatic and become Shiftless!

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I have been driving an automatic since July of last year. Although there are times I miss shifting, with the type of driving I do, the automatic is growing on me. If ever I get the hankering to shift, I take my buddy's triaxle dump for a spin.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

I have been driving an automatic since July of last year. Although there are times I miss shifting, with the type of driving I do, the automatic is growing on me. If ever I get the hankering to shift, I take my buddy's triaxle dump for a spin.

I think it's more of having a restriction on your license more than anything. Yes, the industry is moving to automatics for several reasons. But the thought of "You can't drive one of these!" is rankling.

I drove FL '16 automatic daycabs for several months. They were just as good as a manual shift. In fact, with a flip of a lever, it was just like a manual, but without the clutchwork.

Double clutching/ floating will become a thing of the past and Old Timers will reminisce in Driver Lounges.

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

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

I have been driving an automatic since July of last year. Although there are times I miss shifting, with the type of driving I do, the automatic is growing on me. If ever I get the hankering to shift, I take my buddy's triaxle dump for a spin.

double-quotes-end.png

I think it's more of having a restriction on your license more than anything. Yes, the industry is moving to automatics for several reasons. But the thought of "You can't drive one of these!" is rankling.

I drove FL '16 automatic daycabs for several months. They were just as good as a manual shift. In fact, with a flip of a lever, it was just like a manual, but without the clutchwork.

Double clutching/ floating will become a thing of the past and Old Timers will reminisce in Driver Lounges.

We may soon see the day when the large TL carriers no longer have manual transmissions in their fleets.

The WM terminal I am assigned to has all auto now. I'd have to request a load out of the Jonestown terminal to get a daycab with a manual.

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.

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

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

But as far as company and private schools - it would be a waste of $$ to come out of one with an "automatic only" restriction on your CDL.

Rick

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
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