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Mr M's Comment
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That probably explains why I've seen some crunched up Watkins trucks

Watkins Shepard is a fully automatic fleet. They do forced dispatch though and are based in Montana. They are also the only company I know that does not require you to go with a trainer when you are a new CDL graduate. They do a two week Missoula, MT training and then, assign you your own truck. It is then either sink or swim.


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.
Steve L.'s Comment
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I think Trans Am is all auto.

Watkins Shep got bought by Schneider, who is switching to automatic, but probably requires you to be licensed on clutch transmission.

Fire Marshal Bill's Comment
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KLLM, Werner and Knight. I drove for all three.




I didn't know KLLM had gone to the automatic...interesting.



Yep. Not all of the trucks. My trainer's rig was a 10-speed Frieghtliner.

My issued rig after training was a brand new Volvo automatic. Less than 750 miles on it.

Very nice truck!


What model Volvo?

VNL 780. Driver seat had massage feature so you weren't so stiff after a long day.

Awesome truck!

PJ's Comment
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Automatics are becoming much more the norm it seems in alot of larger companies. Volvo/Mack seems to be the most popular right now, but I read recently Freighliner has stepped up their game with them. Autozone's are auto's and Schneider is moving that direction. In my circles I have found people either love them or hate them depending on their personal prrference. I have driven them on the Mack and it's not for me personally. Give me an old fashion 13 spd and a clutch and I'm a happy camper😀😀 I worked with a group that had both. OTR trucks were auto's and day cab's were 10 spd manual. They company hired some drivers with restricted license's. Problem came up when their primary truck went down and the only thing available was a day cab. They were stuck. Also after years of running some auto's the company has now decided to move back to manual's. Where is this going to leave those drivers when that transition is complete??? I am the type that strongly believes in keeping your options open.


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.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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