Is The Day Of The Standard Transmission Gone?

Topic 18766 | Page 1

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Bolt's Comment
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I hear everyone talking about auto transmissions as I get ready to start my career. I love driving a stick and actually learned to drive with a stick. Are these days gone? Will I be doomed to always driving an auto?

Sambo's Comment
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Probably not for a long time If you are working for a major, then yes, you'll likely see manual transmission going away now in favor of automatic manual transmissions.

Sambo's Comment
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But for smaller companies and OO, you'll still find manual shift for quite awhile.

G-Town's Comment
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I hear everyone talking about auto transmissions as I get ready to start my career. I love driving a stick and actually learned to drive with a stick. Are these days gone? Will I be doomed to always driving an auto?

Bolt you will most likely learn on a standard 8 Speed in school. Your mentor's truck may or may not be an auto shift. Many L/O mentors still have manual transmissions.

Swift has all but eliminated manual transmission equipped trucks from the company driver fleet. There are two left at my DC...the other 98 trucks, auto shift.

Trust me you'll grow to like them. I honestly don't miss shifting...prefer auto shift for the type of work I do.

MC1371's Comment
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Blasphemy!!!! I'm not giving up my International w/10 spd until I throw a rod through the block!

OK, I dont think it's an Auto trans thing, more a really don't like Camrys. Sorry Cascadias.

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I hear everyone talking about auto transmissions as I get ready to start my career. I love driving a stick and actually learned to drive with a stick. Are these days gone? Will I be doomed to always driving an auto?

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Bolt you will most likely learn on a standard 8 Speed in school. Your mentor's truck may or may not be an auto shift. Many L/O mentors still have manual transmissions.

Swift has all but eliminated manual transmission equipped trucks from the company driver fleet. There are two left at my DC...the other 98 trucks, auto shift.

Trust me you'll grow to like them. I honestly don't miss shifting...prefer auto shift for the type of work I do.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Recently they've added a regulation that puts a restriction on your CDL if you've tested in an automatic. You will only be able to drive automatics if that's the case. So you can be sure all schools will still train people in standard shift trucks.

On top of that, standard transmissions are cheaper to buy, easier and cheaper to work on, and virtually bulletproof for a million miles if you drive it right. There is also no slippage whatsoever in the system when you're in gear. It's also far easier to get yourself out of a mess with a standard transmission, like if you're stuck in the snow. And I'm unaware of any way that you can use another vehicle to get your truck rolling so you can pop it into gear and start the truck with dead batteries if it has an automatic transmission. And yes, I did that several times or had it done for me several times throughout my career.

So there's quite a few reasons why all sorts of people will either need or want a standard transmission. So they're not going away. But as others have said, you won't find many major carriers with standard shift transmissions for much longer.

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.
Bolt's Comment
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Thanks for the insight guys. I know the major carriers are moving towards autos and thats what bothers me. As someone that is jsut getting into the industry I was looking forward to learning and driving 10's and 13's. I know I will train on standards. but my daily driver once going solo will more than likely be an auto. I plan on sticking with my chosen major carrier (Swift) for quite some time, but do hope that a 10 or 13 is in my future beyond school and training.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Tractor Man's Comment
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but do hope that a 10 or 13 is in my future beyond school and training.

It won't be. Your only option for that would be L/O. You DON'T want to do that.

I just started driving local in manual trucks after being in an auto for 9 months. I miss the auto. City driving is SOOOOO much easier in an auto.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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I drove a standard for ten years before driving an auto for six years. The only time I wanted a standard was is if I was stuck in the snow or mud. Growing up in a heavy snow region I'm good at getting unstuck, but I have to have full control of the vehicle. Trucks with automatic transmissions simply will not let you shift quickly enough to do what I'm trying to do, and the truck interferes with what you're trying to do with features like antilock braking and traction control which kick on when your tires start spinning.

But I can assure you that driving an automatic is great. For many years I've heard countless drivers cry to the heavens over their "imminent castration" at the thought of being put in an automatic. Then two weeks later they have to admit they love the automatic. They really do let you do almost anything you'd ever want to do manually, but they handle the annoying parts for you, like stop-n-go traffic.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Cwc's Comment
member avatar

The worst part about a newer automatic transmission on dry pavement is figuring out where to put your right hand... After months of driving an auto I'm stuck in a manual and to make matters worse it's a liquefied natural gas truck so the shift points are nowhere near a diesel.

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