So I Got A Important Question Regarding Training With The Different Transmissions And Such..

Topic 19160 | Page 1

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Victor C. II's Comment
member avatar

So I got a technical question regarding training with the different Transmissions. My mentor says that driving a automatic versus and manual transmission the road is different than driving an automatic. I knew that was true but is it possible to get training or additional training after being with one mentor? Because I would really like to learn how to drive both tranny's on the road with the load. I love automatic but I like manual more for the convenience of being able to decide when I'm going to shift it especially in the winter time. And honestly they're more reliable from what I know. I learned in school on a manual transmission I am learning on an automatic here at Swift.

Just got to to know so that I can know what to do next. If it is as possible to go with another mentor with a manual transmission then that would be great. That means I would know how to drive both Transmissions on the road which is better for me. If it's not possible I understand but if it is I'm going to try it. Thanks for the advice all is appreciated.

Kurt G.'s Comment
member avatar

Are you saying you want to do the road part of the training twice, once with each transmission? I don't know for sure, but that seems really unlikely. It seems like companies are usually short on trainers as it is. If you ever move to a job with a different transmission they may give you some extra training, but i imagine we'd be talking about hours rather than days.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Victor C. II's Comment
member avatar

Right Kurt I would be doing it twice. I thought that might be unlikely but if I do switch in 6 months to a year then like you said I would just need some hours behind the wheel of a manual as I have used manual trucks before. I had a trailer just not fully loaded. One thing I do know is that when you are going down a hill, with a manual tranny you had better make sure that it is in like 8th or 9th if you are headed down a steep grade or 3rd or 4th if it is super steep. I'm talking in 10 speed manual tranny type. 18 speed I may have to go look for a class on it or maybe get my Dad to train me a little cause I know that he has driven those from what I remember. I am leaning more to the Kenworths or the Peteebilts here in the future 6-12 months out, just because I know I have heard of their reliability. I eventually want to haul heavy equipment or flatbed so the extra gears may be of use and at the same time if I find a 12 or 15 speed then might go with that but I think they are rare. Thanks Kurt for the advice.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Victor C. II's Comment
member avatar

Are the automatics/ultrashifts even all that reliable? I am always worried that one of these days this new 2017 Freightliner Cascadia evolution automatic tranny is going to leave us stranded. I'm sorry if I am a little skeptical. Please let me know if my threads are boring lol, I have not been getting a whole lot of replies.

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

The auto-shifts are plenty reliable, otherwise the large carriers wouldn't be using them in their fleets. As far as Swift allowing you to redo your road training in a manual--not gonna happen. You still know how to drive a manual if you ever need to.

I drove an auto with Swift for my first six months. Then my truck broke down and the truck assignment guy asked me if I could drive a manual. Legally I could and I learned how in school, so I told him yes and was assigned a manual. I learned how to float on my own and had two different manual trucks over the next 6 months or so until I gave up my truck to get on the Target fleet.

Maybe you'll get in a manual with Swift at some point. If not, if you ever decide to go somewhere else be honest with them and maybe they'll give you a little refresher course on driving manual. Or maybe they'll just put you in a truck and let you re-learn it as you go. Try not tk worry about it tok much. Once I got in a manual I picked it up pretty quickly.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Are the automatics/ultrashifts even all that reliable? I am always worried that one of these days this new 2017 Freightliner Cascadia evolution automatic tranny is going to leave us stranded.

Victor there is no comparison to an automatic transmission in a car. In fact to call these auto-shift transmissions automatics is actually a misnomer. They are still standard gear boxes just like the ones that you manually shift. The difference is that a computer system determines when and how it should be shifted. It still has a clutch that engages and disengages when needed, but it is all computer controlled. They are very durable.

I have been driving a Volvo I-shift transmission, as they call their auto-shift transmission, for a little more than two years now, and I am still learning about it's versatility. I love the thing, and it is so much easier going down a steep mountain in this thing if you understand how it all works together with the Jake brakes. It will hold the proper gear and not get away from you as long as you have a good understanding of how to use it. You can even put it into manual mode so that you can control when it shifts if you so prefer.

Every rookie thinks it is great to be shifting those gears in a big rig, but let me tell you, I think these new transmissions are really great. Mine has never let me down, and the more I learn about how it all works and coordinates with the Jake brake on a mountain descent, the more I like the thing. It will take you some time to get a really good grasp on how the thing works, but once you begin to master how to use it properly then you will be glad to have it.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Kammy R.'s Comment
member avatar

I also love mine in heavy Los Angeles traffic! My left leg loves me again!smile.gif

Stickers's Comment
member avatar

Right Kurt I would be doing it twice. I thought that might be unlikely but if I do switch in 6 months to a year then like you said I would just need some hours behind the wheel of a manual as I have used manual trucks before. I had a trailer just not fully loaded. One thing I do know is that when you are going down a hill, with a manual tranny you had better make sure that it is in like 8th or 9th if you are headed down a steep grade or 3rd or 4th if it is super steep. I'm talking in 10 speed manual tranny type. 18 speed I may have to go look for a class on it or maybe get my Dad to train me a little cause I know that he has driven those from what I remember. I am leaning more to the Kenworths or the Peteebilts here in the future 6-12 months out, just because I know I have heard of their reliability. I eventually want to haul heavy equipment or flatbed so the extra gears may be of use and at the same time if I find a 12 or 15 speed then might go with that but I think they are rare. Thanks Kurt for the advice.

It is my personal belief that anyone coming into the industry should either learn and test on a manual to obtain a CDL or take the first opportunity to learn how to drive a manual when they get it. I am a little bias because my truck driving school taught me using 10 speeds and later a 13. I then worked for a O/O who had all 10 speeds and one super 10. I think it is important because although many fleets/companies are going to all automatics the change is not industry wide. For someone who is thinking of possibly changing companies in the future this could be a hinderance.

I can tell you right now that the two most common transmissions on the road are automatics and 10 speeds. You are onto something about having extra gears for heavy haul applications. using a 13 or an 18 speed is beneficial for pulling up big hills when you are heavy. You are not constantly hunting for a gear that is too slow or not enough RPM. You have the ability to "split" gears and maximize your engines RPMS.

easiest thing to remember about driving a 10 speed is that whatever gear you want to be in or need to be in you should add the numbers of your current speed or speed you should be at and your sum will be the gear you need to be in. Example: I am travelling at 25 MPH and I lost my gear so I am coasting in neutral. If I add 2+5 that equals 7. So at 25 MPH I should be in 7th gear.....get your RPMS to 1000 and put er in the hole! You would be surprised how well that works.

Also, if you are going down a steep grade, you should be one gear lower than what you climbed it in. And if you happen to find yourself at the crest of Monteagle, TN they have big sign telling you what gear you should use according to your gross. :)

All of this info aside I will say there has been times (5pm on a Friday in Chicago or Houston) I wish to all that is holy I had an automatic. And I am no super trucker by any means, I still grind gears and drop some colorful language in the process every now and then. I also float the gears and only use the clutch when I am stopping and starting, sometimes when I don't have enough rpms built up I give it a tap to pull it out of gear too. This is all stuff I picked up on my own after school however.

If you are interested in relocating to Iowa and pulling a refer to Texas and back every week my company has expressed interest in putting someone in either a Pete 587 or KW T660 with 13 speeds and cummins engines. They are willing to give refresher courses to guys who don't have a lot of experience with manuals so long as we can insure you.

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.

Float The Gears:

An expression used to describe someone who is shifting gears without using the clutch at all. Drivers are taught to "Double Clutch" or press and release the clutch twice for each gear shift. If you're floating gears it means you're simply shifting without using the clutch at all.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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