Automatic Tractors.

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Big Holli's Comment
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So while at school we had several recruiters come and give their bit. Schneider and express both said they are going to switch over their entire fleet to automatics in the next few years. I don't know how I feel about that. I for one love the feeling of working the gears and the sense of control it gives. I was curious about how you guys felt about automatic transmissions in a tractor?

Susan D. 's Comment
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I've had both autoshift and manual. Autoshifts are WONDERFUL in traffic and I appreciate manual transmissions in winter weather, but even an autoshift can be manually controlled.

My company has all autoshifts, except for the training trucks. They want drivers who can drive anything in case a truck breakdown etc.

Mrawesome's Comment
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I prefer a manual but Automatics arent bad. Great for traffic

Unholychaos's Comment
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The only time I've ever driven a manual transmission anything was CDL school and training so I may be a bit biased in saying that I LOVE my automated. It does great in the mountains, traffic, those pesky stop lights, even allows you to enable "gear hold" mode which pretty much turns it into a manual transmission without needing a stick. Also, since you don't have to focus on shifting, you're able to pay more attention to what's going on around you.


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handloader's Comment
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My only depth of experience with manuals were decrepit farm rigs. I would give up backrubs for life to stick with the auto-shifts. You want really enjoyable shifting and vroom vroom? Get a Harley!

Aaron M.'s Comment
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I trained on a 10 speed, but for the last 7 months I've been in an automatic.

Going up and down hills, mountains, snowy weather, this trans has held up beautifully.

Before I got into this I was listening to a lot of truckers who said autos are terrible in snow and hilly conditions. Maybe the last time they drove an auto was in 2002? I don't know. I drive a 2016 freight and this trucks transmission is great. Different manufacturers have different transmissions so that also may play a factor.

The only bad thing I can say is creep mode sucks. It doesn't last and keeps shutting off but I've gotten used to backing without using it.

Not to mention my left knee loves me again.

I prefer a manual in a car or bike. They're faster and more fun anyways.

Cory D.'s Comment
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As someone who had more time spent with an auto over a stick, a stick is better. Autos are better in traffic no contest there, but sticks are better for driving and backing.... most definitely the backing.

ChefsJK's Comment
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I was given a 2016 Auto and i hated it for the first two weeks, i couldnt get used to it, especially while backing, but i am getting used to it. As said before it is great in traffic and i liked it going downhills, but it seems like a dog going up hill, but that just could be how the tractor is set up for our company as well.

miracleofmagick's Comment
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I have driven both. Personally, I don't care whether I drive a manual or automatic. They both have their upsides and downsides, but they pretty much even out. What really matters to me is if it runs, whether auto or manual.

Vendingdude's Comment
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I'll pile on with praise for the automatic. Driven dozens of different manuals over the years, but once you figure out how to manipulate the automatic it's great.

Superior for two hours of LA stop and go traffic. No knee or lower back pain from dozens, or even hundreds of shifts in a few hours. Helpful for being able to stretch your left leg out if sciatic is bothering you because it's not needed for clutch.

Superior for cab room. Especially in these Freightliners with the extra couple of inches between bucket seats, having the missing shift stick is like having an extra room in your truck. There's tons of room for go bags, coolers, snacks whatever without tripping on them when moving about.

Backing seems to be fine if you just cover the brake and go real slow to keep it in creep mode. When you give it a little gas to go a bit faster it shifts into regular reverse and that's too fast. Then you hit the brakes and start all over. Very jerky feel to it: just go extra slow and it's fine.

When you get past the "just put it in auto and it does all the work" level and move into the place where you're able to use manual in spots, like climbing, or more controlled deceleration with jakes [tends to downshift and grab higher neck snapping RPMs than you might be inclined to; this can be overcome using manual] you will LOVE your automatic.

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