Getting The Automatic Transmission Restriction Removed

Topic 21638 | Page 1

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Dead Money's Comment
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I am about to start training with a company that has automatic transmissions. I intend to stay with them for a full year commitment. Once that is complete, I would like to have my restriction removed. What is the process? Where would I get experience with a manual? What would I expect in terms of testing?

Big T's Comment
member avatar

As I understand it, to get the restriction removed you need to retake the test in a manual transmission. I do not know if you have to retake the whole test or just the driving portion.

I am about to start training with a company that has automatic transmissions. I intend to stay with them for a full year commitment. Once that is complete, I would like to have my restriction removed. What is the process? Where would I get experience with a manual? What would I expect in terms of testing?

Lowry F.'s Comment
member avatar

Here in pa which I think would be the same everywhere but in pa you must take your road test and backing test with a manual to not have the restriction. My schools only has manual but if you needed to the private license testing centers mostly will provide a manual to take the test in for a fee.

W A G.'s Comment
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You would take an examiner led safety inspection, basically a safety inspection. Then a road test in a manual transmission class representative vehicle. No parking skills required.

Errol V.'s Comment
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You know, D.M., many people in life try to avoid "restrictions". True, this is a "free country" and maybe the idea of restrictions is frowned upon. Also, I understand your desire to be legally able to drive any semi-truck tractor on the road.

However, in the last several years most of the major trucking companies have been switching over to auto-shift shift tranmissions. (These are not true automatics like in your car, more of a computer controlled shifter trans.) They have their reasons (economy and rate of maintenance + repair) and they did not ask drivers about this.

I drive for Swift. I learned how to drive a manual shift big rig. I understand Swift still likes to train using manual shift tractors, maybe like I said to reduce restrictions for drivers, and to make sure they can drive the older stick units. But large company trucking companies are driving into the future with auto shift power. You can still look for manual-training companies, just ask your recruiters. But there is coming a time when you'll only see manual shifts driven by old timers and in the antique section of truck shows

Keith G.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm pretty confident based on the numbers I've seen from working the office side of things, that the manual transmission will go the way of the dodo..

Some of the main reasons include, but are not limited to.

1: Cheaper insurance rates 2: Better fuel econemy 3: Less wear and tear (look at all the gear floaters 4: Easier to recruit new drivers 5 Safer (this can be highly objective)

I'm willing to wager that within 5 years pretty much all major players will have either converted to full automatic fleets or will be actively in the process of removing the last remnants of the old fleet out.

The industry is working on tighter and tighter budgets these days and with competition so fierce for loads everyone is looking to cut costs. I've seen some fraightliner models selling automatics far below manuals too. Roughly 10-12,000 below.

Dead Money's Comment
member avatar

I guess I wasn’t clear enough on the heart of my question.

As a permit holder (current state) I can drive either a manual or automatic as long as there is a valid CDL holder in the passenger seat.

Once I obtain the CDL license with a auto restriction, and a years experience, I can’t legally drive a friends manual while he ( a valid cdl holder) rides in the passenger seat.

So how do I go about obtaining experience such that I can pass the testing process.

There should be a process fully within the law, that allows a person to remove the restriction.

For those who have done so in the past, what was the process?

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Dead Money are you enrolled in a Paid CDL Training Program with a major carrier, or other?

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.
Dead Money's Comment
member avatar

Dead Money are you enrolled in a Paid CDL Training Program with a major carrier, or other?

Major carrier with a 12 month contract instead of an upfront cost for training. And they train and run automatics.

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.
PJ's Comment
member avatar

Dead Money that is a difficult question because each state has their own rules. I knew a driver that did what your asking here in GA. He only had to retake the driving portion of the road test. He was lucky the company had a very large rail yard and let him go out there and practice before testing. Finding a truck and the room to do it is the hard part.

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