Automatics For Millenials?

Topic 22745 | Page 4

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Amish country's Comment
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I drive an auto Volvo pulling a dry bulk tanker locally. When I switched from the 10 speed I was in I immediately noticed saved time on my day. As far as fuel savings, I get 6.5+ mpg which around 1 mpg I was able to get with the 10 speed. The engine brake works pretty well on down grades and I haven't had an issue with it holding the gear in "drive". If I had a choice I don't think I would go back to a manual.

Harry H. [ navypoppop ]'s Comment
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When I started driving in 1969, they handed you the keys to a B-61 Mack and you were a super trucker. No power steering so the shoulders and arms ache today, no A/C so you learned to drive with vent windows open for air flow and eat a ton of bugs and get stung occasionally, no air ride seats for cushioning just bolted to floor so your butt and back are always sore and a 2 stick 15 speed tri-plex tranny that you learned to reach through the steering wheel to split shift thus you hardly ever used the clutch and it saved my leg from those pains. Not a good way to start driving but I wouldn't trade it for today and automatics but that's just me.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
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When I started driving in 1969, they handed you the keys to a B-61 Mack and you were a super trucker. No power steering so the shoulders and arms ache today, no A/C so you learned to drive with vent windows open for air flow and eat a ton of bugs and get stung occasionally, no air ride seats for cushioning just bolted to floor so your butt and back are always sore and a 2 stick 15 speed tri-plex tranny that you learned to reach through the steering wheel to split shift thus you hardly ever used the clutch and it saved my leg from those pains. Not a good way to start driving but I wouldn't trade it for today and automatics but that's just me.

Yes with a steering wheel that encroached on the passenger side...likely a vinyl upholstered wooden box (stapled, not stitched). I vaguely remember those days as a kid.

Add another 8 years however, for a bit I drove a twin-stick 1965 International R-220 in 1976. It was the yard truck for a small excavation company I worked for putting myself through College. All I can say is "Oink". Once I proved that I could drive, my initial truck was a 1968 International R-190 all wheel drive 6-Wheeler, (battleships have a tighter turning radius), in-line un-synchronized 6-speed trans, no PS (30" white painted steel, flat-wheel), air-brakes but single compressor, no ABS (locked-up when empty), manual window cranks, straight six gasoline engine generating a whopping 185 HP, etc...! A real "wheezer" climbing steep hills with a 11 ton heap of hot-mix dragging the tail to the ground, I swear it was doing wheel stands many times cause the steering to get really "light" and "playful". In the heat of the summer we took the sides off the butterfly hood, exposing the red painted engine and bulbous silver colored air-box. Looked like an old hot rod rolling down the street. This truck was the road-patch crew's trusty steed, a truck I climbed into at 0'dark thirty and climbed out of at dusk 6 days per week. As the summer progressed, I graduated to a 1974 FleetStar 2070-A 10-wheeler, with a throw-away normally aspirated Kitty-Cat 340-8V, and a Fuller 10-speed air-shift. The owner ran #2 heating oil instead of diesel (cheap son-o***un), the exhaust made our eyes burn and water.

"Livin' large"...I thought. Not exactly "peaches", but this is when I developed my life-long love for trucks and driving them. The early equipment helps me to appreciate what we have now though. So yeah, I kinda had a similar Baptism into trucking as you did...great memories, and yes shifting the early air-shifts required way more precision than the contemporary engine/transmissions of today because of the narrower power-band and lack of engineering refinement. Air-shift was new technology then, as I recall the old dogs whining about how they were becoming "soft" and how much quicker and "lighter" they needed to be when finding a gear (LOL, then and now). No more "ham-fisting" for them...

Although I do prefer the equipment and technology we have today...it would be fun to spend a day in that old Intertrashinal R-190...with the glass pack mufflers and no shift lock-out for reverse... Good stuff, but I don't miss my ears ringing after driving it for 12 hours! I just wish I had the presence of mind to take pictures during all of that. I'd consider them priceless treasures if I had them today.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Harry H. [ navypoppop ]'s Comment
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G-Town, It sounds like you know exactly what I'm talking about even though I might have a couple years on you I think. If the B-61 was a joy the next truck they made me drive was an A-40, Gas engine with a 10 speed duplex that was so slow going up Sugarloaf Mtn. , Pa. you could pull out and lock the throttle lever, get out and walk around the truck and check all the tires. And that flat humungus steering wheel, oh boy. It almost hurts to think about it but they were the "good ole days".

G-Town's Comment
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Yes sir. I think I do! Check out my profile pictures, you’ll understand my roots.

I continued working for that same company until the owner liquidated due to health reasons. Last truck I drove for them was a Ford LTL 9000 Long hood with a 425 Cat, 13 speed w/deep reduction, tri-axle. I did that up until 1989 one night a week and Saturdays hauling sand and gravel.

Was out of all trucks until 2012 when I went to school, did it “right” this time around.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier
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