Should I Choose A Company That Trains On Automatic Transmissions And Have That Restriction On My CDL?

Topic 22964 | Page 2

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Brett Aquila's Comment
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The only real downside is the taunts from grizzled old drivers that you're not a, "real" truck driver

.....and that's not actually a real downside. That's just the unfortunate side effect of granting freedom of speech to people who have nothing worthwhile to say.

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Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
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Just finished out monthly conference call where we get to hear all the great things CFI is doing and get to ask questions of our company president as well as heads of other departments. CFI has no plans to faze out training on manual transmissions in the schools. The fleet only has a few manuals left. Don't believe every rumer you hear.

Harry H. [ navypoppop ]'s Comment
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Brett, Your point is well taken and totally understandable and I am glad that I do not that restriction on my license. I am one that if anyone other than a CDL licensed driver does not need a restriction then neither should a CDL holder. If you are qualified to operate an 18 wheeler than it shouldn't matter what transmission is in it. That's like saying you qualified in a 5 speed Maxitorque and can't drive a 13 speed Roadranger. My thoughts.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
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If you are qualified to operate an 18 wheeler than it shouldn't matter what transmission is in it.

Well I think it has to matter because it's a critical, life or death safety issue in the mountains. If you're not proficient at shifting and you get stuck in neutral going down a mountain and can't get it back into gear you might be done for. You're going to go flying off a cliff or lay it over in the next tight curve. In a 4 wheeler that's not a concern at all.

Even going up a steep climb is a big safety issue, though probably not quite as severe. Every once in a while you would see someone miss a gear going uphill, they couldn't find a gear, and wound up coming to a complete stop on the highway so they could get it in gear and get rolling again, but obviously very slowly. That's a huge safety hazard also.

Not only that, but 4 wheelers have synchronizers in their transmissions, big rigs do not. You have to manually match up the road speed, engine speed, and transmission speed in a big rig. A 4 wheeler will do all of that for you. So you can always get a 4 wheeler in gear, even if it's a totally inappropriate gear for the speed you're going. A big rig isn't going into gear unless everything matches up almost perfectly.

You simply can't have someone who has never shifted a big rig transmission head out into the mountains, in a standard, hoping they don't kill themselves or someone else. It doesn't take that long to learn the basics of shifting well enough to get through the CDL exam. They don't expect perfection. They just expect you to show that you understand the basic principles and you can handle it in real world conditions.

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.
Harry H. [ navypoppop ]'s Comment
member avatar

Maybe or maybe not Brett. I started driving in 1969 on a 2 stick, 15 speed, tri-plex Mack in the hills of Pennsylvania and New York. And yes there were no syncros, no power steering or A/C but we learned and made a few mistakes along the way but we survived. My 45 year and 3 million miles were not easy and I missed a few gears along the way but we learned to split shift with one arm thru the steering wheel going up hill in engines without turbos so you kept them wound tight. But yes those were different times and required different ways to get the job done I guess. I understand everything you said but I would not want a restriction like that on my license. Enough said.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
we learned and made a few mistakes along the way but we survived.

Let's be clear about something. You survived. Not everyone survived. Yes, those were different times. Much more dangerous times, in fact.

No, I would not want a restriction on my license, either, and I'm sure no one does. But in today's world with all of the automatics taking over it's not a big deal.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Harry H. [ navypoppop ]'s Comment
member avatar

I thought about this last night after my posts with Brett and have a idea on the auto only restriction. You have to have a lot of endorsements on your CDL-A anyway such as air brakes, tanker, hazmat , doubles/triples and basic articulated vehicles why not just create an option to test with a manual transmission? Then it is the drivers option to obtain it or not even if you have to rent a truck to do it and the states will get an additional fee and we will have the option to have it or not just like the rest of the endorsements. I know a lot of people won't like this idea either but I'm trying to engage in constructive conversation.

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Harry, basically that's how it's set up now. It's not necessarily an endorsement though. If one has an automatic restriction on their license, they can do just like you're suggesting. They simply go test in a truck with a standard transmission and the restriction is removed. It's that simple.

Harry H. [ navypoppop ]'s Comment
member avatar

Old School, I know what you are saying is basically true but my point is to allow the applicant the choice of having their license state automatic only. With the other endorsements they give you a letter code if you have elected to test for it but your license for instance will not say " no hazmat" etc. I guess what I am saying isn't going to set well so I'm thanking everyone for their opinions as mine is on the short side of reasoning. I concede.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
why not just create an option to test with a manual transmission? Then it is the drivers option to obtain it or not even if you have to rent a truck to do it

That is exactly how it's setup. You have the option of testing in a manual or in an automatic. Whatever you test in is what you'll be able to drive.

my point is to allow the applicant the choice of having their license state automatic only. With the other endorsements they give you a letter code if you have elected to test for it but your license for instance will not say " no hazmat"

Well either way you have the exact same result in the end. Whether it says you have an "automatic transmission restriction" or a "manual transmission endorsement" it's the same result - you have to test in a standard transmission if you want to drive a standard transmission.

I wear contact lenses so I have a restriction on my license that says I am restricted to driving with corrective lenses only. I guess they could have made a "natural eye endorsement" but either way it's the same thing. I must wear corrective lenses to drive.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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