Got My CDL A. Auto Or Manual Truck Job?

Topic 26621 | Page 1

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Rekcurt9291 R.'s Comment
member avatar

Got my CDL A without restrictions few weeks ago. Now i am on job hunting. Is it wise to go for company with automatic trucks?

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.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations on obtaining your CDL!

I would not be concerned on the type of transmission, but more so on finding a job that fits your needs, as well as a place that will hire you as a new driver.

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.
Rekcurt9291 R.'s Comment
member avatar

Congratulations on obtaining your CDL!

I would not be concerned on the type of transmission, but more so on finding a job that fits your needs, as well as a place that will hire you as a new driver.

Thank you. If ever i will get an auto transmission job. What if few years later i decided to find better paying company. Wouldn't be harder for me to get job because i still have no exprience on manuals? Lots of companies looking for drivers that experienced in manual transmission.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

In trucking the way you make more money is to improve your performance. You've already got the false notion that you need a better company. Then you also have this wrong idea that these so-called better companies will have manual transmissions.

Let's just say you have really got the cart before the horse. What you need is basic truck driving experience. You need to start figuring out what it takes to succeed at this career. That has nothing to do with how your transmission gets shifted. You just need a job. 95% of the companies who will be willing to hire you have auto-shifting transmissions. Just get a job and worry about the transmissions in about five years from now.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Like most driver licenses, once you get an endorsement you don't lose it. So, you'll always be legally able to use a clutch in a truck.

As for "forgetting" how to shift, it's like bike riding - you'll never forget. Auto-shift trucks are the future of common carrier truck fleets, so, don't worry about that.

As Old School writes, transmission types, APUs and which brand of truck are little things in the bigger picture of your trucking career.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APUs:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
In trucking the way you make more money is to improve your performance. You've already got the false notion that you need a better company. Then you also have this wrong idea that these so-called better companies will have manual transmissions.

The level of success you'll have in this industry will depend almost entirely on your performance, and somewhat on your ability to work well with others. This is one of the most important messages we share with new drivers. Study people who have been successful in any endeavor at a high level and you'll find they're laser-focused on self-improvement. Study people who never seem to get anywhere in life and you'll find their focus is always outside of themselves and never on self-improvement.

When choosing a company, the primary concerns should be:

  • Type of freight you want to haul
  • Regions of the country you want to run
  • How often you'd like to get home

Answer those three questions and you'll rule out probably 75% of the companies that hire from your area. Apply to all the companies that meet your criteria and choose the one that suits you best.

It's not about finding the best company. All the major carriers are fantastic companies. It's about finding a company that suits your preferences.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

I see hundreds of trucks every day pulling company trailers. Many of these have advertising on them, seeking drivers.

I have never seen one yet that reads, "We're Looking For Drivers With Manual Transmission Experience".

Joseph I.'s Comment
member avatar

While there will always be a few places where a manual will be used and even desirable in a few years it will be very hard to find any company that runs any manual transmissions at all. At least in the OTR community. I drove a manual all my life until 6 months ago, I would not want to go back especially for OTR driving. In my farm trucks or feed truck I think I would still rather have a manual though.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Moe's Comment
member avatar

Dump truck too

While there will always be a few places where a manual will be used and even desirable in a few years it will be very hard to find any company that runs any manual transmissions at all. At least in the OTR community. I drove a manual all my life until 6 months ago, I would not want to go back especially for OTR driving. In my farm trucks or feed truck I think I would still rather have a manual though.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

andhe78's Comment
member avatar
Thank you. If ever i will get an auto transmission job. What if few years later i decided to find better paying company. Wouldn't be harder for me to get job because i still have no exprience on manuals? Lots of companies looking for drivers that experienced in manual transmission.

I have some very recent experience in this exact situation. Got my cdl with no restrictions, then never touched a manual for almost two years. Went in to interview with a local company and did a road test. Ground a couple of gears, but it was nothing major, the interviewer was looking more that I was comfortable getting a truck down the road.

Funny thing was, they are trying to switch to autos with all the safety features and their drivers are throwing fits about it because they are constantly setting off the audible warnings. Was actually asked if I would have a problem driving an auto with adaptive cruise control, lane departure, etc I just laughed and replied that that was all I’d driven for two years, and that once you learn to drive so that the warnings don’t go off..........the warnings don’t go off.

Got the job and a brand new 2020 with my name on it.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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