When Going To Truck Driver School, Should I Learn To Drive A 10 Speed Truck?

Topic 27670 | Page 1

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Nick S.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello. I’m Nick. I’m new to this group.

As I consider a Truck Driver career, I was thinking about going to a truck driver school to get one-on-one training.

Yet I did want to find out from you much more experienced drivers, what are the best types of trucks to have experience in driving?

I read about one school that teaches (as part of the curriculum), how to drive a 10 speed truck. They said in many cases there is not much of a need to know how to drive a 10 speed truck, but if a person knows how to drive a 10 speed truck, then a person should be able to drive any truck out there without any problems . . . thus making it probably easier to get jobs, due to having the skills and knowledge to drive all types of trucks. So if learning how to drive a 10 speed truck might be of big value (sooner or later), I want to learn in the beginning. Yet it would be great to learn all of the basic trucks I should learn how to drive as a new Truck Driver.

What are your thoughts?

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Nick!! There is a ton of info on the forum you can search through to answer many questions.

This one in my opinion you should learn in a manual and get licensed. If you test in an auto transmission you will have a auto only restriction on your license. Getting that removed in the future is just to retest in a manual. However that takes time and access to a manual truck. If you do it up front your good to go.

At my company there is a mix of auto and manuals. Once my truck broke down and it took 3 weeks to get it back on the road. The company only had day cabs available to put me in. They were manuals. Had I had an auto only restriction I would have been sitting, instead of working.

Just my thoughts and personal opinion

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

Although manual transmission trucks are on the way out I I personally would train in one to make myself more employable.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

I tested in a manual so I do not have the restriction. There are some companies that still have manuals but most carriers, particularly those hiring new drivers, are going fully auto. Many are already at that point. I've driven a manual probably 20 times in 2 1/2 years of doing local work. Both trucks have since been replaced with an auto. Almost every local company in my area that I'm aware of are phasing them out slowly but there are still a fair amount of them on the road. Bobcat mentioned in a couple other threads Old Dominion continues to order manuals. What's your plan for schooling? Private orPaid CDL Training Programs?

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.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

The industry is shifting away from manual to auto-shifting. 😉 Even that automatic only "restriction" is becoming meaningless to your career, as Rob T points out. I'd say don't let it bother you.

Another thing: as a learning driver, getting ready for your CDL road test, the fewer things that can go wrong the better. So you can avoid the "danger" of stalling in traffic while you try to find the correct gear if you train in an automatic.

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.
Navypoppop's Comment
member avatar

Nick,

I'll add my opinion to train with the manual transmission and avoid the auto. trans only. That way you do not have any restrictions on your CDL. Even if most companies go the auto trans in their trucks it won't affect you. Like PJ said if you needed a replacement truck and you had the restriction it would cause you to not be able to drive.

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.
Nick S.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello Everyone,

Thank you for your help and advice. Based on the information that you have shared, my learning how to drive a manual shift truck is the way to go. For sure, I don’t want to be limited to driving only automatic trucks, as I “now know” that I am subject to miss out on jobs when only manual trucks are available.

Rob T. , overall, I have not decided on a paid or private CDL training program as of yet. I still have a lot of reading and research to do.

Thanks again for your help. I appreciate it very much. : - )

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.
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