Paid CDL - Automatic Or Manual Transmissions.

Topic 28084 | Page 1

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Paul T.'s Comment
member avatar

I have a paid CDL opportunity with training options in two different locations. The effective cost of the programs is the same, but one location is for automatic transmissions and the other is for manual. The automatic transmission course is a week shorter. It is also closer to my home. Am I shooting myself in the foot by excepting a paid CDL commitment they only teaches me automatic transmissions? It seems like I would be, but I need some opinions.

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.
Wild-Bill's Comment
member avatar

I had a similar thought process when I was selecting a training location. The reality is that an automatic exemption will have virtually no impact on your career. Most paid CDL training companies are training on automatics or will be soon. My company has converted two of four training locations to automatic and the other two will be converted very soon. You will have plenty of options available for companies that run auto shift transmissions. As a side note, I believe that several of the folks in my class that didn’t make it probably would have made it if they were training on automatics. Learning to shift adds a degree of difficulty to the process that was too much for many to handle. I’ll include myself in that group. I backslid in my shifting in my third week and it nearly cost me an opportunity to test and graduate. Something to think about.

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.
Paul T.'s Comment
member avatar

Outside of freight trucking, I was thinking my CDL could be useful if I wanted to get into large vehicle operations such as cranes or other. Do you know how common automatics are in other vehicles?

an automatic exemption will have virtually no impact on your career.

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.
Anne A. (G13MomCat)'s Comment
member avatar

I have a paid CDL opportunity with training options in two different locations. The effective cost of the programs is the same, but one location is for automatic transmissions and the other is for manual. The automatic transmission course is a week shorter. It is also closer to my home. Am I shooting myself in the foot by excepting a paid CDL commitment they only teaches me automatic transmissions? It seems like I would be, but I need some opinions.

Hay, Paul~!

Are you going company paid, or 'school' training? Here's my honest opinion (either way) based on my husband's experience; he's been driving since '03, when there were 'almost' no autos, LoL~! Ergo, no restriction.

The company he works for now, although they don't hire 'newbies' per se, advertises AMT's (atutomated manual transmissions) in their Mack Pinnacles. Well, when one's 'issued' daycab/tractor is in for repairs more than a day long, husband is sent out in the 'spare' truck, which is a 10 speed International. Had he gotten that 'E' restriction, he'd be off that day unless they 'borrowed' an auto from somebody somewhere within the company.

Just food for thought.

Additionally, if you are talking 'straight construction/cranes' I have no idea, nor does he....on the manual side.... BUT if you ever wanted to do Heavy Haul, or had a NEED to MOVE that heavy machinery you speak of, on a semi....those H/H rigs are often 18 speeds.

If both schools are 'almost' equidistant and price is not an issue, I'd go with the one that trains with no restriction. Again, YMMV.. and just my two cents, and the opinion of my 'guy' as well~!

Best of luck in your schooling; don't be a stranger~!!!

Anne :)

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.
Jay F.'s Comment
member avatar

Make it easy on yourself and just get the auto. I know several guys that deliver new trucks for freightliner(I have 2 plants within an hour of my house) and the all day that months go by before they deliver a manual truck.

When I trained with my first company they made everyone train on a truck based on if they had the restiction. Two got sent home even though they had their cdl. No autos were sent home. Funny thing is after training almost all were given autos.,

I drive a cement mixer now. Our whole fleet is autos. My truck use to be a manual, and they converted it. These autos are so much cheaper to operate. The days of manual transmissions are about over

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.
Anne A. (G13MomCat)'s Comment
member avatar

The days of manual transmissions are about over.

Tell the H/H guys that, LoL~! :)

Jay F.'s Comment
member avatar

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The days of manual transmissions are about over.

double-quotes-end.png

Tell the H/H guys that, LoL~! :)

You’re talking about a very small percentage of trucking. For 99 percent of trucks the manual days are over.

Feanor K.'s Comment
member avatar

Honestly I would go for the automatic training. As people have said already, most companies have switched over at this point, and the rest are in the process. Furthermore, removing the factor of shifting will make your training experience sooo much less stressful and increase your chance of success on the first test. Not only will it remove a whole skill to master, it will free up a lot of mental energy for other things, like backing. Just speaking for myself, learning to shift was my biggest obstacle through school and training both.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

I’m going to be in the minority here. I would go for the manual. That way no matter where you ever go during your career you have no issue.

Anne’s example is spot on. Manuals will not go away in this industry. They tout how much cheaper auto’s are. Well not exactly. For mega companies it may be a benefit because they get rid of trucks when the warranties expire.

I talked with my mechanic. He says the auto’s are much more expensive to work on compared to manuals.

Rainey has posted before that she got better fuel economy in manuals she has driven compared to auto’s.

I have an issue with the industry duming down requirements. Learning to shift is difficult, but not impossible.

Bird-one's Comment
member avatar

I don't believe that's true either Jay. For large carrier's maybe. But not the industry as a whole. Not 99 percent. I also curious what makes you say auto's are much cheaper to operate?

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

The days of manual transmissions are about over.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Tell the H/H guys that, LoL~! :)

double-quotes-end.png

You’re talking about a very small percentage of trucking. For 99 percent of trucks the manual days are over.

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