Driving Manual Vs Automatic

Topic 28174 | Page 1

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BubblesDhaDrivah's Comment
member avatar

Hi all! I'm fairly new to the trucking industry. I have a really (hopefully not stupid) question for you all. Ok I will be going to Swift Academy (yeah I'm joining the "So Who I'm Finna Tear-up" company.) Ok back to being serious. Since Swift has manual and automatic trucks. If I decided to go with training on an automatic. Will it restrict me on my CDL? I have read alot of stories about that places a restriction on your license to drive certain tractors. Any help will be very appreciated. Also sorry if my post doesn't makes sense still kinda half sleep.

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

Jessica, don't go to Swift believing all the internet trash talk. That's a really solid company that will not only give you a great start, but can keep you gainfully employed for the long-haul. They've got a lot of great customers. That gives you a ton of dedicated options within the same company. That's a big deal for a new driver.

Hey, on the transmission question, a lot of people don't want that restriction. Personally, I don't think it's a big deal. They aren't going to have any manual tractors available for you anyway. I just wouldn't worry about it at all. I'm sure somebody will come along after me advising you differently, but I honestly wouldn't worry about it.

Here's an article I wrote on this very question. Take the time to read it. I think it will ease your mind.

Do Real Truckers Drive Automatic Transmissions?

Aubrey M.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm with Roehl, and Swift is a much bigger company so they probably have more loaner truck selection. However, Roehl hasn't bought any manual trucks for the last two to three years. Two months ago when i needed a loaner it was a manual. I also recovered a truck while mine was being repaired and It was a manual. Had I been restricted, i wouldn't have been able to take either of those jobs and kept working. There was no option for an automatic loaner when i needed it. So personally, if swift still has manuals in the fleet I'd train on a manual. If they are cycled out it won't matter, as Old School said.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Georgia Mike's Comment
member avatar

I got my cdl on a 10 speed. I learned how to float by my trainer at USA truck 5 years ago. Im in my first solo truck because shifting in the mountains terrified me. I was stuck in traffic today in Maryland and didn't have to shift down once. My stamina is much better in my automatic. The stress is not as amplified as it was in a 10 speed. So I prefer the 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.
Justin G.'s Comment
member avatar

I have the same concern but for a slightly different reason. I know that many of the megas use automatics now but if I wanted to get a local gig after my OTR stint, would not having that on my CDL hurt my chances when applying for local jobs? Are local jobs also utilizing mostly automatics at this point?

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.

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.

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