Manual Transmissions In Illinois

Topic 28384 | Page 1

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Steven E.'s Comment
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In the state of Illinois, the new trucks are all being ordered with automatic transmissions. I wondered why until I was finally told the reason by a Peterbilt truck and leasing company. The law was changed in this state at some point such that, whatever vehicle you take you driving test in when applying for your license is the vehicle you can drive - if you take your test in a truck having an automatic transmission, that's all you can drive, which was not the case previously. Does anyone know if other states enacted similar statutes? (I took my test with a manual transmission.)

IDMtnGal 's Comment
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Yes, other States have that rule....but it won't matter because manuals are becoming the thing of the past. I have driven for 2 companies since March 2017. The first company had 145 trucks with a dozen or so being manuals. I drove a manual for 3 mths and due to mileage, it was traded in for an automatic. By the end of 2017, 140 trucks were automatics. Now all are automatics. I changed companies in Sept 2018. All trucks are automatics. While I prefer manuals, I will probably never drive another one :-( Laura

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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Most states if you take your test in a auto you can only drive a auto, if you take it in a manual you can drive either.

PackRat's Comment
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The last company manual transmission truck I had was a 2015 when I was here at Crete the first time in 2018.

Rob D.'s Comment
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The automatic restriction is an FMCSA imposed requirement.

FMCSA Driver License Restrictions

Laura says:

While I prefer manuals, I will probably never drive another one :-( Laura


I think that I would prefer a manual because, even though there is a "manual mode" in our 2018 Cascadia, it is more of a "request" to put the transmission in the selected gear. If the computer that controls the transmission rejects my request, it doesn't go into that selected gear.


Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle


Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing


Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.


Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Mr. Curmudgeon's Comment
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My outfit has disabled the manual shift component of our Cascadias. They are all straight up automatic transmissions. They are fine except for backing up an incline, or driving in inclement weather. You can't clutch to stop wheel spin, and they tend to want to run at the RPM that generates spin (at least for our trucks)... so I've become absolutely icy weather adverse - if I have even the start of ice forming on my mirror, I'm off the road until conditions improve. They are, however, a godsend when driving in Chicago area rush hour traffic - i've had my left knee cut twice, and cartilage is a thing of the past there...


Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

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