Automatic Vs Manual

Topic 28468 | Page 1

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Mike P.'s Comment
member avatar

So here is my conflict. I am new person thinking about driving. I often hear that if the skills test is taken with an automatic truck then I am restricted to ONLY driving automatics. I am wondering if that is that big of a deal. Can anyone tell me what the industry outlook is for automatics? Are they on the rise and are manuals being phased out? I dont think I really care which one I get the license with because I know if its only the automatic restriction then I can get the manual some time down the road. But I am also smart enough to realize that a passenger car manual transmission isnt the same as a big truck manual. So is the manual "restriction" really that restrictive? Would I be limited greatly? Just doing my research on the entire decision making process. Any comments on this is welcomed. Thanks.

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

It won't make a difference. Many of the larger companies have all switched to automatics. Just jump in with a company that offers Paid CDL Training Programs. CFI and others offer it and are not listed in that link. Good luck.

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.
Moe's Comment
member avatar

Truck Driver's Career Guide Hello sir

Welcome to the forum! In answer to your question, yes if you take the skills test in an automatic than your license will be limited to automatic - meaning you cant legally drive a manual.

The good thing is that getting the automatic restriction will not hinder you in obtaining a job. Alot of company fleets have made the change over from manuals to automatics. They tend to get better fuel mileage and a host of other benefits.

At the trucking truth website its strongly recommended that new potential drivers look into company paid and sponsored CDL training Paid CDL Training Programs

Ill also link another article that I found was helpful for me when. I was getting started two years ago on this journey

In short no the automatic restriction will not hinder you in anyway from obtaining a trucking job at all. In fact in the next few years most fleets will be using fully automated trucks with few exceptions

Hope that helps you and best of luck!

So here is my conflict. I am new person thinking about driving. I often hear that if the skills test is taken with an automatic truck then I am restricted to ONLY driving automatics. I am wondering if that is that big of a deal. Can anyone tell me what the industry outlook is for automatics? Are they on the rise and are manuals being phased out? I dont think I really care which one I get the license with because I know if its only the automatic restriction then I can get the manual some time down the road. But I am also smart enough to realize that a passenger car manual transmission isnt the same as a big truck manual. So is the manual "restriction" really that restrictive? Would I be limited greatly? Just doing my research on the entire decision making process. Any comments on this is welcomed. Thanks.

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.
Brandon Kitts's Comment
member avatar

I just switched from a 10 speed manual to a 12 speed auto shift. Once I quit trying to press the imaginary clutch pedal I have grown to love it.

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Mike P.'s Comment
member avatar

It won't make a difference. Many of the larger companies have all switched to automatics. Just jump in with a company that offers Paid CDL Training Programs. CFI and others offer it and are not listed in that link. Good luck.

Im paying for my own training at a local community college. Do these companies make me pay for their OJT or will i just get a person to show me the ropes?

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

Hey Mike, truck driving schools really only do enough to help you obtain your CDL. When you land your first driving job, as a greenhorn rookie, they will put you on a truck with a trainer. You will probably spend about four weeks living on their truck with them. You'll actually be moving freight and learning the basics of how to function as a new driver. You'll learn company procedures for fueling, communicating with dispatch, how to manage your electronic logs , and dealing with shippers and receivers. There's a ton of information that you'll never see in your schooling.

You don't pay for your OJT. They will pay you. There's a lot to learn.

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.

Electronic Logs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

I disagree with some of the above advise, while yes a lot of companies have autos there are still a lot of manuals around. Having a automatic restriction will only limit your options down the road, more so if you desire to go local.

Depending on the state you might have to take the whole CDL test again to get the automatic restriction removed. Why go through the whole test again?

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.
Banks's Comment
member avatar

I disagree with some of the above advise, while yes a lot of companies have autos there are still a lot of manuals around. Having a automatic restriction will only limit your options down the road, more so if you desire to go local.

Depending on the state you might have to take the whole CDL test again to get the automatic restriction removed. Why go through the whole test again?

I agree with this. While most companies are moving to automatics and the restriction won't make it impossible to find a job, it will limit your options. From what I hear, FedEx freight is 90% automatics, but they will not hire you with an automatic restriction. Same goes for many other companies that still have manuals in their fleet. If you have the option, test in a manual.

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.
Turtle's Comment
member avatar

I too disagree that it won't make a difference. Sure, you'll still be able to find a job with an automatic restriction, but you won't have all options available to you. I wouldn't have had the opportunity to work where I am now if I had the restriction.

That said, I still recommend Paid CDL Training Programs through one of the major carriers, and unfortunately most of those carriers are training and testing on automatics now. So you may not have a choice initially. But as soon as I could I'd find a way to upgrade my license to include manual transmissions.

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.
Navypoppop's Comment
member avatar

I have always advocated for taking the test in a manual transmission if for no other reason than not to have the restriction on your license. It is true that most companies are switching to auto transmissions but suppossed that you want to change jobs to your "dream job" and they have manual transmission trucks? Either you have to re-test or forget that job. Also if you were to break down and they have to get a rental with manual transmission you can't drive it so if no auto trans. truck is available you sit without a paycheck. I feel that if you pass all the requirements needed to obtain a CDL-A and add any endorsements to better your career that you should not have a restriction for the type transmission a truck has. After all does any other driver license require auto or manual?

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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