Does It Matter If I Train In An Automatic?

Topic 30113 | Page 1

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Michael P.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm going to visit a few CDL schools in my area next week and one that I called told me that they train in automatics because "that's the way the industry is heading." I was looking at the Type Of Transmissions Used By Trucking Companies and it seems that most of the mega carriers are transitioning to auto. Is there any reason for me to specifically look to train in a Manual? I understand that I could miss out on some opportunities, but it seems like those will be fewer and fewer as the years go on. Is there something that I'm missing?

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.
Rhino's Comment
member avatar

A lot of companies are going auto not just mega. I doubt you would miss out on very much if u trained on automatic. If your joining a mega carrier and your gonna settle with them then ya just get trained in auto. If your getting on with a small company and all they have is manuals then train manual.

I'm going to visit a few CDL schools in my area next week and one that I called told me that they train in automatics because "that's the way the industry is heading." I was looking at the Type Of Transmissions Used By Trucking Companies and it seems that most of the mega carriers are transitioning to auto. Is there any reason for me to specifically look to train in a Manual? I understand that I could miss out on some opportunities, but it seems like those will be fewer and fewer as the years go on. Is there something that I'm missing?

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.
ChrisEMT's Comment
member avatar

Hello, I will put my 2 cents in... While yes, most companies are heading the way of automatics, and there are no big downsides of training in an automatic. The only 2 that I can think of off the top of my head are 1)what happens if the only truck a company has to offer you is a manual? and 2) some states have and "automatic only" restriction on the licenses, so that will limit you on some job prospects. I would look for a school, program, or company that will train you on both. This way you can drive either. Also, if you train in both, you will get a feel for which one you prefer.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

No school will need to "train you in both". Just like with cars, whoever can drive a stick can also drive an automatic.

I know people want to feel restricted somehow if they have any restriction on their license. Sorry, this is a mountain vs mole hill issue. I suggest you don't waste energy on worrying about it.

The "what if" thing about having only a standard shift truck available is like worrying if one of you're shoestrings might break.

Michael P.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the responses! Sounds like it's not going to be as big of an issue as I thought it would be. I'm going to go with whatever school sounds like they offer the best training and not worry about the transmission.

Hobo's Comment
member avatar

Yes, it matters. I just got my dream job. The location is right, the money is right. I spent two years with a big company and got head-hunted for this new job. Had my license been restricted I wouldn't have been able to get this job.

Learn manual.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Mike, one more thing. You mentioned

I'm going to visit a few CDL schools in my area next week...

Are you only considering private schools where you need to pony up the tuition? How about Paid CDL Training Programs where your company will finance (often interest free) your training? Also, when you are admitted to a company training program, you all but have a job to walk into when you're done!

Apply For Paid CDL Training

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.

Dm:

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.
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