Need Advice On Manual Vs Automatic

Topic 32066 | Page 3

Page 3 of 4 Previous Page Next Page Go To Page:
JJ's Comment
member avatar

I decided on automatic for all my road rides but learned most backing maneuvers in a manual. There is no entry level job that pays enough for me to think about shifting while moving a vehicle this big, especially during the road test where free wheeling and throttle consistency is important. Plus most carriers are switching to automatics due to costs so it's not like a job will be hard to find. You can always have the auto restriction removed later down the line.

If you do switch to automatic make sure you do it soon. Idk what trucks they're running in Buffalo but NTTS Syracuse autos are Freightliner and manual are Volvos. They take time getting used to for maneuvers. It took me a good 2 weeks to get offset after going from a manual Volvo to an auto Freightliner. My see side and parallel was still hit or miss during the road test. I could do it perfect in the Volvo.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

JJ believes…

You can always have the auto restriction removed later down the line.

Walk us through that process. Where are you going to find a truck? And who is going to allow you to mash their gears while you learn? How will you find the time to practice? Where will you practice? When you look at this on a more granular level, it’s not going to be easy.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

I wouldn't be at OD right now if I had come out of school with a automatic restriction.

You can definitely remove it later on but companies may pass in you for someone they don't have to teach. Plus you have to retake at least the driving and maneuvering portion of the CDL test.

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.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

I would like JJ to explain the difference in backing a manual vs an automatic, too. I never encountered a difference in geometry with either type. In my observations, backing is backing.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

I think you guys are a little too hard on JJ.

Rookie drivers think a lot of things that the old hands realize aren't necessarily rational. As newbies we are easily distracted by the details. We want to get everything right, but there seems like so many things going on at once. We're thinking about RPMs, road speed, proper rhythm and timing for the shift. It's overwhelming for some. The old hands can hear the way the engine sounds and shift easily without much thought. It's basically muscle memory for them. For new drivers it's stressful trying to put all those things together without being distracted from the myriad other things they are processing.

I don't think it's necessarily rational for a newbie to think he can go backwards better with one type transmission or the other. As PackRat says the geometry is the same. But... there is that clutch which is a distraction. It shouldn't be, but it still is. I've watched newbies wear out their knee when backing. Why? I don't know why they keep wanting to feather the clutch. Engage it and go - that's the way it should be done. For most new folks it's another distraction leading to additional stress.

As far as removing the restriction goes, there will be very few drivers who ever need it removed. Even Old Dominion has started ordering auto shift trucks now. The few who need to get it removed will certainly be able to get it done. It may be a little easier in some states, but each state will have a process to get it done. There will be schools and employers willing to take people through the process. Employers will do it because they need drivers, and schools will do it as a source of revenue.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Delco Dave's Comment
member avatar

Having recently trained and tested on a manual, I can relate to JJ’s concern. There is a lot to take in, in a short period of time and the fear of messing up shifting can eat you alive. But.. if you were given ample time to practice during training, come test day, you’ll be fine. After getting through the pre trip and maneuvers, you’ll be so focused on completing the test the shifting will come naturally. A little grind here and there is no big deal, the testers know we are all new at it and its expected. My trainers and tester all said most fails are due to forgetting to flip the T bar between 5th and 6th and coasting or coming to a stop in 6 and forgetting to flip it down to start from 1st and stalling.

I would like JJ to explain the difference in backing a manual vs an automatic, too. I never encountered a difference in geometry with either type. In my observations, backing is backing

The geometry is the same. The difference is the speed control. The manual creeps as fast or slow as you allow it to by clutch. In an auto its the brakes. I use different trucks all the time for yard moves. Some autos creep back nicely. Others you need to force them with the pedal. Some brakes grab quickly and stop your momentum, some just rub the drum and slow you just like you want. Then theres the grade gripper function where your feathering the fuel pedal but not moving, hit pedal a little harder and you take off. I will grab a manual whenever possible for the moves for the speed control aspect

William D.'s Comment
member avatar

I only got 6 more road rides to get comfortable before my test on 8/5 my yard truck at my job was a automatic so thats what i was used to i talked to my trainer and he told me everyone in my 6 week class but me switched and asked if i was gonna cop out meaning take the easy way out i said listen here pal i got to go back to work and aint got time to mess around if i fail my road tests waiting weeks to get another i dont want an issue shifting or anything with the clutch to be the deciding factor in my failing i ACE my other tests im even teaching my fellow 6 weekers pre trip and maneuvers i also have knee issues from playing football in hs/college so its very uncomfortable lol

I decided on automatic for all my road rides but learned most backing maneuvers in a manual. There is no entry level job that pays enough for me to think about shifting while moving a vehicle this big, especially during the road test where free wheeling and throttle consistency is important. Plus most carriers are switching to automatics due to costs so it's not like a job will be hard to find. You can always have the auto restriction removed later down the line.

If you do switch to automatic make sure you do it soon. Idk what trucks they're running in Buffalo but NTTS Syracuse autos are Freightliner and manual are Volvos. They take time getting used to for maneuvers. It took me a good 2 weeks to get offset after going from a manual Volvo to an auto Freightliner. My see side and parallel was still hit or miss during the road test. I could do it perfect in the Volvo.

JJ's Comment
member avatar

I know the geometry is the same regardless of transmission. Maybe it’s just the difference between a Freightliner and a Volvo and not the transmission. Having attended the same school as OP if they’re running the same truck fleet, I’m just saying he may need time getting adjusted before the road test. I had issues getting a feel for the freightliner(auto) truck over the Volvo, being speed control. Either too fast or too slow in the auto truck. Plus you need to remember chocks for air brake test on an auto. Under hood variations for pre trip. Experienced drivers already know what to do but the school curriculum is a lot to take in for the amount of time. There isn’t really much room for mistakes at the DMV

I would like JJ to explain the difference in backing a manual vs an automatic, too. I never encountered a difference in geometry with either type. In my observations, backing is backing.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

Drew D.'s Comment
member avatar

You will here alot of grumbling on this topic.

I got my CDL in a 10 speed. I trained with my company on a 13 speed. I am now solo in an automatic.

I am grateful and happy I learned how to float gears well. That said, unless I have no choice, I will stick to an automatic. At least for now and for reasons you described. I am still learning how to track and manipulate my trailer safely. I would rather the whole of my focus go toward that.

Although I will say, backing in a standard transmission is nicer than an auto in my opinion.

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.

Float Gears:

An expression used to describe someone who is shifting gears without using the clutch at all. Drivers are taught to "Double Clutch" or press and release the clutch twice for each gear shift. If you're floating gears it means you're simply shifting without using the clutch at all.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

For backing with autoshift…

If you have this feature/control, set (on) the lockout for your differential. The torque will be spread over two axles as opposed to one. Backing will be smoother.

No grumbling… we each have our reasons for preference.

You will here alot of grumbling on this topic.

I got my CDL in a 10 speed. I trained with my company on a 13 speed. I am now solo in an automatic.

I am grateful and happy I learned how to float gears well. That said, unless I have no choice, I will stick to an automatic. At least for now and for reasons you described. I am still learning how to track and manipulate my trailer safely. I would rather the whole of my focus go toward that.

Although I will say, backing in a standard transmission is nicer than an auto in my opinion.

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.

Float Gears:

An expression used to describe someone who is shifting gears without using the clutch at all. Drivers are taught to "Double Clutch" or press and release the clutch twice for each gear shift. If you're floating gears it means you're simply shifting without using the clutch at all.

Page 3 of 4 Previous Page Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

This topic has the following tags:

Automatic Transmissions CDL Endorsements CDL Test Preparation Driver Responsibilities Getting Your CDL Tips For Shifting Truck Equipment
Click on any of the buttons above to view topics with that tag, or you can view a list of all forum tags here.

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More