Is Manual Transmission Still Worth Learning?

Topic 33789 | Page 2

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Old School's Comment
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I got over my love of the manual transmission a long time ago. I absolutely love being employed by a large trucking company. The benefits are way over the top for me.

Here's an article on this subject. I realize when looking at most of these responses I seem to be in the minority, but my Volvo I-Shift does everything I need, and does it well.

Do Real Truck Drivers Use Automatic Transmissions?

Pianoman's Comment
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Honestly I was always pro-manual camp until the last truck I drove before my current one. My last truck was a 2023 Volvo I-shift and it shifted so intuitively and quickly I actually preferred it to manual most of the time. There was one situation I almost got myself stuck in mud that a manual transmission would have helped in but the situation wasn’t even one most drivers would ever find themselves in in the first place. I was picking up crushed cars on an off road location and the ground was a little soft. In nearly every other situation I enjoyed not having to focus on shifting.

The autos used to really suck compared to the control you could get in a manual but manufacturers have really started mastering the auto finally. I still prefer driving a manual whenever I can but if I’m being completely honest I think at this point it’s mainly become a nostalgia thing for me as most companies have already moved to autos. Manuals still have their benefits but autos really have nearly replaced them at this point.

All that to say… I’m never going to recommend getting your license with the restriction. But the cons to having the restriction are generally few and far between these days.

Stevo Reno's Comment
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Same for auto's, they are doing away with manual cars as well. I got my license at 16 used my gf's 66 beetle to test in. The signals didn't work, so when the tester guy was having me use em for him to check, I timed the lever manually hehehe....I barely passed, because I speed shifted gears up & down, he wasn't too keen about it lol. I told him "Dude, this is a 40 horse engine ya need to wind out the gears for max speed, duhh" Also learned on a 3 on the tree, in classmates '56 gmc step side truck. Prefer manuals in my cars/trucks than auto's.

As far as the CDL , I didn't care about the auto restriction, since I knew I was only driving 3+ years anyway until retiring @ 62....And I think it was better in the end, only a time or 2 was backing to a dock in an auto a pain. My trainer @ CRST had a 2016 FL, 650k on the clock, at 1 delivery the dock had a bit of a dip in the lots pavement. So, the truck would act goofy backing and shift stupid if at all. I was new, and he was acting like it was me, but it was showing a trans overheat light? He took over trying to dock it, and it acted stupid for him too, finally got in the dock 15 minutes later. I told him "See, it was your truck NOT me lol"

Never had an issues in any of the 3-4 trucks I had afterwards


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.

P & D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.


Operating While Intoxicated

Stevo Reno's Comment
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Forgot to add, now here in the Phil's, taxi's are 99% manuals in toyota vios (corollas) And they have many varieties/models of diesel small cars here as well !

Thought WOW, ya'd never find these in the US. Diesel fuel here is cheaper than gasoline (by the liters) Gas is around $2.35 for premium 95 octane here, and diesel's $2.20 a gallon. And I'm guessing with a lot LESS additives than the states impose.. Especially like Cali's damn price gouging, with 70 cents per gallon tax

BK's Comment
member avatar

I’ve really come to appreciate the auto trannys much more since my left leg was amputated.

Seriously, I have bad knees and the auto is a real blessing to me. But bad knees or not, at my ripe old age I would not even consider a manual driving job. I’m in the same mind as what Old School said.

If anyone wants to drive a manual and has that option, more power to you, I think that is great. But as for this old geezer, I am grateful for having an auto truck.

PackRat's Comment
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We have a wide mixture of transmission types in our local daycabs and the OTR tractors: autos, 10, 13, and 18 speeds. Generally it's whatever a particular driver prefers.


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.

Seabee-J's Comment
member avatar

You can always go back and test in a manual once you have your A . Get the A easiest way for you . Retest in a manual is just a shortened version of the driving portion so no problem at least in NY .

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