Swift Changing To Automatics

Topic 8103 | Page 1

Page 1 of 2 Next Page Go To Page:
Sheffield Mick's Comment
member avatar

I know this was just a rumor when I first heard it on here.......but now its official. Swift are changing their fleet to automatics with front sensors that automatically slow you down if your too close to the vehicle in front. The reaction at work has been mixed to say the least. Personally I like working with a stick truck, but they say that the new automatics have vastly improved over the past couple of years. If Swift are going for it I would imagine allot more company's will be looking at it and possibly doing the same.

What say the forum to this new development within our industry.....and do we have a choice?

Mick

Mr. Smith's Comment
member avatar

I hope the trucks they train in will remain manual.

Turbo Dan's Comment
member avatar

Drove an Auto Shift Tanker for 6 months last year (2014 Freight Shaker), It was a Dream not having to Double Clutch , having just gotten out of Truck Driving school, sure made it easier to concentrate on Not hitting anything. As a truck mechanic, I can see the companies side of things by not having rookie Drivers breaking transmissions, But the real reason is Fuel economy because the computer now controls what gear your in for the best Milage $$$

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Sheffield Mick's Comment
member avatar

Drove an Auto Shift Tanker for 6 months last year (2014 Freight Shaker), It was a Dream not having to Double Clutch , having just gotten out of Truck Driving school, sure made it easier to concentrate on Not hitting anything. As a truck mechanic, I can see the companies side of things by not having rookie Drivers breaking transmissions, But the real reason is Fuel economy because the computer now controls what gear your in for the best Milage $$$

What about going down steep mountains with a heavy load Dan....is it any good? Snow and Ice is something else to consider if you get stuck.

Mick

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Heavy C's Comment
member avatar

I think a lot gets lost in translation when people start hearing about these automatics. You don't lose any control over your truck really. You can still shift it manually if need be or if you need to decend a grade in a lower gear. You also choose what gear to start out in. That and the engine break seems to be just as effective as on a manual. Honestly I think there needs to be training involved to show new guys how exactly they can and cannot drive an auto.

I can tell you though as a guy who drives the roads between Boston and NYC that I love me some autos in traffic. Well my left leg does anyway smile.gif

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Eckoh's Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

Drove an Auto Shift Tanker for 6 months last year (2014 Freight Shaker), It was a Dream not having to Double Clutch , having just gotten out of Truck Driving school, sure made it easier to concentrate on Not hitting anything. As a truck mechanic, I can see the companies side of things by not having rookie Drivers breaking transmissions, But the real reason is Fuel economy because the computer now controls what gear your in for the best Milage $$$

double-quotes-end.png

What about going down steep mountains with a heavy load Dan....is it any good? Snow and Ice is something else to consider if you get stuck.

Mick

i have a 16 KW t680 with an auto. Hills are no issue asending or desending. also the radar on the front does not work like everyone claims. On the KW its adaptive cruise control it will not stop the truck for you.

Also by 2018 90-95% of the fleet will be autos. the only sticks will be for mentors, after this year lease ops will not even get the option of stick or auto.

On the fuel economy side my auto get 1 to 1.5 mpg better then my old truck.

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Jeff L.'s Comment
member avatar

My school instructors came off the road and said they preferred automatics. I like driving stick even in cars more than auto's but does not make me less of a car driver if I am driving an automatic. I want to learn a year at least with stick, but surely would not be my deciding factor of who I drive for. One tanker company told us they had all disc brakes also. That is expensive. Weird thing is happening to me though, since I have been learning to drive a combo I do not like driving my SUV and hate driving a car. What gives?

Turbo Dan's Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

Drove an Auto Shift Tanker for 6 months last year (2014 Freight Shaker), It was a Dream not having to Double Clutch , having just gotten out of Truck Driving school, sure made it easier to concentrate on Not hitting anything. As a truck mechanic, I can see the companies side of things by not having rookie Drivers breaking transmissions, But the real reason is Fuel economy because the computer now controls what gear your in for the best Milage $$$

double-quotes-end.png

What about going down steep mountains with a heavy load Dan....is it any good? Snow and Ice is something else to consider if you get stuck.

Mick

It had a Paddle shifter on the right side of the steering wheel with a slide switch to select auto or manual (which you still would use crossing RR tracks) when I was anticipating climbing hills/mountians I'd put in manual, that way the computer would let me cheat an extra 200 to 300 rpm higher on the shifts. Also you can just leave it in Auto and paddle shift up or down in anticipation of a down grade, it would just beep at me if it was too far out of range (RPM) for for the gear I selected ( I would be slowing and put in a down shift, but the trans was already downshifting, so it wouldn't double shift). The computer liked the 1100 to 1400 rpm range, and would auto shift up or down to maintain that range.

The transmission was a basic Eaton Fuller 10 speed with the gearshift tower removed and replaced by a Top cover with X and Y Servo's, plus an added speed sensor on the imput shaft. A standard clutch with the clutch Cable removed and a Servo motor used to engage and disingage the clutch. At Idle, the clutch stays disingaged untill you step on the accelerator, the the clutch engages, and stays engaged thru all the shifts untill you come to a stop.

It Floats the gears, once you get the truck rolling you can just put the peddle to the metal and watch the Majic happen. without lifting the accelerator, when you get to 1400 it brakes torque and drops rpm to 1100 rpm and Float shifts to the next higher gear including the splitter and automatically reapplies full power. When you're slowing down, it's the reverse process.

As I topped a hill, I'd slow down to my safe speed and paddle a down shift for the proper gear, if the trans has'nt done it yet. Also if it was dry out, I'd have the engine brake on ( pre armed as it did'nt come on till you come all the way off the go peddle) . It has 3 levels, and if I noticed it was'nt holding speed, I'd give the Brakes a wake up stab to engage max engine brake,,, the system would drop another gear so the RPMs would be in the 1800 to 1900 rpm range for Max engine braking.

I delivered to one Oil well by West Virginia that had a 1 mile 15% grade !!! 80,000 lbs up and 35,000 lbs down ! And it was twisty 2 lane Narrow, without guard rails. (Yes it was Scarry) I did'nt know the grade was coming up, when I hit it, I was paddle down shifting as fast as I could, almost killed the engine. Ended up pulling up in 1st gear, and the same going back down, truck wanted to run a way until I paddled down far enough for the Max engine brake to engage, I didn't need to use the brakes again until the stop sign at the bottom of the Hill.

Winter/snow, How about the MN and ND Blizzards I drove all last winter, snow, ice and a 100 miles of Frost covered road one early morning (Ya that was Scarry To).. As I think about it now I feel it shifts Safer on bad roads (assuming you back off the power some) The shifts were always exact and smooth and if you worked the accelerator right, it shifted without big torque differences to the Drives.. I think I have pictures of the snow last year in ND on the picture gallery here,, To bad I didn't get a Video of the WV trip,, I'm still taking that one off my Bucket list,, Turbo Dan

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Sheffield Mick's Comment
member avatar

It had a Paddle shifter on the right side of the steering wheel with a slide switch to select auto or manual (which you still would use crossing RR tracks) when I was anticipating climbing hills/mountians I'd put in manual, that way the computer would let me cheat an extra 200 to 300 rpm higher on the shifts. Also you can just leave it in Auto and paddle shift up or down in anticipation of a down grade, it would just beep at me if it was too far out of range (RPM) for for the gear I selected ( I would be slowing and put in a down shift, but the trans was already downshifting, so it wouldn't double shift). The computer liked the 1100 to 1400 rpm range, and would auto shift up or down to maintain that range.

The transmission was a basic Eaton Fuller 10 speed with the gearshift tower removed and replaced by a Top cover with X and Y Servo's, plus an added speed sensor on the imput shaft. A standard clutch with the clutch Cable removed and a Servo motor used to engage and disingage the clutch. At Idle, the clutch stays disingaged untill you step on the accelerator, the the clutch engages, and stays engaged thru all the shifts untill you come to a stop.

It Floats the gears, once you get the truck rolling you can just put the peddle to the metal and watch the Majic happen. without lifting the accelerator, when you get to 1400 it brakes torque and drops rpm to 1100 rpm and Float shifts to the next higher gear including the splitter and automatically reapplies full power. When you're slowing down, it's the reverse process.

As I topped a hill, I'd slow down to my safe speed and paddle a down shift for the proper gear, if the trans has'nt done it yet. Also if it was dry out, I'd have the engine brake on ( pre armed as it did'nt come on till you come all the way off the go peddle) . It has 3 levels, and if I noticed it was'nt holding speed, I'd give the Brakes a wake up stab to engage max engine brake,,, the system would drop another gear so the RPMs would be in the 1800 to 1900 rpm range for Max engine braking.

I delivered to one Oil well by West Virginia that had a 1 mile 15% grade !!! 80,000 lbs up and 35,000 lbs down ! And it was twisty 2 lane Narrow, without guard rails. (Yes it was Scarry) I did'nt know the grade was coming up, when I hit it, I was paddle down shifting as fast as I could, almost killed the engine. Ended up pulling up in 1st gear, and the same going back down, truck wanted to run a way until I paddled down far enough for the Max engine brake to engage, I didn't need to use the brakes again until the stop sign at the bottom of the Hill.

Winter/snow, How about the MN and ND Blizzards I drove all last winter, snow, ice and a 100 miles of Frost covered road one early morning (Ya that was Scarry To).. As I think about it now I feel it shifts Safer on bad roads (assuming you back off the power some) The shifts were always exact and smooth and if you worked the accelerator right, it shifted without big torque differences to the Drives.. I think I have pictures of the snow last year in ND on the picture gallery here,, To bad I didn't get a Video of the WV trip,, I'm still taking that one off my Bucket list,, Turbo Dan

Thanks Dan........and the rest of you guys for filling in the gaps.......I really don't know what to expect. I might not get an automatic for a while yet, but at least your giving me the confidence to see that you guys are dealing and getting along with the new technology ok. Might just be a winner by the looks of it.

Mick

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Mike R.'s Comment
member avatar

I drove a KW 600, 680 and T-700 all with Eaton Autos for TransAm trucking. I have been all up and down steep grades, with all kinds of loads, the auto can handle it. An auto trans is like any piece of equipment, you just need to learn how to use it, how to use the accelerator to trigger the auto to shift for the smoothest performance. IMHO, it is the right tool for the job of OTR trucking.

OTR:

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.

Page 1 of 2 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

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