I have been using an auto shift for three months and hate it. It saves the left leg in traffic and construction zones, but that is the only real advantage. When backing up it can actually be dangerous. With a manual transmission you can control the speed of the truck by letting out on the clutch. You get a nice smooth movement of the truck. The auto shift has an annoying habit of just sitting there until it gets enough fuel to motivate the computer to engage the clutch, when that happens the entire truck will lurch backwards a good three to ten feet. (I hit a parked car because of this "feature", but that's another story.) Another thing to consider is that if you shut the truck off in gear and you have an air leak, you will not be able to start your truck until you charge the system to at least 100psi
Advantages and Disadvantages of Automatic Transmission gear.
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Cannot pull start an automatic if your starter quits or the batteries die.
If stuck on ice or snow all you can do with an automatic is try and rock it back and forth.
Slower start up when accelerating.
When backing or docking the truck does seem to "lurch" considerably.
Simple to drive.
Easier on driver in traffic jams.
I posted this subject from about two years, and I learned few things from vistors. Anyway, I like now to add my experience. I bought an Automatic MAN truck.
- Fuel consumption is super reduced (its still deponds how u do your breaking)
- I spoke to the company who sells them and they told never had a similar truck with cluch problem.
- It can be booring when driving, but diffenately helps if you are very tired or when you trying to concentrate on the trafic around you. Their biggest advantage is in the city (congested roads).
- The driver has no complete authority on rpm of the engine, it never goes to red. He can not ruin the engine by bad driving. I saw some new manual trucks, which had their engine destroyed by bad driving.
- Its non sense when some people say, most workshops do not have the know-how in repairing automatic gearbox's. If there is a problem with any gear you need to see the dealer weather its manual or automatic.
- I was told a driver damaged the gearbox when driving uphill. Couldnt get enough torque and the truck returned backwards, thus broke the gearbox.
- Many people feel the automatic gearbox would not survive in gravel roads, but I know a person who drives it in gravel roads and had no problem.
- They are not the best to be used in mining fields or uphil downhills continuaus driving. Because I knew a person driving a Mercedes Tipper had his gearbox broken (I dont know how he damaged it, but possiple misuse by a bad driver).
I knew Scania makes automatic gearbox's for short hauls use and trucks to be used in the city. However, I am happy with my ZF tronic gearbox and I have no intention to sell it or replace it.
I have also "heard" of older auto shifts refusing to shift but have not experienced this myself. If this happens you might try to pull the vehicle over and then restart it. This may reset the computer. The other option would be to try and manually shift gears. There is a "manual" button as well as up and down buttons on the ultra shift transmission so you can shift gears yourself. This function comes in handy in slippery conditions.
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