Autoshift Questions

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Zephirus, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. 25(2)+2

    25(2)+2 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

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    Yes and no; the no is there is no clutch pedal in the Ultra-shift but the transmission controller and the ECM control the engine speed and clutch engagement; the yes. there is a clutch in both and they are both automated shift transmissions.

    The old 3 pedal auto shifts were able to be driven in maneuvering, backing. stopping and rocking. The 2 pedal ones are computer controlled.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  2. 25(2)+2

    25(2)+2 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

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    I don't care for it: from sales literature I have seen, none of the 2 pedal transmissions other than a full automatic Allison, are recommended for heavy, off road use.

    Now we have the cold and possible moisture problems, the one I drive has developed a heavy clank when downshifting to make a hard corner. What I pull is hard to move with a stiff tailwind. The indicator can't be read in bright sunlight, and if there is a malfunction, you might actually be going in the direction not on the indicator.


    I prefer a 13 speed in traffic. Not an Ultra, either.
     
  3. striker

    striker Road Train Member

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    I'm on my 2nd truck with an autoshift, the first one had 978K miles on it when we traded the truck in. The clutch would have gone 750K miles (I'm curious how many of the stick shift drivers have gotten more then 600K from a clutch) and was only replaced at 670K becuase the clutch brake failed. The first truck I drove had multiple issues with the shift motors, but it was due to a "lowest bidder" on the part of Eaton. That iissue was resolved in '03 by Eaton. After the third one was replaced in '03 (a 30 minute process that can be done on the roadside) the next one went 5 yrs before needing replaced.


    Please, I'd like to know how they cost more to maintain? Can you please back this up, I drove one from Jan. 2000 until it was traded off in Sept. '08. I was the sole driver of the truck, it was down a total of 5 times for tranny issue, those 5 times amounted to a total of 12 business days, 10 of those days were when the clutch/clutch brake were replaced. The other 4 times amounted to a total of 11 hrs of downtime. My company has 9 Mack daycabs all with Eaton autoshifts, of those nine trucks (ranging from '99 to '04) I'd bet a steak dinner the combined down time for those trucks from tranny issues is under 45 days total. Our two (formerlly 3) freightshaker columbia's with Eaton 10spd manuals have more tranny related down time in the last 2 yrs then that. One spent two weeks at freightliner having the tranny replaced after the gears failed, then another 2 days down for the clutch brake to be replaced and it'll be down for another 2 to 4 days in the spring for a new clutch. The other one spent 3 days down for a clutch brake, plus it's clutch cable has had to be replaced annually because of a poor mounting position that causes it to rub on the frame rail and chaffe to the point of failing.
     
  4. striker

    striker Road Train Member

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    Here's the thing, old time truckers hate change, they would just as soon be strung up from a tree as change. It goes against their nature, they feel that an autoshift tranny is an afront to their man hood. 90% of the one's who #####, cry and complain about them have no exp. in them, and base their complaints on what they heard, not expierenced, about the first gen. of autoshifts.

    90% of the problems with the 1st gen. autoshifts were worked out by '03, Eaton is currently on it's 4th generation of 3-pedal autoshift and the improvement is huge over the 1st gen. When I look at my current and former co-workers who have more than 20 yrs exp. only one has not stopped ########, whining, and complaining about the autoshifts. The thing is, in his case, he had a valid complaint, but it was based on other issues with the truck that were beyond the control of the tranny. When they got rid of that truck (it was a lemon) and got him this Freightshaker, he told the company that he would retire before he drove another autoshift. #### I'm gonna hate to see him go, but if his freightshaker keeps taking a dump, when the economy improves the company will replace it with a new Mack with an autoshift.

    We used to have one old timer, he got his CDL a week after Christ was nailed to the cross (actually he got his class A in '48), he complained for the first 6 months then suddenly shut up and never bitched again. Don't know what made him stop, but by the time he retired in '06, he loved his autoshift, he drove it from the day they got the truck in '00 until he retired, it's still on the road. It now has 570K miles on it, he put the first 460K on it.
     
  5. danny_379

    danny_379 Medium Load Member

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    so basically there's no clutch pedal in the ultrashift? it's like a full automatic car? at the truck driving school i go to, the kenworth T-300's are a 6 speed semi auto. there is a clutch pedal.
     
  6. outerspacehillbilly

    outerspacehillbilly <strong>"Instigator of the Legend"</strong>

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    Our whole fleet is autoshift eatons. The clutches have been going out at about 400k on most of the trucks Volvo,KWT600's, and INT 9400's it don't matter they have all lasted about the same time. They are more costly to maintain because if something goes wrong with them it is much more expensive to fix them than a manual according to our shop manager.
     
  7. phroziac

    phroziac Road Train Member

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    Think about it: A computer. As soon as it breaks, the truck gets a tow to the dealer, and it's going to cost thousands. I did not mean to imply that it usually costs much to maintain, but if it goes bad, it will
     
  8. badman976

    badman976 Light Load Member

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    i've driven a autoshift before. you'll never get over the urge to reach out and shift. it's kinda cool but also annoying on hill climbs because it slows down so much you don't thinks it down shift at all.
     
  9. VARITHMS

    VARITHMS Medium Load Member

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    Our arvin meritor is in the shop for the 10th or 11th time. Needs a abs computor 1200.00. We are up to 3000 in repairs in 259k on a 2004 international. 12speed.
     
  10. striker

    striker Road Train Member

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    sounds like driver abuse or driver inability, the only clutch I had with mine was every 100K the clutch brake had to be adjusted until it failed completely.

    again, how frequent do they fail? my computer never failed, Eaton updated the software 3 or 4 times in 8 yrs. The shift motors were the only electronic part that failed, and it was a 30 minute repair or 2 hrs in-shop repair if the tech. was a mongoloid without any skills. My truck was towed twice, and both time were for blown turbo's.

    I'm sorry, but if you've got trucks with clutches goign out that quick, on a vehicle that hardly ses the clutch, then either someone is not keepign things adjusted properly or drivers need to be retrained.