Automated vs manual transmissions. Which is better?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Jbrow327, Apr 11, 2021.

  1. DUNE-T

    DUNE-T Road Train Member

    May 10, 2015
    Detroit, MI
    As a driver I would pick an ishift, as an o/o I would pick a manual (much cheaper to maintain and no unexpected electronic glitches)
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  3. Frank Speak

    Frank Speak Road Train Member

    May 3, 2016
    lol, that’s my point. I’m not dogging on ya for loving autos, but you were wishing your likes on the rest of us... See what I mean?
  4. BeHereNow97

    BeHereNow97 Heavy Load Member

    Sep 15, 2020
    Yeah I see what you mean. I was being selfish in my desire to never drive a manual again by hoping that the industry goes to 99% automatics and leaving the manuals for specialized trucking. That said I'm still going to be selfish and hope for the transition to 99% automatics because automatics make my life so much easier lol.

    That said, I don't see the trend towards autos reversing. I do think manuals will be reserved to specialized trucking in the next decade or two in America. In Europe it's already like that where 99% of the semi-trucks are automatics, despite European 4 wheelers having a way higher percentage of manuals than the 4 wheelers do in America. So despite the population over there clearly having preference for manuals in their personal vehicles, the semi trucks are still almost all automatics over there. That's saying something.

    It's not only in trucking. Automation is coming to other industries as well. Computers can do a lot of jobs way better than the human brain can ever do.

    Now I'll be the first to say that I'm not talking about automation taking over driver jobs. I'm not worried about that.

    BUT - As I said, I do believe automatic transmissions get better gas mileage and are easier on the transmission than most (I said most, not all) drivers are in manual trucks. Automatic transmissions are the way of the future and it's been trending like that for a while now.
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  5. Frank Speak

    Frank Speak Road Train Member

    May 3, 2016
    I think you’re probably right for the OTR segment, especially with the megas. But, there still has to be choice. Think of the owner operators, specialized guys (like myself), etc... I pull a pneumatic tank local and go into a LOT of construction, off road, crazy terrain type stuff where autos just don’t work well.

    But again, we should have the choice. That’s all I’m saying. You should have the choice to drive an auto and I should have the choice to keep my manual 13 speed. :)
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  6. BeHereNow97

    BeHereNow97 Heavy Load Member

    Sep 15, 2020
    Lol I didn't know they had accounts on this website, that's hilarious haha. I've been on those forums before, it's pretty bad. It's like a cheerleading section for the Megas lol. Which there's nothing wrong with megas I'm not saying that but for example, when I first started researching the industry several years ago people on those forums would say that they had been working for Swift or Prime or whatever for a year or so and would ask about how they could get more miles with the company now that they had put in a little bit of time with said companies.

    The mods (who I'm assuming pretty much all of them work for Megas lol) would simply reply that that is the way that trucking is and there's nothing the driver who wanted more miles could do about it. And that the driver should be thankful for whatever he gets. It's never once suggested on that site to go look for OTR carriers that pay more than a Prime or Swift would, or to go to LTL, go to tankers, etc. etc.

    Hell, it was from this site that I learned you don't always have to go OTR to get into LTL and that LTL carriers have dock to drivers programs. Never saw anything like that on the other forum. It was as if life beyond Swift and Prime (or whatever megas they work for) did not exist.

    Again, nothing wrong with the megas but I'm just saying.

    I'm glad I found this forum, that's for sure.

    Sorry to derail the thread I had to comment on that though.
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  7. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2011
    Henderson, NV & Orient
    You're right, most megas are ok and there are a few that aren't and the reason is low paychecks.
    There are ways new drivers can avoid low miles and small paychecks and many of us on here try to guide them in the appropriate direction for their wants and needs.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
  8. ethos

    ethos Road Train Member

    Mar 3, 2013
    For me it depends entirely on the type of trucking. Autos are probably fine for dry van, flatbed etc. However, for tankers, I hated an auto and much preferred an manual. I don't feel one makes you more or less of a trucker, anybody showing off their shifting skills would probably be laughed at by truckers from the 50's.
    It's all preference and what you are hauling.
  9. Lazer

    Lazer Road Train Member

    Jan 22, 2017
    I am all for what raises the overall wages, and skill level of the industry. If eliminating auto transmissions displaces 30% of today’s drivers, I’m all for it. That will increase my value as professional truck operator, not just a truck driver.
    The trucking industry has made this job to darn easy. If a job is easy, too many people will want to do it. Too many people in an industry, depresses wages.
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  10. Magoo1968

    Magoo1968 Road Train Member

    Mar 18, 2021
    St Malo mb
    6 weeks ago I backed into a Home Depot dock did my drop. I hop in truck my starter that’s less than 6 months old croaked . We call around and every tow company says it’s half a day or more before they can pull me.a straight truck wanted the door so he gave me tug I put it in 4th gear it fired right up. I was able to do my last 5 drops and drive home after I reloaded. My pick is a standard but I didn’t mind the endurant auto
    Bean Jr. and black_dog106 Thank this.
  11. lester

    lester Road Train Member

    Jan 2, 2012
    NW, Iowa
    My truck was born with an autoshift and to be honest it was pretty great, except when it wasn't.

    Was nice driving through town, eating my sandwiches or picking my nose. Just push the go pedal and let the transmission do its thing.

    What wasn't nice is if I was off road somewhere and it tried to shift when it shouldn't have and it would come to a stop. Granted thats partly my fault I could have dropped it into manual mode and not let it shift.
    What also wasn't nice was when it would mess up and slam itself into gear so hard I actually got out of the truck to make sure the drive train was still under the truck. Or when I'm trying to back up a quarter mile and it won't stay in reverse. Or when It just generally doesn't work right and nobody really knows why. New harness, New sensors, new XY shifter. Fire it up on Monday to go to work and can't get past third gear.

    Was very happy to swap that out for a manual.
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