Automated vs manual transmissions. Which is better?

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

  1. ethos

    ethos Road Train Member

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    What's funny about this discussion to me is that the type of transmission a truck has doesn't even crack my top 10.

    The first thing I checked when assigned a truck was the windshield, and the effectiveness of the wipers/washers. Then the A/C, and mattress. Basically stuff that mattered to me. Thinking about it more, I don't think I really care all that much. Auto, manual whatever, I'll get used to it and make it work. I drove a tanker, I preferred a manual but I drove them with autos too.

    What I can't get used to is a hot truck, a crappy mattress, a windshield I can't see out of or wipers/washers that don't work properly.
     
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  3. Dave1837

    Dave1837 Medium Load Member

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    Where I work, net weight is the money maker. Me and another driver loaded at the same facility. Same truck with the same pump setup, nearly identical trailers, mine is a 10 spd manual and his is a 12 spd mDRIVE. My tare weight was 27,960 and his was 28,800. Climbing hills I caught him every time and had to let off, no matter how steep the grade was. Manuals aren't for everyone and the automatics have came a long way from what they were, but at the end of the day I'm the one in control of my truck. I'm controlling the surge in the tank, I'm choosing the proper climbing RPM, I'm telling the truck what to do.

    On the other hand, I don't blame companies for making the switch to auto. I've heard many drivers just driving through the truck stop getting lost in gears and just grinding until it goes in gear. I'm sure autos have same companies thousands in drive line damage.
     
  4. Deadwood

    Deadwood Medium Load Member

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    If you’re on an icy patch of Interstate and lose tire traction, it is easier to recover in a manual - period. That’s indisputable and, for me, all that matters.

    All the megas moving to automatics is due to two things:

    1) Once a driver has an “automatic only” restriction on their license they are basically a slave and trapped in starter companies that only have automatics

    2) It saves money. All the ####### revving it up to 1700 RPM to shift cost money. Instead of retraining drivers, they’re just buying automatics. That’s fine, but I don’t want to hear any more nonsense from them about how there is no limit to what they’ll pay to be safe.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2021
    Reason for edit: Skirting word filter
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  5. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Atthattime768

    Atthattime768 Bobtail Member

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    If I could start over again as a student, I'd take autos. I'd prefer one less distraction when learning everything else it takes to drive a big truck.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
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  7. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

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    In my career, I have driven both. While I preferred to drive a manual I never thought of myself as less of a trucker when I was in an auto shift. I have a mindset more like @ethos when it comes to this subject! The tranny is important to me but there are many more things more important. His comment jarred a memory of mine from years ago. I had a choice of an auto-shift or a manual. The manual looked like it had been ridden hard and put up wet. The auto-shift looked like it had been taken care of and did not reek of urine. YES, as mentioned these auto-shifts can be a bit more dangerous when it comes to traction and they have a tendency to "jump" in very close quarters. Once you learn the limitations of an auto-shift you can make money, gosh knows I did. My last tractor was an auto-shift, it was an International Prostar I got new. When I turned it in the plastic was still on the passenger side seat. I would never allow myself to get that restriction on my CDL, which I believe to be a mistake.
     
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  8. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    What brand truck is that. The Volvo I drove never acted that way. The Freightliner and International both had auto's that were like yours. The Volvo with Volvo auto trans. was always working like it should.
     
  9. skallagrime

    skallagrime Medium Load Member

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    That feels backwards, I'd want local auto, otr manual if i were speccing the fleet
     
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  10. jason6541

    jason6541 Road Train Member

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    Nope, I personally disagree, you can’t rock a auto to get unstuck, you can’t pull start a auto if starter quits you can’t pull an auto without removing driveline, the clutches are 2 to 3 times as much to replace. Volvo I shift is good as a former fleet shop foreman you couldn’t give me one. I like my 18 or 13. No not a super trucker. Can shift one as smooth as butter
    Until truck starts regen in traffic then it gets a bit testy. Both have pros and cons but all in preference. Biggest is if starter quits I can roll the truck or pull start and no wrecker. Or pay billy bobs road service 2 grand for a starter at 3 am on a Sunday. Murphy’s law ya know
     
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  11. jason6541

    jason6541 Road Train Member

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    Got to dumb it down to appeal to wider range of steering wheel holders, hell they already drive like they drive a Honda
     
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