Automatic vs. Standard

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by Diesel, Feb 9, 2007.

  1. MedicineMan

    MedicineMan Road Train Member

    Jan 13, 2007
    Woodville, TX
    I believe most companies are going to them because of the greatly reduced drive train maintenance cost moore so than the fuel milage. The newbies are hard on the rest of the driev train usually
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  3. jamwadmag

    jamwadmag Road Train Member

    Feb 28, 2006
    Desert Southwest
    You know that the hardest part of learning driving is 'shifting'....the learning curve is greatly reduced!!
  4. joettanne

    joettanne Bobtail Member

    Feb 12, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I have a question. I'm a tanker yanker. I have a lot of experience shifting with a load that heads to the front when you hit the brakes and heads to the back when accelerating. Anyone ever haul a tanker with the load moving from the front to the back with an Autoshift? How would the Autoshift react? When the load goes to the back of the tank, would the Autoshift feel the 'pull' and downshift? Then when the load came to the front and 'pushed' the truck, would the Autoshift shift up?

    I really shouldn't judge an Autoshift having never driven one, but I'm not sure if I would like it for my loads. With a standard transmission, I know I can 'control' the 'wave'.

    Annie :happy7:
  5. h07w33ls

    h07w33ls Light Load Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    the sticker patch,Az
    i wouldnt think auto shift would be practical hauling liquids
  6. ZManTransAm

    ZManTransAm Bobtail Member

    Feb 27, 2007
    I personally can do without autoshifts myself. I prefer to shift my own gears rather then have a computer do it for me. Autoshifts and automatics, to me, are the proof that people are getting way too dependant on computers to do the work for them. The only thing I want a computer to do for me is sign me on to the internet.
  7. bandit24

    bandit24 Light Load Member

    Feb 11, 2007
    Near Charlottesville, VA
    I have driven a Frieghtliner Toterhome with an Eaton 10 speed Autoshift for past 3 years. Autoshift still have the clutch for stopping / starting. I loved mine. Very difficult to harm these trannies. Holding the clutch in when in traffic jambs was a #####.

    Now a True Automatics do not have a clutch petal at all. These tend to be very expensive to repair though. Not sure how the torque on the rear end would effect the rear end on city driving, we'll see.

    I hope in the next few months to go to school to get my CDL and start driving for a living. I miss being out on the road. Day to day normal living isn't doing for me.
  8. NyteWulf

    NyteWulf Bobtail Member

    Feb 23, 2007
    Blacksburg, Va.
    There's a few companies I'm considering that have auto shift for their trucks. I'm a bit skeptical because I'm still learning to drive a truck. The school is teaching me to drive a manual, but I feel like if the first company I work for happens to have auto shifts, I would lose that skill in shifting over time. If I ever left that company for another one with manuals, that could be a problem for me. Maybe shifting a manual can be re-learned quickly? Better to be safe, I guess.
  9. ZManTransAm

    ZManTransAm Bobtail Member

    Feb 27, 2007
    I'm just the opposite. I'm writing off any companies that use autoshifts or automatics. In fact, one reason I'm planning to become an owner operator is to avoid them. I don't need a computer to do my work for me.
  10. Cymerax

    Cymerax Bobtail Member

    Jan 31, 2007

    You know if you, and some of the other tech-handicapped, would re-read this post you'd realize how silly this sounds. Do you really think the only computer you deal with on a daily basis is the one on your desk??? Get real, you now live in the computer age and there ain't no going back, unless you want to move to Mozambique or Tierra Del Fuego. Almost every piece of machinery or gadget we use these days has computers and/or chips in em and that includes the truck you're currently driving and probably your car (is it an automatic ;?D).

    The advantages of computer controlled automatic transmissions have been stated before and by those far more experienced than myself, and even though I'm not yet a trucker I'm willing to bet you my first months salary that in most situations (and YES I'm sure there are some exceptions), automatics and auto-shifts do a better job shifting than even the best drivers can manage over the course of an 11-hr shift, day in and day out. And that's because I do know computers.

    Consider those guys who run these big trucking outfits. You know that most of them are usually focused on one thing - that's the bottom line $$$. And if they're willing to spend all that extra dough on these new fangled trannys, then it is MORE than likely that it's because they've done the math and KNOW that they're going to save money running automatics.

    It seems to me that you simply harbor some deep-seated suspicion of computers and that you probably believe that what defines you as a "Trucker" is your ability to shift a manual tranny. Maybe you think driving an automatic makes you less of a man, I don't know, but if that's your reality, well you're welcome to it but I really think you're fighting an uphill battle.:smt075

    I believe I see a trend here and it wouldn't surprise me if someday, say in about 10-15 yrs, about 90% of all trucks on the road will probably have some kind of auto-tranny. I know it's hard to swallow the fact that a computer can do something better than you, or me or anyone for that matter, but it IS a fact that in countless applications, computers CAN and DO outperform humans all day long.

    The main advantage is they AREN'T FLESH and as such don't get tired, sleepy, hungry, they don't suffer from poor judgment, depression, bad vision and a myriad other maladies you and I are subject to. Of course they do break down, like any other piece of equipment, but when they do a job, they tend to do it very well - shifting a transmission just might be one of em...:smt023
  11. notarps4me

    notarps4me Road Train Member

    Jan 1, 2007
    The auto shifts can be a nightmare too. I left Nashville with a Smartshift 10 speed. Made it 139 miles and broke down. Truck would not shift past 5th gear. Had truck in freightshaker dealer in Calvert City. Several days. Said short in harness. Had to order the harness. Truck was fixed. I got a load to NJ. Made the drop and loaded and broke down again near Allentown PA. Spent about a week there. Truck at another dealer. Fixed and rolled made it to VA and broke down again. By this time I was wanting to blow this truck up and if it could have pulled itself out of its tracks I would have aimed it at something to put it out of its misery. Auto shifts are OK, but when they mess up they really mess up.
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