CDL Restricted to Automatic Transmission

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by grusco, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. grusco

    grusco Light Load Member

    Feb 25, 2012
    Rosemount, MN
    :biggrin_2556: I'm one of those geeks that actually reads boring material including the FMCSA book. I was reading a section on skills testing and CDL restrictions and section 383.95 Restrictions, paragraph (c) Manual Transmission reads:

    "If an applicant performs the skills test in a vehicle equipped with an automatic transmission, the State must indicate on the CDL, if issued, that the person is restricted from operating a CMV equipped with a manual transmission".

    Our school does use the automatic for the skills test and the lead instructor says he's never heard of any such restrictions on a CDL. Have you?
  2. Wargames

    Wargames Captain Crusty

    Jul 22, 2010
    My opinion, if you cant drive a manual trans in a tractor trailer, Stay out of the:biggrin_25513: truck.
  3. 123456

    123456 Road Train Member

    Oct 22, 2010
  4. Gizmo_Man

    Gizmo_Man Road Train Member

    Aug 15, 2011
    Hardly around
    If any school is teaching ONLY on automatics??

    Go to a different school. I just read the link provided by the numbers guy.

    i would NOT want ANY restrictions on my license.

    Now, I ain't too sure what states have that restriction, so check on yours. Seems to make sense to me though, that nearly every company has a stick shift, not an automatic.

    Those companies that HAVE automatics, (US EXPRESS is one), they are actually DOING AWAY with them!!!! and going BACK to manual shifting trucks!!!

    And your instructor is a blooming idiot, for NOT KNOWING.

    I would DEMAND to learn on a manual shift.

    Again however, YOUR STATE may have no such restrictions. However, what will a potential employer say if you cannot shift a manual?? You may find getting a job, very difficult.
    123456 and Wargames Thank this.
  5. BlackLions

    BlackLions Road Train Member

    Same thing with Schneider, they had a bunch of '06-'07 auto freightliners and are slowly retiring them and not getting new ones, just manual.

    I would not test on a auto, see if they can get you a manual for the test.
  6. Wargames

    Wargames Captain Crusty

    Jul 22, 2010
    Hi ya doing buddy 123456, I remember when Rerun posted that. To this day, I just dont understand the thought of wanting to drive an Automatic Truck. I always have this thought, In winter driving, the Automatic Trans, has a torch converter, that Will keep turning those wheels. I had a few times, where SOLID ice and Wind and Driving a Single Axle, M/T, was extremely dangerous, but had to put it in neutral, to avoid jackknifing. There is a BIG difference using a manual trans as to an automatic. I know you Know this, but there are so many new drivers that will be in a ditch driving these automatics.
    123456 and Tonythetruckerdude Thank this.
  7. CondoCruiser

    CondoCruiser The Legend

    Apr 18, 2010
    All schools should train in a manual should be the restriction. Putting a restriction on a driver's license is redundant as they won't pass a road test.

    But yes, FMCSA rules are minimum states must follow including 383.95. They can add rules but not take away. 383.71(C) A person who operates or expects to operate entirely in intrastate commerce and is not subject to part 391, is subject to State driver qualification requirements and must certify that he/she is not subject to part 391.

    I had one guy with 2 years experience I had to give a road test. He was grinding to the max. He told me he never drove a stick before.

    The company still hired him but sent him out with a trainer.

    Some of these fly by night schools will buy the first cheap truck they come across thinking of big bucks. Similar to a new lease operator. :)

    A new student shopping for a school should ask the question.... Do you train in an automatic or manual?

    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
    Wargames Thanks this.
  8. -MadMax-

    -MadMax- Light Load Member

    Feb 29, 2012

    Company I work for just bought a boat load of new Sleeper birth Volvo's with the AT.
    I drove the day cab AT for a week and HATED it.
    I'd rather drive the old International junk with the stick than one of these new trucks with an AT.

    And, I've driven quite a bit already in NYC in stop n go traffic. Still take the MT over the AT.

    I'm glad to hear that companies aren't going further down the AT road.
    I just cannot imagine "Trucking" without all the Gears.
    Wargames Thanks this.
  9. Allow Me.

    Allow Me. Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    May 28, 2009
    Rancho Mirage, Ca.
    A lot of todays youth haven't driven stick shifts. Learned on autos.
    Wargames Thanks this.
  10. 01cblue

    01cblue Light Load Member

    May 4, 2010
    It's a dry heat
    I learned to shift on a 3 on the tree.

    I think if I was older I'd appreciate the automatic in a semi option, but for now I prefer the simple manual trans. Automatic is more complicated and I don't know what the reliability statistics are between auto/manual in semi trucks, but auto seems to me to be asking for higher maintenance and down time for repairs.
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