finally rid of the autoshift. thank god

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by ad356, Feb 14, 2020.

  1. ad356

    ad356 Road Train Member

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    this truck I was driving was a 2019 KW T880 18 ultrashift plus 18 speed. I will start out by saying it does almost everything wrong. It would "split" all of the lower gears and it would skip shift all of the upper gears. I asked my boss about this and he said it needs to go back to KW to be taken out of economy mode..... ok, but it is none the less terrible. it would shift constantly in the lower gears (slowing you down, that excessive shifting is NOT doing anything useful). the upper gears, the stupid thing would skip shift ( like 12,14,16,18) and it had no idea it was climbing hills and loaded heavily. it would darn nearly over rev the engine in the lower gears AND lug the snot out of it in the upper gears, the truck would literally lug the engine at 1,000 rpm with a 105K gross truck. the manual mode is enabled on this truck, but really that does not act or respond like a human shifting the transmission themselves. I do not understand why they cant design an adaptable autoshift transmission, one that not only uses GPS for elevation (eaton autoshift DOES NOT do this) but also uses some type of device the same way the air bags know they need to inflate under a load..... something that determines a loaded truck should be shifted differently then an empty truck. another frustration, the stupid thing upshifts as soon as you get off the fuel, and downshifts as soon as you get back on the fuel. I don't do this with a manual transmission, why does it do this with an autoshift.

    the fuel economy was no better with this truck, then with my own assigned T880 manual. my type of farm pickup work doesn't lend itself to fuel economy anyways. I do mostly short hops stop and go in small towns, get up to speed and stop for the stop sign, pulling constant hills..... I get between 4.0-4.5 MPG.

    I don't see any advantage with this system except being able to put more meat in the seat..... hirring drivers that have license restrictions or simply don't know how to shift. I think if you don't know how to shift maybe hauling 105K lbs around is not such a good idea, maybe im wrong.

    I found this thing slow, poorly performing, annoying..... and add to that boring to drive. I cant say how many times I just wanted to reach down and shift. I had nothing I could do to keep myself busy, a manual makes a truck a full body activity. left foot clutch, right foot fuel, left hand steering wheel, right hand stick shift.

    ok, I will give that some very good and experienced drivers loose the ability to use their left foot due to some injury in life. these trucks allow them to continue their career...… a benefit.
     
  2. Mattmanstroked

    Mattmanstroked Light Load Member

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    I believe the trucks that have a transmission that was designed to shift itself are better than the Eaton ultrashift, which is a manual transmission that was made to clutch and shift itself.
    The one you were driving must need a different program or mode. It should do better than that. Think it would use more of a progressive shift. Where as the more speed the higher it would rev between gears.

    Thought paccar had their own auto transmission? Mack does, Volvo does, freightliner does. Not sure about International.
     
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  3. AModelCat

    AModelCat Road Train Member

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    Just another example of lowering the bar.

    I still don't see how they can claim an autoshift saves fuel. Once you're at highway speed you're only gonna use the top 2 gears majority of the time anyways.
     
  4. ad356

    ad356 Road Train Member

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    I have seen it start out in 1st gear empty trailer or even bobtail. stupid. quite a few times while breaking while using the jake the transmission and jake would give up at 20-25 mph and the truck would go into some kind of freewheeling. the gear display would blink and you could tell the jake had given up. what is that? you do that on a road test with a manual, they will fail you. so we are giving machines a pass?

    how does revving the truck to 2k rpm in the lower gears save fuel. with my manual I wont go more the 1,700 rpm or so. revving to 2k or above does nothing but waste fuel.
     
  5. ad356

    ad356 Road Train Member

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    they do but its only not in an 18 speed. we are loaded heavy and allot of steep short hills. 18 speed manual makes a ton of sense when you know how to use it for this application, but an 18 speed autoshift seems like an erratic mess.

    I have driven only one truck with an automatic transmission that actually impressed me. it was a allision transmission in a international eagle triaxle dump truck, not as heavy as a milk truck, max gross weight of 68K. it was butter smooth, acted like an oversized car transmission..... of course that is a horse of a different breed, its a fluid automatic with a torque converter like a car.
     
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  6. ad356

    ad356 Road Train Member

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    one more thing I hated about this truck. I pickup a trailer at a farm that live loads.... that is, I leave empties at this farm and they run milk through cooling and it goes straight into the trailer. they have no holding tank. they are also transport trailers. the ice and snow builds up under the 5th wheel hookup area, sometimes you must drop the air bags and use the truck to lift the trailer up some in order to hook up.

    this is a challenge with a manual transmission sometimes, but that autoshift with the "hill assist" would set it's brakes, then release and take off (I have to hit the fifth wheel with some force sometimes. with a manual transmission and clutch, this operation is much easier to control... but with that autoshift clunker POS the truck would sometimes slam the pin way too hard rocking the whole truck. I never had that much trouble with a manual, as I said this operation is a challenge with any truck sometimes..... but the autoshift sometimes would just disgust me.

    im sure on a nice, warm spring day its not so bad.... but that's not the set of circumstances I have to deal with.
     
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  7. Rideandrepair

    Rideandrepair Road Train Member

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    Any fuel savings has to be attributed to the idiot proof factor. Like mpgs on cruise control, the pedal can beat it every time if Driven right.
     
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  8. Farmerbob1

    Farmerbob1 Road Train Member

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    Autoshifts on highways save fuel because they will drop out of gear and idle on downslopes if the cruise control is set, until they get to 3 or so miles per hour over the cruise speed. All those miles that you normally touch the brakes a couple times to maintain speed, or when the jakes activate a bit to keep speed down? No load idling for an autoshift. It makes a difference.

    Stop and go driving is mainly nice with an autoshifter because, well, stop and go traffic shifting is a real pain in the leg for some folks.

    As for a 105k lb milk truck? It does not surprise me at all that the autoshifter is hating it. The transmission bases it's shifting on the performance of the engine. When you have 70k lbs of liquid sloshing around, even with good baffling, I suspect it's confusing the hell out of that poor transmission.
     
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  9. "semi" retired

    "semi" retired Road Train Member

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    It seems, people that need an autoshift, probably don't know a lot about trucks, and are probably just happy to have a trucking job without the HORRORS of shifting one of those God-awful things. As more and more gearjammers pass on, I predict a day, and it's not far off, my friends, when someone will say, "a clutch? What's that for?":dontknow:
     
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  10. ad356

    ad356 Road Train Member

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    My 2017 t880 manual has an air actuated clutch. I love it. I can depress the clutch with the palm of my hand. Some resistance but almost no effort. Leg fatigue is not an excuse with a current production manually shifted truck. As far as no load idling I can't recall the autoshift I was driving doing that. I do recall the stupid thing up Shifting and downshifting anytime I got on or off the fuel. I don't do that in a manual and it's not nessary.
     
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