Learn on a manual or automatic ?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by BlueThunderr, Oct 30, 2018.

Manual or Automatic for new driver training

  1. Manual

    41 vote(s)
  2. Automatic

    2 vote(s)
  1. BlueThunderr

    BlueThunderr Medium Load Member

    Sep 11, 2012
    Hey guys, I was curious what you thought in terms of how important it is for a new driver to learn a manual ?

    I heard most companies are going to automatic but then recently I heard that the truck companies have realized how bad they are, and are going back to manuals (not sure what to believe)...I am researching companies that offer CDL training, and I want to take this into account....Thanks, BT.
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  3. Cam Roberts

    Cam Roberts Road Train Member

    May 13, 2018
    How important? Well very important to learn on manual. Just for the simple fact that if you ever decide to stop going over the road, you most likely gonna need to know how to drive a manual locally. Also, if you take test in automatic, your license will have restriction limiting you.
  4. bryan21384

    bryan21384 Road Train Member

    Sep 18, 2009
    1918 Anywhere, USA 90210
    Always learn on a manual. It makes you well rounded, and it's an easier transition from manual to auto. Ive gone back and forth in my career with no issues. If you have an auto restriction, you'll be fairly restricted...pardon the punch but it's mostly megas that will look at you. There are local jobs that use autos depending on where you are. I worked for 7up/Snapple and they had 3 manuals and I believe 6 autos
    snowlauncher Thanks this.
  5. John A.

    John A. Light Load Member

    Jun 21, 2018
    Montgomery, MI
    Avoid the restriction, go manual. Yesterday was my classes first day shifting and within a few minutes everyone had the hang of it. Double clutching, up shifting and down shifting are not really that difficult.
  6. Kyle G.

    Kyle G. Road Train Member

    Jan 23, 2016
    Eastern Iowa
    Yes, try to train on a manual. Even if you only drive autos in the future, that knowledge can come in handy.

    I am currently driving a Mack Pinnacle with the M-Drive 12 speed automatic (or whatever fancy name they call it), but I do have the option to go into manual mode or I can have it in auto and still bump it up or down a gear or two as I see fit. Sure, I can just put it in D and forget about it, but there are many times when I will manually select a “better” gear to either increase fuel efficiency or performance, depending on the situation .

    Also, I can greatly increase the effectiveness of the engine brake if I manually downshift faster than the computer would. In sudden stop situations that comes in handy.

    My point is, most autos are “programmed” to acheive maximum fuel efficiency at all times, and this can have a negative effect on acceleration and braking performance. having some knowledge about operating a manual transmission can help you get better performance out of your auto transmission when needed, without destroying your truck or completely tanking your mpg’s.
  7. KB3MMX

    KB3MMX Road Train Member

    Dec 29, 2014
    Orrstown, PA
    Never start a career taking the easy way out. Learn the manual then enjoy the auto.
    sevenmph and snowlauncher Thank this.
  8. WesternPlains

    WesternPlains Road Train Member

    Sep 1, 2017
    Definitely learn manual.

    Only automatics ive driven are Volvo. They’re beautiful. Never drove it in manual mode. Did learn it well enough to manipulate gears, engine brake, in mountain driving. Was like playing a piano duet, with a really good partner. But you gotta learn it.
    I did do better keeping off my brakes with the auto, than I now do with my 10 speed manual.
    Kyle G., snowlauncher and Suspect Zero Thank this.
  9. nickst

    nickst Light Load Member

    Oct 16, 2016
    I deliver fuel...I'm one of two guys that doesnt slip seat. Why? Because nobody can/wants to drive a manual. That's worth learning manual by itself.
  10. lovesthedrive

    lovesthedrive R.I.P.

    Nov 11, 2008
    Sorrento Maine
    Always learn manual. The company you start out with might be auto for the moment. Yet it doesnt mean they will always have that. You might find one day that you are in a rented truck and it has a stick. What are you going to do? Go into the office and tell the DM you dont know how to do your job? You darn well know what the DM is going to say. Get out there and get the job done or leave. Once you leave, there will be many more companies that wont hire a automatic only.

    Manual is easy. When in heavy traffic, dont race upto the next bumper. Pick a gear lower that allows the truck to keep rolling. Yes people will cut in front of you, yet your still rolling.
    snowlauncher and Suspect Zero Thank this.
  11. 201

    201 Road Train Member

    Apr 16, 2014
    high plains colorado
    Hmm, can you even get a Volvo with a manual today? Probably about as rare as a Pete 359 with an automatic. :D
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