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. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2016
    White County, Arkansas

    And no companies don't call Manuals "Bad"

    They want to stick any soul into a 18 wheeler, have that one push a button "Go" and off they go with zero expense in training etc. Zero damage and greater profitability in fuel mileage among other things. Essentially on one hand having the automatic dumb down the big truck and make them idiot proof. On the other hand they do offer some advantages over manuals.

    Learn on a manual. That way the STATE does not slap you with a stupid restriction. Anything worth doing in these USA gets a restriction or banned slapped on. It's stupid. The States only have been doing this a limited number of years.

    Truckers on the other hand coming into the industry, they are by percentage unable to have sufficient critical thinking to manage or learn a manual effectively. Its a sort of a chicken and egg problem. No one spends time and money to train effectively on manual anymore and everyone thinks they can just buy a truck with push button steer wheel holding graduates of CDL school not much good for anything remotely like what truckers used to have to do as captains of the ship decades ago.

    You will find manuals very good when spec'ed carefully and used correctly by talented professionals that have been on them long enough to do it right in situations in which a auto will probably be a liability.
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  3. 201

    201 Road Train Member

    Apr 16, 2014
    high plains colorado
    Oh, IDK, the way we're headed, manuals will be obsolete in no time anyway. I'm surprised they still offer them at all.
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  4. buddyd157

    buddyd157 Road Train Member

    May 25, 2017
    under a shade tree
    learn on a manual. this way, when you go for your DMV road test, they do not stamp it...AUTOMATIC only and limit your future, should any company have manuals, once you leave an automatic place.

    frankly too, i do not see a future with 100% automatic fleets.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
  5. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2016
    White County, Arkansas
    I agree. Reluctantly. They will have to install one on my coffin so I can run the golden stairway when it's time to pull it upgrade. It will be a doozy.

    Heck new cars and trucks are deliberately being built without manuals. God forbid we need a two range splitter for a freaking toy pickup truck costing 90,000 dollars that spins all 4 wheels in a bit of morning frost.

    One of my greatest accomplishments in life, such as it is is getting a wife to do a manual of a truck. Im pretty convinced in a year or three trapped in such a environment, she would shift better than me.
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  6. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2011
    Henderson, NV & Orient
    I think Jim Palmer Trucking trains in 10-speed stick shifts at their school.
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  7. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Nashville, TN
    I've changed my opinion. I got my CDL in the mid-90s. Everyone learned manual and I drove only manual until 4 or 5 years ago. I used to think manual training & practice was important. Now, I classify manual training & use about like a preference between truck brands. They all go down the road & pull freight. If you can get manual, do so. I'm glad I got it and used it. But I wouldn't likely spend even $100 of my money to get the training now. Every year it becomes less relevant for MOST drivers at MOST companies. If you have an interest in specialized trucking, you MUST have manual training & experience.
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  8. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2011
    Henderson, NV & Orient
    One of my greatest accomplishments in life is grinding gears in an automatic transmission.
  9. SteveScott

    SteveScott Road Train Member

    Nov 10, 2015
    Not all companies are going automatic. Some keep the manual transmissions because of the cost savings when buying large numbers of trucks. Don't limit your options by having an automatic restriction on your license.
    bryan21384 and snowlauncher Thank this.
  10. snowlauncher

    snowlauncher Road Train Member

    Mar 28, 2014
    Southeastern ID
    Learning to drive a manual transmission is VERY important IMO... I learned to drive a car with a stick and I'm glad for it. I learned to drive a big rig with a 13 speed and I'm glad for it. Even though manual transmission seems to be slowly dying out in motor vehicles, I still prefer being able to decide when to shift.
    My old pickup is a 5 speed and I have already begun to teach my son how to drive it. Eventually it will be his to drive. I hope to find another newer pickup with a stick for myself someday...
  11. lovesthedrive

    lovesthedrive R.I.P.

    Nov 11, 2008
    Sorrento Maine
    In many ways? Having learned to drive manual in tractor trailer helped in making better decisions on how to drive a personal vehicle with a stick shift.
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