I spent the afternoon talking to three differnt salesmen and one service manager at the dealership. I asked for an automatic, no clutch transmission,
I was told that the new ones are terrific, get seven mpg, the jake brake is computerized to work with it et al. Can be set in individual gears, for the steady downgrade etc.
I am a newbie, and want to know:
Is the automatic a viable product;
is it worth the $110,000.00 pricetag (brand new) or whatever the used price would be for a model that is 2001 or newer? I do believe they are about fours years out, I would not want the first year model.
I will be test driving one this Friday, and would like to hear you Senior member's opinion. BTW, the engine size would be 450 or larger!
When I get my CDL regular permit, all you will see is my tail lights, I will not be home!
Thanks for any imput on this matter
The one "automatic" I drove had a clutch in it.
The clutch was used primarily for switching between forward and reverse, and starting from a dead stop.
Once the truck was in a forward gear, it shifted as needed.
On the selector panel was a position called "Still" which kept the truck in that gear regardless of speed.
So if you dropped a gear going down hill, engaged the still, you would not upshift or downshift at all.
As for pricing between new and used, wellll, that's one thing I am not all that privvy too.
The Fuller AutoShift-2 10-Speed is about a $3,800 bump over the full manual transmission. That includes F.E.T. (12% Federal Tax imposed on all new trucks). This product is still a three pedal truck and you need to use the clutch pack to start and stop the truck.
I am still awaiting data codes & pricing on the 2-pedal Ultrashift auotmated manual transmission. The computer and inertia weights engage the clutch pack on that product.
The Allison 4000HS 6-Speed is about anopther $7,000-$8,000 more than the AS-2. Then again, the Allison has a torque converter and planetary gears as opposed to a clutch pack and countershafts.
You haven't even got your CDL permit yet? Are you going to be an O/O to start with? You may want to consider being a company driver for awhile before you buy a truck of your own. Also the comment of never being home kinda implies that maybe you're running from something or problems you have at home. These are my opinions and maybe I misunderstood your above post. Good luck in in whatever you do. If you want to drive autos US express and deboer are two companies that have quite a few of them. You could be a company driver and then decide to go O/O later.
If you want to experience true "one finger on the wheel, layed back driving," you need to check out the Allison---the only true automatic transmission.
But the trucking industry, in general, is too hard-headed to understand.
B) The allison may be $6K higher than the other one, but how much money (and time) will it take to change clutches?
most auto transmissions over here have a clutch.
the computer works it on your behalf.
however with some you can leave it to its own devices or you can override it and change gears yourself, just a case of push forward or back on the lever.
they are good but they can be very costly if and when they go wrong. which they do.
the thing with auto boxes is that they give a constant mpg, which is why a lot of fleet trucks are ordering them here. if 1 does 8 mpg then they all will, even with different drivers.
however with a manual version 1 driver might get 7 mpg and another my get 8 mpg.
if i was an o/o in the states i would not buy an auto truck. if you break down in the middle of nowhere then you might wait a long while for parts.
i would however buy or try to buy a truck with a conventional european fully syncromeshed manual gearbox.
lets face it though , if you are travelling thousands of miles on interstates why would you need an auto box. the gear shift wont hardly be used.
In a Kenworth the 3 pedal Eaton 10 speed autoshift is $4097, and the Ultra Shift (2 pedal) is about another $1500.
Meritor Freedom Line 12 speed is about $7,980. I asume the standard is a 9 speed manual.
Last edited by Slow Poke on March 17th, 2004, edited 1 time in total.
Just adding my 2 cents worth of advice
i have said this before but i will say it again. frist a allison automatic is a peace of crap they can not hold up to over the road use they give you 2 to 3 years before they go in the shop and they like to be there about once a month. i do not see way people would want a automatic with the right set up in a truck you can get 6.8 to 7.3 with 40,000 behind you and you have one weak link the clutch with a automatic you have 10 clutch pack lube seals high pressure pack seal a hole lot of weak links
Those Allisons must be junk. Interesting how they've managed to stay in business this long. You have to wonder how all the thousands of
spotting hostlers manage to stand up under far more severe conditions
than the OTR equipment. I find it humorous how one bad experience with a product makes some think they're experts on all.
DISCLAIMER: Read at your own risk.
With auto transmissions carriers can cast a bigger recruiting net..
I know at least 10 women who can't drive a stickshift and at least 10 men who think they can (but can't).. ..
With automatics we're that much closer to the "point-it-and-go"...connect the dots...paint by numbers philosphy that is in keeping with today's socio economic status quo.
Over the last ten or twenty years the trucking industry has looked outside of the male gender for driver recruits...I predict that with more automation we will be able to look outside of our own SPECIES for driver recruits before too long...or has this already happened??
I agree but the tranny must be kept in the work area it was designed for.
They work well in some applications and it is not wise to mix those applications. Off road and on road is not a good mix with the same truck. 5 or 10 mph in the mountains with a load of logs or dirt etc and then 70 mph on the highway isn't good.
The scariest situation I have heard several times from drivers is that the tranny will Lock up and it is always (it seems) to be in a construction zone or in the middle of an intersection. The drivers I have been in contact with say it takes several minutes to resest the computer for the tranny and you can't rush it. .
And again these big fleets spec the tranny they want and they do not spend big bucks going for the top of the line .
Ain't life great in the left lane?
There is no snooze button
on a cat that wants breakfast.
The Meritor Freedomline is a 2 pedal automated shift tranny. Unlike the Eaton Autoshift which "floats" the gears, the Freedomline double clutches. This keeps it from the "slamming" that plagues the Autoshift.
The Freedomline has manual modes which allow you to up or downshift as needed by traffic or road conditions. It also will "skip-shift," matching gearing to load and accelerator demands.
If they can get the "kinks" worked out of these things, they will be like auto-pilots are to the airlines. "George" the autopilot can fly the airplane far more efficiently than any human pilot. Since fuel efficiency is important to both industries, it is likely that strictly manual trannies will eventually be a thing of the past.
I know, it's rough when you are used to stirring your own gears, but better fuel efficiency, less drivetrain wear, and drivers able to pay more attention to steering and navigating would be a good thing.
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