Dependable, I love 'em! They're safer than a manual. Upgrade, downgrade, it's just not a concern. And you'll never lose a gear, either.
I'd say stay far away from a manual, they're old-fashioned. Anything that requires taking your hand off the wheel has just got to be dangerous!
One cylinder at a time...
I have run the Eaton 10 speed auto shift for 3 years and really like it. You still can take contol anytime you want. Like the autoshift so well I ordered the Meritor on my next truck.
Eaton makes a 10 speed and Meritor makes a 12 speed and a 16 speed
http://www.arvinmeritor.com/products/tr ... omline.asp
http://www.roadranger.com/products/tran ... o_10sp.htm
http://www.roadranger.com/products/tran ... ultrashift
http://roundtable.truck.net/viewtopic.p ... highlight=
Just adding my 2 cents worth of advice
At MATS, Bentz Custom Sleepers had a really nice T-600 that was set up with a Freedomline Tranny. I liked the way the control unit was mounted to the side of the seat. It could pivot down and out of the way.
I have a couple of friends whose company just got them all new trucks... T-2000's with 10 speed autoshifts. I guess the big difference between the Eaton until and Merritor, besides not having a clutch pedal, is that the Eaton "floats" while the Freedomline double clutches automatically. My friends tell me the Eaton "BANGS" when downshifts... sometimes to the point of knocking the one in the sleeper on the floor.
I have read several reviews of the Freedomline that rave about how smooth it is. I did hear some people talking about them having maintenance issues, but I never heard anything specific. I also understand that Eaton is coming out with a clutch -pedal free auto-tranny as well.
There are only two defining forces that ever offered to die for you. One is Jesus Christ, who died for your sins, and the other is the American Soldier who died for your freedom.
Both the Eaton AutoShift and ZF-Meritor Freedom Line are manual transmissions with computers doing the shifting.
Eaton floats the gears just as a highly skilled professional trucker would. The difference is that the computer gets it right every time.
Freedom Line is based on the European ZF transmission technology. It has synchromesh gears, just like a 5-speed passenger car manual shift but with range selection and splits. It also uses a computer to shift, but with the synchromesh, shifts are smoother.
The computer activates the clutch on the Freedom Line and on Eaton's new two-pedal UltraShift.
I'll stick with a man's transmission and leave those autos for the hobby and housewife truckers.....
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing."
- Edmund Burke 1729 – 1797
Want cheaper oil? Kill a tree hugger!
The auto-shift transmission made it possible for my wife and I to enter trucking without training on the "man's transmissions" you refer to. I believe that kind of technology and the increasing creature comforts manufacturers are putting in cabs now days will draw more and more people into the trade from non-traditional sources.
Regarding the Eaton 10 speed auto-shift transmission itself, the only complaint I have is it almost stalls out between the gears if you are going up a steep hill from a standing start under heavy load. There is a long pause between shifts which leaves you nearly standing still and the engine in danger of killing when the next-higher gear takes hold. This can be dealt with by a quick button switch to manual, where you control the shifting up the hill.
Starting out from a standing start with a light load is no problem.
The truck is our home; the nation our back yard.
Just a thought, I came into Trucking from over 22 yrs in the Electronics Servicing Trades. In my experience putting my life in the hands of small amounts of silicon laced with arsenic (transistor's and IC's) and tiny strands of metal (fuses) and corroded connector's, instead of spending a few days learning a new skill is not an option. Murphy ride's with us too much each day in the cab for my liking and I much prefer to put my life in my own humble hands.
For the Driver who hauls only light loads and only drives in Highly congested daily city traffic the autoshifts make very good sense. But for those of us that Travel in the mountains, hot deserts, nasty winter weather and the corrosive enviroments found around this country I think not. As to drawing people into this profession from other non traditional sources, should this be done ? Not until the mover's and shaker's in this business (the trucking companies) create a more hospitable working enviroment and pay more in line with the demands of the job (both physical, mental and legalitie's).
Sorry to rave, just my thoughts.
With Trucking Companies the only thing that changes is the Color of the Truck and the Name on The Door!!
All this technology is scary!
I was a company driver for U.S. Xpress for several years before becoming an Owner-Operator, and have a mixed attitude about the Eaton-Fuller "Dog-o-matics".
They're great when driving in busy cities like Chicago (Hello, Paul Abelson !), but when in manual mode on downgrades, I had a problem with it still wanting to upshift while just trying to hold it in, say, 8th gear and use the Jake Brake to avoid using the brakes and heating them up. Didn't like driving with one in snow and ice, either.
I like having more control over my truck, and prefer the simplicity and time-proven reliability of manual transmissions.
Just telling it like it is! :
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Back at ya, Jeff.
The situations you describe call for proper use of the AutoShift/UltraShift controls. On downgrades, put it in Low, Not Drive or Hold. In Low, it will downshift but not upshift.
In slippery conditions, you should use Hold. Then you tell it when to shift, up or down. Again, every shift is perfect. It won't let you lose a gear and get hung out on a hill.
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