Although Clement usually uses manual transmission trucks for training, an automatic is available for testing for those who request it. Truck drivers have been manually shifting gears since the beginning. Many of the larger carriers are working at phasing out the manual transmission tractors and replacing them with automatic trucks. While many drivers continue to prefer manual transmissions, there are many benefits that come with using an automatic or automated manual transmission. These benefits may also apply to your choice of transmission when enrolling in truck driving school.
While we do have an automatic transmission truck, many of our students still want to train on our manuals, so as to avoid the automatic restriction placed on the CDL license. This restriction won't matter to many companies, as they are phasing out the manuals for the reasons below. We have the automatic as an option for students that find the manual intimidating or have a medical issue which may prevent them from shifting a manual.
Automatic transmissions have historically achieved poor fuel mileage, which is why carriers resisted the switch to these transmissions. Originally, these transmissions were marketed as a solution to combat driver fatigue, which also went hand-in-hand with improved fuel economy. While a good driver may beat an automatic on fuel economy when they're on top of their game, the automatic transmission doesn't get tired. This increase in fuel economy may not seem like much, but when you're talking thousands of gallons of fuel per month, the savings do add up. With some companies, these savings are extended to drivers through fuel bonuses.
Shifting has been one of the more difficult things for a student to grasp when it comes to CDL training. Some people are naturals when it comes to learning how to operate a commercial motor vehicle. Others may have to work a bit harder to achieve the same results. Bear in mind, many transmissions have upwards of a dozen gears. With the automatic, you'll not have to worry about shifting. No counting RPMs, timing your shifting just right to get the most out of your fuel bonus. The auto takes care of the work for you. Learning to drive a semi truck is a lot more lucrative when you don't have to worry about the shifting aspect.
An automatic transmission will allow the driver to focus on the road, as well as reducing driver fatigue. Other things to consider with these is the collision mitigation systems, lane departure warning systems, anti-rollover technology and smart cameras that may be installed on the trucks