One of the hardest decisions many truck drivers have to make is figuring out whether they want a manual or automatic transmission on their truck. Choosing between the two can be a challenge, especially for newer drivers. Before you settle for either type of transmission, it's important to understand the benefits of both. Here's a look at the advantages of each transmission type to help you decide which one is the better fit for you.
Automatic Transmission Advantages
An increasing number of semi trucks are being produced with automatic transmissions every year. There are many reasons for this. In fact, sometimes newer drivers prefer an automatic transmission because they make it easier to learn how to drive the truck. You won't have to worry about learning the manual shifting process, so you can focus on the mechanics of actually driving the truck itself. This may let you get into the truck and on the road faster, earning money sooner than you would if you had to learn the manual transmission, too.
Another great reason to opt for a standard transmission is to help improve your fuel mileage. Automatic transmissions are programmed to shift in a way that optimizes the usage of fuel, while manual transmissions can be less efficient if you miss a shift or delay it. That programming in an automatic transmission also helps to improve the performance on hills, in congested areas, and under acceleration.
Finally, one of the best things for long-haul drivers is the fact that an automatic transmission may actually help you minimize driver fatigue. You'll be able to focus better on the road around you when you don't have to pay attention to shifting, which means you'll be safer on the road.
Manual Transmission Benefits
Those who have been driving semi trucks for a long time usually learned on a manual transmission. Many of these drivers find a manual transmission to be preferable to an automatic for a few reasons.
First, manual transmissions are less complex than an automatic. That means they are more affordable when it comes to repairs and replacement as compared to their automatic counterparts. Their simplicity also makes them more reliable as they age. Automatic transmissions have more components that are prone to failure, making a manual transmission a better bet for less time off the road.
Manual transmissions also give drivers greater control over their truck. They get to choose when to shift gears, allowing them to regulate the engine's RPMs and control fuel consumption.