The Advantages Of Looking For A Semi-Truck With A Manual Transmission

If you're just securing your commercial driver's license and getting ready to embark on your owner-operator venture, the next thing you need to do is find your truck. If you took your CDL driver's test in a truck with an automatic transmission, your license may carry an "E" restriction that limits you to driving only automatic transmissions. However, if you can drive either and have been weighing your options, there are several reasons why an automatic transmission might not be the best choice. Here are some of the benefits of investing in a truck with a manual transmission.

Reliable Service

Manual transmissions have fewer parts and components that can fail, because they rely on traditional clutch and shift engagements to change the gears. That means that a manual transmission is likely to be more reliable for your hours on the road. Since any downtime for repairs means time that you aren't making any money, the more reliable your transmission, the better.

On-Road Safety

One of the things that can pose a challenge for drivers with an automatic transmission is control during winter weather. Automatic transmissions don't always shift well, which can cause the truck to lurch or slip on ice. This can lead to a loss of traction or slipping, which could potentially cause a serious accident. In comparison, a manual transmission can be highly beneficial for semi-trucks driving in hazardous conditions, allowing drivers much tighter control of the truck.

If you're doing cross-country runs through the Rocky Mountains or over routes like Donner's Pass, a manual transmission may be a better way for you to regulate your engine speeds and control your truck. Manual transmissions allow greater handling and regulation of the engine speed as well as shift changes, which may make it safer on the road when driving in winter weather.

Fuel Efficiency

Although an automatic transmission is often believed to be more fuel efficient than a manual transmission, that isn't necessarily the case for routes that include a lot of mountain driving, steep hills, or frequent starting and stopping. When you have experience driving with a manual transmission, you'll be able to regulate the fuel efficiency more reliably. This tighter fuel regulation comes from the ability to regulate the engine's RPM's and shift on demand. The lower the RPM's, the more efficient the fuel consumption of the truck. By opting for a manual transmission, you might be able to cut your fuel costs and improve your profits.

More Active Driving

When you opt for a truck with a manual transmission, it requires you to be more engaged behind the wheel. With an automatic transmission, you don't have to be attentive to gear selection, which can increase your risk of distracted driving. By driving a manual transmission that requires you to physically shift, you have to stay focused on what you're doing so that you don't inadvertently miss a shift.

The downside to a manual transmission is that it requires more frequent shifting when you're in a city or a metro area. This can be cumbersome when you're trying to navigate your way through an unfamiliar area, because you will have to split your attention between the directions that you're navigating as well as the transmission and engine. However, it's often more convenient if you're spending a lot of time on open highways.

With the information here, you can better understand the advantages of investing in a semi-truck that's equipped with a manual transmission. It is important, though, to ensure that you are comfortable with whichever transmission you choose. A manual transmission isn't going to be any more beneficial for you if you're not able to handle it comfortably. Make sure that you take the time to test drive any truck you're thinking of buying. If you're looking at used trucks, ask about the last time the transmission was serviced or have it flushed and serviced before you take possession. Then, keep up with the routine service to ensure that you're protecting the transmission's condition.

If you're looking for a used semi, contact a company like Arrow Truck Sales for more information.