Everybody seems to have a preference for transmissions. Which one is most popular and which do you prefer?
Honestly, when was the last time you EVER split any gear in the bottom end? Unless you are specialized 120,000 lbs the is really no need too. They do have autoshift 18 speeds now. 13's, 12's, 10's.... I've been reading about going back to 9 speeds for OTR trucks. I started in '76 with 8 gears. Things sure have changed, the new trucks shift 900 to 1100 RPM and cruise at 70 mph at 1250. A hot rod truck was 250HP, now fleet trucks start at 400hp.I have never heard anyone complain that they have too many gears
A a small fleet owner, I've switched over to all autoshifts. As mentioned before they are idiot proof but they also NEVER miss a shift, NEVER smoke a clutch, NEVER twist out a driveshaft, NEVER strip a gear. Clutches last twice as long since they shift in milliseconds. All of them have 3 modes, economy, performance and manual. Most of the large fleets disable the performance and manual modes as a fuel saving measure, which can amount to millions of dollars for them. I leave it up to the drivers of my trucks, as an incentive to use economy mode I have a fuel bonus program. In performance mode they will spin the tires bobtail or with a light load. When heavy, performance mode will out accelerate any true manual simply because it shifts faster than any human can, AND never picks the wrong gear or miss a gear, that only happens to human shifters.
The Autoshift also gets 1.5 to 2 MPG better, that is about $32,000.00 per year in my small operation, money in my and my drivers pockets we would have never seen before.
I wonder if anyone uses an autoshift on wolf creek or rabbit ears. I could never get one to jake like it would save a driver from burning up the brakes or switch to a higher rpm when downshifting dangerously like they are known to do. Seems like running high country would be a fatal mistake with one. Plus, when you're bobtailing or empty and get stuck in the snow, you can't "rock" one. It's frustrating to sit somewhere waiting on a hook when your boss wants to light cigars with hundred dollar bills, saving money for himself, not the driver. They are totally worthless when you're stuck trying to back in a dock that some customer can't afford to have the receiving dock area snow plowed, because you can't flip the splitter into high range and get some rocking action going to get unstuck. You can't start out in say, 6th gear or reverse high. Most cake-eaters that like 'em have never used one.