Speak out

| September 06, 2001

What do you think about automated transmissions?

Kent Lejeune
Lafayette, La.
DSI

“I don’t really like them. I drive a tanker, and it doesn’t work on a tanker. I usually turn mine off unless I’m going uphill.”

Roy Wroten
Jackson, Miss.
Total Transportation

“They have good points and bad points. The good thing is, you don’t have to shift all the time. The bad thing, they don’t shift fast enough to get out there on the road.”

Mike Breazeale
Holt, Ala.
Southern Ionics Inc.

“I drive a tanker, and I thought it would be good for the sloshing, but I talked to a man that drives one, and he’s having all kinds of problems. The mechanic told him he’d be in the shop more than he’d be on the road.”

Charles Holder
Bay Springs, Miss.
McElroy Trucking

“I’ve never driven one, but I’d take a chance on one. I’d love to try one and see if it’s true what some people say about them.”

Ralph Ashley
El Paso, Texas
Independent

“I wouldn’t have one for nothing. I prefer a standard because it has more control on mountains. And the price you have to pay is not worth what you get. They’re fine if you don’t know how to drive.”

James Hotsinpiller
Monterey, Tenn.
Werner Enterprises

“I don’t like them. When you get snow and ice, they upshift and downshift when you don’t need them to.”

Ricky Strength
Tallassee, Ala.
Heartland Express

“I don’t like it. A truck driver’s mind is hard to change. In a few years they will probably be the thing. I think they are heavier than a manual transmission.”

Ron Williams
Newport, Ky.
U.S. Xpress

“I love them. I have been driving one for four years. It lets you pay more attention to what you’re doing.”

Jeff Bordeaux
Wilmington, N.C.
Lisa Motorlines

“I’ve got one, and it’s OK. I prefer a stick, but I drive what the company gives me.”

Harold Mash
Pelham, Ga.
Noble Trucking

“I hate it. You play with it, and you don’t have anything else to do.”

Sandy Pifer
Joplin, Mo.
Independent

“I’ve been driving for 23 years, and I don’t think I’d ever switch to one at this point.”

Scott Prestridge
Houston
Independent

“They’re terrible. I’d rather have the capability to shift on my own.”

Janice Young
Corona, Calif.
Schneider

“If they worked they’d be OK. I’d be worried that they couldn’t pull a hill.”

Tom Huddleson
Minneapolis
Independent

“I think it may be nice; you wouldn’t have to do all that shifting. It takes a lot out of the work. I’d like to try it.”

Don Lambert
Nashville, Tenn.
Proline

“They’re good, in a way, for traffic. I wouldn’t want one though; they don’t have the take-off power.”

Steve Adams
Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Corps of Engineers

“It takes so long for them to shift gears, and it doesn’t have the pulling power like a manual has.”

Chris Garcia
San Antonio
Cannon Express

“I don’t like them. I get too bored with them. I have always liked standards.”

Steven Gallman
Columbus, Ga.
Millis

“I like it. I’ve been driving one for a year. It makes driving in traffic easier.”

James Dolan
Manasquan, N.J.
United Van Lines

“I like them. It helps with fatigue. They are good in stop and go traffic.”

Larry Williams
Marion, Ala.
Highway Transport

“I’ve never driven one, so I don’t know. I drive a 9-speed.”

Angelo Rodriguez
land, Texas
Werner Enterprises

“I think they are unsafe. They’re no good uphill.”

Michael Abbatiello
Atlanta
Custom Design Transport

“I’m not crazy about them. I like the control. Some of the carriers in our fleet like it, but I couldn’t see it.”

Dwayne Hoffmeister
Abingdon, Va.
Roberson Transportation

“I think they work OK. The company I drive for gave me my road test in one, and I liked the way it pulled and shifted. I liked its performance.”

Dion Bergeron
Michigan City, Ind.
Werner Enterprises

“I’ve heard good about it. Our fleet has some, but I’m a trainer so they won’t give me one. But I would try it.”

Bob Thomas
Roanoke, Va.
Independent

“I’ve never driven one. I hear some of the old-timers say they shift too quickly. I haul heavy equipment, and I would worry about it working for me.”

Billy Puckett
McComb, Miss.
Howard Transportation

“I like the manual ones better. I drive a 10 speed.”

Lawrence Green
Bainbridge, Ga.
J-Mar

“I think they are probably a lot easier to drive.”

Max Watters
Hillsville, Va.
Sunset Pacific

“I don’t mind them in a car, but I’m still not sold on them in a truck.”

Ward Herring
Savannah, Ga.
Kaplin

“I hear they’re supposed to be good. I drive a 13-speed now.”

Tony Russo
Aurora, Mo.
TRL

“I don’t like them. They’re not economical.”

Norman Thomas
Tulia, Texas
USA Trucks

“I don’t like them; it takes all the fun out of driving.”

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