DID YOU KNOW!? 85% of Freightliner trucks coming off the line are equipped with automated transmissions. That means no shifting, no double/clutching, and no pesky clutch repairs!
The future is here. For more than a decade, Schneider National, one of the nation's largest trucking companies has been testing automated transmissions in their fleet. Today, in 2023, Schneider National is proud of its 100% fully automated transmission fleet which has resulted in an increase in fuel economy, driver focus/concentration, enhanced driver comfort, and reduced wear and tear on vehicle transmission and clutch parts. And it's not just Schneider National that is enjoying the benefits of automated transmissions. Swift Transportation, May Trucking, Werner Enterprises, CR England, CRST Van Expedited, and many local and regional companies have joined the fold!
WHAT IS AN AUTOMATED MANUAL TRANSMISSION?
An automated manual transmission (AMT) is a modified manual transmission that removes the need to engage a clutch pedal when shifting gears. Similar to non-commercial automobiles, AMTs use two pedals to operate, an accelerator and brake pedal. Through the combined use of hydraulics and sensors, the semi-truck now does the shifting for the driver.
RESTRICTED CLASS "A" LICENSE
Like the automobile evolution, semi-trucks are now transitioning to automated transmissions. When a student driver takes the Department of Motor Vehicles' Road Exam with an automated transmission, the driver will have a restriction placed on their license. This means the driver cannot operate semi-trucks with manual transmissions, only automated transmissions. Unless there is a specific employer requesting a non-restricted (manual) Class "A" license, a restricted automated license will suffice in today's trucking industry and will not create employment roadblocks for the majority of truck drivers.
CDL TRAINING WITH AN ATOMATED TRANSMISSION
Attending a truck driving school that utilizes automated transmission trucks will make the training experience a little easier, but just a little. Although you will forgo the learning process of double clutching, up-shifting, down-shifting, and 10-speed transmissions, the student driver will still need to learn the various backing skills required for the road exam, the external and internal inspections and safe operating procedures for on-the-road driving. If you are interested in obtaining your license with an automated transmission, our Torrance, CA location delivers all of its training in 2015 Volvo Semi-Trucks with automated transmissions!