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View Full Version : Do you use a stick for work?


Shopkeeper
01-15-2008, 04:41 PM
I'm just curious how many of you drive a stick shift truck around for working with and why you do it.

Extra MPG? Like shifting? More power? Just happened to be on the lot?

I personally drive an auto now, but it's because it's my DD and my work truck. I was thinking about getting a stick work truck because it'll be cheaper and because I like driving them, but I wanted to see what everyone else had to say about it/why they were driving their sticks.

Jpocket
01-15-2008, 06:18 PM
Personally for me it doesn't matter in a pick-up. If it's my daily driver I would want an Auto. BUT, if it's a 1ton dump or bigger I def. want a Manual trans.

I Think it really has to do with the midset of the person. I like to grab gears and hit buttons Hi & Low range splittin ect... If you have other ppl, driving your stuff (AKA) idiots than it may be better to have an auto

NBI Lawn
01-15-2008, 06:36 PM
I cant stand shifting unless its my Camaro, gotta love 700hp and a 6-speed.
My Freightliner is even an Auto. Had a 1 ton GMC Dumper that was a 4 speed and I hated that thing soooo much. Got the heavy loads moving though, no problems there. I probably hated it more for plowing and then just held a grudge with it :laugh:.

lyube
01-15-2008, 07:00 PM
No.

Too many different people drive the trucks. A stick would be a liability.

LindblomRJ
01-15-2008, 07:22 PM
I like a manual. Yes there are plently of idiots out there.

packey
01-15-2008, 08:47 PM
I prefer a stick and no one drives my trucks except me they are sitting in passenger seats

barefeetny
01-15-2008, 09:55 PM
when was the last time you had to rebuild a manual tranny?

even if your a bonehead i think you would allways blow a clutch or a u joint before you hurt the tranny

I live inbetween the catskills and the shawangunks, i want the power, the extra milage, the control of the truck.

I change brake pads when they rust out, not burn up.

the inconvience of being stuck in stop and go traffic once in a blue moon is not that important to me. personaly i don't know why anyone would want a slushbox

just my .02

Johnson LCO
01-15-2008, 10:28 PM
I guess your choice lies with your preferences. I recently bought a manual truck because I planned on the being the only one driving it. I have not driven a manual for a long time and driving a one ton truck compared to the jeep I drove before was a big difference. Even though I am still not that great at driving it smoothly, I definitely prefer it over automatic.

If you are going to have employees, GET AUTOMATIC. Every worker says that they can do this or that to get the job. In reality you will have someone that does not care about your vehicle driving your truck like a race car. This goes both ways however. If you have an employee that you know is proficient at drving manual I would prefer he drive it because it means he has to pay attention. I think that automatics make people more careless and they have more chance of getting in an accident by multi-tasking while driving.

Also know that if you buy a stick truck the resale value is going to be low. Not many people know manual anymore and are too lazy to learn. Plus, not all employees can drive it so employers wont buy it. The dealers I went to said they do not sell/buy used manual trucks for that reason.

hosejockey2002
01-16-2008, 01:31 AM
As long as I've been driving (25+ years) I've liked driving a stick. I've driven heavy trucks with both sticks and automatics. I always thought that all my trucks would be sticks. However I ended up buying an automatic because it was on the lot, it was otherwise what I wanted and the price was good. Guess what, I LOVE having an automatic. It is so easy and relaxing to drive, and the electonic auto with tow/haul mode works way better than the old autos. Occasionally I miss shifting gears, but not much. I do have to admit that if I ever move up from a pickup to a class 4 or 5 truck I will at least consider a stick. On the other hand if the trucks I test drive have autos that work well they will be considered too.

Tadams
01-16-2008, 01:44 AM
My International dump truck is a stick but everything else is an auto. It is amazing to me that not very many kids today know how to drive a stick. I bought my step-son a jeep when he turned 16 and it was an auto. It turned out to be a pile of crap so we got rid of it. I bought him a stick shift Ranger and I had to teach him how to drive it (his dad is a jerk and has no patience with him). The main reason why he caught on so fast was that I told him what was he gonna do if he was talking to a chic and she tells him "Jump in my civic and let's go ridin-you drive" and he can't drive it- no sugar for him. That lit a fire under his butt!:cool2: I later asked him if any of his friends could drive a stick. He said none of them could and he didn't know if their parents could. He then told me that his dad could not drive a stick. I couldn't believe that a grown man can't drive a stick.:dizzy:

Gravel Rat
01-16-2008, 03:52 AM
There is too many lazy people in North America. I learned on a stick and only have driven manual transmission trucks. I had one automatic 1 ton flatdeck had it 6 months and put a 4spd into it.

It isn't rocket science to drive a standard shift truck.

Swampy
01-16-2008, 08:39 AM
I didn't know how to drive stick growing up, I learned from the Marine Corps when they have me drive a old deuce and a half with a burnt out clutch :). It was decommissioned to the dermo lot a few weeks later to get blown up by tanks :( But jumping from that style to civilian was weird. But I prefer it over auto any day, even if the military is phasing out the Manual trans.

LindblomRJ
01-16-2008, 10:37 AM
I managed to teach my wife to drive a manual.

Valk
01-16-2008, 11:37 AM
This a a GREAT point as keeping the driver as connected to the task at hand is always good.
...because it means he has to pay attention. I think that automatics make people more careless and they have more chance of getting in an accident by multi-tasking while driving.


I prefer to row my own gears...is fun, and the MPGs are enhanced.
Besides, ya can't jump~start an auto-tranny...NEVER EVER!

Jason Rose
01-16-2008, 11:49 AM
I prefer an auto tranny. Driving is often the only break I get in the day, and I really don't want that to be work too, lol. I've driven a few manuals, I got the "crash course" on driving them when I was 18. Basically I was told to take the 1 ton dump truck to the dump, I told the boss, "I can't drive a stick" He said "you'll learn". So I learned! Only killed it once, though I'm sure the clutch was happy to see me step out of the truck once I got back. After that I drove the trucks off and on, but haven't driven a stick now for probably 8 years.

I also remember trying to back a manual up to a trailer to hook up... Also helped a buddy one day hook up a trailer with his. What a nightmare... Just get onto position and try to get it in neutral, hold the brake and clutch and hit the E brake to keep it from rolling out of place... Oops, 6" off, get back in, release brake, push clutch, try all over again... uggg, no thanks.

Gravel Rat
01-16-2008, 02:57 PM
The newer trucks with hydraulic clutches are allot easier than the old mechanical linkage trucks I learned on. The trucks I drive are 6spds to 13spds the only thing I havent shifted much is 5+2 or 5+4.

One of the local contractors in the area had problems with his Ford torqshift automatic cost him 5 grand to have it rebuilt. Transmission only had 49,700 miles on it. For that kind of money I could have replaced 2 clutches in my truck. The torque converter was falling apart sent abunch of metal through the transmission and wiped it out.

bobcat_ron
01-16-2008, 04:04 PM
Is it possible to swap out an Auto tranny and drop in a manual 6 speed into an '05 Powerstroke F-450?!?!

R.M Hanson
01-16-2008, 04:28 PM
I grew up driving manual transmissions, and will stick with them for all my work trucks in the future. The auto trannys they put in pickups are in my eyes, just a car transmission. Autos are nice for the weekend run to Lowe's, homeowner type, but not for hard work. They are weak, prone to failure and extra maintenance, and the autos in larger trucks just don't have the gear selections to make things work right. I guess I'll stick with my 5 and 6 speed pickups, and the 8LL in the dump trucks. No problems, and if an employee can't drive a stick, or learn, I don't want them operating equipment anyway. Seems a shovel might be better suited to them.

Gravel Rat
01-16-2008, 04:51 PM
When I was searching for a F-450 it took a long time to find one with a 6 spd yes it has a 6.0 but it has been trouble free so far. I would have liked to have had a 4x4 but 99% of them had automatics. The 2wd has been good truck has a True trac. As for swaping a manual transmission into a 05 you would have to find all the parts and do it. That might be expensive for todays trucks not many in the wrecking yards let alone manual transmission ones.

Back when Ford was building the "F-Superduty" they were 95% 5spd transmissions in Canada where as down in the States it was the oposite all automatics. The E40D wasn't a very strong transmission in stock form you can have one built but that was going to cost you.

Going from 4spd NP435 which I drove trucks that had them for years to ZF 5spds was night and day then now I have the ZF6spd the old 5spds feel old and knotchy like the old 4spds.

The old 4 and 5spds NP-Clark-BW all had gear whine especially the ones in the old Chevies. They had that distinctive sound.

The 435 in the old Fords were okay then I had a truck with the T-18 Borgwarner it was a little better shifter. With a 4 spd you don't have much gear selection so it was usually 2nd or 3rd gear let the engine scream.

No matter how hard I try I can't do bunny hops like a person first learning a standard. I rarely to never stall a vehical.

I do agree if a person can't drive a standard then they shouldn't be operating equipment. If they are not co-ordinated enough to operate a basic 5spd transmission they will have a tough time running equipment.

Look at the old John Deere backhoes with the 4+3 4+4 transmissions the clutch pedal was pretty well on or off and you floated the transmission.

J&R Landscaping
01-16-2008, 11:06 PM
Is it possible to swap out an Auto tranny and drop in a manual 6 speed into an '05 Powerstroke F-450?!?!

Probably would need a different bell housing, maybe some different mounts or a drill to adapt the holes. Wiring harness as well.

I've had 2 stick shift trucks and 3 automatic trucks. I bought the automatics because they were on the lot at a good price. If i had my way, I would not have any auto's in my fleet. I love driving a stick shift and enjoy going down the road grabing and getting the truck up through the gears! :weightlifter:

Johnson LCO
01-16-2008, 11:36 PM
What does it mean to "float" the transmission? I thought it meant to shift without using the clutch somehow but I am not sure. Can you do it with light truck? I have only heard it mentioned by people driving CDL size trucks.

DBL
01-16-2008, 11:40 PM
of our 6 trucks now 2 are stick....my cummins daily driver and work truck and one of the dump trucks is stick. i like auto for the work trucks because of the different guys that drive them....clutches go easily

lawnscapesLLC
01-16-2008, 11:57 PM
Barefeetny---i love rock climbing in the gunks!!!! cats too---must be awesome living up there.

I've seen alot of clutches go in work trucks driven by people who can't drive them. At one company i worked for I was the only one allowed to drive the dump cause it was stick, lol

lyube
01-17-2008, 05:03 AM
I need to learn how to drive a stick :( I have the basics down, need to practice my skills and get it down right.

I've heard it's really hard to kill a manual transmission..typically you can kill the clutch or the bearings, but not the transmission. Correct me if I'm wrong (I probably am). The 4 m/t cars my parents had never once been in the shop for a new manual trans-it was always the clutch wearing out after 150k or so.

MarcSmith
01-17-2008, 08:38 AM
I use a stick every day.....
http://www.civilization.ca/tresors/souvenirs/images/sfobj11b.jpg




























only way to keep the guys motivated.....

SiteSolutions
01-17-2008, 10:10 AM
What does it mean to "float" the transmission? I thought it meant to shift without using the clutch somehow but I am not sure. Can you do it with light truck? I have only heard it mentioned by people driving CDL size trucks.

Floating the gears is shifting gears without using the clutch. It is possible to do on cars and light trucks but not very easy and probably not good for the transmission.

On large trucks, it is very common. Use the clutch at stop lights, and then just go up through the gears without clutching. Basically, you just have to get a "feel" for it, the timing it takes to do it right.

You have to feel how soon you need to shift out of one gear after taking your foot off the accelerator. You have to feel how long to wait before slipping into the next gear.

It works because at certain moments, there's no load across the transmission. When there's no load on the gears, they can be floated around, just like when the truck is shut off and parked (only easier). These moments occur when the engine is turning the exact speed for how fast the truck is moving for a given gear.

Here's how an upshift works...

When you go to shift a gear, you lift off the "gas". As you do this, the engine starts to want to slow down. For a brief moment, the engine isn't trying to turn the gears. At this moment, you can easily slip the transmission into neutral with only slight effort. Wait too long, and now the truck's momentum is trying to turn the engine over through the gears; the torque is moving backward through the transmission. If torque is going either way through the transmission, either to speed the truck up or slow it down, it tends to hold the gear sets together.

Assuming you get the transmission into neutral, on a fairly flat road surface, the truck's momentum carries it along at relatively the same speed. Sure, it starts to slow down a little, but not a lot, and not all at once. This means the transmission's output shaft is turning at roughly the same speed for at least the next few seconds. At the same time, you have lifted off the gas and the tranny is in neutral, so the engine speed begins to dip fairly quickly, though not instantly. As engine rpm falls, there is an exact spot where the engine is turning exactly the right speed it would take to make the output of the tranny turn the speed it is already going, for the next higher gear. At this moment, you can slip the transmission into the next gear with little effort.

On a big truck, because of all the mass, it takes a little less than a second between shifting out of one gear and into the next. This little pause between shifting out of one gear and into the next is what takes practice. The time to wait varies based on several things, especially how high you wind out the engine, and whether you are going slightly up hill or downhill or on a flat piece of road. How heavily the truck is loaded, any tires low on air, those things make a difference too.

Once you get the hang of it, it is a real knee saver!

DBL
01-17-2008, 03:24 PM
i "float" (if thats what you guys call it) gears all the time in my trucks and when i drive tow truck part time....they are switching to autos in the new trucks but still have a couple eaton fuller 6spds that are really easy to shift w/o the clutch

barefeetny
01-17-2008, 04:52 PM
alex...

not everyone gets to live in paradise.....its awsome that is so amazing around here. bad for buisness when you want to stop the truck at lunchtime and go fishing. however i did pick up a few small jobs eating lunch in a pretty overlook or view

let me know if your in the area, i got some great trails in the southern gunks that are so overlooked compared to new paltz
Nate

LindblomRJ
01-17-2008, 05:16 PM
i "float" (if thats what you guys call it) gears all the time in my trucks and when i drive tow truck part time....they are switching to autos in the new trucks but still have a couple eaton fuller 6spds that are really easy to shift w/o the clutch

Seems like the transmission in the heavier trucks shift easier without using the clutch.

hosejockey2002
01-17-2008, 05:40 PM
Here's how an upshift works...

When you go to shift a gear, you lift off the "gas". As you do this, the engine starts to want to slow down. For a brief moment, the engine isn't trying to turn the gears. At this moment, you can easily slip the transmission into neutral with only slight effort. Wait too long, and now the truck's momentum is trying to turn the engine over through the gears; the torque is moving backward through the transmission. If torque is going either way through the transmission, either to speed the truck up or slow it down, it tends to hold the gear sets together.

Assuming you get the transmission into neutral, on a fairly flat road surface, the truck's momentum carries it along at relatively the same speed. Sure, it starts to slow down a little, but not a lot, and not all at once. This means the transmission's output shaft is turning at roughly the same speed for at least the next few seconds. At the same time, you have lifted off the gas and the tranny is in neutral, so the engine speed begins to dip fairly quickly, though not instantly. As engine rpm falls, there is an exact spot where the engine is turning exactly the right speed it would take to make the output of the tranny turn the speed it is already going, for the next higher gear. At this moment, you can slip the transmission into the next gear with little effort.


Excellent explanation!!:):)

man of stihl
01-18-2008, 03:18 PM
my stock nv4500 went out. its not that hard to rip out a 5 speed tranny. its running through a southbend double disk clutch with 3800 lbs of pressure. my left leg goes get a little tired in traffic:confused:. i have yet to be able to slip this thing. the new ats is holding up pretty well:weightlifter:

i hope it lasts for a few more years.

Jpocket
01-18-2008, 05:01 PM
Seems like the transmission in the heavier trucks shift easier without using the clutch.


Yes as long as the transmission is somewhat sychronized. Alot of the older heavy trucks were not sychonized, it takes a alot of practice to shift some of them with no clutch, especially the Mack trannies.

Gravel Rat
01-19-2008, 03:58 AM
I pretty well float anytime I drive a Roadranger you can shift smoother than using the clutch.

Mack transmissions are the worst they are can't find it grind it.

SiteSolutions
01-19-2008, 07:59 AM
Yeah, big Eaton Fuller transmission floats real easy. The 5 speed in my medium duty, not as smooth but still do it sometimes.

I have floated gears in a little '74 Toyota Corona; it had a 20R engine and a 4 spd, similar to their pickup drivetrain... had to float it when the hydraulic clutch went out! and had to shut it off at stop lights and crank it back up in gear.

Jpocket
01-19-2008, 09:11 AM
I pretty well float anytime I drive a Roadranger you can shift smoother than using the clutch.

Mack transmissions are the worst they are can't find it grind it.

Yea I drive a Mack Tri-axle 2-3 days a week, and it does smooth out once you get the hang of it you almost have to double clutch most of the time. They are not the most forgiving, BUT I love my Macks "BullDog Tough"

Gravel Rat
01-19-2008, 06:27 PM
One of the old Internationals I drove with a 6spd it didn't float very well.

Mack transmissions to take a little bit to get used to. It took me a while getting used to a 8spd Mack. The first problem was the air shifted reverse you get used to a Roadranger which is normal. The other problem with the Mack it has a air shift neutral. You forget that the selector is in neutral put the transmission into get and let out the clutch and nothing happens.

Shifting a Roadranger is all about feel and shifting by ear and every truck is different even if you have the exact same truck spec'ed exactly the same the trucks will shift slightly different. There is a saying I was told by a another truck driver I can't say it here but its true :laugh:

Jpocket
01-19-2008, 06:40 PM
One of the old Internationals I drove with a 6spd it didn't float very well.

Mack transmissions to take a little bit to get used to. It took me a while getting used to a 8spd Mack. The first problem was the air shifted reverse you get used to a Roadranger which is normal. The other problem with the Mack it has a air shift neutral. You forget that the selector is in neutral put the transmission into get and let out the clutch and nothing happens.

Shifting a Roadranger is all about feel and shifting by ear and every truck is different even if you have the exact same truck spec'ed exactly the same the trucks will shift slightly different. There is a saying I was told by a another truck driver I can't say it here but its true :laugh:

PM it to me!