Are automatics bad news?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by zz4guy, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. zz4guy

    zz4guy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 901

    I've been doing some searching for a Dump truck in the 30k GVWR range and the ones that are automatic are usually a lot cheaper and nobody wants them? Is it more of a personal preference or are the manuals more productive and/or stronger?
  2. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    The reasons

    • Very expensive to replace when they explode
    • Very hard on the brakes of the truck
    • They rob allot of the power from the engine

    I wouldn't own a single axle or tandem axle dump truck if it was automatic unless it was a 18spd autoselect Fuller otherwise stick with a basic manual transmission they are easy and cheap to fix.
  3. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,168

    Everything that GR says I also believe to be true. The only word I would give in the opposing view is that it is getting harder to find good truck drivers. An automatic is more forgiving and easier for these younger guys to run. Times are changing, and this maybe one of those areas that as the labor market continues to tighten, you may have to start moving toward automatics in the larger trucks to keep drivers.
  4. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    I also agree with the newbie drivers tearing up a truck. You do get what you pay for around here usually contractors don't hire guys without experience. The truck driver market hasn't dissapeared there are lots of drivers in my area so we are lucky that way. Most experienced drivers don't want to drive anymore just too many people on the roads now.

    Take for example one of the local contractors hired a newbie driver with no experience has broke so many driveline parts in the tandem axle dump its cost thousands to repair. The last thing I seen the driver break I just shook my head and couldn't beleive it.

    Like I said you get what you pay for if you want a good driver your going to have to pay 20 dollars or more per hour.

    A single axle is really easy to break because you hauling with a single axle that sees allot of abuse. Its really easy to snap axle shafts in a single axle all it takes is the wheels to be slipping and grabbing and something is going to break. A truck with a automatic will do the same but not as readily as a standard transmission truck.

    A automatic equiped truck is good if your doing stop and go intercity work like a garbage truck or a schoolbus. If your doing highway and freeway hauling a standard is the way to go.
  5. snoope

    snoope LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    Where are you guys getting your "Automatic Horror stories" from???

    The company I work for has Allisons in 3 of our "Dump Buckets" and 4 more on order....Mack Granites w/66,000 gvw and not 1 problem ( except the 427 is a lil corvette wanna-be:usflag: )...Only 2 of us wanted 8LL's and that is all the boss ordered...

    One of the biggest "Pavers' has nothing but...sitting under a "Milling machine" or in a paver no clutch smell :laugh: :laugh:

    The local oil companies are running nothing but..the direct drive PTO has cost down dramatically,the drivers coming back for seasonal work every year and truck life going from 7-10 years to 12-15....

    If your in "Dirt" I'd go fully automatic...the Semis ( still have clutch:) ) are the problems...All the computers sense is demand..not soft sand or a small incline with 16 yards of slop on your back....I've seen these spill their guts ( drop driveshafts ) going up ledge cuts or trying to come off pavement to sugar sand....

    Snoope back quiet

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