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Old 07-25-2017, 03:56 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Old 07-25-2017, 01:40 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Old 08-01-2017, 11:19 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I learned in a 1964 Ford Econoline. I6-240 if memory serves, and a bolt action transmission. No power assist anything. Really worn. Near bald bias plies. Man it was fun. Straight axles and the motor between the seats.

Today it's a brand new 19,000-lb Kenworth with an I6. But the baby motor. An ISX12 that really pulls. 18-speed Roadranger.

And a stainless double conical tank with 47,000-lbs of sloshing product as there are no baffles. 5k gallons in a 7k tank (don't ask me why).

Trick is to never wake up that monster.

I'm shifting to tenth as I reach 15-mph, ha!

After that (and it's no joke) my four ton pickup is a Formula One racer.

And I know I'm damned tired heading home if I find myself floating the gears in the Dodge (whereupon I wake up and really graunch it).

There are now single fleets with thousands of big trucks and nary a manual to be found. Men with 8-9 years driving experience and can't drive a manual. Wow!

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Old 08-04-2017, 01:11 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
There are now single fleets with thousands of big trucks and nary a manual to be found. Men with 8-9 years driving experience and can't drive a manual. Wow!
It actually doesn't surprise me, but anyway, in my country the manuals still outnumber the automatics and AMTs on trucks. Difference is that American big rigs usually relied on non-synchronized transmissions, while the European-designed counterparts turned to fully-synchronized transmissions which are easier for an average Joe to learn how to shift. On the other hand, it became more common to see buses and coaches with automatic transmission here, which was quite unpopular due to the higher price but now are favored by some operators due to their longer lasting under heavy loads and better performance on hilly terrain.
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Old 08-04-2017, 01:23 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Some of the "automatic" trucks (several types of approaches mechanically) are really well-sorted. The 12-speed Volvo for instance. A man of my acquaintance with 3-million miles with his current employer (and several more besides) allowed me to quote him that the only way they'd get him out of that Volvo was to put him in a newer one.

That said, there are still some very bad auto trucks out there. So slow that even bobtail trying to left turn across a six lane road is treacherous.

Buses have been automatic here since the 1970s. Earlier in some instances.
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Old 08-04-2017, 01:38 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
Some of the "automatic" trucks (several types of approaches mechanically) are really well-sorted. The 12-speed Volvo for instance.
IIRC the Volvo uses an AMT. Many drivers here praise it too.


Quote:
Buses have been automatic here since the 1970s. Earlier in some instances.
There were some prototype buses with automatic transmission here in the 70s, but it took longer to become widespread. Nowadays it's a mandatory equipment for articulated buses in Brazil, but not for other types of bus for which it's still optional.
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Old 08-04-2017, 02:56 AM   #27 (permalink)
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I drove for Stagecoach, here in the UK, and virtually all of our fleet of buses and coaches were automatic. The only ones with manual transmission were old hacks. Small buses that had come into the fleet from acquisitions of other companies. Everything from the small local buses, through the coaches, to the double deckers, which are used a great deal here.
I loved driving them, and in city traffic there is nothing to beat an automatic transmission, especially when there is nothing further from your mind than the fuel costs!





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Old 08-05-2017, 06:09 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by JockoT View Post
I drove for Stagecoach, here in the UK, and virtually all of our fleet of buses and coaches were automatic. The only ones with manual transmission were old hacks. Small buses that had come into the fleet from acquisitions of other companies. Everything from the small local buses, through the coaches, to the double deckers, which are used a great deal here.
I loved driving them, and in city traffic there is nothing to beat an automatic transmission, especially when there is nothing further from your mind than the fuel costs!
Front-engined buses are still prevalent here in Brazil due to the lower investment, and so is the manual transmission, even in city buses. Coaches on the other hand are now getting automated-manual transmissions such as the i-Shift and Opticruise more frequently. About 10 years ago in a trip from Florianópolis to Porto Alegre, the coach driver told me he could go nearly the entire trip without touching the pedals, relying on the cruise control and the brake-retarder. Volkswagen offers front-engined bus frames fitted with an AMT but I haven't seen too many of them, even though they would not be so much more expensive compared to a regular manual and also easier for the maintenance crews to learn how to service them compared to an automatic, returning better fuel efficiency and reducing driver fatigue especially on hilly terrain and narrow streets. Once going from downtown Florianópolis to the apartment where my mom currently lives, I managed to count how many times the bus driver shifted gears, and could count more than 120 shifts.
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Old 08-05-2017, 05:24 PM   #29 (permalink)
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All our buses and coaches have the engine and transmission in the rear. The buses don't have retarders though some of the coaches do.
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Old 08-07-2017, 02:51 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
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All our buses and coaches have the engine and transmission in the rear. The buses don't have retarders though some of the coaches do.
The rear-engine layout became more popular on coaches due to the pass-through luggage compartments, which also increase the overall load capacity. What does surprise me is the absence of transverse-engined buses or coaches, considering this layout would increase the volume available for luggage compartments or fuel tanks on a coach and the low-floor extension on some urban transit buses.

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