I recently read your column about AMTs and I found it interesting.
The transmission can be placed in manual and it is suggested that it is placed in manual when going down hills and that the driver change the gears. I worked for Bison Transport in the past and I operated an automatic without any major problems.
The only problem I had was one day I was moving off from a stop on a slight grade and the truck rolled back a bit and the transmission started to malfunction. It would only operate in manual for the rest of the trip. I drove the mountains with it through West Virginia and Virginia and also Northern Ontario. We were shown a video by Bison and it suggested that we put the transmission in manual to descend hills, but I don’t think all drivers followed this advice.
The ArvinMeritor functioned quite well in manual. I now drive a city truck and the transmission is labeled “Smartshift.” During a snow storm, I placed it in manual and I tried to downshift going up a hill and it did not shift until maybe the second attempt, so it is important that the transmission functions well in manual.
A trucking radio station recently discussed the use of automated transmissions to attract women to trucking. The disadvantage was mentioned that if they are with a company which has AMTs and if they decide to leave that company for whatever reason, they would be out of a job if they could not find another company with AMTs. Some truck drivers were also of the view that women drivers should be treated equally as men.
They should be able to handbomb just like men if required, and I agree. I used to drive for a trucking company many years ago and I used to get a lot of handbomb loads and I heard a woman driver said that she would never do handbombing.
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