Are Semi Trucks Manual or Automatic?

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For years, semi trucks with manual transmissions were the standard. However, advances in technology have now created a new generation of automatic semi trucks. While these automatic transmissions are different from the ones you would find in a regular sedan or SUV, they still result in the truck driver no longer having to shift gears. Learn more about the changing transmissions available on new semi trucks today with Rechtien International Trucks!

Semi Truck Automatic Transmissions

Unlike standard automatic car transmissions, semi truck automatic transmissions are actually a manual transmission with a computer that tells it when to shift. These newer transmissions have begun to take precedence over manual transmissions due to cost, ease of use, and more.

Semi Truck Manual Transmissions

While sem truck manual transmissions are beginning to be phased out, knowing how to drive a manual transmission will still be a valuable skill. The used semi truck market will still boast manual models, but some newer models remain manual. That’s because some truck makers haven’t overhauled their line since automatic semi trucks became more popular.

Manual vs. Automatic Semi Trucks

While many career truckers swear by manual transmissions, especially since earlier automatic models had issues with shifting too early or late. However, the newer automatic models are here to stay— and they offer better performance than their predecessors. That’s because, when compared to manual transmissions, automatic transmissions are:

  • Easier to Use- Training will be easier for new truck drivers when learning on an automatic semi truck.
  • Safer- While manual shifting provides a feeling of control, automatic shifting allows your vehicle to respond immediately to changing conditions and situations. That’s because the computer will evaluate speed, engine torque, and vehicle angle before shifting.
  • More Efficient- Expert truckers may be able to coax some impressive gas mileage out of their rig, but across the board, automatic transmissions prove to be more efficient than manual models.

Explore Manual & Automatic Semi Trucks at Rechtien International Trucks

Have a preference between a manual or automatic semi truck? You can look through our inventory to find a semi truck with the transmission you prefer, or you can contact the Rechtien International Trucks sales team to learn more about models with these transmissions. We have locations across Southern Florida— including in Riviera Beach and Fort Myers!

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