Thread: transmission
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:37 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 1,814

Sorry I didn't reply sooner, just spotted this thread. I wouldn't worry too much about the trans. If you find a coach that's good for you I think the trans wouldn't be a make/break part of the deal. Generally, the heavier the coach I think the auto shift or fully manual trans would be more durable and economical (i.e: better fuel mileage). The more gears keep your engine in the sweat spot for power and economy. And no torque converter means less energy loss and heat buildup. I was figuring a fully manual trans would be the most durable when I was shopping rigs. I visited with the service manager at my nearby Kenworth shop. He said actually the auto-shift trans seems to hold up better since you can't really mess it up. The driver won't be able to grind the gears and slip the clutch. Now, I was talking to him about the 10 speed Eaton autoshift that the coach I was looking at (and eventually bought) has in it. My son used to work for a trucking company (he's a driver) and they mostly just bought trucks with 10 speed manuals. They bought a couple Columbia's with the 12 speed Ultrashift. Their service manager said they had some issues with u-joints failing. He thinks the Ultrashift was the problem. Realize both these guys are talking trucks that get 100k miles a year on them.

The hydraulic (Allison) trans would likely shift smoother than an auto shifter or manual unit. My truck really digs in under acceleration when it gets into each gear.

I have put about 10k miles a year on my coach for the last 4 years. I am sure glad I haven't had to row the gears. My son told me the auto shift is not a true driver's trans. He said he likes to row the gears. I can see where manual would work better for him since sometimes he's bobtailing and sometimes he's at 80k lbs.

I'm pretty sure there are lots of people that wouldn't consider buying a manual trans coach. So, if you are ever planning on selling it that would likely rule out some buyers if yours was a fully manual.

This is soo much fun shopping for a truck, isn't it?
'03 Freightliner FL112, 295" wheel base, with '03 United Specialties 26' living quarters, single screw, Cat C12 430 h/p 1650 torque, Eaton 10speed , 3.42 rear axle ratio
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