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Old 09-11-2002, 07:33 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Fulltimer
Posts: 22


We are fulltimers who are going to upgrade to either a MDT (leaning towards a Stalick Int.) or (my preference) a class 8 conversion. We have done our homework on MDT's which is what has brought us to the class 8's. Our timeframe is the next 12 months. We have the resources but are not in a hurry, since the current truck (F550) is doing the job.

I've looked at your Volvo's and they look great. Butch put a great bed on the yellow one!

What resources should I be studying to prepare myself for the class 8 decision. I've found some of the web stuff, but probably not all. Being fulltime we usually do not have access to the internet (bummer).

Right now we feel we want an autoshift trans instead of a manual. Is it realistic to expect to find a decent truck with this trans? We would probably want a Volvo. Would you consider doing a conversion on order for us? You may contact me directly, but the escapees address goes to Pocketmail.


Jack Mayer
F550 Centurion Conversion
36' Newmar Kountry Star

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Old 09-11-2002, 12:28 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 193


I just responded to your other post on this forum before I read this one. Auto shifts are pretty scarce on 1999 and older model Class 8s.

You can find them occasionally on 2,000 and later models but the price is considerably higher.

It's really pretty easy to learn to drive a 10 speed, especially since you will never use the first three gears.

You can easily start off in 4th gear when towing your travel trailer. When bobtail, you can start off in 5th, no problem. Therefore, you are always driving a 5 or 6 speed transmission.

Dwonshifting is not necessary. If I am going 60
MPH for example, and have to slow up for a stop sign, I slip it into neutral and slow up. The truck brakes are so big you don't need the transmission or Jake brake to help slow the truck and trailer.

I try to slow down enough to time the light, then I simply shift into the appropriate gear for the speed IM coasting. Even at stop signs you can creep forward slowly in 5th gear and then start off without coming to a dead stop while towing. If you have to stop completely, you just push the clutch to the floor, this activates the clutch brake, then shift into 4th and away you go.

If you are coasting at 15 MPH, you can slip the transmission into 7th gear without even using the clutch, at 1,000 RPMs. At 20 MPH, you can shift into 8th gear at 1,000 RPMs. At 30 MPH it's 9th gear at 1,000 RPMs. At 40 MPH it's 10th gear at 1,000 RPMs. (This applies to my Volvos with the gear rations they have, other trucks differ if the ratios are different.)

You can use the above technique as a base line for shifting, just nudge the RPMs up to 1,000. Using this method you never "get lost."

I had never driven a 10 speed when I bought my first Volvo. You pick it pretty quickly.

Additional information is my response to your other post.

You can e-mail me with any questions or comments:

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