Another reason to drive a manual transmission

I’ll go off topic . . .

In our fleet, we have lots of trucks with standard transmissions

And there are SEVERAL different shift patterns

They all have eaton-fuller, and they all have a sticker indicating the shift pattern, and it’s always placed fairly close to the shift lever

Very useful, when you consider the truck you were driving just 5 minutes ago has an entirely different transmission and shift pattern, versus the one you’re driving now

My mother told me that the Dodge her parents owned that was made about 1920 before Chrysler bought out the Dodge Bros. had a shift pattern opposite most cars. High gear was on the top right. Her dad thought this made sense as the shorter was out of the way of the center passenger.

Dating in that car would have been no fun. Come to think of it my VW would have been just opposite the 58 Chevy on the tree. Way left up was reverse, then left up was 1st, left down was 2nd, then right up was 3rd and right down was 4th. On the Chevy of course reverse was toward you and up, first was toward you and down, 2nd was away from you and up and third was away from you and down so it was out of the way when in top gear. I’m sure my Morris had the same pattern as my VW because I’d have to hold it in first or it would pop out while grinding.

When my Dad put a V8 into his '51 Packard (straight-eight), he had to move the “3-on-the-tree” to the left side of the steering column to clear the left exhaust manifold. The shift pattern was the mirror image. It took just a short time to get used to it.

@Chunky,you learn early on,unless you are a late bloomer,what you can lend and what you cannot lend(power tools,chainsaws,vehicles,etc)I’m frankly surprised by the people around here that have manuals and cant drive them properly.

I’m frankly surprised by the people around here that have manuals and cant drive them properly.

A long time ago, a friend of mine offered me a ride home and he was so generous as to let his gf drove his brand new Accord. She rev the engine half way toward the redline just to casually start in first gear. As she came to a stop, she strong armed the shifter into first at 20 mph as she came to a stop. I could hear that first gear synchro moaning as that happened. The incredible part was that she held a CDL.

This turned me off of second hand stick shift cars. I can’t imagine myself paying for other people’s ignorance

My oldest daughter was quite taken aback that her graduation Ford Ranger Was a stick. ( which I really never even considered when buying it used from the GSA motor pool. )
’‘Well, you’ll learn…it’s just that simple.’'
Which she did and…
When she rolled it…( ! ) I picked up a cheapo used $500 Taurus and she was…
– dejected and disappointed — that it was NOT a stick !
The first car she bought for herself ? A manual Mustang.
She met her husband in Honolulu and they drove accross the country to DC in a manual Miata.
Then they gaot their Jeep and his Honda Civic hybrid…both manual.
---- so imaging her mood when trying to replace the Jeep with an Escape…NO MANUAL trans !


Many years ago, I worked next to a guy who apparently had very poor driving skills

He rolled his very nice, nearly new Ranger, and it was totaled. The problem was he still owed a lot on it, so he wasn’t able to replace it with a comparable vehicle

He then bought a salvage title car from pick a part junk yard. It was literally a spray bomb car. It was so bad, that the exhaust, tires and rims had paint on them, also. All the window seals and various mouldings had been sprayed over. Not only that, but the interior smelled moldy. A real winner

Anyways, he rolled that car onto the roof, a few days after he got it

He then bought another old car from a coworker

And then he got fired . . .


Now that we’re on the subject. I had a van driver that was a constant pain in the neck. He’s the one that filled two cars up with E85 that were not flex fuel and cost us about $2000 a piece getting them back on the road again. At any rate one day he came back from his route and parked the truck and said the tire was flat. There was a pair of scissors stuck in the side of one of the dual tires. We never figured out how that happened but maybe he went somewhere where he wasn’t liked.

Interesting article in our paper this last week on how trucking companies are recruiting women to be long haul drivers by giving them scheduled home time, no touch loads, and automatic transmissions. If they had given us the first two, there wouldn’t have been a drivers shortage when it started because we wouldn’t have all retired. And they wouldn’t have needed automatic transmissions either.
There would still be a drivers shortage now because the pay has dropped and the pensions are shrinking or disappearing but the shortage would not have hit 15-2o years ago.

There are more than enough license ho;ders to fill all the jobs but they won’t put up with the pay and working conditions. Same reason there is a shortage of airline pilots.

I can’t figure out why companies don’t realize that it is not in their long term interest to abuse their employees for short term gains.

Shifter vary, take my 72 triumph, please! the brake is on the right foot, the shifter on the left foot, clutch is on the left handlebar and front brake on the right, now I believe that is totally a reverse of most motorcycles today.

I think the column shifted 3 speed manual transmissions of the mid to late 1950s through the mid 1970s gave all manual transmissions a bad name. I had a manual transmission 1965 Rambler and a snap ring that secured a synchronizer broke. It happened when I was in graduate school and could least afford. a repair bill. I sought out the most competent transmission specialist to do the repair. The transmission worked well after that, but he advised me not a domestic car with a manual transmission He said the transmissions were designed in the 1930s and were not up to the torque of the engines of the 1960s. This was back in 1970. I felt at that time the manufacturers were trying to force the public to buy automatic transmissions.
Of course, this doesn’t apply to the 4 speed manual transmissions or the transmissions in most foreign cars.

Oldtimer, it used to be very unusual for semi accidents, but a couple years ago a guy that had been on the road many hours with little sleep saw the stopped semi carrying a load of bees, and the car behind it too late on I35. The car was squashed between with instant death and thousands of bees were let loose. Really a mess. All because the guy was under intense schedule pressure from the company. I don’t remember how many years he got in the slammer for that and they went after the company too. Couple weeks ago there was another one on highway 60 here where one semi plowed into the back of another one stopped for a funeral procession. The truck caught on fire and the driver was only saved by a bystander and patrolman that was at the scene to pull him out. Its a little scary thinking of all these drivers in a trance on the road.

Same type tragedy happened on I-64 in St. Louis several years ago. A semi plowed full speed into bottlenecked traffic and killed some people in the sandwiched car.

Barkydog: My Honda, Yamaha, and other Japanese and American bikes I have ridden had the same controls you describe. My 1966 Triumph Bonneville had left foot brake and right foot shifter which was opposite.

I’ve looked into becoming a professional truck driver at least a half-dozen times over the years, and like an Alzheimer’s patient, I am always shocked at how bad the pay is in relation to the sacrifice you’d have to make as an over-the-road driver. Seriously, away from your family / home for weeks at a time. Almost impossible to eat nutritiously living on the road, hard on your back, kidneys, etc sitting behind the wheel for hours, days, weeks on end. AND you’ve got to comply with all those regulations / paperwork or risk losing your license. Seems to me like all that sacrifice should be worth at least $100k / year. But I see many ads where they actually BRAG that you can make “up to” $35k your first year. Oh yeah, they’re all looking for “owner/operators” too. That’s where they outsource all the responsibility for taxes, insurance, maintenance, truck payment onto YOU. Whew. I almost think one would be better off delivering pizzas and get a paper route on the side instead :smiley:

I used to laugh a little at the signs on the back of the trailers that said they paid 50 cents a mile while I was getting close to that in reimbursements for using my own car. I don’t know how they could ever pay for the truck, fuel, and their time for that unless they drove 20,000 miles a month.

@Ed Frugal,trucking used to be a solid,good income job,but with increasing regulations and some ,things that are a bit on the ridiculous side,I’m suprised anybody will do it now,with all the hassle and stress,takes a certain kind of person.I doubt if the truckers earn anymore nowadays,then they did in the 90s.

From what I understand, the best money is hauling the irregular stuff, construction equipment, wide & tall loads, bridge beams, farm equipment, etc. But then you’re a lot more than a truck driver 'cause you’ve gotta know how to load and unload that stuff properly, PLUS you basically live out of the truck because you’re not running any kind of a regular route. I guess its a young man’s (or woman’s) game, I’m getting too old & crippled to get into that sort of thing.

I’ve heard the fuel haulers make decent money, most of them get to sleep in their own beds every night. A lot of folks don’t want to haul fuel 'cause you’re basically driving a big bomb around. Seems like it’d be easy to unload the truck too, hook up the hose and turn the lever.

The brother of a friend quit being a CPA some years ago to drive gas tankers. He liked the new life but said the feds were always watching and doing tricks to see if you were smoking or not. Like the old South Dakota wave to see if you wave back with a cig in your hand. Everybody waves at you in South Dakota when you meet on the road.