Automatic transmissions are extremely common in today’s trucking industry. Many companies have completely switched their fleets over to automatics, and some drivers may never drive a truck with a manual transmission.
Manual transmission vehicles are tricky to drive and require patience to master. However, automatic transmissions do not necessarily remove all of the requirements from shifting from the driver; they simply automate some parts of the truck’s drivetrain.
There are many different types of automatic transmissions in use in heavy trucks today, and drivers need to understand how to use the specific type in their vehicle. These units often have special features and settings for icy conditions, steep grades, and manual shifting. Don’t just assume the automatic doesn’t require learning anything new; understanding its settings is part of being a competent driver of the vehicle.