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Old 09-10-2018, 04:34 PM   #1
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Manual Transmissions

Just curious here but, it seems 90% or more of tranny discussions are fixated on automatic transmissions. From 3 years experience driving a school bus with a manual 5 speed converted to tour with a band, I would opt for a manual in a heartbeat. Is there a reason that everyone seems to be focused on automatics? Perhaps availability? I would also bet that a manual could be had more cheaply as many people shy away from changing gears. The main reason I loved the manual was because you could use the precise gear for the situation and know it wouldn't shift at an awkward moment. There was never a heat issue, a slipping issue, or a costly replacement issue. Anyhow, I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts especially those with manual rigs. Peace / capnron
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Old 09-10-2018, 04:43 PM   #2
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The supply of manual equipped buses is dwindling.

I prefer a manual as well and wondered why I see so few of them lately. I asked a school district transportation manager and he told me that workman's comp claims for carpal tunnel were a problem and they had far fewer issues with the drivers running automatics.
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Old 09-10-2018, 05:03 PM   #3
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Most school buses are driven by women who prefer automatics for their simplicity. Once locking converters were developed they provided better fuel mileage. Those are 2 major reasons why you don't see many manual tranny's in buses.
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Old 09-10-2018, 05:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capnron View Post
The main reason I loved the manual was because you could use the precise gear for the situation and know it wouldn't shift at an awkward moment.
This is the main reason I wanted a manual. I've owned many over my lifetime and always preferred the control it gave me, especially in less-than-ideal conditions. I had to search for 18 months to find one hooked up to the engine I wanted, and couldn't be happier (well, I'd be a little happier with a more usable gearing in first, but maybe this granny gear will come in handy when I start boondocking).
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Old 09-10-2018, 05:34 PM   #5
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manual vs auto

Many factors contribute to the growing population of automatic transmissions.
These days, four, five, six speed automatics, usually have "lock up" torque converters, mini computers, or if you will microprocessors controlling the shift points. The net result is in the immediate is increase in fuel mileage.

Long term, if you looked at the wear and tear of tires, u joints, differentials, and perhaps clutch assemblies, I am willing to say there is probably reduced expenses here.

Perhaps one of the biggest factors is most americans are not interested in driving manually shifted transmission and never learned how to drive one. Difficult to hire bus drivers for buses with 5 speeds, when not one in your applicant pool says they can drive a stick shift.

But business being business I think cost is the driving force here.

My bus will have a 6 speed manual transmission. The telephones on my bus will have the microprocessing power on board, not the bus.

hell, even the air ride level sensors are mechanical.

william
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Old 09-10-2018, 05:38 PM   #6
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I think only like 3% of vehicles manufactured now have a manual trans.
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Old 09-10-2018, 06:06 PM   #7
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give me my 6 speed auto with manual over-ride any day over a clunky truck Stick...

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Old 09-11-2018, 05:59 AM   #8
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Manual Transmissions

I can totally understand from a fleet operator perspective why automatic transmissions are easier to deal with as most people have had little experience with manuals. However, for those who have, and can appreciate the benefits they can offer, it's a shame they are not more available. Thanks to all who replied as it was most enlightening. Keep on bussin.
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Old 09-11-2018, 08:02 AM   #9
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I love a manual transmission.
But my left quadracep is damaged and driving a bus with a clutch in traffic doesn't sound fun.

All my cars have manuals, though.
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Old 09-11-2018, 11:24 AM   #10
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The MIC coach I posted in the non affiliated buses for sale is a 5 speed
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