If you're a truck driver who is also an owner-operator, you have big decisions to make when it comes to upgrading your semi truck. One issue that many owner-operators ponder is whether or not to purchase a semi with a manual or automatic transmission. There are pros and cons to each one--continue reading to learn more about which type of transmission will be best for you:

Repairs and Reliability

Automatic transmissions in semi trucks may cause more electrical problems than the more traditional manual transmission. Manual transmissions were the norm in semi trucks for many years and many semi truck mechanics are more familiar repairing manual transmissions, which means that if you have a semi truck with an automatic transmission, repairs can potentially take longer since you will have to find a local semi mechanic who understands automatic transmissions in a big rig.

Fuel Expenses

In many cases, semi trucks equipped with automatic transmissions have better fuel economy than trucks with manual transmissions, which can add up to a huge amount of money saved over the course of a year. Very experienced truck drivers who have semi trucks with manual transmissions may be able to get close to the same fuel economy as an automatic semi truck, but most new or intermediate truck drivers don't have the shifting skills to replicate the overall fuel economy of an automatic big rig.

Road Handling and Safety

One complaint that is sometimes mentioned about semi trucks with automatic transmissions is the fact that they do not handle as well as manual semi trucks in snow or ice. A lot of automatic semi trucks allow a driver to switch over to manual mode if needed, but in order to improve the handling in winter weather, the driver must be very experienced shifting and operating a manual transmission.

Some truck drivers enjoy the ease of driving an automatic semi truck because they feel like they can better focus on the surrounding traffic and the road ahead of them. On the flip side, other drivers feel that driving a manual semi truck keeps them on their toes and helps prevent prevent fatigue or boredom because they are constantly engaged due to the necessity of shifting gears.

In many cases, owner operators tend to stick with a semi truck with a transmission that they are familiar driving. If you are considering making the switch from manual to automatic or vice versa, make sure you spend some time driving the new type of truck to ensure that you feel comfortable before making a large financial investment. 

Talk to a company like Color Country Diesel Inc to learn more.