Do you still hear the sound of gears grinding on the jobsite? It soon may be a thing of the past. A trucker’s old friends—the shifter and clutch pedal—are headed toward extinction as drivers discover the benefits of automatic transmissions.
Although more than 80% of domestic heavy-duty trucks are still sold with a manual transmission, experts like David Stahl, sales manager for Pittsburgh-based dealer TransEdge Truck Centers, think it is a matter of time before the stick, a century-old technology, goes away. He says, “Someday you’ll take your children and your grandchildren to the museum, [and] they’ll say, ‘What’s that pedal and that extra shifter in there for?’ ”