Auto only trucking in 2024

So my question is now that most HGVS are automatics , is this going to affect my ability to get a job? My aim is to drive articulated lorries. I’m just worried based on the comments that as a newcomer it’s very difficult to get your foot in and if you do they give you old bangers with manual boxes to prove yourself and of course if I say I will only drive automatics as a new driver will I be shunned and potentially wasted thousands training to be a hgv driver? I have a full uk licence but developed a foot injury that never fully healed making smooth gear changing more difficult.

Our place there may be 2 manuals amongst some short term rentals, everything else is auto in about 75 vehicles. We do replace stuff around 3 to 4 years, I would imagine the only firms with some manual boxes are places that keep fleet for as long as they can or have a preference for manual boxes when replacing.

If you have a foot problem then would using a pallet truck and walking for a couple of miles be a problem?
If so deep sea boxes, where you have almost zero load interaction would be the way to go. If you’re near Felixstowe, Liverpool, London, Southampton, then there should be an opening somewhere.
Most fleet vehicles are autos now.

As a newbie you will have more trouble than an experienced driver in getting a start. Some get on local pallet deliveries on rigids to get some hours on their tacho cards, but these are more likely to be manuals and also harder on your feet outside the cab.

If you have a good general driving record and a good general work history, and are persistent but polite in applications, you will get a start, but it won;t be easy.

Good luck.

I would say most firms have autos now, I personally have not seen a manual truck for about 10 years.
As for starting at the bottom, I’ve seen young boys put on brand new trucks as new passes, I think most firms just allocate you what is available these days.

My experience as a new driver. Autos only on everything above a 7.5T. Except for the Scania I learnt in was from 2007 and had a clutch for pulling away and coming to a stop, so wasn’t used for changing gears.
Pulling Amazon trailers was similar to Franglais’s description of container work i.e. no load interaction. I was lucky I walked right into that job as a new pass as it was a new start up looking for a dozen drivers all at once so they took anyone :wink:
I’ve only seen adverts for tipper drivers saying that they are manual gearboxes (but probably rigid, not trailers)

Mostly automatics, as said, certainly for articulated.

While you gain experience, 7.5 tonne is certainly an area where manuals are still common, and to a lesser extent class 2. Some training schools still offer 4 over 4 gearbox training because they are still out there and it is requested by companies.

It helps if daddy has his name on the door! :face_with_peeking_eye:

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You !!!
True though.
At least sometimes.