Just to let everyone know that our new Auto training vehicle should be with us in March 2014. It is currently on order as a new build from Iveco and as they update the delivery date I will update this post.

So you will have the option to go Manual or Automatic. The choice is yours.

Pete :laughing: :laughing:

For those wondering - … test-rules

Changes will start to be made to some driving test rules for motorcyclists, lorry, bus and coach drivers from January 2014.

Lorry, bus and coach drivers

The main changes affecting lorry, bus and coach drivers will be:
-removing the need to use a vehicle with 8-forward gear ratios for large test vehicles (category C)
-allowing people who take a lorry or bus test (category C and D) in an automatic vehicle to get manual entitlement for those vehicles, if they already have a manual entitlement for cars, lorries or buses, with or without trailers (category B, B+E, C, C+E, C1, C1+E, D, D+E, D1+E)

Existing drivers

You can also get this manual entitlement when you exchange or upgrade your licence if you’re already a lorry, bus or coach driver and have a manual licence in any of those categories.

These changes will start in January 2014.

Thanks for that Rog. I should have done that but you’ve saved me a job.

Pete :laughing: :laughing:

Peter I rang about 2 days ago well my dad rang then I did in the evening but the person on other end said they don’t have any plans of buying autos that early.

Sorry for any confusion. Staff are not informed of decisions before they are finalised. But I promise you that auto is on order and is due sometime in March.

Pete :laughing: :laughing:

Pete’s not telling them because Santa needs to approve the Xmas present first :wink:

Santa needs to approve the Xmas present first

LOL :laughing: You’re on top form today ROG! :laughing: :laughing:

Update: had confirmation from Iveco in Italy that the chassis will be in UK early March. By the time it’s been fitted with drawbar coupling, new box body and had the requisite paintwork and vinyl (the vinyl takes nearly a week!) it’s been promised for mid April.

So we’ve opened the diary for it from early May.

First come, first served.

Pete :laughing: :laughing:

Any other training companies buying auto’s?

We have two new Volvo FE i-shifts arriving in February according to crossroads. At a cost of £65,000 per truck its not an easy decision to make but we aim to have a full auto fleet by the end of 2014. We believe that customers will choose to train with companies providing auto’s for obvious reasons.

So far locally all the other schools are sticking to manuals, well until they find out how long a clutch lasts with us now being laden!

Have they announced a date when it’s actually happening yet ?

Have they announced a date when it’s actually happening yet ?


So far locally all the other schools are sticking to manuals, well until they find out how long a clutch lasts with us now being laden!

I wouldn’t actually go down those lines as the majority of “automatic” trucks are not automatic at all. They have manual gearboxes, complete with clutches, that have a box of electronics to change the gear instead of the driver. These clutches also wear and will need replacing. I accept that this might be more frequent on a manual but only time will tell.

Just to be clear for newbies, these vehicles are, to all intents and purposes, fully automatic. They have only two pedals and drive like an automatic car without the “creep”.

But it’s good to see other trainers investing in their future and in the success of their trainees.

Pete :laughing: :laughing:

We have a customer that was amazed when their FM12 ‘auto’ Volvo was taken to the dealers with a fault and they said it needs a new clutch, they said, ‘but its an automatic!’ its a common miss-conception but they did get 5 years out the clutch on tipper work. New trucks aren’t always better in every way, for example the exhaust system on these Volvo’s is very advanced to comply with euro 6 regulations and on the Iveco’s they have gone down the route of drinking twice as much adblue to meet the rules. From when the key is turned on a cold engine to it being shut down, it must meet these very tough emissions targets.

So we will see how they perform, I don’t think it will be long before all other schools get trucks with AMT gearboxes for one reason or another. From an operators point of view a driver can ruin a clutch very quickly when laden and it takes a sympathetic instructor to ‘save’ clutch wear, this potential problem is averted with the use of an AMT gearbox. Benefits to the customer must be shorter training time, with less expense, more modern vehicle and less driving faults to encounter which should equal higher pass rate. Seems like a win, win situation, only drawbacks I can think of are well documented on here, such things as speed control and gear selection annoyances, but we went for a Volvo so we shouldn’t have much to complain about.