Dude! I can’t drive your Truck!

Dude, I can’t drive your Truck. Ever heard that. Probably not if you were born after 2000. In society today we have a large group of people who can not drive a stick shift . Tha’s a manuael transmission for the younger gen. I have heard many young one’s ask, why does your truck have a third pedal in the floor and is that the emergency brake sticking up in front of the seat?

Naw. That is what we called a man’s truck back in the day. no self respecting redneck would have a automattic truck. Those were made for girls to drive. That was just shop talk amung us boys. I admit, the girls can drive anything they put their minds to.

So what has happened to the stick shift? well I done a little research and this is some of the reasons for the transision to the slipomatic ( as we used to call it). They say that with a auto transmission it puts less stress on the drive train. You wont be snapping driveshafts and breaking u-joints. It also means you wont have that jerk motion when changing gears and possibly loose your cargo. They say it provides better fuel economy and with all the improvements theat they no longer overheat. Now for anyone that has seen the inside of a automatic trans know that they don’t have gears like a manual transmission does. the manuel transmission is said to have been a simple design with fewer moving parts and for that reason it had less chance for failure. I for one remember the words “call on it” infsizing to grab another gear and pour the coal to it. I also can remember when you dropped the clutch and the forward motion would snap your head back. Any aoutmatic trans that did that usually went to the shop or your favorite mechanic in a few days.

So why would society get away from something that is a better design with fewer moving parts that has a tendincie to be more durable. I think it depends on who you ask. For one thing I think people are a little lazier today but we also have to look at the population and who is driving today. I’m sure you can remember squalling tires when you pulled out in front of your girlfriends house, you just wanted to impress her a little. The reasoning behind why pretty girls like bad boys is another topic for another time.

Let’s look at who is driving and where they are driving. Our society has grown from since we were teenagers. there’s not as many backroads and more city streets now. More streets means more cars and drivers. That aslo means more red lights, more stop and starts and by could your leg get tired from riding that clutch in bumper to bumper traffic. (remember parking and forgetting to put it in first gear and it rolling off ? )

Among other reasons, better technology, Economics and Social Factors. So let’s look at those, what do they mean? I can tell you what it means to an ole country boy. better tech means more expensive, but yet they say that a manual truck or car’s retail value is less than a automatic car or truck. Economics, means more repair work for the mechanic and social factors contribute to the more people I can get in my car and I don’t have to change gear or ride that clutch in heavy traffic. It’s almost like your a second class citizen if you drive a manual shift.

So I guess I get it that people like the convenience of not changing gears, I wonder how many could drive a “3 on the tree” now a days. I bet you remember getting stuck and someone saying rock it back and forth! yep, can’t hardly do that in a slipo-matic. It got me to thinking, is the automatic trans that much better ? if so, then why doesn’t nascar use them. I think when you “call on a manual transmission” you expect it to come to life. You can feel that instant power and you have the control over it. You can increase or decrease the output.

Let’s face it. the product put out by the car makers today is a lot better than it was in the 70’s or 80’s. but I still like the sounds of my old 94 Chevy when I decide to make a statement when I want to pass a slower driver or when I’m hauling equipment to the woods. Their are several advantages to the manual, but I must admit the auto transmission is here to stay and as the years go by fewer and fewer people will have the knowledge of how to operate them.

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