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Old 02-27-2021, 12:27 AM   #1
Lee
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Transmission Choice

Ok guys, looking at 3500DRW trucks, What is better for towing Standard or Automatic, I am not afraid to shift if needed but want the best for power to the ground available.
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Old 02-27-2021, 01:09 AM   #2
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You may have to look long and hard to find a manual. I don't think that GM even offers a manual in the trucks, not sure about Fords, but I have seen a few posters that have a standard in their Ram.
Today’s Automatics are almost bullet proof unless you really abuse them.
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Old 02-27-2021, 03:04 AM   #3
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The amount of HP needed to run a heavy duty auto Trans is a non issue ....with the new diesels having huge torque numbers...They are a pleasure to drive...can be controlled manually if needed....GM's Allison unit has proved to be robust enough to last the life of the truck with normal maintenance....even when constantly used towing heavy loads...Fords auto trans are huge monsters easily used to tow big loads...without complaint...The only truck that has consistently had issues with auto trannies is the Ram unit...applying most of the torque available in the Cummins engine on a regular basis just wears them out....
But in all honesty....I have not be up on the latest offerings from Ram in regards to their HD automatic transmissions....They may have finally sorted this common deficiency out.
Not sure who still offers a manual transmission...I did see a Ram Diesel here at the resort we are presently staying that has a stick in it....but Ford and GM not sure...
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Old 02-27-2021, 03:05 AM   #4
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NO WAY would I want a manual transmission for towing in one of today's modern trucks.
Can't say about Ram or Ford, but the Allison in the GM trucks are bullet proof. We've had 2 GMs for a combined mileage of 300k+ miles, approximately 1/2-2/3 of those towing 16.5k 5ths wheels, & never a transmission related issue.
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Old 02-27-2021, 01:50 PM   #5
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assuming your talking about a new or few year old 3500 truck all of the big three automatic transmission are bullet proof at the stock power rating. Turn the motor up all bets are off. Fuel economy wise the automatics will always be behind at the end of the day. Assuming I was to buy a medium duty or class 8 or 9 heavy duty truck I would still find a Automated or Automatic trans truck so my day in the cab is care free and only dealing with what exit to get off . Automated trans is a computer control clutch and shifting of a manual trans . Eaton makes a few, Volvo make on Detroit makes one ,Mack makes one you get the idea. It takes driver abuse and lack of ability and has proven to keep your fuel economy about the same with various drivers at the wheel.
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Old 02-27-2021, 03:14 PM   #6
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Failed to mention, most all of the 3/4-1 ton diesel trucks (towing a RW a 1 ton dually is minimum) for about the last 10 years are all equipped with tow/haul mode transmission, exhaust/trans brake with the push of a button & integrated trailer brakes making towing easier with less stress on you & the truck so why add a manual transmission to make more work, more stress.
To be quite honest with the modern trucks I wouldn't be a bit surprised to find that the automatics with 6, 8 & 10 speeds wouldn't get as good & possibly better mileage than standard & much less work on the driver's part.
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Old 02-28-2021, 02:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhs4771 View Post
You may have to look long and hard to find a manual. I don't think that GM even offers a manual in the trucks, not sure about Fords, but I have seen a few posters that have a standard in their Ram.
Today’s Automatics are almost bullet proof unless you really abuse them.
I believe that Ram last offered the manual Trans in 2018 ???
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Old 03-01-2021, 01:53 AM   #8
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Yep, the last year model for Manual Shift RAM HD Truck was 2018, the option was discontinued in 2019.
The Cummins engines were detuned quit a bit in the manual shift trucks.
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Old 03-02-2021, 06:53 PM   #9
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I had a buddy drive from Southern NJ to Western Indiana last November to pick up his 2018 Ram/manual-6speed.... Only one he found for sale close to the East Coast..

It only had 14,000 on the clock..
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Old 03-07-2021, 03:24 AM   #10
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I left the GM plantation a number of years ago due to some issues. The current GM's are rock solid. I spent a number of years being a loyal Ford guy. They were not as loyal to me back in 2006. While I still loved Ford's I went for a trade for the 4th Ford and they didn't like their own product. So I swallowed my pride and accepted Ram's almost 14K better deal. Purchased my first Cummins in 2012. It was an Auto transmission I put a 190 K on it both towing and daily driving. 0 problems. I have a 2016 Ram 3500 Dually Auto Trans 0 troubles with it. Truthfully? I would drive any one of the three now and never worry about issues. These modern-day diesel trucks are all rock solid. Just pick the seat that fits your seat the best. Buy it and drive it. I would tell you in my opinion if you go with Ram. Get the Aisian transmission if you can. If your really worried about power for your load go with the 4:10 gears. Good luck.
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Old 03-17-2021, 01:44 AM   #11
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Thanks all for the advise, I ended up with a 2012 Ram 3500, with the automatic transmission. only 73000 on the clock. FULLY loaded.
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