automatic horsebox?

Red-1

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7 February 2013
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Keeping on, keeping on...
I have, only got one because my left leg is not reliable and thought it would not be so nice.

It is perhaps not as smooth as me double declutching going up the gears when accelerating, especially when cold. I thought it would not be so good when decelerating or braking especially downhill, but actually it is FAB here. I can come off the motorway on a downhill exit and it 'knows' to change down. It is really smooth, and I rarely have to brake until the very end if there is a set of traffic lights.

If I am stuck in a traffic jam it is effortless.

Mine is a Renault Master diesel and I still get 30mpg on a mixed cycle.


ETA - Cons - I could not find a secondhand chassis, so had to have a new one :-O
 

Spottyappy

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5 September 2008
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Home counties
I have one. Had it coach built for me, on an 2008 Daf chassis.
I drive both an automatic car and a manual car, not sure if that makes a difference, but thought worth mentioning!
It is also very slow and clunky with gear changes in winter when cold. Once warmed up or in summer, it is incredibly smooth. I do find I need to break well in advance, as it doesn't seem to slow as quickly when your foot is off the accelerator, comapred with the automatic car.
It is lovely to drive, through. I would have no hesitation in having another one.
 

mynutmeg

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5 February 2011
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Cumbria
how easy have people found these to find? I'm hoping to buy a 7.5ton box in a year or so but while I can drive manual I get sore sitting in traffic due to very messed up ankles so would ideally like an auto one
 

Frumpoon

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7 May 2011
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ive been looking for one for over 8 years now, they are rare but they definitely exist

like peter says it should get easier in the future, for the meantime most people think if something is automatic its worth twice what a manual is of the same age

edited to say - a number of horsebox builders have confirmed that the auto gearboxes on the smaller 3.5t lorries are really unreliable and having driven a car with a broken auto gearbox I have no wish to repeat that with live cargo on the back
 

Frumpoon

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7 May 2011
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I think the new computerised gearboxes are v fuel efficient, I did a brief stint in a previous life as fleet manager for a big freight company and all the scania lorries were autos for this reason
 

turnbuckle

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14 April 2014
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I've only driven one once and wasn't wild, but I don't like autos in any case.

Overall they have an excellent rep.
 

AML

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17 June 2009
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131
Hate it so much I'm selling and going back to geared.

It's not so much the slowness and clunkiness of the gears or the different braking - you get used to those - and it is nice to just sit and steer, but what I can't cope with is the lack of precision control in tight places.
I used to relish reversing in a tight space or inching through a tight turn into a gateway and I just don't have that inch-ability that I do with gears.

It worries me.
 

Identityincrisis

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10 November 2011
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Hate it so much I'm selling and going back to geared.

It's not so much the slowness and clunkiness of the gears or the different braking - you get used to those - and it is nice to just sit and steer, but what I can't cope with is the lack of precision control in tight places.
I used to relish reversing in a tight space or inching through a tight turn into a gateway and I just don't have that inch-ability that I do with gears.

It worries me.
Totally disagree with this! An auto will 'creep' as long as you don't have your foot on the brake, therefore effortless inch-ability, where as with a clutch you really run the risk of killing the clutch by riding it in this way.
 

popsdosh

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7 November 2008
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6,388
Totally disagree with this! An auto will 'creep' as long as you don't have your foot on the brake, therefore effortless inch-ability, where as with a clutch you really run the risk of killing the clutch by riding it in this way.
Funnily enough an automatic transmission has packs of clutches so driving as described will eventually lead to their failure and a huge bill compared to a normal clutch going
 
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