Are we at the automated manual transmission service tipping point?

Are we at the automated manual transmission service tipping point?

The latest exclusive truck service data from Decisiv sure seems to indicate just that.

The conventional advice when talking with manufacturers about automated manual transmission (AMT) service was: Talk with the dealer. AMTs are precisely designed components that required specific training, tools and techniques to service. And frankly, they weren’t high on the list of unplanned service trouble makers. The AMTs that started seriously growing as a go-to on-highway spec in the heavy-duty truck market six to seven years ago were hugely reliable. The take rate proves that. Nearly all Class 8 on-highway truck OEMs report that AMTs make up the large majority of truck builds.

Those trend-setting AMTs that are seven years old, however, are potentially heading into their second service life on the secondary market, and they’re staring to show up in heavy-duty truck shops. Nick Pittinger, director of data services at Decisiv, shared exclusive truck service data that highlighted the rise in AMT service trends specifically the at the Vehicle Maintenance Reporting Standards (VMRS) level.

“Our process can differentiate between automated and manual transmission operations—the O27 code is for automated transmissions, while O26 is for manual transmissions. We’re able to see the volumes and costs associated with each category,” Pittinger explained. “Automated transmissions service events are gaining momentum and taking over the industry. In our most recent quarter for Q1 2023, we saw around 13,000 operations for automated transmissions, compared to about 5,000 operations for manual transmissions.”

Chip Mowrey, a trucking professional who spent 38 years working in truck dealerships in a service capacity, noted that the data reflect what he has seen in the shop.

“Automated transmissions have revolutionized the industry, but it’s not just about technology,” Chip shared when talking about AMT service. When it comes to evolving truck equipment, “it’s about communicating this technology to customers effectively,” he said. “Decisiv’s platform enables transparent communication, but nothing beats face-to-face interaction. Customers need to understand the changes and advancements in the transmissions of their vehicles to make informed decisions.”

Watch the video above for Pittinger’s transmission service data analysis and Mowrey’s shop-level advice for what to expect as more AMTs make their way into truck service bays.

Trucks are also getting older, and that means more service

This was the second time that Pittinger and Mowery dropped into the Unscripted. Click below to catch up on our previous conversation where we track the truck service trends of an aging rolling iron workforce.

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No script? No plan? No problem. Welcome to Fleet Equipment Unscripted—the video interview series that connects you with the greatest minds in the heavy-duty trucking world. Fleet Equipment Unscripted is sponsored by Hendrickson.

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