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stick vs. automatic
Ok, if your reading this then you can't make up your mind. This segment is about which transmission options you can explore. Neither transmission is really better than the other. I know, not helping so far. I am just here to help you look at all the angles of both choices you have to choose from. First is a question, can you even drive a standard transmission? I'm not being discriminatory, so please, no hate mail. I am merely stating a observation that nearly 3/4 of americans are incapable, or unwilling to learn how to drive a standard transmission. This is more apparent in the younger generations. If your building an off-highway vehicle, and have never driven a "stick", it would definately be best to go with an automatic. Likewise to those whom have never driven the "stick" in an off-road situation. When you leave the pavement, and hit the mud, you will find yourself actually worrying more about your speed and maneuvering. The standard actually adds more activity in the cab of an off-road vehicle. If you end up in the wrong gear on an upward grade, you may end up stalling the engine. This actually presents a new problem to an already difficult situation. You will then have to start your truck, get back into gear, and continue your climb without rolling backwards. There is nothing worse than climbing a difficult hill, except decending it in reverse. I'm not trying to stoke the fire on removing all manuals. If one can master it, they will then enhance their driving experience. A standard can actually present a grander feeling of control. It has the ability to hold a single gear for as long as you need it to, versus until it feels it's supposed to shift. When one hits the mud, they should be using a standard. I have a good argument for this. When you get bogged down in the mud, the object is to keep those tires spinning. And the mud will be doing everything it can to slow them down. In an automatic, when the tires reach a certain speed it shifts. Now the RPM's have dropped, and the tires are slowing. The ideal thing is to find that sweet spot, and hold that gear. A manual can do just that. But the opposite can be true of an automatic. When your out racing across a desert, or bouncing down a trail, the last thing you really want to do is hunt for gears. If your a first timer, the best recommendation that I could make would be start with the automatic. But, don't forget about the manual option. It can be a totally different experience. If your the guy that has been there already, the choice is yours. There are no right or wrong answers, only questions. And if this is to help your decision, ask yourself just one question. What is my primary use? Sometimes, you might even suprise yourself.
Rocks - manual
Mud - manual
Obstacle course - automatic
Hill climb - automatic
Open plain racing - automatic
Closed course racing - manual
Trails - automatic
Sand dunes - manual
Hills (decending) - manual