We often get asked the question from students considering enrolling “should I go for an unrestricted heavy vehicle licence?” or “should I go for the restricted option?”
This question is very difficult for our team to answer, as is depends on your needs as a driver. The vehicles you’re likely to be exposed to throughout your career, is the number one influencing factor.
In industries like Mining, Waste Management and Concrete Agitators, the trend is most certainly modern gearbox technologies. Fully automatic gearboxes would probably be the most common gearboxes drivers would be exposed to.
Automated manuals and fully automatic gearboxes were on offer at eleven major truck manufacturers Australian websites: Isuzu, Hino, Kenworth, Scania, Iveco, Mack, Fuso, Volvo, Mercedes, UD and Daf. In our opinion, 5-10 years from now, automated manuals and fully automatic gearboxes will be the most popular option in all industries.
Automated manuals and fully automatic gearboxes are less fatiguing to operate, and will help with the retention of staff. Drivers with experience driving ‘Roadranger’ constant mesh gearboxes are a dying breed, and companies are conscious of this when they purchase new vehicles. However, some companies require that their drivers (or new recruits) hold a constant mesh (unrestrcited licence) as it could be argued that these drivers have undergone more indepth training.
Currently, in the heavy freight industry, all transmissions can be found. In the light to medium frieght industry automated manual and synchromesh are what’s used.
There are still many vehicles in all industries that are fitted with a constant mesh gearbox. This is obviously why the training is still very popular.
We can clearly see a pattern with enrolments. About 65% are going for auto/synchro and 35% for unrestricted. The percent for unrestricted will continue to fall as time goes on, and as heavy vehicle manufactures roll out their new technologies.
We can only give guidance, and provide our statistics. We can also comment on our opinion of current industry trends.
We offer both restricted and unrestricted licence courses, so we’re not interested in leading a student one way or another.