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Automation has made me a real man

Accused of inducing excessive fuel consumption, suspected to question the virility of the man who claims to no longer do without it, the automatic transmission is still not widely in France. Except for truck drivers who see the benefits.

I drove a truck as it was not any of any new Actros, the largest and most powerful tractors Mercedes-Benz is no need to confess a passion for mechanical or son and grand son of a truck driver to understand that I realized is a childhood dream.

Relatively speaking, it is as if the club members of the local model were offered to take the controls of an Airbus A380 What reconciled to the Father Christmas.

I drove an Actros some 510 horses, I was saying, but I did not have to "wet suit". Nor as a result of the fear of the effort.

Not that I cared for "download" the user manual in the way of a Neo (from the movie "Matrix"), learning to fly a helicopter in an instant through the big catch stuck on the back of his skull (I will think next time, it's pretty convenient ...).

No, more simply, I have relied on electronic systems for driver assistance that characterize the latest generation of the Actros tractor. Which include primarily the robotised gearbox, a seemingly ordinary equipment that does not disturb the sleep of the technophile but will help the truck driver to find his.

Once, driving a truck of the muscle required a lot of muscle between the steering wheels weighing "a dead donkey" and recalcitrant gearbox comprising only the hard way, the drivers were always an excuse to burn calories that they swallowed each of their gargantuan meals From here comes the tough image of the truck driver cut like a lumberjack.

The benefits of automation, however, have transformed the business more likely that alerts the audience to drowsiness or emergency brake is the power steering and automatic transition and selection of speeds have made the job of truck driver activity that you and I might consider.

The hard part is not afraid of heights on the ladder to the cockpit.

Against all odds, the drivers do not take offense to the widespread use of automated boxes that might call into question their masculinity Clichés die hard "Of course driving is easier, but the robotized gearbox is a luxury that n ' is not an "evidenced by the experienced professional with me.

"The automatic gearbox greatly eases the task of the driver can see all his attention on the open road before him," said he "Knowing that the majority of accidents on the main stem from incorrect inattention and drowsiness, it is clear that the benefit is not small. "

And our witness to explain that the driver is not the only advantage of the automation "Companies do not hesitate to finance the additional cost of this equipment as they have found that gum errors of conduct: spared boxes such as engines and thus travel greater mileage without major damage.

The investment is quickly recovered, especially since this type of transmission without torque converter generates no consumption ".

However, it would be wrong to believe that the automation has not hit the skepticism of drivers. Particularly within the small world of truck drivers of public works, whose conduct requires a particular fingering.

"When you drive a skip full of rubble on a sloping muddy, there is no question of error reporting for fear of being planted," said Julien Berthet, the communications department of Renault Trucks "A real know-how wins and who qualifies for a higher wage so "That is why the construction was the last bastion to resist the spread of automation.

"Here's a few years, when we organized demonstrations in quarries and on construction sites, drivers were not interested in our robotic transmission on the pretext that she never sought control would provide a test was enough to prove them wrong, but it ' is almost one to one we had to convince them. "

Finally, the professional driver - it is assigned to a tractor or to a dump site - will be able to defy the macho image of the irremediable it sticks to the average French driver would do well to be inspired, he too often associated with the automation planning for disability.

Security and serenity of the users have everything to gain.

As for yours truly, it's humble that he traveled a few miles on the track driving a semi-trailer weighted twenty tons fingers in the nose! Fully automatic mode engaged, the clutch driven performs all the work of the left leg, which remains at rest.

The reports are scattered in a timely manner, taking into account both the gradient and the rate of engine load to optimize consumption management to be handled with the fingertips and that is to give the air of Yves Montand in The Menace (1977) which is buttressed on the hoop is quickly running out of steam driving a Smart Fortwo with no support, it said.

The most confusing in all this? Certainly strange and languid movements of the chair with the air suspension also works well to erase the vertical accelerations that battering given by the trailer. The passenger feels the more, he whose head does not amortize horizontal vibrations.

Of course, start and drive straight ahead is one thing. Backtrack is another and the folks at Mercedes-Benz did not wish to see me risking this kind of delicate maneuvering. Too bad. I could have become a Bear, a real one. For whatever one may say, driving a truck is a profession. Robotized gearbox or not.