Thumb Drive

This new steering wheel is taking a little getting used to, but I am really starting to like it. It makes sense. I am doing less footwork and more thumb driving. Keeping a comfortable following distance by managing my speed with my thumbs is more precise than my foot. The idea is to effectively manage my forward momentum. The more precisely, you can manage your forward momentum, the better your fuel mileage will be.

This truck is more tech savvy than I am. The first night that I had the truck it was pouring down rain. The improvement in visibility with the single piece windshield and the longer wiper blades was impressive. Unfortunately, my stereo was stuck on the weather band and I did not know how to change it. The next morning I took my time, and learned more about the system before I started driving and now, I am able to move easily between AM/FM/ XM and the weather band. The more that I learned the better that I liked it.

From the steering wheel, the driver can easily slide between screens while keeping their eyes on the road. Increased information is easily accessible. With a couple of clicks, I can check my tire pressure. By going to the Assurance screen, I can see how fast that car that just passed ne is going, and how quickly they are pulling away, or that I am gaining on them. The driver can control the over/under limits on cruise control. So, if I choose to run 64 MPH in a 70 MPH zone, I can set the over speed to 6 MPH and when the vehicle reaches the speed limit in coast mode the drive line will engage to slow the truck. The driver can also set the under from the wheel. This way you can also control when the truck powers back up. Increase the under and you can increase your MPG by increasing the coast mode usage. Tighten it up and it will start pulling the hills sooner. All of this can be controlled with your thumb.

As a driver, I am a micro manager. Managing forward momentum matters. It is easy to knock my speed down a notch or two. If I am a mile or so from my exit instead of expending the energy to get around the truck in front of me, or hitting the brake, I can tap down my speed. When someone wants to challenge me to a turtle race, I can knock down the speed a notch ang let them by, and not impede faster traffic. The opposite is true as well. If I am running my 64 and and gaining on that 63 MPH truck, no problem, bump my CC up a notch or two and get around it  quicker,

The thumb drive helps me stay ahead of my collision mitigation system. An MPH or 2 over the course of a mile dows not change my arrival time by more that a few seconds. The ability to micro manage my speed from the wheel also helps my increase my MPG. That helps me increase my bottom line. That makes me and my wife happy. 

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Jeff Clark

Jeff Clark of Kewaunee, WI has been driving a truck for 24 years. He has been an owner operator for 11 years.

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