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MrAviator27
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Do I need a manual driving license to be a Ramp Agent or is an automatic license satisfactory?

Wed Sep 22, 2021 3:18 pm

Hi guys,

My name is Tom, i am 18 years old from England. I am currently looking to enter the world of work as i am thinking about dropping out of university. I like the look of being a ramp agent as i have had a long standing passion for the aviation industry ever since i was a young child and have always dreamt of working in an airport environment.

I am hoping that someone can answer my query because i am looking to start driving lessons soon and my family have automatic cars so it would be a whole lot easier to learn in an automatic. On all of the job listings i have seen it states that a "Full UK driving license" is required. But does that mean a manual license or can an automatic license be sufficient.

Thank you,

Tom.
 
johns624
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Re: Do I need a manual driving license to be a Ramp Agent or is an automatic license satisfactory?

Wed Sep 22, 2021 4:22 pm

Having a "passion for the aviation industry" is one thing but working hard and continuously lifting heavy objects while working in all weather is quite another.
 
Interflug74
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Re: Do I need a manual driving license to be a Ramp Agent or is an automatic license satisfactory?

Wed Sep 22, 2021 4:24 pm

is it first of april, no? i never tried an car with automatic drive. i think i would have problems with it ;-) shifting gear in an decent car with some ps/horsepower is, maybee on an winding road, one of the things that brings you real fun and joy. learn it
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Do I need a manual driving license to be a Ramp Agent or is an automatic license satisfactory?

Wed Sep 22, 2021 5:12 pm

The best way to find out is to contact one of the employers and ask. However, I wager you'll need to be able to drive a manual, as I doubt the ramp vehicle fleets are all automatic. And even if they are all automatic, having a requirement for a "full" license is just one more way of cutting down on the pool of candidates.

Setting aside actually finding a manual car to use in your case, learning manual shift is only marginally more difficult than learning automatic. In my opinion, it will also make you a better driver even if you only drive automatics going forward.

johns624 wrote:
Having a "passion for the aviation industry" is one thing but working hard and continuously lifting heavy objects while working in all weather is quite another.


Well put. If you get a degree first, and then start working the ramp, your chances for other positions should you want to exit, move up, or move laterally increase.


Interflug74 wrote:
is it first of april, no? i never tried an car with automatic drive. i think i would have problems with it ;-) shifting gear in an decent car with some ps/horsepower is, maybee on an winding road, one of the things that brings you real fun and joy. learn it


I don't think the employers in question are very concerned about the driving experience per se...
 
e38
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Re: Do I need a manual driving license to be a Ramp Agent or is an automatic license satisfactory?

Wed Sep 22, 2021 8:30 pm

MrAviator27 wrote:
I am currently looking to enter the world of work as i am thinking about dropping out of university.


Tom, obviously your statement above implies you are currently enrolled at a university. My advice: Don't drop out!

Continue your studies and finish your degree. At your age, there is no hurry to enter the work force and you will find you have many additional career options if you earn a college degree. Of course you always have the options of finishing your degree later in life, but often it is more difficult to return to school once you've started earning a living.

Since you are interested in a career in aviation, make sure your curriculum is compatible with the aviation world. It does not have to have the word "airport" or "aviation" in the title--such as "Airport Management," or "Aviation Science," but something such as business, finance, marketing, or even engineering if your are interested in that aspect, would certainly be conducive to an aviation career. And, if you are still interested in being a ramp agent, you could do that as well.

e38
 
Dalmd88
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Re: Do I need a manual driving license to be a Ramp Agent or is an automatic license satisfactory?

Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:22 pm

I second the stay in school advice. Dropping out of school to sling bags isn't my idea of getting very much into aviation as a career. Yes some people do make a career of ramp agent, possibly moving into gate agent or off to a cargo department or maintenance stores.

My question is about the UK auto license question. I'm an American here so I'm curious. You guys have a different license for manual and automatic transmission? For us in the states the transmission type doesn't matter. The only thing is the size of the vehicle. Big trucks and buses require a Commercial for hire license. Manual transmissions here have become quite rare actually. I've always considered them a poor man's anti theft device. In over thirty years in US aviation I don't think I've ever seen a manual transmission ramp vehicle. I'm sure there are some old 50's vintage tugs somewhere.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Do I need a manual driving license to be a Ramp Agent or is an automatic license satisfactory?

Wed Sep 22, 2021 11:15 pm

Dalmd88 wrote:
I second the stay in school advice. Dropping out of school to sling bags isn't my idea of getting very much into aviation as a career. Yes some people do make a career of ramp agent, possibly moving into gate agent or off to a cargo department or maintenance stores.

My question is about the UK auto license question. I'm an American here so I'm curious. You guys have a different license for manual and automatic transmission? For us in the states the transmission type doesn't matter. The only thing is the size of the vehicle. Big trucks and buses require a Commercial for hire license. Manual transmissions here have become quite rare actually. I've always considered them a poor man's anti theft device. In over thirty years in US aviation I don't think I've ever seen a manual transmission ramp vehicle. I'm sure there are some old 50's vintage tugs somewhere.


In my experience, much of Western Europe will differentiate between automatic only and manual, with licenses having a note such as "Automatic only". Where I live in Asia the same is true for motorcycle licenses.

Automatic transmissions were commonplace in the US decades before they made any significant inroads in Europe. A quick Google search shows that in 2020, 75% of cars sold in the UK were manual, with similar numbers in Japan. By contrast, in the US fewer than 5% of new cars are manual. Given those numbers, I'd be very surprised if there were no manual transmission cars on a UK apron.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Do I need a manual driving license to be a Ramp Agent or is an automatic license satisfactory?

Thu Sep 23, 2021 12:55 am

Is there a special power steering license? What’s the point of differentiating between gearboxes?
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Do I need a manual driving license to be a Ramp Agent or is an automatic license satisfactory?

Thu Sep 23, 2021 1:44 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Is there a special power steering license? What’s the point of differentiating between gearboxes?


To clarify, there is no "manual only" license. If you have the manual, you may also drive automatic, but not the other way around. Manual requires an extra skillset, I suppose.

When I was growing up, I had the impression that the automatic-only variant was only commonly sought by people with handicaps that prevented using a manual. For example, paraplegics using hand controls.

On the other hand, where I live now it seems many people, especially those getting a motorbike license, never expect to drive a manual. They can save a relatively large amount of money by going automatic-only, so they choose that route.
Last edited by Starlionblue on Thu Sep 23, 2021 2:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Do I need a manual driving license to be a Ramp Agent or is an automatic license satisfactory?

Thu Sep 23, 2021 2:04 am

There is different fees or insurance costs associated with having the “full” license? Very Americanon my part. I have an English friend I got together with years ago in Florida. He was stunned someone would take his credit card and give him a boat for the afternoon with nothing in the way of a license. Asked for directions to a good beach and off they went for the afternoon.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Do I need a manual driving license to be a Ramp Agent or is an automatic license satisfactory?

Thu Sep 23, 2021 2:13 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
There is different fees or insurance costs associated with having the “full” license? Very Americanon my part. I have an English friend I got together with years ago in Florida. He was stunned someone would take his credit card and give him a boat for the afternoon with nothing in the way of a license. Asked for directions to a good beach and off they went for the afternoon.


I don't think there's a difference in insurance costs. Those tend to be more tied to the driver's age and driving history, as well as the cost of the vehicle itself.

The training is identical apart from transmission usage, so in theory an automatic-only driver should be just as capable not to crash as a manual driver.
 
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AirKevin
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Re: Do I need a manual driving license to be a Ramp Agent or is an automatic license satisfactory?

Thu Sep 23, 2021 3:05 am

Dalmd88 wrote:
My question is about the UK auto license question. I'm an American here so I'm curious. You guys have a different license for manual and automatic transmission? For us in the states the transmission type doesn't matter. The only thing is the size of the vehicle. Big trucks and buses require a Commercial for hire license.

American trucker here. A few years ago, they changed regulations, so if you were trying to get your CDL and you took your road test in an automatic truck, you have a restriction on your CDL stating that you can only drive an automatic truck. Of course, now a lot of truck driving schools are only training using automatic trucks, which is pushing a lot of trucking companies to switching to automatic transmission since they would otherwise have problems hiring drivers since a lot of them coming out of truck driving school would now have the automatic restriction. Company I drive for is switching to automatic transmission. Personally, I hate it, but nothing I can do about it.
 
ChrisKen
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Re: Do I need a manual driving license to be a Ramp Agent or is an automatic license satisfactory?

Thu Sep 23, 2021 9:46 am

MrAviator27 wrote:
Hi guys,

My name is Tom, i am 18 years old from England. I am currently looking to enter the world of work as i am thinking about dropping out of university. I like the look of being a ramp agent as i have had a long standing passion for the aviation industry ever since i was a young child and have always dreamt of working in an airport environment.

I am hoping that someone can answer my query because i am looking to start driving lessons soon and my family have automatic cars so it would be a whole lot easier to learn in an automatic. On all of the job listings i have seen it states that a "Full UK driving license" is required. But does that mean a manual license or can an automatic license be sufficient.

Thank you,

Tom.

1. Stay in education as long as you can.
2. Don't just do a automatic license unless you have a medical reason to do so (which would preclude ramp work anyway). Get the full manual license, you can drive either afterwards, whereas your options become very limited if you restrict yourself to automatic only.
3. You really shouldn't be taught to drive by family/friends, not only is it stressful (for both parties), it's frequently the cause of arguments and fallouts. You'll also be taught their bad habits, their outdated knowledge and by someone who isn't trained to teach. Use a professional instructor.
 
TUGMASTER
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Re: Do I need a manual driving license to be a Ramp Agent or is an automatic license satisfactory?

Thu Sep 23, 2021 9:47 am

1, stay in Uni
2, get a manual licence.

FWIW, there are so many different types of vehicles on the ramp, mostly auto, but still many with manual boxes .

As a poster up thread mentioned, it’s a different skill set to get a manual licence , and in theory easier to get an auto.
It’s all about the left foot coordination with the hand that changes the gear and the accompanying engine revs of the motor.
 
ChrisKen
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Re: Do I need a manual driving license to be a Ramp Agent or is an automatic license satisfactory?

Thu Sep 23, 2021 9:52 am

Dalmd88 wrote:
My question is about the UK auto license question. I'm an American here so I'm curious. You guys have a different license for manual and automatic transmission? For us in the states the transmission type doesn't matter. The only thing is the size of the vehicle. Big trucks and buses require a Commercial for hire license.

Test with manual transmission you can drive either.
Test with automatic transmission, you're restricted to automatics only. It's primarily a separate category for those with medical conditions who cannot operate a manual transmission.

Different types of vehicles require further endorsements based on vehicle categories, age, time license held, further testing and/or professional licenses.
https://www.gov.uk/driving-licence-categories
 
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WesternDC6B
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Re: Do I need a manual driving license to be a Ramp Agent or is an automatic license satisfactory?

Thu Sep 23, 2021 11:59 am

"In my opinion, it will also make you a better driver even if you only drive automatics going forward."

What about when going in reverse? :duck:

Comments above are correct. Learning on a stick shift car will make you a better driver no matter what. Also, driving a manual is like falling off a bicycle. Once you learn how, the skill never leaves you.
 
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AirKevin
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Re: Do I need a manual driving license to be a Ramp Agent or is an automatic license satisfactory?

Thu Sep 23, 2021 11:18 pm

WesternDC6B wrote:
Also, driving a manual is like falling off a bicycle. Once you learn how, the skill never leaves you.

I think it doesn't take much skill to fall off a bike.
 
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WesternDC6B
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Re: Do I need a manual driving license to be a Ramp Agent or is an automatic license satisfactory?

Fri Sep 24, 2021 12:32 am

AirKevin wrote:
WesternDC6B wrote:
Also, driving a manual is like falling off a bicycle. Once you learn how, the skill never leaves you.

I think it doesn't take much skill to fall off a bike.


Ahh! You noticed whiat I wrote! ;-{)}}} I have pulled that phrase on folks, and it often takes time for them to understand what I said, not what they hought I said.
 
rbretas
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Re: Do I need a manual driving license to be a Ramp Agent or is an automatic license satisfactory?

Fri Sep 24, 2021 2:56 am

Starlionblue wrote:
A quick Google search shows that in 2020, 75% of cars sold in the UK were manual, with similar numbers in Japan.


That source may have got something lost in translation. In Japan 98.6% of cars registered in 2019 were automatic and is has been above 90% since 2000. Despite that, and unlike in the US, the licenses still include an "Automatic only" limitation for people who took their exam on automatic cars. The percentage of people with a manual license is close to what you quoted (and heavily skewed towards according to age), but most haven't driven a manual car in decades or since acquiring their license.
 
r6russian
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Re: Do I need a manual driving license to be a Ramp Agent or is an automatic license satisfactory?

Fri Sep 24, 2021 11:59 pm

dont drop out of college, after 6 months student loans start coming after you and they dont care how much you make or if youre working or whatever. If you graduated, you can refinance your loans for a lower interest, if you didnt graduate, you cant refinance and are stuck at their draconian interest rates. With a degree and a refinanced loan, youll save 10s of thousands of dollars in interest over the payoff period.

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