On behalf of Team 5940, I thought I would post this video of our chassis for the 2016 season driving over some of the defenses. While the chassis in the video still needs some work (structural reinforcement and pneumatics gear mainly), we are pretty happy with how the chassis is performing in our preliminary testing. We are also pleased that we were able to move relatively quickly and have a driving chassis halfway through week 2, especially as we are a rookie team!
You are correct that we are using the ball shifters. Most of the time we were running the robot in the low gear, and used that to get over almost every obstacle. We also have the third stage, on which I believe the ratio is 60:24. We don’t plan on spending a lot of time in the high gear for the resons you listed and others.