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Truck Driving?

YoungGuns

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(Skip to paragraph 3 for the actual truck driving part)

Is anybody here a truck driver, or considered the merits of being one? I am 23 and have been considering it off and on for years. I am almost done with my general eds for a BS degree, but it would still take at least 3 years to get a BS from the looks of it. I severely lack discipline in personal and academic life, but I am actually usually a really hard worker at the various shit jobs I have and currently have.

I guess you could say that I have an intellectual mixed with blue collar mindset. I work hard and then goof off without direction while not working (although since I lack job skills, I spend much of my time trying to figure out a way to the middle class what time I am not learning whatever interests me).

Aside from the dangers, I think trucking could be good to get into. There is actually strategy in route planning and time management. It's a very independent job with massive demand. I could live anywhere or nowhere. I will have tons of time in the day to learn and be entertained with whatever I want via audio. I won't be doing the same thing over and over and over without any intellectual stimulation and hate everything (my current job of packing 10 hours a day).

Here's and interesting post about it at an INTJ forum: http://intjforum.com/showthread.php?t=89144

What's been keeping me from doing it is I won't be developing professional skills and experience in a field like programming (which I don't have enough experience in to know if I like like the cliche INTP)

Thoughts?
 

EditorOne

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I periodically take long trips - five hours or more - pursuing a hobby. What I appreciate most is the opportunity to be alone with my thoughts. I can see that appealing to an INTP from time to time, but a steady diet of it might be too much.

On the downside, the 18-wheeler is a massive, awkward beast easily baffled by tight city streets. I often see truck drivers who are attempting a simple right turn at an intersection and have to wait until an astute driver comes in from the right and stops well short of the intersection, to let the truck use the opposing lane to make the turn. Relying on teamwork from complete strangers to get your goals accomplished is not my idea of fun, and the stress of negotiating a big truck among pedestrians, four-wheelers and bicycles has always struck me as unavoidable.
 

EditorOne

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Additionally, for your consideration, many transportation companies program their drivers' routes for them and use GPS tracking to make sure they don't deviate. It is partly for efficiency, partly for liability, and partly for defense against theft, ie., the driver can't conspire with pards to park the truck in a secluded area so it can be looted.
 

EditorOne

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No paid benefits, but what if you got an older truck of medium size yourself and took on jobs cleaning out attics and garages for homeowners? You already know how to load, and if you set the deals up right you can trash most of the load and sell whatever's salvageable to second-hand furniture stores, antique shops, etc.
 

YoungGuns

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I periodically take long trips - five hours or more - pursuing a hobby. What I appreciate most is the opportunity to be alone with my thoughts. I can see that appealing to an INTP from time to time, but a steady diet of it might be too much.

On the downside, the 18-wheeler is a massive, awkward beast easily baffled by tight city streets. I often see truck drivers who are attempting a simple right turn at an intersection and have to wait until an astute driver comes in from the right and stops well short of the intersection, to let the truck use the opposing lane to make the turn. Relying on teamwork from complete strangers to get your goals accomplished is not my idea of fun, and the stress of negotiating a big truck among pedestrians, four-wheelers and bicycles has always struck me as unavoidable.

Yes, there are all sorts of tight situations these trucks get into that are highly stressful. I don't know about other INTPs, but when I first started in the workforce (pizza delivery at a hectic, ill managed place) I could not handle this kind of stress at all; I suppose my inferior Fe would just provoke a breakdown. I would have killed somebody if I drove a semi at 18. I believe I have built a toughness to this kind of stress now after several years of that and a bit of other stuff like call center experience (I actually got above average at tech support, but I absolutely hated it at the same time).

(skip to the last two paragraphs to skip the rant)

I've had 3 pizza delivery jobs, and they are the only jobs I would say I have ever liked. Whether they were slow, laid back days of cruising around and hanging out inside, or chaotic with tons of things to manage and plan in a frenzy (or calm, whatever mood I was in in spite of my surroundings :P) I grew to like it. All of my other jobs have completely sucked in comparison, outside of better pay sometimes.

I have liked the work atmosphere of small restaurants that pizza places provide (minus the customers) whether I fit in or not. Small casual atmosphere where I can prove and show off my competence while also making friends usually, but also not stuck inside forever usually because of delivery. I have to have this kind of atmosphere to really make friends in a work place.

I currently pack boxes at Amazon for 10 to soon to be 12 hour shifts 4-5 days a week. Except about once a week when I get another role supporting the other packers, which is slightly challenging, it is mindless. And we can't have ipods or anything for entertainment. I see where people on forums speak about how mindless jobs can be a good thing because you can daydream, and I partially disagree. That is only good for a few hours a week. Maybe they are smarter than me, but I need input, even if it's just listening to some idiot on the radio. I find otherwise that the boredom and loneliness usually creates a negative downward spiral after so many hours.

I find that although I do make friends in large workplaces, I never feel or want to be close to anybody there, nor am I happy.

Offices sound terrible to work in people wise, especially political driven ones. Maybe a small tech company would be better? Hmm.

Truck driving does not provide this atmosphere usually, but you at least can study what you want while driving or waiting and not be trapped forever in the same little area. You also can switch between various niches to learn and experience different things. Honestly though, the main reason I am interested in it is it is the quickest way to a decent income with the most flexibility and demand. But it is somewhat dangerous with long sometimes stressful hours.

I have tons of knowledge of very profitable (albeit not INTP friendly) businesses I could start, programming languages I should learn, etc. But after many years of finding this stuff out and only slightly if at all trying, I have learned not to trust myself on my own. I got to where I know better than to try to start business ideas on my own because I will not complete them, wasting time and money I cannot afford to. College helps a little bit in completion of things, but often not enough. I find the obligation to an employer is the only way I excel and complete anything.
 

YoungGuns

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Additionally, for your consideration, many transportation companies program their drivers' routes for them and use GPS tracking to make sure they don't deviate. It is partly for efficiency, partly for liability, and partly for defense against theft, ie., the driver can't conspire with pards to park the truck in a secluded area so it can be looted.

I know. But after I bit of experience, I could at least try to find a company that gives me the freedom I want.

No paid benefits, but what if you got an older truck of medium size yourself and took on jobs cleaning out attics and garages for homeowners? You already know how to load, and if you set the deals up right you can trash most of the load and sell whatever's salvageable to second-hand furniture stores, antique shops, etc.

I have actually read a book about doing this. I probably would need help with the heavier things. I could do it as a side thing, but I do need steady income right now because I live on my own.

Plus the thought of selling my newly purchased Miata for a truck :O :P

Really though, it goes back to my last post of not trusting myself to complete any business that I start, which is why I don't do such things. I would have a degree right now if I came to terms with this already.
 

YoungGuns

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Another more personal reason to become a driver is to help my fiance's family come to America. They live in a small town in Mexico with poor education and increasing danger from cartels. I could help pay for the quite expensive citizenship process for the mom so they could live here. To be honest though, that's just an excuse.

My fiance is on board with living with me on a truck for a little bit once I am a bit more comfortable driving if I drive over the road. This would be both for the adventure and to save money. I would want to be home more once I get a year or two of experience, which should be possible. We have had less comfortable living arrangements before and are very close, so that wouldn't be a problem.

On the other hand, I would probably be continuing to waste my time not getting more valuable job skills in an ever increasingly complex world and competitive job market. Meh.
 

Alias

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I think an ISTP would be good at it too. I wouldn't be a good truck driver. My mind wanders too much, and the responsibility of such a huge vehicle isn't something I want.
 

YoungGuns

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I think an ISTP would be good at it too. I wouldn't be a good truck driver. My mind wanders too much, and the responsibility of such a huge vehicle isn't something I want.

I think ISTP and INTJ would be the best owner operators and ISTJ best company driver. I too worry about mind wandering and killing somebody. I find a am a pretty good driver when I have been doing it a lot and don't have passengers, though (I tell myself)
 

Vrecknidj

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If I were interested in transportation as a career, I'd get involved with the autonomous vehicles side of things and be one of the people who will make a fortune on self-driving trucks that will come to pass within the next generation.
 

Reluctantly

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I thought about it. If it was some kind of part time gig, I don't think it would be too bad. A lot of independence, but I don't like people much, so it's perfect for me, but some would hate it.

I think I prefer engineering cars more though. Building a turbo race car has been fun and it's awesome going to a machine shop and seeing people that actually like their jobs helping me out with whatever I need done. Probably should have went mechanical engineering instead of electrical.

Personally I'd like to open a shop and rebuild old cars to resell when I get out of the army. I could go to school at the same time and get into biomedical engineering.

I think my ISTJish friend is right though. It's not about finding a perfect job that is so meaningful or whatever, but finding one that you can stand that pays well enough. At least that's where my thinking is at lately.
 

Russ

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If you get your BS degree and THEN your CDL you would have both. The more time you put between you and school, the harder it is to go back. If you don’t/can't go back you had better really like being a trucker...

What degree are you looking at?
 

Russ

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However, if you’re going to switch degree programs three times and drop out of a whole bunch of classes for reasons that seemed legit but I cant remember and screw up the chances of future you who gives a shit now at getting into school.

Drive the truck...

Trust me.
 

YoungGuns

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If you get your BS degree and THEN your CDL you would have both. The more time you put between you and school, the harder it is to go back. If you don’t/can't go back you had better really like being a trucker...

What degree are you looking at?

I plan on getting a degree in computer science or something that will end in a similar to career that that would provide if I stay in school. I am still around 80 credits way from such, though.

Although I do love the internet and have historically had moderate enjoyment of basic tech things such as taking apart electronics or using linux on a user level (or fumbling through a poorly tought Java class), I overall am much more interested in learning how the world works as a whole, on a societal and human level. Psychology, economics, sociology, philosophy, business (to a degree). Unfortunately, I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in going to some phd or such path to study these things; that sounds dreadful to me. These interests have me understanding how the world works, but at the same time not having any practical skills to have a significant place in it.

So I either need to force my intellect and logical aptitude into something technical and/or logical like CS or some tech career, or do something less technically skilled that is in massive demand and pays decently but I can use my above average investigative and arithmetic skills to excel in while studying whatever I want on the side instead of worrying about keeping up with the latest technology in some tech field (not that that is a horrible problem always, but I would probably rather study whatever I want).

I have had tiny side businesses when I was young before. I have found that I only excel in searching for opportunities, and even when I fulfill them they are very poorly managed if I am just doing it on my own. However, ironically I actually am a decent manager of people in the working world once I am forced to do so and I feel I have an understanding of what I am managing.

As of now, I have just been sporadically attending college while working shit jobs. I spend most of my free time either studying whatever I want or endlessly researching various careers so I can get out of my hole. I have determined and am actually now able to take the leap into going all in into being a full time student or being a truck driver.

I also just recently made a family connection that could get me started in a machinist career. It seems interesting but super ISTPish, and an underpaid field relative to the skills required at the various levels. I could be wrong, though. I am just enough of a sensor to find it mildly intriguing, but enough of an N to not know what to do with hand tools and mechanics without endlessly fumbling around.
 

YoungGuns

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I thought about it. If it was some kind of part time gig, I don't think it would be too bad. A lot of independence, but I don't like people much, so it's perfect for me, but some would hate it.

I think I prefer engineering cars more though. Building a turbo race car has been fun and it's awesome going to a machine shop and seeing people that actually like their jobs helping me out with whatever I need done. Probably should have went mechanical engineering instead of electrical.

Personally I'd like to open a shop and rebuild old cars to resell when I get out of the army. I could go to school at the same time and get into biomedical engineering.

I think my ISTJish friend is right though. It's not about finding a perfect job that is so meaningful or whatever, but finding one that you can stand that pays well enough. At least that's where my thinking is at lately.

I've been told that some of the best mechanical engineers are former machinist that basically worked there way up while going to school. Could apply to other fields like automotive, maybe. Don't know if that fits into your life; just throwing it out there.
 
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