Driving a truck is not glamorous, holds many risks and dangers, and is not paid as well as many other skills which 18 year-olds can easily master. But for certain types of young spirits, it may be the perfect path to quickly building a useful nest egg and launching pad.
All Forms of Transport Are Important
Ships, trains, trucks, planes, barges, and pipelines, all contribute to the moving of freight within and between national borders.
International freight is transported by sea transport, rail, road, and by plane. National freight rides on river barges, rails, pipelines, planes, and 18 wheel trucks.
The image below displays the disproportionate amount of US national freight that is transported by both local and intercity freight trucks.
What’s In it For a Dangerous Child?
Trucking is an important skill, required by all thriving communities — just as flying planes, operating barges, and navigating sea routes are important skills. As you can see from the graphic above, trucking occupies a key role in US freight supplies. And for most youth, learning to drive a truck is a relatively quick, easy, and inexpensive way to achieve a marketable skill — optionally one of at least three skills that a Dangerous Child will need to master before his 18th birthday.
But are the trucking jobs there, for eager young life-builders with a sense of “on the road adventure,” seeking to acquire a cash stake?
There is a Shortage of US Truckers
As it happens, yes.
The industry reports a growing labor shortage — 63,000 open positions this year, a number expected to more than double in coming years — that could have wide-ranging impacts on the U.S. economy.
Nearly every item sold in the United States touches a truck at some point, which explains why the challenges facing the industry, including trucking companies rapidly raising prices as they raise wages, have special power to affect the entire economy. Already, delivery delays are common, and businesses such as Amazon, General Mills and Tyson Foods are raising prices as they pass higher transportation costs along to consumers. On a recent call with investors, a Walmart executive called rising transportation costs the company’s primary “head wind.” __ https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/americas-severe-trucker-shortage-could-undermine-the-prosperous-economy/2018/06/28/61c19e12-7595-11e8-b4b7-308400242c2e_story.html?
Trucking is not for everybody. It’s a hazardous job — like many jobs that are occupied almost entirely by men. Dangerous Children will have mastered enough skills by age 18 so that they can decide for themselves, based upon their inner sense of themselves.
There were more than 1,000 fatalities among motor vehicle operators in 2016, according to the Labor Department, meaning being a commercial driver is nearly eight times as deadly as being a law enforcement officer.
“It takes a special breed to be a trucker. It’s a tough job,” said Rick Rathburn Jr., the owner of TDDS, a school his late father started in the early 1970s. A trucking company recently tried to buy the entire school. __ WaPo
This Type of Job is a Stepping Stone
There are many reasons why an 18 year old Dangerous Child might choose to drive a truck for a year or few. Building a quick nest egg to finance new projects would rank near the top in a list. There are worse fates than finding oneself a 21 year-old with a few hundred thousand dollars in the bank and no debt.
A Dangerous Child could certainly make more money as a welder or an oil rig worker, but some DCs may want the experience of driving the roads under all conditions, seeing what things are really like in different parts of their country. Also, sitting in the cab of a truck gives a person a lot of time to think, and listen to audio books that are capable of giving him a better general education than most contemporary universities.
After a few years of working, a Dangerous Child might take part of his savings and enter a profession via higher education, or he might choose to open his own business — perhaps expanding on one of the various skills he will have mastered.
Better than Prison or Drowning in College Debt
The skilled trades offer generally higher wages to the 18 year old dangerous child — and there are a lot of them to choose from. Skilled trade jobs may be more likely to open into more long-lasting careers and business opportunities.
Many skilled jobs make it easier for the Dangerous Child to live in one place and establish roots — something that long distance trucking jobs often make difficult.
Only the Dangerous Child himself will know if he can adapt to a life on the road in a big rig, if only for a year or so. If the DC is a writer or songwriter, he is likely to find plenty of material on the road. In the end, it is the experience itself that leads most drivers to stay on the road.
More Jobs of All Kinds in a Prosperous Economy
From 2008 through 2016, the US and much of the western world were bogged down in economic doldrums which were mostly the manufactured result of bad government policy. Suddenly, after the 2016 elections, the US economy is beginning to act as if a heavy weight has been removed from its back. As a result, more jobs of all types are being offered.
CHICAGO – Today marks the U.S. economy’s second-longest [expansion] since 1785, according to new research released by global commercial real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield. If this trend continues through July 1, 2019, the expansion of this economic cycle will officially be the longest on record. __ http://www.cushmanwakefield.com/en/news/2018/05/us-economy-enters-second-largest-expansion
It may be a coincidence of market timing that current US prosperity began when it did, but if economic expansion suits your purpose, it is best to take advantage. And Dangerous Children will find many ways to take advantage of economic conditions, whatever they may be.