As I was getting out of Florida ahead of Hurricane Irma, I couldn’t help but think about all the commercial trucks and their drivers that I saw.
I’ve been thinking about the problem of truck drivers for years.
Because they are doomed as a profession.
Just as the car wiped out buggy drivers, the true autopilot truck is going to wipe out truck drivers. And it’s not some far-off sci-fi scenario. This is happening right now and will be complete probably within the next decade. The unions and politicos will try to fight it, but eventually they will cave to the extraordinary market forces that autopilot trucking brings.
Imagine for a second that you are a trucking company owner. How would you like to have a fleet of trucks that is driving on the road for 23 out of 24 hours a day, stopping only at weigh stations and refueling ports? Imagine the trucks optimized gas mileage, lowering operating costs and maintenance costs. Imagine fleet that is several times safer and causing in lower insurance costs. What’s not to love about that?
And in the long run, those lower costs will be reflected in more affordable goods to the consumer, who is the ultimate king in any market economy.
The only fly in this technological ointment is the drivers themselves. Truck driving is one of the most common professions for men in America. There is a huge segment of the population that will be obliterated.
So what to do if you are one of these truck drivers?
The good news is you do have options and a little bit of time.
Option 1, security
One thing the trucks will still need is an on-board crew to prevent hijackings. If these rolling treasure troves were to go without security, they’d be knocked over in a heartbeat. So each rolling cargo container will need at least 1 guard, possibly more depending on the route and duration of the trip.
So start getting in shape. Truck driving is an extremely sedentary job, and drivers aren’t known for their muscles. Time to hit the gym and look more like a bodyguard, less like a pile of mashed potatoes.
Take some security certifications. Learn the state of the art when it comes to defense and security.
Get trained in weapons and certified so you can prove you know what you are doing.
Option 2, a different line of work
Let’s say you knew you had 7 years to find a new job. Could you do it?
College only lasts 4 years. Even with professional or graduate schools, you are usually looking at around 7 years total. Granted, that is full time work on a subject, but you aren’t starting from scratch like an 18 year old. You have a lifetime of experience and skills already.
If you weren’t driving trucks, what would you want to do with your time?
How would you get paid in that field?
What do you need to know to get into that field?
Which connections do you need to make to break in?
How do you prove that you are worth a client or an employer spending money on?
Option 3, retirement
For those that are either too old or too stubborn to change, you are going to retire. It can be voluntary or not.
Then the question becomes, do you have enough in assets to support yourself?
Regardless of which option you go with (and you will be doing one of them), now is the time to save and/or invest as aggressively as possible. Whether you look to live below your means or expand your means, get started.