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VIDEODROME
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05 Dec 2011, 12:21 am

Just thought this might be worth tossing out as a possible job path. Not only to find work, but for those at their wits end dealing with co-workers. You're out on the open road all by yourself driving a Van. I've been doing this myself since July. I drive a Cargo Van delivering Expedited Freight across Eastern North America and through some of the MidWest.

To live cheaply I'm based out of my parents' house and I go out on the road for about a month at a time. I might indulge in a motel room a few times but usually I sleep in a small bunk in the Van right behind the seats. It sucks in the Summer because you often have to run the A/C if it's to hot, but the Fall weather is no problem. Even now in the Winter I sleep comfortably in a good Cold Weather sleeping bag with no problem.

Most of the freight is just 1 pallet but sometimes it's 2 and I just have to flip over the bed to make more room. Or sometimes it might just be a box or envelope that is time sensitive. For example a factory might have a machine break and all they need is that one replacement part so that is where an expedited freight van comes in. It kind of supplements the trucking industry. For example one time I picked up a 3 pound box and delivered from Norfolk, VA all the way to Grand Rapids, MI.

Another detail I need to mention is I consider myself an Independent Contractor but working as a SubContractor. Yes this is usually a 1099 position you don't have an employer doing your withholding. I drive a van for a "Fleet Owner" who contract the van with an Expedited Freight company, so that means I work but split the pay with the van owner. Also I pay for the fuel, but there is a fuel surcharge and I get all of that to help fill up the tank. However if I wanted to I could buy my own van and be an Owner Operator and keep the full pay as well as the Fuel Surcharge. I've met people who do that and they enjoy their life on the road.

It is a really unusual job but I thought it would be worth mentioning especially for anyone who feels confident in their driving ability and also might actually enjoy the solitude. Also this is so much more basic then trying to get out there and drive.

If this sounds interesting to you I suggest doing a lot of research on different companies. If you decide you want to drive under a fleet owner first you might ask around first and talk to more then one fleet owner.

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Teredia
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05 Dec 2011, 2:36 am

I just got my licence a couple of weeks ago. I HATE driving. I have depth perseption issues, and driving stresses me out so much i get sick. my psychologist is trying to help me get over this....



DoniiMann
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05 Dec 2011, 6:39 am

@44 y.o. I've been driving for seven years, and it still makes me nervous. Hate driving anywhere new. Also depth perception issues.

But if you can do it and enjoy it, feel blessed. Something we enjoy and are competent at is what we all want.


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lostmyself
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05 Dec 2011, 6:42 am

Teredia wrote:
I just got my licence a couple of weeks ago. I HATE driving. I have depth perseption issues, and driving stresses me out so much i get sick. my psychologist is trying to help me get over this....


Same, depth perception issues. and driving here is messed up. the vehicles are all over the place.



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05 Dec 2011, 10:07 pm

This sounds like the kind of job I could enjoy. I have depth perception issues as well, but as long as I'm not driving in a very enclosed space I'm alright (I have much more trouble parking than actually driving). I can also make very long trips without getting too tired (I've done 12 hours straight before driving from New York to Canada and back). I don't think my family would be too supportive, but I'll look into it. Thanks for the idea.



Teredia
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06 Dec 2011, 4:34 am

lostmyself wrote:
Teredia wrote:
I just got my licence a couple of weeks ago. I HATE driving. I have depth perseption issues, and driving stresses me out so much i get sick. my psychologist is trying to help me get over this....


Same, depth perception issues. and driving here is messed up. the vehicles are all over the place.


Where are you from? I cant drive overseas, I live in Australia everything is so back-to-front and confusing for me.



Jayo
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06 Dec 2011, 9:39 pm

I'm an Aspie male, I've been driving for about 15 years, and I'm in my late 30s now. I NEVER caused an accident :D
However, I have been rear-ended three times, backed into once by a truck driver who wasn't paying attention, and been cut off by someone doing an illegal left turn, slammed into them.
Each time I was actually calm about the whole thing - I felt like getting really angry but kept my cool, even when the truck driver was an a**hole afterwards and refused to give me his insurance, and said he didn't give a sh*t if I called the cops. I reported him to his company and they said he'd be reprimanded but who knows...

Other than that, one area I had to improve in as my wife said was braking too soon for stop signs and red lights, not in a dangerous way, but just need to conserve gas. For the longest time, I also had some overly cautious habits like waiting a while to turn left coming out of a parking lot or minor street onto a main road, b/c I just didn't feel it was safe enough - I even had the odd time where the driver behind me started honking, gesturing, and eventually pulling around me and making a left turn just missing vehicles in their rage. I'll leave people like that to cause accidents, not me :)



shrox
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06 Dec 2011, 10:07 pm

I drive very well. I love driving, I hate traffic.



VIDEODROME
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07 Dec 2011, 3:58 am

I sometimes wonder if I'm over cautious to but because of the amount of driving I do I almost think I have to be.

Also because of impatient people I don't signal my right turn until I'm actually doing it. I had one impatient guy in a SUV creeping forward waiting for me to do my right turn and he actually thumped the back of my car bumper.

But to give people an idea of this job I've been in this van since Thanksgiving break ended. I drove out to Iowa, back to Michigan, picked up in Ontario, just drove to southern Indiana, picked up in Kentucky, and now doing a night drive to North Carolina.

Lot's of road time, yet as long I'm on time I get plenty of independence. No office or boss over my shoulder. Just me driving through the night listening to XM Radio.



NathanealWest
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07 Dec 2011, 6:04 am

I don't have a license. I really ought to get one.



VIDEODROME
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12 Dec 2011, 5:59 pm

Well I'm leaving this job because I feel ready to go back to school and try training for a new career path with computer certifications.

The job was interesting and I enjoyed seeing a lot of America as well as Canada.

I wanted to emphasize something though if anyone really is curious about this. If you drive for a fleet owner that means you drive their van and they get a cut of the pay. That's what I did and I recommend living very cheaply. In my case I was based out of my parents' house so I didn't have a mortgage or rent to worry about.

Otherwise if you save up and buy your own van you can be an Owner Operator. You will have more responsibility taking care of your own van but you will be paid more.

The main thing though is for some people struggling to find work and have family support this may be worth looking at. Also as long as you can handle it you will have plenty of solitude if you just want to get away from teamwork.



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15 Dec 2011, 1:35 pm

I also love driving, I find it very relaxing. I just unfortunately live in a city that has been considered to have the worst drivers in Canada. It's what the hell the other guy in the car is going to do that scares me. A few months back I checked my side mirror, shoulder checked, when to change lens and found that a damn Lexus had been riding my blind spot, which scared me to death lol. But yeah, love driving, just not sure I'd like a long-haul driving job. My sister, her boyfriend and I went to Nashville in June, then we drove to Chicago, and both of them were sick and couldn't switch off with me so I ended up driving the whole 12 hours there (I took breaks regularly and dozed a bit at rest stops) and when we got there, I got a hotel and slept for like 15 hours, lol, so don't know if I could do it, but it's a cool job man!



anonymous-shyster
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16 Dec 2011, 12:22 am

Driving has never bothered me, but as some have mentioned, traffic does bother me when it jams. I drive and I ride motorbikes, road and off road. Thailand was a fun place to ride a motorbike, damn scooters everywhere darting about, but it all seems to work out in a comical fashion.



VIDEODROME
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16 Dec 2011, 2:20 am

Didn't make it to Alberta but it seems like drivers by London and Toronto like to tailgate really close all the time.



unduki
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16 Dec 2011, 2:23 am

shrox wrote:
I drive very well. I love driving, I hate traffic.


Me too. My biggest problem is that I always need to stop to use a restroom - and I HATE public restrooms. That might be why more truckers are men.


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gaz1990
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18 Dec 2011, 6:30 pm

I drive well 98 percent of the time, but whilst I don't struggle with controlling the car, I do find it hard to judge where the ends of the car are when parking. Oddly I have no problem with spacial awareness when going forwards.