Turns out trucking is an underrated job for autistic people?

Discussion in 'Driver Health' started by XenonOxide, Jan 20, 2023.

  1. XenonOxide

    XenonOxide Bobtail Member

    Sep 13, 2022
    I’m pretty sure that I’m on the autistic spectrum. It’s something that literally everybody who knows me has told me at some point. I can’t maintain eye-contact. I also matured socially way, way later than most people I know, and social cues still trip me up. I also struggled through high school (despite having mostly A grades) and then crashed out of college after the second year, all while never getting help because I was supposed to be “book-smart” and “high-functioning”. I know, I know, self-diagnosis is a tricky subject, but for whatever reason, it costs a non-trivial amount of money to get a proper diagnosis from a professional (what’s up with that, anyways?)

    Anyways, a few weeks into my trucking career and I realized… basically, in order to not lose your mind doing this work day in, day out, you have to be a nerd for geometry puzzles. If you find figuring out all the angles in tight backs to be mentally stimulating and not maddening every single time, then you’re going to last.

    I wonder if that’s why we’re stereotyped as “anti-social” and “weird”? Starting to wonder if there’s any merit to my theory that a significant percentage of people in this line of work are un/under-diagnosed people on the autistic spectrum, like me.

    ETA: not to mention the ability to hyper-focus, which is associated with people on the spectrum, comes in handy too.
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  3. Thrasher28

    Thrasher28 Light Load Member

    Aug 12, 2021
    Bowling Green, KY
    I may or may not be on the spectrum. My dad is, so odds are pretty high. Main traits I have are hyper focus for basically unlimited amounts of time and EXTREMELY introverted. Luckily, I learned with age how to socialize and fit in when needed, but I definitely thrive on my own. Pretty good combination for trucking.

    If I didn’t care about seeing family and maintaining the friendships/relationships I have, I’d be perfectly happy being in a truck for 6 months straight. Usually only takes me about 3 days at home to get burnt out and want to be in the truck. Getting paid to traverse the country AND have minimal interactions with people? That’s my dream that I get to live. I enjoy it enough that I still choose to stay OTR even when there’s LTL jobs I could easily get that would pay more and get me home everyday.
  4. skallagrime

    skallagrime Road Train Member

    Apr 10, 2012
    If :autism is a spectrum
    Then: different jobs will have varying suitability for those people more and less affected by it.

    Run this back to prehistory.
    Is a hunter better or worse for having hyper-focus on the task at hand?
    Would a socially awkward individual be ideally suited to be the chief in a tribe.

    Youre just (re)discovering truisms about life and the messiness that biology contributes to human society.

    Its similar to the add, adhd blah blah stuff. These things have existed throughout human history, always will, the label is unimportant, what you do with the information can be useful... or used as a crutch.

    If a development (or trait) was so deleterious to survival, it was eradicated long ago (yes evolution) though in the modern era nearly everyone has SOME attributes that are not as "productive" as they may earlier have been
  5. Lexuslane

    Lexuslane Medium Load Member

    Oct 22, 2021
    That and treatment and govt programs that provide financial assistance to people who can’t or won’t work are very recent .
    Like in the last 50 years .

    before that , you worked or you didn’t eat .
    And you found a job that was suited to your personality , or you figured out a way to deal with it .

    Im glad you’ve found a job that fits you.

    it took me several tries to find a job that suited my personality

    I like machinery much better than I like people .
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2023
  6. bryan21384

    bryan21384 Road Train Member

    Sep 18, 2009
    1918 Anywhere, USA 90210
    I don't think that truckers are stereotyped anti social because their autistic necessarily. I personally think that people who go into trucking, over time, lose touch with the world outside of trucking. Many can't talk to others who aren't drivers. They also have shown an inability to talk to others how don't think, look, or act like them. Overall, I think truckers are lousy at social settings outside of truck stop counters. Now that those are fading away, many show an inability to evolve with the times and learn how to interact in today's world.
  7. skallagrime

    skallagrime Road Train Member

    Apr 10, 2012
    Lets be honest, truck stop counters display some of the most egregious examples of lousy social skills truckers ever could show to the world. The only thing worse than that are the idiot 55 year olds trying to chat up the obviously 18-25 year old girl at the loves checkout. At least at the lunch counter, theyre mostly just annoying other drivers
  8. REO6205

    REO6205 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Feb 15, 2014
  9. Lazer

    Lazer Road Train Member

    Jan 22, 2017
    As for the social graces of truckers, I take it none of you spent much time in the agriculture community, ever go to a farm auction?
    What most of you describe in probably Asperger’s. My wife and I raised a son that was afflicted with Autism, stopped smiling after early childhood vaccination, stemming, smearing, self injurious, non-verbal, the whole nine yards.
  10. REO6205

    REO6205 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    @Lazer ....I go to the livestock auction pretty often and a farm equipment auction whenever there's one within driving distance
    I don't see the correlation between Asperger's and auctions.
  11. Brettj3876

    Brettj3876 Road Train Member

    Nov 18, 2014
    Land of local
    Elon musk is on the spectrum
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