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New Podcast: Episode 18: Stop The Fear And Doubt, Focus On Your Own Success

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Brett Aquila's Comment
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Hey everyone, we have another new episode of our podcast "The Road Home" and it's called:

Episode 18: Stop The Fear And Doubt, Focus On Your Own Success

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For 25 years I've watched people sabotage their careers by worrying about all the wrong things instead of focusing on what it's going to take to make themselves more successful in this industry. It's time people stop worrying about whether their company is good enough for them, and start focusing on making themselves more productive drivers and better human beings. Your success or failure depends on you and you alone. It's time to own that fact, stop making excuses, and step up your game. In this podcast I'll talk about the mistakes people make and where your focus should lie if you want to be happy and successful in this industry.

Enjoy!

Episode 18: Stop The Fear And Doubt, Focus On Your Own Success

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Old School's Comment
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Great stuff Brett. Timeless information, well laid out.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Great stuff Brett. Timeless information, well laid out.

Thank you!

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Lucky Life's Comment
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Thanks Brett, I agree with Old School that this is Timeless Information. Not just for Trucking but any career you choose to enter!

Perfect timing for me about the Training aspect, it is what it is and make the best of it !!!

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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I've been having an email conversation with someone and it's exactly the type of thing we hear all the time. I'm going to exclude the company name because none of this is company specific at all. This is what we would call "just trucking".

Here is some of what he had to say:

  • I'm new to [Company Name] and am finding several things that are disturbing.
  • Per diem is presented as a good thing and charge drivers to participate. Most people don't realize companies must match social security payments, don't know it affects worker's comp, loans, and 401k contributions.
  • The driver business leaders play games with drivers and the loads they get.
  • And the newest feature of putting spyware in the company app (compass) that allows the company to see anything you have or do on your smartphone.

The list goes on, but for me who tends to be anti-union, this is a company and industry that needs that type of attention.....[Company Name] does have some good attributes, but drivers are taken advantage of, and the underlying theme is how much money can [Company Name] make on their drivers.

Imagine what drivers could accomplish if they organized.

He goes on to mention all of the typical stuff you hear people complain about, like "some guy" claims the company accused him of looking at porn on his phone, presumably because the Compass app had access to this. As a software developer I know for a fact this is another "trucker's tale". Compass software is certainly not reporting anyone's porn habits to their company. Good grief. Another Terminal Rat spreading rumors, and this guy is falling for it, like so many do.

His last remark was:

"I also believe drivers tend to be an easy Mark for exploitation"

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Per Diem:

Getting paid per diem means getting a portion of your salary paid to you without taxes taken out. It's technically classified as a meal and expense reimbursement.

Truck drivers and others who travel for a living get large tax deductions for meal expenses. The Government set up per diem pay as a way to reimburse some of the taxes you pay with each paycheck instead of making you wait until tax filing season.

Getting per diem pay means a driver will get a larger paycheck each week but a smaller tax return at tax time.

We have a ton of information on our wiki page on per diem pay

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Here was one of my responses:

Friend, you can get as paranoid and cynical as you like. There's no end to it. American corporations are out to make money. No one is denying that. But from someone with 25 years in this industry I can tell you this - you're going to get nowhere worrying yourself to death about things like per diem pay and smartphone apps and "some guy accused of looking at porn." You've obviously been milling about the terminals listening to what we refer to as the "Terminal Rats" weave their paranoid, cynical horror stories. You'll be in a mental institution if you don't get a grip and stop feeding yourself this baloney.

Listen to this podcast and see if it resonates with you:

Terminal Rats Are Derailing Trucking Careers

I've watched truckers for years worry themselves to death about all the things they think their company is doing to them.

Listening to the terminal rats and engaging with all this paranoia is no different than people who sit around watching the news and politics all day. They have high blood pressure, they're paranoid, they're certain the world is on the brink of destruction, they're negative and cynical about everything, and for what? 99% of everything they're wasting their time worrying about has nothing to do with them. They could be lifting weights, eating healthy, hiking in the woods, fishing, or all kinds of wonderful things. Instead they're worrying about Trump's military policies, as if that will ever matter to them.

And the truth of the matter is simple. If you really feel it's you against [Company Name] then you better run for your life as fast and far as you can right now. Because if you think you're going to outsmart a major corporation with decades in the industry you're delusional.

You know what I was worrying about during my 15 years on the road working for the major companies? I was hoping to catch a nap sometime because I was so damn busy turning 3,200 miles a week consistently, at the top of the payscale, in brand new equipment. I was what we refer to as a Top Tier Driver - perfect service record, perfect safety record, and ran my ass off year after year out there.

Focus on yourself. Focus on getting more miles, managing your time more efficiently, developing a better relationship with your dispatcher , getting to know some of the management at the company, and above all else being a safe and reliable driver. Think about it - corporations exist to make money, right? Well the more money you can make for them, they more money you're going to make for yourself, and the happier everyone is going to be. They need you, you need them. Don't make it more complicated than it is.

Or you can spiral down into a nervous breakdown over nothing and you'll be out of trucking in no time. Just like a ton of people are doing to themselves as we speak, you included.

What you're doing is so common I write and talk about it all the time. I did a podcast just today on it in fact. Check this out:

Episode 18: Stop The Fear And Doubt, Focus On Your Own Success

Just today I published that! That's how common it is for people to freak themselves out over nothing.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

Per Diem:

Getting paid per diem means getting a portion of your salary paid to you without taxes taken out. It's technically classified as a meal and expense reimbursement.

Truck drivers and others who travel for a living get large tax deductions for meal expenses. The Government set up per diem pay as a way to reimburse some of the taxes you pay with each paycheck instead of making you wait until tax filing season.

Getting per diem pay means a driver will get a larger paycheck each week but a smaller tax return at tax time.

We have a ton of information on our wiki page on per diem pay

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Here is another response I gave:

Well the difference between trucking and most other jobs is two fold:

1) Trucking, especially regional or OTR driving, is a lifestyle. If you try to compare the way you get paid on an hourly job to the way you get paid for trucking, you're going to drive yourself insane. I've watched people lose their sanity over unpaid time on the docks or poorly paid time sitting in traffic for a quarter century. In the end you judge your pay for trucking based on the complete body of work and the lifestyle over time. If you enjoy the job and the lifestyle you will probably consider the pay to be pretty fantastic, especially after you've done it for two or three years and you're near the top of the payscale. Making $55,000 - $70,000 to drive around in a brand new $120,000 truck, meeting a ton of interesting people, and seeing all this amazing country has to offer is one hell of an awesome adventure for the right type of person. No amount of pay is going to make it worthwhile for someone who isn't looking for that level of challenge and adventure in their life. If you're just looking for an ordinary job, trucking obviously isn't it.

2) Trucking is performance based. Like a business owner, you get paid to get work done. The more productive you are, the more you make. You have to be creative with problem solving. You have to be disciplined and committed to turning big miles and managing your clock efficiently. I've been a business owner for over a decade now and driving a rig was more like owning a business than any job I've ever had. You have to be highly motivated, fiercely independent, and focused on turning as many miles as possible no matter what it takes. If you're looking for that type of challenge, trucking is again an awesome adventure. If you're looking for an ordinary job where the boss lays a pile of work on your desk and everything is simple and clear cut, trucking will be a nightmare.

You're just simply taking the wrong approach to the job and focusing on all of the wrong things. How can you be happy and successful at anything if you're just going to by cynical and focus on how you perceive everyone to be taking advantage of you all the time? If you're want an adventure, you want to be challenged in new ways every day of your life, you want an interesting lifestyle, and you're highly motivated then trucking is an awesome adventure that pays great money. It doesn't sound to me like that's what you're looking for at all. It sounds to me like you need an ordinary, boring, straightforward, predictable 9 to 5 job. If that's the case there's no reason to waste your time in trucking.

Trucking is no ordinary job for ordinary people. It is an extraordinary job which makes tremendous demands and is only suitable for people with extraordinary levels of ambition and a strong sense of adventure. I would recommend you either embrace all that trucking has to offer as a lifestyle and embrace the opportunity you're given to make all the money you can figure out how to make or go find an ordinary 9 to 5 job and forget about trucking altogether. But your approach and your attitude has you in a downward spiral that's going to end miserably. I've watched people do this to themselves for 25 years, I know how it ends.

You either love what trucking has to offer or you don't. You're either cut out for it or you're not. You have to decide this for yourself. But if all you can think about is being exploited and working for free and how per diem is a corporate scam and all that then you're either missing the boat or you didn't belong on the boat in the first place. That's my take on it.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Per Diem:

Getting paid per diem means getting a portion of your salary paid to you without taxes taken out. It's technically classified as a meal and expense reimbursement.

Truck drivers and others who travel for a living get large tax deductions for meal expenses. The Government set up per diem pay as a way to reimburse some of the taxes you pay with each paycheck instead of making you wait until tax filing season.

Getting per diem pay means a driver will get a larger paycheck each week but a smaller tax return at tax time.

We have a ton of information on our wiki page on per diem pay

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Folks, one of the very first things I'll notice about a person is the things they're focusing on. That tells you a lot about someone. Anyone who has achieved success at the highest levels of anything in life will always have certain traits.

The one trait that I look for right away is personal responsibility.

  • Do you think your success lies in your own hands or in someone else's?
  • Do you own your mistakes?
  • Do you feel your hard work, ambition, and creativity will get you where you want to go?
  • Do you focus on what you need to be doing, or do you focus on what everyone else around you should be doing?
  • Do you talk excitedly about your future opportunities and how you're going to make the most of your life? Or do you whine and complain about how others have done you wrong in the past?

Personal responsibility is what I look for in someone who I'm hoping is going to be successful at anything. It could be in sports, it could be in business, it could be with family. If you feel you control your own destiny and that you have no one to blame but yourself for your failures then you have a shot at achieving great things.

The problem with people who believe otherwise is that they're not going to invest in the level of hard work, discipline, and sacrifice it takes to get anywhere worth going. Why should they? They don't believe they're forging their own path to success. Instead they feel their happiness and success is in the hands of others. Or maybe they feel it's just a matter of having good luck or bad.

If you believe you control your own destiny you're going to do whatever it takes to achieve your goals and find your own happiness. If you feel your fate is in the hands of others you're never going to bother taking the bull by the horns, digging deep, and doing whatever it takes to get there.

Focus on yourself and what it takes to achieve your goals. Judge a person's character by the level of personal responsibility they're willing to take.

Colin K.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you for posting this info and also for the podcast, Brett. Considering how long I've been lurking around this site, I'm shocked that I didn't realize that you have a podcast. Doh!

Anyhow, I spent the day getting caught up and listened to every episode. I will go back and listen to them again later to make sure that I absorbed everything. As I've come to expect from something that you do, each episode contained valuable information. Thank you!

Best Regards, Colin K.

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