News, Interviews, and Happenings From The Trucking World
SBTC denied request for HOS and ELD exemptions when pets are on board
Friday Short Haul - Smuggled migrants, Prime settlement, USF Holland lawsuit, truck road damage
Tank trailers get approved for an additional pulsating brake light
TuSimple and Waymo go head to head on issues of AV trucking
Friday Short Haul - Drivers can self-dispatch, driver pay on the increase, Hurrican Delta emergency
Women in Trucking names Influential Women and top companies for women to work for
When a social media presence could hurt a driver or carrier
Friday Short Haul - Walmart buys Tesla semis, FMCSA drivers panel, Pronto.ai is denied request, and Jim Mullen moves to TuSimple
Machine learning shared truck loads add efficient component to LTL shipping
New HOS rules in effect Sept. 29; clearing confusion about the new rule changes
Friday Short Haul -- Schneider's remote orientation, 14-hour rule change comments, license renawal extension, ATA's DOL response
Feds come out with their own definition of independent contractor status
Amazon casts around for freight haulers; FMCSA news for drivers
Friday Short Haul - WIT photo contest, Teamsters challenge HOS, $1 billion for infrastructure
Speeding was most-cited violation during Safe Driver Week
Carriers, others, honor drivers during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week
Friday Short Haul - FMCSA wildfire declaration, hair drug testing, shift plus load pay
FMCSA looking to put under-21 drivers on interstate hauls
New AB 5 bill specifically targets truckers for enforcement
Friday Short Haul - AV test tracking tool, split-duty proposal comments, and mandatory hair testing
FMCSA helps bankroll Trucking Fatigue Meter to fight driver drowsiness
FMCSA looking at split-duty rule change; extending 14-hour day
Friday Short Haul - Travel centers announce special offers for drivers in September
Trucking landscape could look different after Nov. 3
More indictments in New Orleans area accident insurance scams
Friday Short Haul - North Dakota road trains, Brake Safety Week, drivers not returning to duty, opposition to Mexican truckers
Platooning passes real-world tests; new company emerges as leader
Helping victims of crashes earn drivers Highway Angel awards
Friday Short Haul - Trucker's last ride, FMCSA extension, autonomous trucks
Test vehicles did not fare well during AAA's driving assistance evaluations
Spotted lanternfly sightings on the increase
Friday Short Haul - JKC Trucking announcement, truck stop break-in, WIT top women businesses
FMCSA reminds drivers of 'adverse conditions' exemptions to HOS rules
SmartSense mitigates collision and 'sitting duck' situations
Friday Short Haul - FBI ELD hacks warning, students hack trucks, OOIDA asks for HVUT suspension
Women In Trucking announces 2020 photo contest
California publishes major new freight plan
Friday Short Haul - Love's requires masks, 10-million-mile driver, brake check blitz, and TuSimple truck incident
COVID-19 gives the average trucker a chance to "attend" FMCSA safety summit
Overdrive honors Small Fleet Champs
Friday Short Haul - States push for electric semis, fewer student new-hires, troopers in a truck
Nearly 300,000 drivers would lose jobs if hair testing was mandated
Trucking Truth owner/founder gets 3-hour spot at Road Dog Trucking Radio
Friday Short Haul - Operation Safe Driver Week, Canadian border, fuel cell semis hit the road
Werner, DOE earn FMCSA ELD and HOS exemptions
TuSimple announces its Autonomous Freight Network to expand driverless freight hauling throughout the nation
Friday Short Haul - House passes Moving Forward Act, YRC gets a bailout, and trucking jobs on the increase
Group pens letter objecting to proposed EV charging stations at highway rest areas
Carriers' virus response gets kudos at TCA virtual meeting
Friday Short Haul - Convoy brokerage, CLP waiver extended, $2 million amendment passed, two sentenced for CDL fraud
Nuclear verdicts strangling trucking companies; not so, say lawsuit attorneys
Eight carriers in lawsuit for not poaching other companies' drivers
Friday Short Haul - Post-virus speeds return to normal, $2 million insurance minimum proposed, WIT looking to honor an influential woman
FMCSA extends 3 COVID-related waiver declarations
Truckers say they will refuse to enter cop-defunded cities
Friday Short Haul - Truckers love guns, freight broker leader resigns, avoiding riots
Cargo theft on the uptick during COVID-19 era
California voters will get a chance to scrap AB 5
Friday Short Haul - Prime crash verdict, Teamsters applaud INVEST Act, OOIDA opposes broker bond changes
Dwell and detention times begin to decrease post-virus
CRST fighting another battle over driver poaching
Friday Short Haul - Driver shortage is over, Amazon's brokerage goes national, and lawyers are after carriers for nuclear verdicts
Freight industry considering post-COVID-19 strategies
FMCSA to consider increasing HOS for autonomous drivers
Friday Short Haul - Trimble MAPS, rate of fatalities increase, Comcar bankruptcy, driver pay on the rise
FMCSA: Long-awaited final HOS revisions announced
2016 trucking documentary released to YouTube for public viewing
Friday Short Haul - Reusing morgue reefers, ATRI research priorities, FMCSA HOS declaration
WIT honors two women in the trucking industry
Freight brokers push back against "price gouging" accusation
Friday Short Haul - Tank truck revenues decline, former Arrow CEO gets early prison release, not-preventable crashes
ATRI and OOIDF team up for comprehensive COVID-19/trucking survey
U.S. military has unique needs for truck platooning
Friday Short Haul - Truckers protest low rates, 1 million masks given to drivers, SecurSpace app finds parking
WorkHound analyses what drivers think about the COVID-19 crisis
Group pushes back on temporary increased weight limits
Friday Short Haul - 'Thank God for truckers!' CA state senator proposes bill to suspend AB5, TA furloughs 3,000 workers
Truckers say distracted driving is on the rise
Trucking leaders think some recent changes might become permanent in the industry
Friday Short Haul - "Your papers please," skills testing waiver, masks required in Canada
Truckers report in on their treatment during these COVID-19 times
FMCSA acts quickly to keep the new-driver pipeline flowing
Friday Short Haul - Weight limits increase, food trucks not wanted in rest areas, FMCSA extends HOS exemptions
Trucking industry concerned about state licensing agency closings
California AB-5 advocates react to carriers' COVID-19 good deeds
Friday Short Haul - Schneider's error, Change.org petition, Teamsters Canada demands
Authors: 'Legacy' carriers ignore autonomous technology at their peril
COVID-19 scare: State gun laws come under scrutiny
Friday Short Haul - Inspection blitz postponed, COVID-19 webinar, FHA urges states to keep rest areas open, fewer cars means faster truck deliveries
DOT and FMCSA issue COVID-19 responses
Starsky Robotics calls it quits
Friday Short Haul - Weigh station parking, rest areas reopen, HOS waiver expanded, freight prices increase
Truck drivers mostly exempt from coronavirus lock downs
HOS rules relaxed for COVID-19 relief effort
Friday Short Haul - Western Express recovers from Tennessee tornado, driver involved in two accidents six minutes apart, another carrier quits
Daimler's electric vehicles and autonomous trucks continue real-world testing
Predictive technology increases driver safety, benefits carriers
Friday Short Haul -- Coffee drinking drivers, Amazon coronavirus email, FMCSA safety summit
AIRman introduces no-crank technology to landing gears
Roadmaster shows how to reduce driver turnover
Friday Short Haul - CBD users beware, 8,000 violations revealed in Clearinghouse, laptop theft lands Alabama trucker in prison
Canada company offers easy access to spare trailers
Roadcheck could result in temporarily higher freight rates
Friday Short Haul - Self-driving yard trucks, Knight-Swift partners with Truckstop.com, Security guard shoots driver
Training providers offer a diversity of options
Idaho eases hemp transport prohibition; too late to help arrested drivers
Friday Short Haul - Tennessee carrier quits, signs a carrier is going down, retaining drivers
New phone app hopes to alleviate shipper waits
Senate Transportation Committee gets an earful from trucking execs
Friday Short Haul - Best fleets to drive for, FMCSA delays ELDT rule, Cold Carriers closes doors
Baylor Trucking deals with consequences of ELD outage
WIT announces first-ever Driver Ambassador, names February Member of the Month
Friday Short Haul - ATA at White House USMCA signing, AB-5 fight continues, toughest jobs
May dates announced for this year's roadside inspection blitz
States work to toughen up left-lane-hogging laws
Friday Short Haul - Pilot Flying J name change, CRST-Swift lawsuit, Schneider named innovator
Seven drivers named as TCA's Highway Angels
Travel advisories and restrictions announced for Midwest weekend storm
Friday Short Haul - Senators demand GPS app updates, Jason's Law survey, ATA applauds USMCA, FMCSA's truck crash survey
Research group recommends a national autonomous truck policy
A glimpse into driving long-haul in China
Friday Short Haul - Court blocks AB-5, SBTC vs. FMCSA, Can Opener Bridge
Loses appeal: Walmart ordered to pony up $54 million to drivers
WIT and Walmart seek nominations for Female Driver of the Year
Friday Short Haul - Sweatshop on Wheels, judge exempts truckers from AB-5, Fleetwood closes doors
Trucking Truth's top stories for 2019
Random drug tests of drivers to double in 2020
Friday Short Haul - New EV semi, tonnage down, turnover up, Grapevine fatality, runaway truck tires demolish car
Trucking industry goes out of its way for Christmas charitable giving
Fuel card provider hit with FTC lawsuit
Friday Short Haul - Driver coercion, zero emissions, driver fatalities
Hard enforcement for ELD compliance now in effect
State CDL agencies get reprieve from drug & alcohol clearinghouse deadline
Friday Short Haul - JB Hunt's Wreaths Across America, Plus.ai butter run, states look for zero emissions
Carriers muster to pick up Celadon drivers, employees
Will Amazon's pay-per-day plan influence the industry?
Freight volume and rates downturn turns into a 'bloodbath'
Friday Short Haul - Independent contractors getting booted out of CA, winter weather resources, ransomware attack
Knowing when to say goodbye to an unprofitable shipper
Schneider donates trucks; Congress considers women-driver-friendly bill
Friday Short Haul - CTA files lawsuit against California, Highway Hero nominations sought, video of "Move Over" crash
Tesla announces new electric Semi model
Not everyone happy with potential FMCSA clearinghouse delay
Friday Short Haul - AI taking driving jobs, CRV scam, Truckers protest AB-5, ELDs quit working
Investigators cracking down on truck accident fraudulent lawsuits
So you want to start your own trucking company?
Friday Short Haul - FMCSA emergency exemptions, snow plows, FedEx employee bribery charges
Human smuggling via big rigs on the increase
Carriers, drivers look at ways to deal with California's AB-5
Friday Short Haul - Millennials and trucking, Truckers Christmas Group, Navistar settlement
Too many drivers still don't know to "Move Over"
Are trucker strikes a thing of the past?
Friday Short Haul - Passenger car drivers, spotted lanternfly, women drivers
OOIDA makes final push for better HOS rules
Car-truck crash fatalities continue to increase
Friday Short Haul - Amazon's fleet of day cabs, legislator's disclosure, WTA petition
ATA chief takes on truck-accident lawyers
Lonely on the road? Get a furry friend
Friday Short Haul - Lab-grown meat, fraudulent freight brokering, FMCSA HOS committee, FMCSA Clearinghouse
UPS takes giant leap in its drone delivery program
Female drivers are safer bet for trucking companies
Friday Short Haul - Embark gets financing, FMCSA announces safety grants, Covenant exits Mexico routes, and trucking statistics
Emissions standards battle heats up between the EPA and California
Smog checks in the future for California truck drivers
Friday Short Haul - Volvo Dynamic Steering, Meals for 18 Wheels, speeding crackdown, OOIDA opposes legislation
Telematics could be insurance-premium-saving boon for fleets
54 percent of survey respondents still not impressed with telematics technology
Friday Short Haul - Walmart video, it's churn, not shortage, California's independent contractor bill, hemp drivers plea
TCA honors three Highway Angels
Now they're talking about "smart" trailers
Friday Short Haul - Detention-time comments, truck orders decline, diesel fuel shortage
Berkeley study says reducing independent truckers can alleviate climate change
Clearing up concerns about the drug and alcohol clearinghouse
Friday Short Haul - Hurricane Dorian, Speed limiter bill, Thank a Driver campaign
Georgia jury awards $280 million for truck-driver-caused multi-fatality
Friday Short Haul - New eCascadias, Top cities for truck driver jobs, Push against driverless trucks
Decision on California drivers' employee/contractor status coming down to the wire
UPS jumps on autonomous bandwagon with TuSimple investment
FMCSA publishes proposed HOS rule changes
Fleets, drivers coming to like automated manual transmissions
CVSA asks for new truck crash study
Friday Short Haul - HOS revisions delayed, AEB mandate proposed, Koch sued for sex discrimination
Kodiak Robotics takes lead in autonomous truck industry race
New York City combats rash of cyclist/truck clashes
Friday Short Haul - CRST wins lawsuit, OOIDA opposes insurance hike, UPSNav
Mechanics shortage equals driver shortage in intensity
DOT announces almost 1$ billion in grants to fix infrastructure
Friday Short Haul - DOL on sleeper pay, UPS drone delivery, Geowiz ELDs
FMCSA takes a look at assault, harassment of female and minority drivers
It's hot out there, what's a trucker to do? Can't idle.
Friday Short Haul - Utah truck rollovers, aging truckers, lifetime CDL bans
Truck-mounted LED billboards coming under fire
Trucker 'drones on' with unique approach to teaching driving skills
Friday Short Haul - Rhode Island tolls, human smuggling, contractor vs employee status
ELD mandate deadline looming, many still not compliant
New "boot" device being deployed to threaten Walmart overnighters
Friday Short Haul - Prime Inc vs Amazon, mother fights HOS changes, truck drivers appreciation week
Proper way to fly the American flag on your truck this Fourth of July
Roundabouts are becoming popular; but are they best for trucks?
Friday Short Haul - Skills test proposal, driver shortage, hemp sentencing, driverless trucks
Experts warn of active wildland fire season
More states signing on to enlist truckers against human trafficking
Friday Short Haul - Shippers of Choice, insurance rates, wheel spikes, WIT award
Freight numbers not holding up to 2018's highs
Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers
Friday Short Haul - Self-driving certificate, truck platooning, trade war stacking up cargo
HOS waiver coming soon for fireworks haulers
FMCSA takes a further look at detention time
Friday Short Haul - Autonomous delivery, HOS rules changes, CDL retest
Roadcheck 2019 in effect this week
Hemp arrest prompts USDA memo
Friday Short Haul - Waymo big rigs, Move over sting, Under-21 comments
Severe weather prompts renewed emergency declaration
Memorial Day holiday is prime time for cargo thefts
Friday Short Haul - Hauling hemp, road rage fatality, new rules for autonomous vehicles
Autonomous trucks on USPS test run
Future era of cab-less trucks will be the end of HOS rules
Friday Short Haul - FMCSA under-21 comments, Tesla autonomous car crash, 24,000 drivers sign contract with YRC
Under-21 interstate drivers getting serious look by FMCSA
Trucker Buddy program matches drivers with a classroom; everyone wins
Friday Short Haul - Driver awarded $80 million, ODFL driver wins, loading dock black hole
Storm breaks out from Rockies, slams into Midwest, South
Capacity issues have shippers looking at private fleets
Friday Short Haul - HOS rules, dark skies, Falcon drivers
'Bug' permits now required for four eastern states
Simulator use is catching on for schools, carriers
Friday Short Haul - Thinking electric, Penske opens charging station, border crossing crisis, railroads taking trucking business
ELDs might not be the panacea that was hoped for
Truck drivers may soon see "phantoms" driving yard trucks
Friday Short Haul - Nikola big rigs, WIT welcomes Peterbilt, Oregon crashes, Border crossings
Carriers claim financial benefit of putting up drivers in hotels
Uber's IPO application reveals interesting data about its freight brokerage business
Friday Short Haul - CDL examiner arrested, tolls proposed for trucks, marijuana use on the rise
Smart Load Board will get carriers the loads they need
Huge lines and long wait times greet carriers at Mexico border
Friday Short Haul - Marijuana, ATA campaign, personal conveyance rules
Over-the-air downloads revolutionize parameter updates
Don't get scammed by skimmers
Friday Short Haul -- New Cascadias honored, motorist survey, U.S, Xpress awarded, rest stop parking
Legislators address underride collisions, propose more underguards for trucks, trailers
Motorists soon may encounter a different kind of truck convoy
Friday Short Haul -- Women in Trucking, irate motorist, FMCSA eases HOS, Safe-Cap
Recent survey shows cost of roadside repairs is rising
FMCSA announces drug and alcohol clearinghouse website
Friday Short Haul - Swift settlement, driver shortage myth, TCA Best Fleet award
The hidden danger of looking but not seeing
Accident scammers target trucks for financial payout
Friday Short Haul - Snow on the roof, bypassing toll road, Waze under fire
Retailers blame driver shortage for price increases
Drivers' smartphones may be clue to road roughness
Friday Short Haul -- Freight rates, HOS changes, tonnage reports
New tax changes hit drivers hard
FMCSA to implement under-21 interstate driver program for former military
Friday Short Haul -- Connecticut tolls proposed, hydrogen fuel-cell trucks, cell phone use
Congress committee looks at state of America's highways
Number of cargo thefts is down; but dollar value about the same
Friday Short Haul -- Crossing the border, CA sues FMCSA, Lobbying against larger trucks
Detention - A problem still in search of a solution
February Highway Angels honorees named
Friday Short Haul -- C.R. England announces pay raises, eCommerce impact on trucking, TCA announces best fleets
Is a guaranteed minimum pay the solution to the driver shortage?
Long CDL testing wait times cost economy billions of dollars; not helping driver shortage
Friday Short Haul -- Walmart hiring, Uber Freight App, Speed-limiter Law, America's Road Team
Cranking -- The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
California survives challenge to its low-carbon fuel standards
Friday Short Haul - Highway robbery ... autonomous trucks ... new trailers
LithiumHub enters jump-starter market with Jumpbooster JP30
2019 Looks Good For The Transportation Industry
Raymond Burt named TMC Trainer of the Month for February 2018
TMC Transportation Announces Recipient of Prestigious Wheel Master Award
TMC Transportation Named The Home Depot’s Flatbed Carrier of the Year For Fourth Straight Year
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New DOT Drug Testing Rules Effective Jan 1, 2018
Amtrak Derailment: Trucks Haul 270,000 Pound Locomotive Engine During Cleanup
Pepsi Places Largest Order Yet For Tesla Electric Trucks
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Trucking Truth owner/founder gets 3-hour spot at Road Dog Trucking Radio
Last Updated: Mon, July 13, 2020
Thousands of truck drivers say they owe the success of their ventures into trucking to the training and encouragement that they got from a trucking-oriented website called TruckingTruth.com.
Much of their success can be attributed to the unrelenting positive attitude of the site's owner/founder Brett Aquila, who has imbued the site throughout with expressions of encouragement, fierce personal responsibility, humility, the importance of admitting mistakes, and having the desire to learn.
If there is one mantra or theme that Brett has held to over all of the 13 years during the evolution of Trucking Truth it's, "Stay with your first company for a minimum of one year."
It's this can-do, positive attitude that came to the attention of a host on SiriusXM's Road Dog Trucking Radio channel during a call-in segment, when KC Phillips heard from a new trucker who was well-informed, well-prepared, and had a positive attitude -- all that he attributed to Brett's website at TruckingTruth.com.
That intrigued the folks at the channel; which led to Brett being invited as a guest for a whole 3-hour segment that took place on Thursday, July 9.
Host of the July 9 segment, Leah Shaver, says about that phone call:
"Last week … we had a call from a new driver to the industry. I think he's been on the road for two months. He was really well informed. Talked about staying with the company for a while. Talked about a lot of preparedness. He was ready for the job. He had a lot of great opinions and ideas.
"And we asked him, in fact KC asked him, 'How was it that he was so well-prepared? Did he have a mentor? What was the situation?' And he said it wasTruckingTruth.com, and that Brett Aquila was his mentor along the way. So I reached out that day. In fact, right after the show, and Brett was kind enough to say, 'Absolutely Leah I will join you on Road Dog Live,' so he is here with us, and here with you."
The theme that Leah said she wished to explore during Brett's interview revolved around how he prepares new entrants for trucking, the lifestyle changes new truckers face, the misunderstood components of the trucking industry, if chasing pay-per-mile is "really going to get you to that payday" and how long drivers should stay with their first company, and what Brett has done to become "wildly successful."
How TruckingTruth.com came about
Leah: So you were an over-the-road-truck driver for 15 years. Can you tell us a little bit about starting TruckingTruth.com and just how you came upon that?
Brett: Yeah it was right near the end of my career. I hadn't paid much attention to it but I started looking around the web. And I just thought one day like, I wonder if I was getting started in trucking today, I wonder what kind of guidance there is out there. What's going on in the trucking industry, with on the web? And I started looking around. And I would love to say an easier word, but I was horrified at what I found.
And I thought, my God, if new drivers come into the industry and they read this stuff and they think that this is the way the industry operates, or this is the approach to take, they're going to be slaughtered. They're going to be on a bus home in a week.
And I thought somebody needs to teach people what it takes to be successful in this industry, because something doesn't have to be perfect to be great. And the trucking industry, if you're the right type of person for the job, it's great. It's an amazing career, but it's really complex and it's really completely different than anything else you could ever relate to. There isn't really anything where you can say, "Well, if you've done this, then trucking will seem familiar to you." It's just very alien.
I think it's great. I think it can be great for a lot of people. And so I wanted to really just focus on the driver and what the driver has to do to give him or herself the best chance at being successful and getting a great start to this career.
So that's why I put together Trucking Truth for anyone from the moment they consider a career in the industry, all the way until about the end of your first year. At that point you have a solid foundation. You get how trucking works.
We're not trying to change the industry. We're not trying to change the way companies operate. We're not trying to change any laws or anything. We're just trying to help people focus on themselves and what they need to do to be successful. So that was the whole purpose of starting the site.
Brett explained that his first venture into helping prospective and new drivers understand the trucking industry was writing a book. It is titled, "Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving," and is available as an ebook on Amazon for $3.49. But Brett said it is also available for free at TruckingTruth.com.
Brett said that the book needed a website, so he created TruckingTruth.com in 2007, and within a year it had begun to evolve to what it is today.
"I started to throw a few articles up there, and started growing it. And I added more articles and I put a forum in there. And it just kept growing and growing and growing as I added things, and it just got so big. I was like wow I think this could be a thing," Brett said.
He said that creating Trucking Truth's online forum had a big impact on the growth of Trucking Truth. "We have a forum, a very active forum, and a lot of the questions that come in through the forum have really inspired us to put out new content to help people."
Brett said that the moderators and others on the forum don't sugar-coat the negatives of driving truck, but their advice always comes back to new drivers taking personal responsibility for their own careers.
Brett and others at Trucking Truth do not like to hear a lot of gripes from truckers who constantly blame their companies for not achieving what they think they should be accomplishing the minute they step into a truck with a newly minted CDL in their pocket.
Brett: The major carriers, they all have the tools for you to succeed. All of them. They have the equipment, they have the support staff, they have the freight available. Anything you want to do. They've got you.
They're gonna hand you all the tools, all the support everything you need. You have to figure out what you're doing. You have to take the time to be committed. Work hard, get to know the right people. Develop good relationships and that focus on yourself, and you're already,
You get on with one of the major carriers you're already with a winning team. You're already with an elite team that has the best tools in the industry. You're the one that needs to get up to speed so you can take advantage of those tools and start a great career for yourself.
So yeah, we don't allow people to blame the company, blame their dispatcher, blame the government. We don't play that game. This is about you have a great opportunity. And we're going to teach you how to maximize that opportunity by being the best you can be. That is our exclusive focus.
Brett said that he sees TruckingTruth.com and its forum as providing an independent source of advice and encouragement for drivers who find themselves in those tricky kinds of situations.
Improving driver training
Leah: We're also curious on what is it that we need to do to improve driver training so that drivers, stick with it. Brett, what do you think about that?
Brett: I think there's a few things they could do. For one, I think the paid programs that the major companies have, I think they keep drivers out away from home too long in the beginning.
The industry is it's such a shock to your lifestyle to your family. The career is stressful. It's exhausting. You know I think taking the driver out of their home, day one, and putting them out in a truck for two months, sometimes three months at a time without getting home or without getting home very often, I think it's too much of a shock to the driver and to their family.
I think they should focus on getting drivers home and let them take a breath for a minute. It's exhausting it's overwhelming it's stressful, but take a breath. Let them get back to their family and friends and absorb things a little bit, and then get back out there.
I've also always thought that it would be beneficial to everybody if they would rotate drivers amongst different trainers instead of sticking one driver with one trainer, shoving them into a walk in closet for two or three months at a time until they finally kill each other.
You're not getting along with your trainer, when you have problems, you really, really need to turn to somebody that you can trust and you can count on to help you out. And it's a scary thought to call your company. They just hired you, you're brand new, you've been out there for two, three weeks. The last thing in the world you want to do is call your company and complain or criticize somebody.
The conversation then turned to new driver attitudes and how it affects their time with a trainer and as new solo drivers.
Leah: Do you think that the new entrants coming in today want to be trained? Do the folks that come through your forum seem to want feedback and explanations, or do they seem like snowflakes that don't want any input?
Brett: There are a lot of people that come in thinking they have it all figured out, they already know.
It's really the worst thing you can do when you're new at anything. You really need to come in with an open mind. Be very humble, listen and learn, follow directions until you start to get a feel for what's going on. But the misconceptions about the trucking industry is one of the biggest reasons that people fail quickly.
They come in, they think they know how it works they think they know how training is supposed to be done. And so they come in with these really rigid expectations. And right from day one nothing gets done the way they expected it to be done. So they either assume that the company is a lousy company, or they don't know how to train people or they don't care about their drivers, when in reality, they're doing everything right. But because it doesn't meet your expectations you think they're doing it wrong.
Now it's super important to come in very humble with an open mind ready to work hard and listen and follow directions and just go with the flow. Just chill out go with the flow.
It's going to take a long time before a lot of this stuff makes sense. The trucking industry is a very strange beast. It does not operate the way most people would expect it to operate. So just go with the flow and learn, and you'll pick up on it. You really have to be willing to listen and learn and be humble.
Brett has a surprising answer for a common complaint in the Trucking Truth forum that the major carriers put new drivers on the road in charge of a truck after a very short training period.
"That really surprises people. People think, well I'm going to be in training until I'm good. And then they'll send me out on the road," Brett says he hears often. "But the reason that they don't put a lot of time and money and energy into training people up front before they go on the road is they have never figured out a screening system to figure out who is going to thrive on the road and who isn't.
"And so you really don't know if someone is going to make it in this industry until you put them out on the road and see if they can handle it. So instead of putting months of time and money and energy into training somebody to drive the truck, and then sending them out in the road only to find out a week later they can't handle it, they put you right out there right away to see what happens.
"And that's really surprised the heck out of people. They can't believe they're out there that quick. They don't know what they're doing and that it's overwhelming to them. And, that's how it's done. You really don't know until you're out there if it's going to be for you or not."
Brett emphasized again that Trucking Truth is there to help folks who find themselves in those kinds of situations.
Staying with the first company for at least one year
Leah: Brett I want to ask you, you and I both believe in driver retention, that number one, it's going to look best on a professional drivers resume or job record, and number two, it's going to give you the best experience as you make your way as a noob in the truck and on the road. Why is it better in the long run to stay with your company for that first year rather than job hopping.
Brett: Oh, there's a long list of reasons.
First of all, there's so much to learn. It's so much more complex than you would expect. So it takes months and months just to figure out how to manage your time, how to manage your personal life, adjusting to the erratic schedules, learning how to handle that rig. It takes a long time to do that kind of stuff.
But it's also super important to understand how your company operates. How do they distribute freight, what is the dispatchers responsibility. What responsibility is above your dispatcher that it's somebody else's to take care of. Developing a strong relationship with your dispatcher takes time. Developing a strong record for yourself, takes time.
And so to come into the industry and figure you know after two or three months, well things aren't going as well as I'd like them to I must be at a lousy company, and people wind up jumping ship to another company. And then they wind up figuring out right away they have all the same problems they had at the last company because the problem wasn't the company.
The problem is you are new, and you just haven't learned how to work within their system, you haven't proven yourself you haven't developed the relationships yet.
So just stay where you're at, develop that relationship and that reputation, and learn how this industry works. After you've been out there for a year, at that point you know a whole lot more than you did before. And then you can decide, well maybe I'd like to try to haul a different type of freight, maybe I'd like to run a different region of the country. Something along those lines, so you might have an idea of what you would prefer different than what you have now.
There's just no advantage to job hopping. You're not going to find that you're making more money, you're going to start at the bottom again, and have the same problems that you didn't figure out the first time at your last company. So it's just best to stick it out for a year, really learn your trade, and then decide what you want to do at that point.
Some final thoughts
- "Everybody looks like an idiot in the beginning, the worst thing you can do is pretend that you know more than you do. Because people who really do know what they're doing. they know when they're watching you."
- "I think it really all starts with understanding that trucking is performance based. You really have to be fully committed. Trucking is not something you can dip your toes in, or you can kind of put out the effort only when you feel like it."
- "One thing that's tough about being a trucker is you have no authority over anybody. You have exactly one piece of authority, and that is you can refuse to drive that truck if either you're not safe to drive or the truck isn't safe to be on the road. Other than that, you have no authority over anybody -- not your company, not the DOT, not the customers. So I see a lot of drivers really trying to force things to happen. They go to the customers, and they start screaming and yelling and threatening, but the most powerful thing that you can do is to make somebody want to help you."
- "One of the things about trucking is everybody's on the same page, everybody wins together or loses together. The more miles you turn, the more money you're going to make, the more money the company is going to make, the better service the customers are going to have. Everybody wins."
- "Well, humility and personal responsibility is a huge thing. You make a mistake out there admit it. That's what these companies want to see. You're gonna make mistakes, but they want to know that you care. They want to know that you take responsibility. You want to be the best driver you can be, you're doing everything you can to learn. That's a really big deal."
Advice For New Truck Drivers
Becoming A Truck Driver
First Solo Months On The Road
First Truck Driving Job
Getting Your CDL
Life On The Road
On The Road In Training
Truck Driver Salary
Truck Driver Training
Truck Driving Lifestyle
Trucker's Family Matters