Profile For Brett Aquila

Brett Aquila's Info

  • Location:
    Keeseville, NY

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:
    Brett Aquila On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    17 years, 4 months ago

Brett Aquila's Bio

Hey Everyone! I'm the owner and founder of TruckingTruth and a 15 year trucking veteran.

Brett Aquila's Photo Gallery Group 1 of 7

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Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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I did it - I finally did it!

Wow, that's a beauty! I love it!

Congrats again on that million miles. Nothing thrills me more than to see top-tier drivers show up here with fantastic success stories. That's showing 'em how it's done!

And you have an awesome attitude and you love what you do?

Folks, this is what's possible if you put in the hard work and keep a great attitude!

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Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

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Preventable Accidents

We need clearly-defined national truck routes and big-rig-specific GPS applications. Each and every motor road bridge in North America should be put into a database with its defined clearances so GPS systems can accurately calculate a logical truck route and weed out any bridges and tunnels lacking adequate clearance. America should be a nation of exact standards.

I agree. Not just with bridges, but with everything related to trucks. Every road in the country should establish specifications for which vehicles are allowed, and we incorporate that data into GPS systems.

Unfortunately, only truck drivers know we need this, and only trucker drivers care. We're only about 1% of the population, so we rarely get attention from corporations or governments.

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

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Accidents happen in health care

That's very concerning indeed. I'd say as long as you have documentation that shows your name and the unique sample ID#, you should be good. They normally take two samples, one primary and one secondary. If the primary tests positive, they can test the secondary to make sure they didn't contaminate during the test. Hopefully they both have the same ID#.

It pays to be aware at all times in this industry. Good grief. Something this simple could end someone's career. I'm glad you're a sharp dude, Davy.

Posted:  2 weeks, 2 days ago

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Got okidoked and forced to jump the gun I think.

Michael, as you can see, you're in a competitive battle for your career. That's how it is in this industry. They don't escort you through the entrance like a VIP and welcome you with open arms to your new trucking family. It's more like they throw everyone into the frying pan to see who wants it badly enough.

Some people will figure out how to adapt and overcome in any environment. If they want it badly enough, they'll make it happen. I would bet anything their school isn't free anymore because people who get free handouts do not make the most of them. They want people who are willing to come up with the money and invest in themselves. Then they have something on the line.

I always recommend that people approach CDL training like BootCamp in the army. It's meant to be difficult. It's meant to weed out the weak and uncommitted. They do it on purpose. Why?

Because trucking is competitive and it's too damn hard for most people. Most company-operated CDL schools are intended to train those who belong and weed out those who don't. It's a competition. You're trying to make the team.

So embrace it. If you're highly motivated and you know this program is difficult, then find ways to outperform the other students. Learn by watching others, while everyone else is goofing off or complaining. Ask more questions of the instructors than most students so they know you're genuinely interested in learning all you can. Find other students who are highly motivated like yourself and learn from each other and support each other.

You will find that your class will mostly consist of two types of people - complainers and competitors. Find the other competitors, team up, work hard, stand out as being the ones who want this the most, and make it happen. In fact, do it all with a smile.

Competitors love being in the arena. You're there now. If you step up your game and keep a great attitude, you'll come out on top in the end. That doesn't mean the path will be easy or that it will go as you expect, but that won't matter. You'll still make it happen.

Posted:  2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Howdy folks, noob from Polk County, Iowa!

One more resurrection of Todd. I guess he will never give up.

I was just talking about him the other day. I was like, "Ya know, Todd hasn't come around in a while. It's usually every few months or so."

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Posted:  2 weeks, 3 days ago

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YUGE day tomorrow

Congratulations James! That's some awesome work right there!

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Posted:  2 weeks, 5 days ago

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For Company Carriers: Do you feel Valued?

Everyone here is interested in Davy's success and enjoyment of his career. I wish him all kinds of success and have no doubt in his ability to be the best. He's got the kind of drive in him to reach those goals.

I agree wholeheartedly. I hope Davy finds nothing but the best, and I believe he will because he's driven, he understands how business works, and he's shown a willingness to focus on finding solutions to his problems.

There is a stark contrast in the approach that terminal rats take versus top-tier drivers, and that's most apparent in their focus. Terminal rats focus on complaining, blaming, and criticizing, whereas top-tier drivers focus on being more productive, overcoming challenges, and counting their blessings. Davy is quite obviously top-tier.

I'm anxious to hear about this move myself, Davy. I'll be excited to hear more when you're able to share it.

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

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How do you deal with the corporate bs long term?

It's all fine with me if you guys want to whine and complain and carry on about how bad these trucking companies are. I'd just like folks to know there's a path to being happy and successful in a truck driving career. I've never seen anybody guided there by the folks who constantly point out their issues with trucking.

This was exactly the reason I started this website. When I came off the road and looked around at what the Web had to offer new truck drivers, I found it appalling.

There were two big websites at the time. One was the most toxic group of terminal rats I had ever found in one place. I couldn't finish even a single page of any conversation in their forum because it was sewage.

The other website had a theme - trucking is a scam, and I'll help you avoid the scams if you'll buy my CD for $29.95. I counted one time and he had the word "scam" on his homepage 17 times! I guess he missed the irony of making money helping people get started in a world he considered one giant scam.

That was basically it. That's what people had to choose from. I remember saying out loud, "OMG! If this is the advice new drivers get, they have zero chance of success in this industry."

I absolutely loved my career, so I decided to help people understand the industry the way I did and teach them how to be happy and successful in this career, exactly as the trucking industry is today. I had no interest in attacking the industry I loved or becoming an activist. Hell, everyone was doing that already. I didn't want any part of it.

I knew there were people like myself who were ambitious, optimistic, and eager to make a go of it. That's who I wanted to help. Let the complainers go elsewhere.

On that note, I think some of you guys need to step away from here for a few days and gather yourselves while we focus on helping the new drivers. I'm not threatening or suspending anyone or anything like that. I'm just saying you guys have clearly gone off the deep end, and you need to gather yourselves.

You've lost the plot entirely when you start attacking Old School as someone who would mock and belittle you. We have never had a member who dedicated more time to helping new drivers make a go of this career. He has always been respectful, genuine, well-informed, and considerate. I have the utmost respect for the man, and I won't stand for anyone attacking him.

Some of you seem so broken you're beyond help at the moment, and you've made this place so toxic that I dread reading your replies. Unless you regroup and rethink your approach, you're no help to anyone, including yourselves.

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

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How do you deal with the corporate bs long term?

If the company makes a profit in a fiscal year, do they share the profit with the drivers? Of course they don’t.

BK, I have great news! Some companies do offer this, and TMC is the first that comes to mind:

TMC Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)

Follow that link for all the details, but here are some of the highlights:

What is an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)?

An ESOP is a type of qualified retirement plan that buys part or all of a company on behalf of employees who are eligible to participate. It is similar to a pension or 401(k) plan, except that instead of being invested in stocks & bonds of outside companies, the ESOP owns the stock of TMC Transportation. The ESOP holds the stock in individual accounts that are set up for each eligible participant. Participants receive the value of their accounts after they leave the company.

When do I become eligible to participate in ESOP?

In order to become eligible for participation you need to meet the following requirements:

  • 1 year of employment, and
  • Complete 1,000 hours of service, and
  • You are age 21 years or older

To be eligible to receive the annual allocation, you must meet the following requirements:

  • 1000 hours of service that plan year (January 1 - December 31)
  • Employed on the last day of the plan year (December 31)

Will I have to pay for this?

Nope! You do not have to pay for your shares. TMC buys them for you. Consider it a gift!

So that's a pretty cool setup. You have to work there for a year to qualify, but then you get shares every year after that.

TMC Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

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How do you deal with the corporate bs long term?

companies are able to get the actual mileage much more precise, but why should they change when the discrepancy is continually in their favor?

I can tell you how they reach these numbers.

When companies negotiate with shippers, they don't often negotiate the rate per mile. Instead, they present their rate per mile as a fixed number and negotiate the number of paid miles for the run.

For instance, it's about 140 miles from Toledo to Columbus. The company sets its rate per mile ahead of time, so the shipper might say, "We'll pay 125 miles for that trip," and the trucking company might say, "Make it 130," and they make the deal.

Now, the trucking company will get paid its rate per mile for 130 miles, and the driver will get his rate per mile for those same 130 miles.

I was told they do it this way for two reasons:

1. The pay rates for both the drivers and the trucking company are set ahead of time, so the trucking company knows what their gross margins will be. This is what I was referring to when I said they're only willing to pay you a certain percentage of the truck's revenues. This is how they achieve that. By fixing the rate per mile for both the trucking company and the driver, their gross margins remain fixed, regardless of the length of haul.

2. Companies are reluctant to lower their rate per mile because it's more difficult to negotiate a higher rate again in the future. It can be easier to negotiate the length of haul, while keeping your rates a little higher.

I'm not defending the practice. I'm just explaining how the system works. This is why they almost never quite pay the full mileage for a run. It averages around 5% - 10% fewer miles than you'll drive.

Old School was referring to this phenomenon when he said:

Now, I might consider it theft if they were charging the customer more miles than they are paying the driver.

So if the company charged 140 miles for the run, but only paid the driver 130 miles, that would be unfair to the driver. The driver is no longer getting his fair share of the revenues to his truck.

So it has nothing to do with the accuracy of GPS or anything like that. It's simply a matter of negotiating with customers in a way that allows the trucking company to keep predictable operating margins and to give the driver a consistent percentage of the revenues to the truck.

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