Profile For Brett Aquila

Brett Aquila's Info

  • Location:
    Keeseville, NY

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:
    Brett Aquila On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    12 years, 4 months ago

Brett Aquila's Bio

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

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Posted:  1 hour, 24 minutes ago

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Why Small Trucking Companies Are Often A Disaster Waiting To Happen - article by Brett Aquila

Thanks for the shoutout and the kudos.

Rick

Thanks for the many great insights you always have to offer. It's always very much appreciated!

Posted:  1 hour, 33 minutes ago

View Topic:

Why Small Trucking Companies Are Often A Disaster Waiting To Happen - article by Brett Aquila

Excellent article as always Brett. 😜 One suggestion I have is make a link to this article in the TT starter pack that we link to new drivers. That way they can understand before they even try to get into the industry.

Yeah, I'll definitely put a link in there.

Posted:  2 hours, 33 minutes ago

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Why Small Trucking Companies Are Often A Disaster Waiting To Happen - article by Brett Aquila

I've decided to take one of my responses from a recent conversation here in the forum, modify it a little, and turn it into an article so that people can better understand why we strongly recommend that you avoid buying or leasing a truck and remain a company driver for one of the major trucking companies. You'll find it here:

Why Small Trucking Companies Are Often A Disaster Waiting To Happen

Lest you think the title is a bit over the top, consider that many thousands of trucks get parked each year due to bankruptcies, and the overwhelming majority of these come from individual owner operators or very small fleets. Relatively few large carriers ever go bankrupt, but it does happen.

In years past I personally worked for two small carriers, one with 5 trucks and one with 11 trucks, both of which eventually went bankrupt, fortunately after I had already departed.

Spoiler alert: Rickipedia gets a shoutout in this article for one of his famously insightful remarks regarding the difficult plight of small businesses. If Rick doesn't have some fantastic insights on a particular topic then there simply isn't anything worth knowing.

If you're considering buying or leasing your own truck, or you think that working for a small carrier might be better than working for a large carrier, the information in this article will be very important for you to understand.

Why Small Trucking Companies Are Often A Disaster Waiting To Happen

Posted:  4 hours, 31 minutes ago

View Topic:

Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers

So as you can see, even though we have decades of data that clearly demonstrates at what scale you will either barely survive or potentially thrive in a commodity business, over 95% of the people in those businesses have put themselves into the category that will barely make enough money to survive at all and only a very small percentage of those involved in these businesses have any chance at actually thriving.

But make no mistake about it - scale alone does not guarantee anything. You must also have leading technology, cutting edge management, and do it at a large scale for a very long period of time to become financially stable and actually thrive.

This is why we so highly recommend working for largest carriers. They have decades of success at the highest level in one of the most cutthroat industries in the country. They have their operations dialed in and they have the money and expertise to continue to thrive for decades to come. They have:

  • The best technology
  • The nicest equipment
  • The sharpest management
  • The biggest customers
  • The best pay and benefits
  • The nicest perks
  • The greatest variety of opportunities
  • The strongest finances

Over 95% of the businesses in farming and trucking are barely able to survive, if they survive at all for much longer, and many thousands of them will go bankrupt each year. So when you choose a company to work for it only makes sense to put yourself in the best position possible by going with one of the large carriers.

As a huge bonus, these large successful companies also have their own paid CDL training programs which we strongly believe is the very best way to get started in this industry.

If you do consider starting your own trucking company, you have no one to blame but yourself for the outcome. There is no mystery surrounding what it takes to survive and then thrive in the trucking world. If you're going to throw your hat in the ring as a tiny carrier without a financial plan and a tactical plan for scaling larger then don't cry the blues when inevitably you find yourself hanging on by a thread. It should have been obvious to you that's what was going to happen. Don't blame the government, don't blame the large corporations. Thriving in a modern commodity business like trucking is an exact science. You either understand the economics of it and know how to properly manage your growth for many, many years to come or you die a sad death.

This industry is loaded with people who are bitter and miserable and broke. They're endlessly complaining, blaming, and criticizing others for their failures when in fact the formula for success in this industry is right there sitting in plain site for all to see. If you fail to understand what it takes to thrive in this industry or you fail to execute on a long term plan for growth then that's on you.

Posted:  4 hours, 34 minutes ago

View Topic:

Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers

Jeremy, I totally get what you're saying about small, family owned businesses struggling to survive in commodity industries like logging, farming, trucking, etc. For so many people the ultimate dream would be to own a small family business doing something you really love and make great money doing it. That way you have the best of everything - you're in control of your own destiny, you're making great money, and you're living your dream lifestyle.

We have a very romantic view of this, for good reason, but the reality of these family businesses is not what most people seem to think. Even way back in the day before the big industries stepped in and became major players in the game these small family businesses never made much money. It really was more about living the lifestyle you loved than it was about making good money.

Dairy farming is a classic example and everything about it applies to trucking and other commodity industries. I watched a nice show on PBS about the history of dairy farming in Vermont. If you look at the numbers it's clear that the number of dairy farms nationwide has dropped drastically throughout the decades as the size of the average farm has increased. Here's a perfect chart from an article called Got Milk? Possibly Not For Long If Policies Continue Hurting Dairy Farmers' Bottom Lines demonstrating that:

0628527001560946348.jpg

Here's another great chart from an article called Size matters – Production costs on US dairy farms showing that as the size of the dairy herd increases, the cost of production per unit decreases:

0332624001560946789.jpg

Both are super basic examples of how scaling larger makes an operation more efficient in any commodity business. This certainly applies to trucking.

This is where the romantic notion of the "thriving family farm" breaks down. Small commodity businesses never thrive. They never have. Even 80 years ago you had advancing technologies that forced massive changes to the way farming was done. There's a truck stop in the Midwest that has an old truck from the 1940's and the original letter that the farmer wrote to the car dealership.

The farmer said he was really happy with his new truck because it used to take him 3 days with a team of 3 horses to take a load of hay to town, but now he can take 3 loads in one day with his new truck.

Imagine how horrified his farming neighbors must have been! I'll bet word travelled 100 miles in every direction within a week of this guy taking his first hay to market in his new truck. It was a total game changer. Bigger tractors, bigger trucks, bigger plots of land, larger herds - commodity industries have always been an endlessly changing game where the smaller less efficient guys are constantly being squeezed out by the larger more efficient guys. You either constantly evolved to stay in the game or you died a slow, torturous financial death. This was no different in 1940 than it is today.

You absolutely must understand the business you're getting into and what it's going to take to survive, and hopefully thrive, for the next 10 years and beyond. In any modern commodity business it's extremely simple to do that. You have a huge amount of historical data that can easily be projected forward for 10 years or more. You can look at charts like those I've posted above until the cows come home (see how I did that?) to understand the profits and capital expenditures you can expect based on the size of your operation and the technology you intend to employ.

What's interesting to me is the sheer quantity of people willing to put their hat in the ring as a tiny entity even though it's plain to see a tiny entity has no chance of making very much money in a commodity business.

According to Wikipedia article called Family farm:

In 2012, the United States had 2,039,093 family farms (as defined by USDA), accounting for 97 percent of all farms and 89 percent of census farm area in the United States

According to Trucker.org Reports, Trends & Statistics:

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, as of June 2017, the number of for-hire carriers on file with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration totaled 777,240. Of those:

  • 91% operate 6 or fewer trucks
  • 97.3% operate fewer than 20 trucks

continued........

Posted:  6 hours, 19 minutes ago

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Can I get wifi on my truck?

I've looked into that Jet Pack and I don't think it really serves any purpose that your cell phone can't do. It's just a hotspot. I have to use my phone for Internet full time at my house and I looked into it but couldn't find any advantage to it. If you wanted to use Verizon's cell service for Internet but didn't have a phone, that Jet Pack is what you would use. But if you already have a Verizon phone just use your phone as a hotspot for your laptop.

Posted:  1 day, 1 hour ago

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One for Brett

rofl-3.gif

Aquila Motor Freight! Has a nice ring to it, eh? (See how I did that? They're Canadian, eh?)

Posted:  1 day, 1 hour ago

View Topic:

Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers

I don’t know where your stream of rhetoric is coming from

Well I'm happy to tell you where I get my knowledge from. I've spent 25 years in the trucking industry, including 15 years as a Top Tier Driver. I've also spent 10 years as a mentor helping countless thousands of people get their trucking career underway, including yours.

I've worked closely for the past 10 years with both private schools nationwide and many of the largest, most successful carriers in the country trying to learn how they operate, learn the traits of those who succeed and those who fail, and learn all I can about the various paths into a successful career in trucking so I can better advise people with their decisions. I'm on a first name basis and in regular contact with various company owners, high level company executives, operations managers, safety managers, school directors, and recruiting managers.

I also have 15 years, and counting, as a very successful business owner.

I've also been a very successful investor in the stock market for almost 30 years, following the business world very closely and educating myself on what it takes to be successful in the business world and gaining the best possible understanding of economics on both a small and a large scale. I managed to take a very small amount of money and turn it into a nestegg that financed the entire second half of my mom's life after my dad passed 30 years ago.

But I have to admit, in all my years I somehow never learned all the things you're teaching me today. Where did you learn all this stuff? You must have vast levels of experience and a tremendous resume in the business world. I honestly did not know all of this was true:

  • Big corporations don’t give 2 hoots what the public think
  • Insurance companies give discounts because they bought into the material that a PAID 3rd party tester wrote about on the product they were PAID to evaluate. DUH!
  • Has a single insurance company executive ever driven a truck with one of these crappy, lousy systems. NO!!!!!
  • Name one shareholder or High powered corporate executive actually cares about public opinion? The bottom line is ALL that matter
  • Safety is NOT their primary concern
  • Claiming safety is nothing more than a ruse.
  • the companies fighting for [deregulation] wasn’t thinking about the big picture and what it would cause
  • I am saying using the guise of safety is BS!!! NOTHING MORE, PERIOD!!!!

This has really been an eye opener for me I have to admit. The knowledge bomb you've dropped on us here has been a revelation.

Posted:  1 day, 5 hours ago

View Topic:

Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers

grew up in the logging industry and literally watching the industry go from a lot of small family businesses to them being completely priced out to the few huge companies it became a choice get huge and settle for small margins or get out

All commodity businesses become this way - farming, trucking, fishing, logging, metal production, airline travel, mining, etc.

Before you get into any sort of business you have to understand the economics of that business. The first thing you have to ask yourself is,

"Can I differentiate myself from the competition?"

Now a commodity business is one in which only the price matters because the product or service is pretty much the same no matter who provides it. Whether you buy corn from the Johnson's five acre farm down the street or you buy it from Mega Corporation's five thousand acre farm it doesn't matter. Corn is corn. Anyone can produce good tasting corn, so all that really matters is how much it costs and how easily you can get it. The same goes with moving freight, providing lumber, producing metals, or flying in airplanes. There is simply no way to really differentiate your product or service from another. That means ultimately the lowest cost provider is going to get the overwhelming majority of the business.

If you can't do something better than most people then you're not going to be around for long. There aren't many winners in any given business market, which is another question you have to ask yourself:

"How big is the market for my product or service?"

Now in the case of trucking or farming or logging, the market is massive, right? Everyone in the world needs these services. But even with a big market you might find a ton of competition. So another question you have to ask yourself is,

"How difficult is it for people to start this type of business?"

The more easily anyone can jump into the business the more competition you're going to have.

So when you look at trucking or logging for instance, you see that the market is massive but there's no way to differentiate yourself from the competition and it's pretty easy for anyone to jump into the business. That means you're going to have a ton of competition, and because everyone's product or service is pretty much the same there's no way for you to charge more than your competitors. So if you can't charge a nice premium for your product or service and the competition is stiff then the profit margins are going to be very slim. Once again, the lowest cost provider is going to get the bulk of the business because all that really matters is the cost or the convenience of the product or service.

Trucking is a commodity business. Only the price really matters. So in order to become the lowest cost provider you have to run the most efficient operation. Generally speaking, the larger you can scale the more efficiently you can operate.

But there are more advantages to scale. Having a larger pool of financing to draw from makes you more resilient during tough times. Having a larger fleet of vehicles allows you to be more flexible to meet the needs of your customers.

For instance, you might get a customer that has 5 good paying loads per week coming out of their facility but they insist on having 2 empty trailers there at all times so they can load them as soon as the product is ready. That saves the company warehouse space because they don't have to store as much finished product. If you don't have the empty trailers available you're not going to get that contract.

Or maybe a customer needs freight hauled on very short notice. Well if you have a lot of drivers in their area at any given time that's pretty easy to accommodate.

Shippers are often willing to pay a little more to a trucking company that can provide them with additional services like these.

The bottom line is simple - before you go into a business you have to understand what it takes to compete in that business. If you're foolish enough to enter a commodity business without intending to scale your business to the point that it's large enough to compete then you're destined to suffer a terrible fate. It's no different for someone who wants to step onto a football field. If you're not going to get in shape and wear the right equipment and develop your skills then you're going to get knocked on your ass in front of all of your friends and your hometown.

If you're not smart enough to know what it takes to compete in any given industry then you'll have to take the advice of Roger Alan Wade - if you're gonna be dumb ya gotta be tough.

Posted:  1 day, 6 hours ago

View Topic:

First Beer Load

It looks great. You're not going to have any problems with it. It will look exactly the same when you get to the delivery.

Remember, also, that loads almost never shift toward the back, they shift toward the front. A truck doesn't accelerate quickly enough to throw the load backward and they don't climb hills steep enough to make anything slide backward. But you can easily hit the brakes hard enough to shift everything forward. Keep that in mind anytime you consider what might happen to a load during the trip. Make sure there isn't anything that appears like it might go flying forward if you have to hit the brakes hard.

Sometimes you may have something that's stacked pretty high and unstable, so it's possible the top of the pallet could tip over backwards on a hill or something. But most of the time the biggest threat comes from hitting the brakes hard and shifting everything forward.

Posted:  1 day, 7 hours ago

View Topic:

Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers

Of course the big companies aren’t going to get regulations passed by saying they just want to squeeze out the competition. That would be un-American

Wanting to beat the competition is un-American? What the hell America do you live in? There must be more than one.

Big companies don’t have collision avoidance systems on their truck just for safety. No, they have them on their trucks for an insurance discount.

Why do you think the insurance companies give the discounts in the first place? Because they believe adding these systems will make things safer, therefore reducing the risk, therefore they reduce their rates.

Big companies don’t regulate their trucks to 65 mph for safety. They do it for the fuel savings.

So you don't think it's safer going 65 than it is going 85? Seriously? It's not any safer keeping the speeds lower?

Big companies didn’t start using ELDs long before it became mandatory for safety. They did it because it increased efficiency

Increase the efficiency of what?

They used them before they became mandatory because it takes quite a bit longer to transition a large fleet over to a completely new system and new technology. They needed time to implement the changes, adjust their fleet size, add maintenance personnel, add new hardware to the trucks, add new hardware in the offices to process everything, and implement the software changes required.

There will never be a “level playing field”. The large companies already hold the advantage with the economy of scale. Being able to leverage fuel, maintenance and purchase discounts. Having a larger pool of drivers to make up for harder enforcement of regulations.

How does having more drivers make it easier to handle stricter enforcement?

If scaling larger gives a business the advantage then why don't the smaller companies just scale larger so they can compete? Why would you start a small business in a commodity industry where economies of scale matter and then complain that it isn't fair you can't compete? Why would any business owner start any business if they know they're at a massive disadvantage and have no intention of making themselves competitive? You don't belong in business if you're not competitive. That competition is what drives innovation, greater efficiency, greater productivity, and ultimately a better product or service at a better price. That's the entire point of having a free market capitalist system.

I don’t think big companies care what the public’s perceived image of the industry is. People keep buying stuff, so....

Seriously? You really can't imagine why the largest carriers in the nation, the ones who are trying to recruit new drivers into the industry, the ones who are most closely watched by the authorities and most affected by new regulations would care about the public's image of the industry?

I always say there are two types of people out there - those who take 100% responsibility for their own successes and failures, and those who blame, complain, and criticize when things aren't going their way. You're placing 100% of the blame for the difficulties the small guys face on the big evil corporations who care about nothing but squashing the little guy. Yet you know better than anyone that the little guy is fighting vehemently to prevent better regulations and safety systems so they won't have to operate more safely. They want to lie and cheat as much as possible to gain the advantage.

Patrick, this has been quite the eye opening diatribe. Your view has suddenly become the classic "evil empire" view, which is incredibly surprising to me when you consider the fact that you started your career working for a large company that cared very much about safety, had fantastic pay and benefits, was run very efficiently, had beautiful new equipment, had lots of different opportunities available, and treated you like gold. You couldn't say enough great things about em, just like the rest of our members feel about the large, successful companies they work for, the same way I felt about the large carriers I worked for.

Yet here we are just a few months after you started working for a small carrier and all of a sudden the large carriers are the scum of the Earth, the most sinister and deplorable dregs of society hell bent on the destruction of everyone around them? You've been persuaded to believe that deregulation was a mistake and that the Government should step in, eliminate the free market, control rates, lower safety standards, dictate who can own a truck, and artificially manipulate the market so the smallest, least efficient, and most poorly run companies can thrive?

I think someday you'll wind up at a large carrier again. You'll get to know the people running the place and you'll be reminded once again that they actually do care very much about safety and the welfare of their drivers. You'll be reminded once again that the largest, most successful carriers in the nation got where they are by having the best management, the best technology, the most efficient fleets, and by taking great care of their customers who happen to be some of the largest corporations in the world. In short, they're simply the best at what they do.

You're going to realize that you temporarily came under the spell of an irrational and cynical group of malcontents who simply don't have the business acumen or savvy to run their operations as well as the big guys. Trust me, these little guys would love nothing more than to find the same level of success as the big guys have. You said it yourself......most of the large carriers started out small, grew steadily, and forged their way to the top. No one handed it to them. They went out there and beat the hell out of the competition fair and square.

Most people don't have the character to stand tall and admit they gave it their best shot but were simply beaten by a better opponent. That would at least be dignified. Instead they often go into some red hot diatribe about how the other guy cheated and the refs made bad calls and the field was in poor condition and the fans cheered for the other guy and the sport's governing body wanted the other guy to win. It's always sad watching someone get beat knowing how hard they've worked and how badly they wanted to succeed, but it's far worse watching them throw a tantrum and blame everyone and everything around them for their defeat.

You're hanging around guys who are part of a team that's getting beat by a better opponent. I can understand why you would feel bad for them. I've worked for small companies that have gone bankrupt. It's sad to watch that unfold. But to sympathize to the point that you go off on some diatribe blaming the government and the evil corporations, calling for the end of the free market system, and wanting to see the Government take back control of the industry? That, my friend, is called going off the deep end. The very, very deep end.

Posted:  2 days ago

View Topic:

Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers

They [the large carriers] already know the tighter controls will make life difficult for the small guy

That's because the small guys are lying and cheating in order to stay in business. They're breaking every rule they can possibly get away with breaking, which were all created to maintain a safe environment.

These small carriers often don't care about maintaining their equipment, following speed limits, hiring drivers with clean records, or abiding by logbook rules. They care about staying in business no matter how dangerous their operations must be. If you want to talk about who is being ruthless, that is ruthless.

That's why the large carriers want better systems in place. Not only do they want a safer operating environment and a better image for the industry, but they want an even playing field where everyone has to abide by the same rules and are held to the same standards.

This industry has become more professional and has attained higher standards over the years. That needs to continue, and I'm confident it will. We don't need to return to the outlaw days of trucking. We also don't need the government stepping back in to dictate rates and decide who can own a truck and who can not.

You're arguing that setting higher standards for safety, allowing anyone to start a trucking company, and allowing rates to be set by the free market are all hurting the plight of the little guy who can't compete. So you think we should lower the safety standards, dictate rates, and dictate who can own a truck so that people can operate inefficiently and still make a killing?

Honest to God I think this is the first argument I can ever remember in favor of wiping out a free market system, setting lower safety standards, and installing a system of Government dictation to eliminate competition and create an artificial supply/demand ratio that hurts the entire population and only benefits the few who have the blessings of the Government.

You do realize that if we went back to a system like that your company could be one of the first to get a letter saying they're no longer allowed to operate a trucking company and must liquidate their assets and cease-and-desist immediately, right? Man, I bet that would go over well.

This is really an odd conversation. I have to say I'm really surprised any of this makes sense to you. If you're just trolling us then you've gotten me good, I have to admit it, because you really do seem to believe your argument somehow makes sense.

Posted:  2 days, 2 hours ago

View Topic:

Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers

Freight rates went down in comparison to inflation.

Exactly! That's what we want. It's called productivity. Trucking companies are now providing their services at lower prices. That's why capitalism thrives. It opens up the competition to everyone and forces businesses to become more efficient or get squeezed out of the market. That benefits the entire economy as a whole. Everyone thrives when productivity increases.

Posted:  2 days, 2 hours ago

View Topic:

Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers

Their ONLY concern is too fix their mistake from the 70s (deregulation). It was deregulation that opened the door the the onslaught of the O/O.

It's funny how people are always crying foul about the Government getting into our business, but when the Government steps back and opens the doors to free market capitalistism everyone cries foul again......or at least the people who can't compete cry foul.

It's true that the government used to set the rates for hauling freight and could dictate who could start a trucking business and who couldn't. It made it easy for an owner operator to make great money because they didn't have to worry about competing or being real efficient. The rates were artificially inflated and the market was artificially choked off. The supply and demand was skewed by the Government.

Once the rates started being set on the open market the real competition began, and along with it came continuing efficiencies and advantage of scale. Over time freight rates dropped relative to inflation, making it far less expensive to ship goods in this country, which helped the American people and American businesses thrive.

Trucking today is far more professional and far more efficient than it ever was before deregulation. Deregulation was a huge win for 99% of the U.S. population, but a losing proposition for those who couldn't compete as small entities in trucking.

I'm not sure how you could possibly skew things to appear as if deregulation was a mistake. Basically you're saying you would prefer a communist-style economy where the Government owns or strictly controls all business. Maybe we should regulate the airlines and farming so that anyone can make a killing owning a plane or a small farm? Sure, a head of lettuce would cost $15 and an airline ticket from Boston to Chicago would be $2,000 but at least John Smith can own his own airplane and Dave Jones can make a killing with his 5 acre farm. Our economy would be 1/50th the size it is now and the overwhelming majority of people would be living in poverty, but hey - that's what it takes to let the little guy thrive at the expense of the entire population, right?

We're definitely witnessing some serious truck stop talk here. You have to at least understand the principles of Capitalism to be able to understand why we're far better off now than we were back then.

Posted:  2 days, 3 hours ago

View Topic:

Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers

Let’s cut to the chase, the ONLY thing the trucker Alliance is concerned with is doing everything in their power to make it impossible for small trucking companies to survive. Either by increasing vehicles costs or limiting earning potential.

I am sure many of those companies were probably involved with pushing for deregulation in the 70s. Now, they are pushing for more regulations since it didn’t work out the way they thought it would. They are just trying to fix their mess up and make it impossible for the little guy.

Let’s call a spade a spade.

WHOA! Someone really fell under the spell of the "plight of the small guy" with their recent experience at a little company, eh? Wow.

Come on, man. Be serious. First of all, that's an absurd statement to say the only thing they care about is wiping out the little guy. I guess you're saying the little guy is being treated unfairly because they've always cared so much about helping out the big guy, right? Please. It's competition. Everyone is fighting to survive.

Their stated mission is this:

1. Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) – Support the expansion of ELDs to apply to all large commercial trucks, regardless of the commodity, length of haul, or whether the trucks operate in intrastate or interstate commerce.

2. Truck Speed Limiters – Require speed limiter devices (already installed on most trucks) be turned on and set to a national maximum truck speed limit of 65 mph.

3. USDOT Drug Test Requirements – Truck driver applicants should verify no drug use for 60 days prior to submitting a job application.

4. Public Liability Insurance – Motor carriers should be sufficiently self-insured or if fully insured, maintain liability insurance that fully compensates the medical expenses of large truck crash victims, as Congress intended in 1980, when it passed this requirement.

5. Onboard Truck Safety Technologies – Motor carriers should actively test and install Advanced Safety Technologies, (ASTs) including, but not limited to: lane departure warning systems, forward collision mitigation systems, automatic emergency braking, roll stability controls, and other emerging ASTs that prove effective in avoiding large truck accidents.

6. Driver Hiring and Training Programs – Utilize extensive pre-employment screening processes and ongoing driver training, such as coaching drivers with forward facing camera technology when applicable.

7. Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse – Support the immediate implementation of a database clearinghouse, which Congress mandated in 2012, so that employers can know if a truck driver job applicant has previously failed a drug test at another company.

I can see why the little guy wouldn't want those things. How could they cheat on their hours? How would they be able to lie to their insurance companies about hiring someone who failed a drug test? How would they be able to attract drivers with trucks that run 80 mph?

If you want to bring out the truth then let's do it - the truth is that the little guys have gotten away with far more cheating throughout the years than the big guys could ever dream of. The big guys are being watched closely all the time to make sure they're in strict compliance. The little guys often fly under the radar and get away with anything they can.

Not only that, but this industry is hyper competitive. You put together that entire alliance and they still don't make up 10% of the trucks on the road. So it's not like there's no room for the little guy. There's tons of room. Give me an example of any other industry where the top 20 players only comprise 10% of the industry's revenues. Good luck with that. Trucking is wide open when it comes to competition.

Yes, the large trucking companies want to see safety systems implemented in such a way that no one can get around them. They want to uphold better standards for drivers, and they want to improve the public image of the industry - electronic logs, stricter drug testing requirements, drug clearinghouses, minimum liability insurance, etc.

As a member of one of the little guys out there I can promise you the last thing you want to do is attract attention to the way you're doing business. Without getting into specifics you know what I'm saying is true. So don't try to say the little guys are the victims here. The little guys are the ones doing the most wrong and I'm certain no one would want to debate that with me.

Posted:  2 days, 5 hours ago

View Topic:

Getting Closer To Going With Company For Training

How long after you quit driving a truck does it take for your cdl to become worthless? Worthless meaning no otr company will take you without a refresher?

That will vary by company and by your experience level. If you're fresh out of school and don't take a job within 3 - 6 months you'll probably go through training again. If you have 2+ years of experience but haven't driven within the past 6 - 12 months you may have to go through a refresher again.

This practice has gone on forever. To be honest, it's not worth worrying about because the training is quick and easy once you already know how to drive. You'll just breeze right through it. But it's important to know that this practice exists in case someone is considering taking a hiatus from trucking for a while. You need to know that it might be a little more difficult finding a job and you may have to go through some sort of refresher training, or possibly even the full training.

I suspect if you go through a Paid CDL Training Programs they'll fast track you through the program. You already know how to drive and you already have your CDL so they'll probably just make sure you're solid and send you out on the road. You'll probably go out with a trainer for a short time but I would expect that phase to be fast tracked also.

Posted:  2 days, 14 hours ago

View Topic:

Need some advice please.

Sorry for rambling

You're not rambling at all. This is a really serious issue and you obviously have a lot going on in your life. There's a lot to consider. So I totally get how tough this must be.

But obviously you can easily imagine how much worse things would be if it happened behind the wheel of a big rig. Yeah, holding off on your plans would be tough, but it's not nearly as tough as the worst case scenario would be. Right now you have your health, your family, and your entire future ahead of you. You have all the time in the world to get things figured out. If something bad were to happen there would be no erasing it and life might not ever be the same again for a whole lot of people.

Just take your time and work through this. Even waiting a few months might make all the difference. You might find you're perfectly fine or you might figure out what caused it and be able to prevent it from happening again.

I'm an ice climber and I had a friend who took a long fall and nearly killed himself. He said the same kind of thing happened to him. He was climbing perfectly fine and then he thinks he blacked out for a moment. Suddenly he realizes he's falling but he can't understand why. To this day he's not sure what happened, but nothing like that has happened to him again. He'll probably never figure it out.

You might find the same thing. Maybe it was just a one time thing. It's impossible to know at this point. But I think it's worth taking a little time away just to make sure.

Posted:  2 days, 14 hours ago

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Brett he wasnt being sarcastic. I think he was being sincere.

I know he was. So was I. It's this conversation here, and a few others, that led me to write this post recently:

A Reminder About Who We Are And What We Do

I don't like this new age "I'm a fragile flower" thing where everyone is constantly upset or offended by everything that gets said. I'm not playing that game. I'm not going to worry about finding the most sensitive and careful way of saying everything, and I don't want a running critique of our "sensitivity performance" everytime we try to help someone.

We're going to say what needs to be said plainly and directly so that people know the truth about how this industry works and get our very best advice. If we don't say it in the most sensitive and careful way, well we're all adults here and we expect people to handle it like adults.

If we were talking to kindergarten children we would be more careful, but we're not. So EricTheRed needs to be a little less sensitive. He's 39 years old according to his bio. We should be able to speak plainly with him and tell it like it is without a running critique of whether or not we're being sensitive enough for him.

Posted:  2 days, 15 hours ago

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Rainy, thank you for the non combative response and advice

Oh good grief. Here we go with this again.

If you're going to give yourself the nickname of a famous Viking warrior you'd better quit being such a sissy and grow a pair.

You're lucky Rainy was in a good mood that day. She's a Jersey Girl. Normally she'd rip you a new one just for the fun of it, and I'm from New York so I rather like it when she does that.

smile.gif

Posted:  2 days, 15 hours ago

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Need some advice please.

Man, this is one hell of a tough situation. I don't know what you should do, to be honest. I mean, to say you blacked out because of stress and exhaustion is not at all comforting.

For starters, trucking is all about stress and exhaustion. You're putting in tons of hours and you're in a lot of stressful situations. It's also about knowing when you're sharp and capable of driving safely, or knowing when you need to park it because you're unsafe. So there's a lot of judgment calls to make, a lot of stress, and it's very exhausting.

Your situation is impossible to call either way. Will it happen again next week? Will it never happen again the rest of your life? There's no way to know. I think it's safe to say we've all been exhausted and stressed out at times but we didn't just suddenly black out without warning. Obviously if it happens behind the wheel of an 80,000 pound rig you could take out a lot of people in a matter of seconds. It would almost certainly be a complete catastrophe.

Maybe you should consider putting this idea on hold for a little while just to be sure. I mean, this isn't all about you. It's about protecting the innocent families you'll be sharing the highway with. I don't know if it's fair to risk people's lives when you really don't know for sure what's going on or whether or not you're safe behind the wheel.

Risking your own life is one thing. But this is much bigger than just you. I think you should reconsider getting behind the wheel of a rig right now.

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