Profile For Brett Aquila

Brett Aquila's Info

  • Location:
    Plattsburgh, NY

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:
    Brett Aquila On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    11 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 5

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Posted:  4 hours, 45 minutes ago

View Topic:

Schneider Pre-Work Screen Keeps Me From Driving for Them

wouldn't it make more sense for them to just be awake the whole time?

Not neccessarily, for a few reasons.

  • Trucking companies are in a fierce battle for economic survival, as are most businesses for that matter. It's extremely expensive to put a highly paid trainer with a paid student and run the truck 2,000 miles per week.
  • In the very beginning the student needs time behind the wheel more than anything. They just need to get comfortable behind the wheel and relax their mind a little bit. They don't need to be in heavy city traffic and snowstorms, but just cruising down the Interstate in light traffic. The trainer doesn't have to be there watching every moment if you're just cruising on the Interstate in light traffic.
  • No one can really relax and focus very well with someone looking over their shoulder critiquing every detail of their existence. It's nice to leave the student alone and let them do their thing when the conditions are pretty mellow.

Posted:  5 hours, 5 minutes ago

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Schneider Pre-Work Screen Keeps Me From Driving for Them

So essentially 5 days worth of solo driving then team? Other than the teaming aspect, what does the trainee actually learn from teaming that they can't learn without the trainer there?

That's quite an odd question coming from an experienced driver. You can't think of any situations that a driver with one week of driving experience might not know how to handle?

Posted:  10 hours, 15 minutes ago

View Topic:

Slow dispatch

At least my 5 days at home was productive. I bought some land in middle Tennessee and went down, found the survey stakes, marked off where my driveway needs to go so TDOT can approve the location and issue my driveway permit. Also met with a builder regarding construction of my retirement home. Found a natural spring on the property too so that was a plus.

Hey that's amazing! Congrats to you on that. It'll be a long but hopefully a fun process of getting that home built.

Posted:  20 hours, 54 minutes ago

View Topic:

Slow dispatch

Yeah Chris, one of the most important aspects of this job is going with the flow. Otherwise you'll drive yourself insane. There is no perfect anything in trucking. The top tier drivers at the best companies in the nation have slow weeks or may fall through the cracks at times. It's never going to be smooth sailing all the time.

Trucking companies are in a continuous state of flux. They have personnel turnover, changes in hardware and software infrastructure, customer and broker turnover, swings in the economy, changes to the laws, etc. It's a bumpy road at times for everyone. Keeping yourself focused on the long term and putting in a lot of time at one company pays off big in the long run. Not only will you enjoy yourself a lot more but you'll get the perks of being a veteran driver with a great record at your company.

Posted:  23 hours, 29 minutes ago

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One on one help in backing

This is the key point to understand about backing, from G-Town:

Learning how to back is 80% on you;... the student to practice and observe; applying yourself to work it out and figure it out on your own. If they see a student putting forth effort, focusing and paying attention to the attempts of others, they (the instructors) will usually offer assistance and help get you through the rough spots. They attend to those putting forth a superior effort, and much less on anything less than that. Especially true for Paid CDL Training Programs. But extended periods of one-on-one? Not gonna happen.

Practice, repetition, effort, and focus are the great equalizers when learning how to back. Always looking for opportunities to practice. No substitutes.

This emphasis on one-on-one instruction is completely unnecessary. Do you know where they teach things to people in groups?

  • Harvard University
  • Yale University
  • The West Point Academy
  • The United States Naval Academy
  • University of Oxford
  • Princeton University

You see my point? If the greatest teaching institutions in the world can teach the most complex subjects known to mankind in groups then I'm pretty sure they can teach truck driving in groups too. People get very little in the way of one-on-one instruction for nuclear physics, macro economics, or aerospace engineering so you won't need much in the way of one-on-one instruction to learn truck driving, either.

So please, don't get hung up on something like that.

Lastly, please keep in mind that 95% of what it takes to become a top tier driver isn't taught in any schools. You'll learn a ton about it here on our website in places like this:

You'll learn most of it out on your own just doing it.

There are some subjects that are easier to learn from books and teachers. Trucking isn't really one of them. Trucking is more of a skill, which takes a lot of practice, and the knowledge part of it really amounts to "street smarts" more than anything. That's why truck driving schools only teach what it takes to pass the CDL exam. Beyond that it's mostly something you learn by doing.

Posted:  1 day, 21 hours ago

View Topic:

Hey guys. It's been a while

Hey it's awesome hearing from ya Heavy C! Glad everything is going well for ya. I shop at Hannaford's myself in Plattsburgh, NY. Great store. The stores are run well. Sorry to hear the logistics aren't where you're at.

Let us know what you wind up doing if you make a move.

Best of luck!

Posted:  2 days, 19 hours ago

View Topic:

One on one help in backing

Well I'm glad you're in training, anyhow. Unfortunately your concern with one-on-one training is needless. Almost no one gets much in the way of one-on-one training in the beginning because it simply isn't necessary. In fact, some of the best learning you'll do is from observing others. When you can watch others to see what works and what doesn't it gives you a new perspective, especially with shifting and backing.

Once you get out on the road you'll be one-on-one with a trainer. But in the beginning it's not necessary.

Keep something else in mind. You're going to these schools without finding success, but you're in the same program where others are getting through just fine. Don't sell yourself short. The idea that you need some sort of special hand-holding is all in your mind. If others can do it, you can do it. You have to approach any challenge you face with the confidence that you're going to be able to handle it. This is trucking. It's one of the deadliest jobs in America. It takes a tremendous amount of independence and nerve to handle this job. School is the easiest part of the whole thing. If you can't muster up the confidence and nerve to get through the classroom and driving range portion without someone holding your hand then how are you going to handle it when you're on your own and things get real out there?

Don't sell yourself short. Have confidence. Face these challenges and find a way to make it happen. If you only think you can get through when the circumstances are perfect then you're not going to be around for long. Handling adverse conditions is one of the most critical roles in this job.

Posted:  2 days, 21 hours ago

View Topic:

One on one help in backing

I left c r England when I was told by trainer that they couldn’t train me one on one because of size of class. It was totally different from what recruiter told me

That's a shame. I mean, weren't you getting the same training everyone else was getting? They've been running that program for like 20 years. I wish you would have stayed with it and trusted the process a little bit.

Have you contacted CR England to see if they will take you back? You can try the other programs but you're going to have a tough time getting into one after failing to get through two other programs already. I know that Prime, Jim Palmer, and Wil-Trans won't take anyone who has attended another program already because they feel the risk is too high.

There are plenty of other programs out there but I hope you'll do some reading here on TruckingTruth and listen to some of our podcasts before you take another shot at this. You know what they say - it's insanity to take the same approach over and over but expect different results.

Posted:  2 days, 22 hours ago

View Topic:

One on one help in backing

I went to crst and cr England and problem was too many students to instructor.

You went to two different programs already? Did you quit those programs or did they send you home?

Posted:  5 days, 7 hours ago

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May I please have some advice?

There are those that go straight into tanker, and do well

There are also people who have survived a jump from an airplane without their shoot opening and "did well" but is it really worth mentioning as a legitimate consideration?

Posted:  6 days, 3 hours ago

View Topic:

Failed The CDL Exam? Don't Sweat It - article by Rainy

We have a new article by Rainy called:

Failed The CDL Exam? Don't Sweat It.

For anyone who has yet to take the CDL driving exam this article is going to help relieve the pressure. Rainy had a tough go of it herself but persevered and triumphed. Her story is a great one and it'll be a great lesson and inspiration for all of you before test day.

Read up!

Failed The CDL Exam? Don't Sweat It.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

May I please have some advice?

Big Jim, first of all let me suggest that you apply to all of the companies you may be interested in, talk to their recruiters, and see if they'll even offer you a position in the first place. I've watched so many people spend months of their time doing research, building spreadsheets, scouring the Internet for opinions, and then find out that none of their top choices are even going to offer them a job.

These days most companies get way, way more applicants than they'll accept so not every qualified applicant will be offered a position. They all have their own criteria for choosing the ones they feel have the best chance of being successful. The fact that you took a shot at the industry years ago and didn't get any real OTR experience is going to keep some companies from hiring you, regardless of the circumstances. So don't waste your time doing research until you know who is going to actually offer you a position.

You can Apply For Paid CDL Training to seven different companies right here on our website, and then apply to many more individually here:

Apply For Truck Driving Jobs

Secondly, I agree with G-Town about the tanker thing. I drove a food grade tanker for a year. Get that option off the table until you have some experience, at least a year. I don't care if someone will offer you that position sooner. No one is ready for that as a rookie driver. G-Town's suggestion for going with a company that has both tanker and other forms of freight is an outstanding one. That's exactly what you want to do is stay with the same company and change divisions instead of changing companies and starting over again from the bottom.

Also - this:

I sign a three month "promissory note" and after 90 days I am free and clear.

A lot of rookie drivers misunderstand the "demand for truck drivers" thing. There isn't a demand for greenhorns who barely know how many wheels are on an 18 wheeler. There is a demand for proven professionals that are safe, efficient, and reliable. No one is anywhere near that level after 3 months. At 3 months most drivers are extremely dangerous because they begin getting way too comfortable with things. So far nothing really bad has happened but they haven't been out there long enough to know how paranoid they should be and how quickly the most unthinkable things can happen.

At three months you also don't have the street smarts to be a top tier driver. You don't know how to consistently move appointments forward or schedule complicated runs or use your logbook time to the max.

So don't get ahead of yourself. Don't think after 3 months you're going to be some highly valuable free agent who can go play the market for big bucks. All you're going to do is overestimate your abilities and put a scar on your employment record for jumping ship right away. Then you're almost certainly going to find that you didn't know enough about the new type of job you were jumping into and the company you were jumping to and the grass wasn't greener over there like you had hoped.

Listen to this - it will help a lot:

Podcast Episode 4: Why Stick With Your First Company One Full Year?

Hope this helps!

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Podcast 19: You're Getting Career Advice From The Wrong People

I called my Dispatcher 2 weeks ago to 'check-in'. I asked what can I do better. Her response to me was "nothing". I told her I want to be her best driver. Her response was: "I don't have a number 1, but you are definitely at the top of the list." One day, I will get her to say I'm her number 1 driver. I won't stop until I get there. After that, I am going to keep striving until I'm the number 1 driver in the company. I want to be the best. I was always told growing up, that anything worth doing is worth doing right.

There really are two categories that everyone on Earth fits into:

  1. People who continuously strive to move forward, rising to the top, always trying to reach their maximum potential
  2. People who drift along aimlessly, bouncing along the bottom, way below their potential without trying to improve

The way you think and the way you live your day to day life will be two completely different processes, depending on which approach you take. For those who haven't heard of him, listen to some Youtube videos of Eric Thomas - motivational speaker. He was a high school dropout who was homeless for 2 1/2 years eating out of dumpsters and making excuses for why he couldn't be someone. Then one day he got sick of himself and decided he was going to strive every day to become the best Eric Thomas he could be.

Today he has a Doctorate's degree and he's one of the world's best known motivational speakers, worth millions of dollars, and doing high dollar speaking engagements for pro athletes, major universities, and Fortune 500 executives all around the world. Nothing about him changed except his attitude and his approach to day-to-day life, and then everything in his life completely turned around. He went from zero to hero.

Trucking is the type of career for people who strive to get better every day. You need to embrace the challenges, seek out adventure, and thrive on the competition. If you're not that type of person then you should become that type of person. If you can't understand why you'd want to become that type of person and live with discipline and motivation and competition then keep studying the lives of people who do until it makes sense to you. Because it should.

Eric Thomas - When You Want To Succeed As Bad As You Want To Breathe

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

I'm a Podcast producer, telling stories of bravery - got one?

My vote is for Millionmiller's story. It is about as inspirational as it gets. From down n out on the streets to a successful career driving trucks. Now considering buying property to have a home. The challenges he faced putting his life back together is just amazing.

I agree. I was thinking the same thing when I first came across this.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

View Topic:

I'm a Podcast producer, telling stories of bravery - got one?

We get a ton of really interesting people with interesting stories that come through here. You might just find what you're looking for.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

View Topic:

Know anything about Schneider ‘s ‘Jet-Set’ Bulk Division (Tanker)?

Call_Me_Butch has an "interesting" attitude toward things. He said in another thread:

I did “interview” with them but they actually offered me a job as soon as I walked in the door. It was kind of off-putting how desperate they seemed to be for class A drivers.

So in one respect you'll consider yourself to be a "slave", but then again if someone really wants you to come work there you're put off by it? Talk about having to thread the needle.

Someone has been watching the wrong YouTube videos or reading "the other trucker's forum" I think.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

View Topic:

If I fail out of training

Glad to hear you're enjoying the site Andrew. Keep studying that High Road CDL Training Program hard. If you can find the time, make sure you do the Logbook and Weight & Balance sections. They're not covered very well in training sometimes and there's a lot to know. If you can get ahead of the game now you'll be in much better shape once the training begins.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

View Topic:

If I fail out of training

Andrew, the most important thing to know is that failing out of a program isn't going to prevent you from getting your trucking career underway. Yes, it will go on your record. It also means that not all companies will consider you immediately after that because some companies won't bring in a student who has already attended another paid CDL training program.

However, there will be companies willing to give you another shot so you would just have to get back on that horse and try again.

You could always attend a private CDL school if you couldn't get a paid training program to give you a shot, but I wouldn't expect that to be a problem in the end.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

View Topic:

Got hit at a truck stop

Just about anyone that's been out there for quite a while has had someone at least nudge them. I had someone forget to set the parking brakes and their truck rolled down a slanted parking lot and crushed the front left corner of the hood at 3:00 a.m. - that was a rude awakening!

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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New to trucking. What is the point of leasing from a carrier? It's not O/O and seems to be a scam

Old school I guess we can agree to disagree over the issue.

Well we'd love nothing more than to see someone prove us wrong. We'd love to learn about a way to own or lease a truck and make way, way more money than a company driver. Show us a nice six figure number around $150,000 or so on the line that says "Net income after all deductions" on that Federal return and we'll be big believers.

Of course we've been telling people that for over 10 years here on this website and I was asking people for that the previous 15 years as a driver but I've never one time had anyone demonstrate that it's anything more than big talk. Never once. We've hurt a lot of feelings and made a lot of people mad by calling them out on it, but we've never been proven wrong.

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TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

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Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

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