Profile For Brett Aquila

Brett Aquila's Info

  • Location:
    Keeseville, NY

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:
    Brett Aquila On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    13 years 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 6

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Posted:  1 hour, 4 minutes ago

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I guess we are supposed to hate Day cab drivers now.... At least that is what Tic-Toc has told me.

Addiction, I like how you compared it to that , it is an addiction drama, attention whoring all that.

It really can be an addiction for people. We've all known people who are addicted to OPP (other people's problems). People who obsessively watch the news, Judge Judy, Dr Phil, Jerry Springer, etc. It really does become like an addiction for a lot of folks. They use the problems and dramas they find on television as a substitute for having a real life of their own.

My point is that, as the website owner and your livelihood, you have to be more careful in your posts.

Honestly, we run this website the way we do based on what we believe is helpful for people in their lives and their careers. There are websites that get a lot more traffic than we do that are destroying careers, ruining people's lives, and tarnishing the reputation of this industry. So we don't choose the message we send because we're trying to run a business. We know what it takes to be successful in this career and live a fulfilling life, and that's the message we're trying to send to people. If we can do that, we'll attract the right people and the right type of business opportunities, but more importantly, we'll succeed with our mission to help as many people as possible get their career off to a great start. That's what it's all about.

Posted:  6 hours, 21 minutes ago

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I guess we are supposed to hate Day cab drivers now.... At least that is what Tic-Toc has told me.

Brett and the other moderators kinda got to be serious because they are like teachers or DIs.

You and me? It's a FREE FOR ALL.

The obsession I live every day is self-improvement so I can build the most incredible and satisfying life imaginable. I have a long list of big dreams and I want to accomplish them all, and beyond. I want to do it in a way that I always feel totally fulfilled, enthusiastic, and passionate about my life and my future.

Sitting around arguing with people will not help me achieve a successful and fulfilling life. It's not that I'm serious, it's quite the opposite. I'm joyful and friendly and enthusiastic. I don't want to sour that with complaining, blaming, criticizing, and arguing.

I don't do politics. I don't do argumentative talk shows. I don't do drama. I don't do haters.

I do some social media because it gives me a chance to share the fun in my life and encourage others to do the same. I also get to answer questions for people about truck driving and help them with their careers.

I am relentlessly positive. It's my focus, my obsession. That's why we talk so much about having an awesome attitude. People who are happy and successful in their lives know that attitude and mindset truly are the foundation for an amazing life.

"Spend more time arguing, criticizing, and convincing others that you are right if you want to live a happy and fulfilling life beyond your wildest dreams." said no one, ever.

That's why I tend to jump in when I see people on the road being tainted by the negativity out there. It's everywhere and I've watched it eat people up for 26 years in this industry. It will swallow your soul if you let it. Sure, the negativity on social media may seem like harmless fun at first, but often things seem that way until they eventually become an addiction and completely change your personality and your life.

You have to be the guardian of your mind. Don't let things in that won't help you live a happier, more successful, and more fulfilling life. Nothing is more important to our well-being.

Posted:  7 hours, 55 minutes ago

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I guess we are supposed to hate Day cab drivers now.... At least that is what Tic-Toc has told me.

Chris, the driving world and the anti-social media world are loaded with people looking for attention for the wrong reasons. Don't waste two seconds of your life worrying about it. If you're going on social media to argue about politics and social issues then you're probably well on your way to becoming like the people you're here complaining about. That path doesn't lead to anywhere good.

We know there's a lot of negativity out there. That's why we exist, in fact. We want to help people focus on making their career and their life the best it can be. Be a positive force in the world and don't give the wrong people the attention they're looking for. They'll always be there. There will always be haters. Ignore them. Be you. Do your thing.

Count your blessings. Put out your own positive message for people to see. Focus on making your career and your life as amazing as it can be. You can't control what others do. You can only control what you do and what things you bring focus and attention to.

Posted:  1 day ago

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How often do you run low on fuel for a load?

Noob Driver, unless you had nearly empty fuel tanks at the time you weighed this, your steer axle is too light. You could slide your 5th wheel forward probably 2 holes, depending on the spacing, and remove another 1,000 pounds from your drive axles.

Posted:  4 days, 7 hours ago

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You cant makey money saying no

They know I can, and will, run anywhere, under any circumstances. They are not going to have me wait on a load just so they can pacify a driver who has a laundry list of demands.

This is a key concept to understand. The folks in the office will take best care of the drivers who take the best care of them. It's a partnership.

The salespeople book freight. They hand that freight over to the load planners and dispatchers who must move all the freight by assigning it to the appropriate drivers.

Dealing with drivers is pretty much a nightmare. They have all sorts of issues:

  • Homesick
  • Physically ill
  • Only want to run during the day
  • Won't go to the Northeast
  • Won't haul runs shorter than 300 miles

The list goes on for miles. So assigning freight can be a nightmare.

Each dispatcher has a large pool of drivers. The number varies by company and division, but it's often in the 30 - 60 driver range. When they assign freight each day, probably 70% of the drivers have some sort of issue with the load they're assigned. The complaining, arguing, and threats begin. Being a dispatcher can be like teaching a classroom full of little kids who all need a nap.

When you're one of the few drivers who are reliable and cooperative, it's a joy for dispatch. Maybe 5% - 10% of their drivers fit into that category so you really stand out. They really want to take great care of you because they appreciate the fact you make their life so much easier.

Not only that, but dispatchers and load planners often receive pay that is based in part on their driver's performance. So if you turn a lot of miles and you're on time for all of your appointments, they make more money.

So now you're the type of driver that makes your dispatcher's and load planners lives so much easier and you make them more money. It's safe to say they adore you! They want to do all they can for you.

Drivers have no authority, other than to refuse to drive for safety reasons. So you can't force anyone to do anything for you. The most powerful tools in your arsenal are your fantastic work ethic, your reliability with appointment times, your ability to solve problems without their intervention, and your cooperative attitude. If you use those tools consistently you'll get better miles and better treatment than 90% of the drivers.

But keep in mind, that means sometimes you're hauling freight that doesn't thrill you. All of the loads must get moved, and some of them are simply crappy runs that no one likes. If they can give one to you once in a while knowing you won't complain, it's such a huge relief to them. They will reward you handsomely. You may have to remind them from time to time and say, "Hey, I'm a little short on miles this week because I've had two short runs out of three. Can you throw me a bone?? I need some big miles to reach my goals this week." They'll be happy to do it.

Be the type of driver that dispatchers love to take care of. There's nothing more powerful than that.

Posted:  6 days, 6 hours ago

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HRTP - That's Not What She Said


Posted:  6 days, 7 hours ago

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Y'all, Pray For Me

I started in trucking in 1993. Once in a while I'll hear people talk about how much trucking has changed. The truth is it has hardly changed at all. We now have a few more electronic gadgets and a few tweaks to the logbook rules, that's about it.

One way it has changed though is how you avoid talking to terminal rats. Back in the day I spent most my time in public hiding my face behind a newspaper. It's much more difficult to get someone's attention or interrupt them when they can't see your face. Nowadays your phone is much smaller than your face, so it's hard to hide behind. I don't envy this new generation of drivers without a newspaper to hide their faces. I know that's one way trucking has become more difficult. Terminal rats can see your face!


Posted:  2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Caught Kearsey Live Feed! It was Cool!

So Brett, it's Friday of that next week. What's the BIG announcement?

I'll start a new thread so we can discuss it.

Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

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Going north!

Mic drop!

Well, nothing is more important than having the right people on the team. One bad apple really can sour the entire experience for everyone.

I don't mind that many people think differently than we do. That's ok. I started this community because there wasn't anything like this on the Web for the trucking industry, and there's still nothing else like it.

We are a community of people who are positive, optimistic, friendly, motivated and have a strong desire to help each other become great truck drivers, share their experiences, and live awesome lives. If that's not your thing, that's ok, but you must go and find a community that works for you.

We have an awesome thing going and we will not compromise the quality of our community or our experience just to add more members. I never intended to be the biggest community out there. I wanted to be a community of high-achievers with a high level of enthusiasm and camaraderie. That's not ordinary, it's extraordinary. It's a privilege, it's special, and we'll keep it that way.

Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

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Going north!

You're entitled to your opinion of me, I've never fully drunk the koolaid at this site, anyway

andhe78, I completely missed this when you said it a few days ago. I've known for a long time you were only pretending, and people who pretend to be a like-minded part of a community eventually snap.

We've always been on a mission here at Trucking Truth. We want to change the incessant negativity in the trucking industry. There is so much negativity out there that it changes some people. Over the past 26 years I've watched countless people get started in this industry with high hopes, a great attitude, highly motivated, enthusiastic, and thankful for the awesome opportunity that trucking is. Before long they sour and become tainted with disdain and frustration. They begin complaining, blaming, and criticizing everyone and everything. Most of what they say is a rant about something.

We've lost a number of long-time members and two moderators over the years to this phenomenon. They started out with a great attitude and got their careers off to a great start, but after some time on the road, they became cynical, snarky, and belligerent. Everyone was an idiot. Everyone did everything wrong. There wasn't anything they saw in their day to day lives that wasn't messed up. They became ranting malcontents.

I have an exercise for those of you who are fairly new to this career. Even some veterans may not have noticed this. I picked up on it right away early in my career. Look at any driver who has been on the road for maybe 5 - 7 years or more. 95% of them are either as pleasant, laid back, and cheery as a monk or as bitter and miserable as cynical as Scrooge.

All of those years of life on the road will radically enhance your true nature. If you're a positive person you'll become incredibly positive as you build your bank of memories, skills, and relationships. Life on the road gets sweeter with time as you settle into your groove and enjoy doing your thing.

If you're a negative person you eventually spiral downward. You spend your time ranting with the terminal rats in the corners. Your relationships sour. You complain daily about industry politics, rule-makers, corporate management, and law enforcement tactics. You're stressed out, pissed off, and fed up most of the time.

andhe78, I sense it might be time to find a place that will let you be yourself and rant about your negative feelings and frustrations. We're not the place for that. We're not the community that complains, blames, and criticizes. I am from Buffalo myself and I highly disagree with your rant about the way people drive in the snow. I can assure you that I have way, way more experience driving every type of vehicle on the road in harsh conditions than you do, especially big rigs, and I've never felt the way you do about it.

Our mission is to empathize, encourage, and inspire. We support each other. We love the camaraderie. We believe in a higher standard of professionalism. We maintain our positive energy, enthusiasm, and optimism.

I've been in this industry for 26 years and I've never been more inspired, enthusiastic, or optimistic. I love this community, I love this industry. I have major plans in the works to step up our efforts to make it even better, and I'm 100% confident we'll make a huge impact in the coming years. I'm excited as hell about this community and I know we'll grow even larger in the coming years. But it's important to make sure we have the right people on our team, people who believe in our mission and live their lives with the same type of spirit and good cheer.

It's ok if you don't drink our Kool-Aid. We're a very special group of people and we all feel it's our privilege to be a part of this community. I feel especially privileged that this community has become the focus of my entire life. I love every minute of it. There isn't anything I would rather do. Not everyone feels that way, and that's ok.

For every person there's a community where they belong. In fact, there is an even larger trucking community on the Web for people who think differently than we do. I encourage people to check it out. I'm confident that if you'll spend just 10 minutes in each community you'll know exactly where you belong.

Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

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Company Trained CDL program (TMC) Question

Papa, those are good questions. Let me give you some thoughts on what trucking is all about.

Many professions have tenure, which basically means once you've done something long enough you're locked in and untouchable. You no longer have to prove yourself.

Trucking is more like a sport. It's performance-based. You must always perform at a high level regardless of how long you've done it. Once your performance drops below a certain level your big miles, big paychecks, and special favors will be shifted to a higher-performing driver.

The profit margins are very thin in trucking, so the trucks must be used efficiently.

It's very hard to differentiate yourself in trucking, so your customer-service (on-time pickups and deliveries) must be exceptional.

So you're heading to TMC in an attempt to make the team. It's a competitive environment. Get juiced up for it. Get excited. Go there and show them you're up to the challenge. Work hard, listen closely, and give it everything you have.

I would avoid looking for finish lines. There isn't a status you can reach that allows you to kick back, relax, and stop worrying. The people who thrive in trucking, those who reach the highest levels of success and fulfillment, are competitive folks who focus on constant and neverending improvement. They continuously hone their craft. They find a good company and stick with that company for years. They learn the inner-workings of their company and building strong relationships.

  • Continuously hone your craft
  • Strive to perform at a high level
  • Build strong relationships
  • Be competitive
  • Understand how your company operates internally
  • Commit to constant and neverending improvement

That's how you become a Top Tier Driver

Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

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A rare event

There was a lot more camaraderie back in the day because there was a need for it. You didn't have cell phones, Internet, GPS, highly reliable equipment, and a million other modern-day tools to help us get through everyday life.

If you look back throughout history you'll see that hardship is what brings people together. People need each other to get by. When times are good people tend to become selfish and fight for all they can get for themselves. It's a privilege you have in prosperous times with better technology.

The one thing we desperately need is to raise the level of professionalism in the industry. Most things have improved drastically over the years in trucking. The equipment is better, the technology is fantastic, the drug testing is much better, the electronic logs have brought things more in line, and better enforcement overall has helped in many ways.

The one thing that has not improved is the reputation of truck drivers themselves or the average person's opinion about the desirability of a career as a truck driver. We know that trucking is a fantastic career in so many ways for the right person. It's a truly special and unique career. But there are still way too many smelly, dirty, cursing, obnoxious jerks in flip flops making the rest of us look bad. One of the biggest problems is the quality of some of the trainers they're using. They're killing themselves and this industry by running off solid recruits with outrageous sociopaths. These recruits immediately get out of trucking and run straight to YouTube.

This year I will be starting several campaigns to raise awareness of these issues and to see if we can start some movements to make improvements that benefit us all. You'll be hearing about them within the next month or two.

I'd love to see more camaraderie and a higher level of professionalism amongst drivers. I'd also love to see drivers and office personnel better understand each other, build stronger relationships, and work better as a team. I'd also like to increase our efforts to educate drivers about the benefits of sticking with one company for several years instead of jumping ship every time the wind changes direction. And, of course, we have to find a way to get better quality trainers out there. Sure, there are plenty of good ones, but as we know it's those bad apples that make a big impact.

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

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CB anymore?

I'm a huge proponent of having a CB. It has helped me over the years in countless ways. Many times I've watched it prevent what would certainly have been major accidents.

This is the example I always use to demonstrate how critical a CB radio is. Imagine if every single truck on the highway was listening to their CB radio. None of this would've happened.

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

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Kobe Bryant Dies Age 41

Here's a quote from another article:

Ditchey said that when he was in the Navy, sometimes he would fly in zero-visibility conditions because it was a military necessity. But he questioned why anybody without such a pressing mission would hop on a helicopter in what he called “very scary conditions.’’

“The weather is not good enough for the police to fly,’’ Ditchey said. “Why should Kobe do it?’’

When it comes to making the decision to drive or not in bad conditions, please be aware that there will always be someone who is willing to take that risk. You will never see a day that the highway is open but no one is on it. Someone will always be on it.

So don't make the decision based on what everyone else is doing. Make the decision based purely on your own instincts.

Also, keep in mind that the day after a bad storm there is almost always immaculate weather. The sun will be shining bright, the highways will be clear, and you can sail along at top speed safely. So don't take the risk and push your luck at slow speeds when tomorrow you'll be safe and efficient. Go get a steak, read a book, talk to your family, take a shower, do laundry, and take a nap. Doesn't that sound like a lot more fun than having a death-grip on the wheel at 25 mph hoping you don't kill yourself or your career? Heck yeah.

Play it safe. Play the long game. You want to have a long, safe, and prosperous career. That will require you to shut down sometimes. So shut down with confidence that you and your career are safe. Go have some fun instead.

Posted:  3 weeks, 2 days ago

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Prime Lease Update

I want to stress to anyone who is considering a lease that the companies set these up for their own advantage. Yes, they want you to survive as a lease operator, but only because it will help their own business make more money.

No one in business ever wakes up in the morning and asks themselves, "What can I do today that will help another business make more money while I make less money for myself?"

No one.

If a business offers you an opportunity to go into business for yourself in a way that serves them, you must understand why. They're not doing it out of the goodness of their heart. They're doing it to make more money. They may be:

  • Pawning off the risk onto you
  • Pawning off the lower-performing aspects of the industry onto you
  • Asking you to do something they don't have the expertise to do themselves

There's a reason they want you to go into business in a way that serves them. If you don't know exactly why then you're wandering blindly into a partnership that was set up to use you to their advantage.

Posted:  3 weeks, 2 days ago

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Zeine, you have a lot going on here.

Let's start with the company. The best companies for running teams tend to be refrigerated carriers. They have the largest percentage of coast-to-coast freight. Large dry van companies have some, also, but not like the refrigerated carriers.

What I always recommend is that you apply to as many companies as possible, see who offers you an opportunity, and then decide which one is best for you. People assume they can work anywhere they like, but that's never the case. Many companies will not offer you a position. So there's no sense in wasting time doing research until you know which companies will hire you.

Now the gorilla in the room:

My friend (classmate too) and I , are going to team up.

Personally, I wouldn't commit to that unless you two are so inseparable you can't imagine living life without each other. Most people do not like running team, and those that do are often with their spouse. It seems like a good idea when you're in school and you made some good friends, but until you've lived with someone 24/7 in a walk-in closet it's hard to imagine what it's like.

I would recommend going solo to start with. You can always stay in touch and run team if you decide that's what you'd like to do, but that's pretty unlikely. By the time you get finished training with your mentor, you'll be begging for your own truck and some privacy.

Posted:  3 weeks, 2 days ago

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Zeine, are you looking for Paid CDL Training Programs or have you gone to school already?

Posted:  3 weeks, 4 days ago

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Well this sucks :( Sent home from Prime

Harvest, if you didn't damage any equipment, I would consider calling your last employer and having a professional conversation. Start by apologizing for leaving without giving notice and thank them for the opportunity. Be kind and polite. Then ask if they'll remove that statement from the report. Regardless of the outcome, move forward.

You can Apply For Paid CDL Training right here on our website to some great companies. You can apply to others outside of our system directly. These are all fantastic companies, so take a shot and see where that leads.

It also makes no difference where a company is located. Forget about that. As long as they hire from your area you're good to go.

They said I could be rehired with 60 day's experience driving a CMV at another company

Forget you ever heard that. When you land a job, give them everything you've got for a minimum of one year. After one year your career will be on solid footing, you'll understand the industry much better, and then you can make a move if you really want to but chances are you won't want to. Once a person gets a great reputation, builds strong relationships, and understands how their company operates they're making excellent money and they're happy right where they are.

It's not about the company you work for. It's about your performance, your ambition, and the relationships you build within your company.

Listen, apply like crazy to other programs and move on. That's all. Don't sweat the past. What's done is done. Plenty of companies will give you an opportunity.

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

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TMC CDL (in-house) training day 1

Right at 125,000 miles and $76k gross for the year. I guess in the big picture, it went better than could have been expected.

Awesome job, man! Those are great miles and one heck of a nice salary.

I'm totally out of time right now but I will be back to say a few things.

Amazing, amazing job man. Super impressed!

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

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A team effort

It's easy to keep your head down and grind but getting a nice message from your teammate really put a little kick in my day.

Amazing job, man! Super psyched to see that message from dispatch. Keep killin it out there! Those who perform best and build the best relationships make the most money and get treated the best. High-performers love a system like that. They get the rewards they deserve.

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About Us

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

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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