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, 3 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:  6 days, 9 hours ago

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Strange Events

It's hard to tell what I'm looking at. Are those huge holes in the plate?

Posted:  1 week ago

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New Article: Transportation and Warehouse Jobs Growing Fast Through 2032

I wrote a new article today:

Transportation and Warehouse Jobs Growing Fast Through 2032.

happy-driver.jpg

This article was inspired by an article by Zerohedge, which said the transportation and warehouse sectors will experience strong growth for the next decade.

I've always felt that hiring will remain strong in trucking because the economics of trucking won't change, and neither will the OTR lifestyle. Trucking is a highly efficient industry that thrives on motivated people working long hours to make things happen in a tough environment. Not many people in our society can handle the demands, and we produce fewer of those types as time goes on.

Trucking is an incredibly fulfilling career but far too demanding for most people. Truck drivers have always been a special breed, and that requirement will not change anytime soon.

What have you guys experienced over the past two or three years?

  • Have you guys had consistent miles?
  • Have you had a pay raise?
  • Is your company growing?

I believe our economy will continue to weaken over the next couple of years, but trucking will adjust as it always has. The demand for drivers will remain strong, and wages will continue to grow.

Transportation and Warehouse Jobs Growing Fast Through 2032.

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

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Can I Get Some Advice?

Welcome, Devin!

Yeah, being in Florida makes this a huge challenge. Not many companies hire from Florida.

Other than moving your home residence, all you can do is keep applying like crazy to everyone possible and take the first or best opportunity that comes your way. Things are slow right now in trucking, so hiring standards have increased.

You might look for some local opportunities as well, like dump trucks or hauling propane. You might have to take anything you can get while you wait for the next opportunity to open up.

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

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Close Encounter with a Bear

Thank God you didn't hit it!

Several years ago I was in Eastern Washington state, up in the mountains, and saw a massive grizzly run across the road. I had never seen one in real life. It was so big it was surreal, like I was watching a Disney fantasy movie. My brain did the math and thought, "Nope. I can't be seeing that right."

But I was. That thing was the size of a small horse. Even on all four legs, it was the height of a small car, and running at a speed that also didn't seem possible.

Big bears and big cats are the scariest animals. They can even run up a tree faster than we can run across flat land. You literally can't do anything to defend yourself short of a gun, which would only make a big grizzly even more angry.

wtf.gif

Posted:  2 weeks ago

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First encounter with an Electric semi.

I would certainly take it for a spin. Why not?

A range of 155 miles? That's pretty bad. I wonder what conditions those are under in terms of weight and terrain.

I think it's safe to say the hype for electric vehicles and self-driving vehicles was exactly that - hype. Economically none of it is feasible without massive government subsidies, and almost none of the claims they make have panned out.

That being said, I have a garage full of battery-powered everything, including my lawn mower and a small chainsaw, both of which work great for the relatively minor tasks they're intended for. I do not have an electric vehicle, though I am on the list for a Tesla truck. I don't think I'll get the truck anytime soon, though. Just too many problems and expenses getting maintenance done.

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

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Are random drug tests paid since it’s considered on duty time?

Hey Brandon,

I just wanted to agree with the others that I'm not 100% certain of the legalities in this case, but I'm pretty certain they're supposed to pay you for it, and you have to log it in your logbook (if you're using one).

That said, I agree with BK that you should go with the flow and not sweat it. Talk to your boss and see what they say about it, but this is NOT the hill to die on, ya know what I mean? If they dig in their heels, just get the test and be done with it. That would be unfair to you and possibly an illegal move by your company, and I would point that out to the boss. But I wouldn't push the issue to where it causes problems. It's not worth it.

If they were pushing you to do something illegal or unsafe, that's where you make your stand. This issue isn't a big enough issue to worry about, though.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Ask and you shall receive

That's awesome, Sandman!

Through your experience, you've witnessed how a motivated driver can get ahead in this industry. If you're willing to put in the effort, make your appointments on time, run safely and efficiently, and get along with folks, you'll soon be a top-tier driver, and they'll treat you like one.

I love to hear stories like this where people put in the work, do things right, and get rewarded for it. I believe trucking companies treat truck drivers based on their performance more than almost any other job out there. If you can do a great job out there, they'll treat you well and you'll have always have a ton of great opportunities.

Great job, man!

Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

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I did something really stupid today...

I know it could have turned out a hell of a lot worse.

Everyone makes mistakes. The thing is, with trucking, you just can't make a real big one. This wasn't so bad. I'm glad to hear that!

One thing I always did was a tug test before pulling away. I always did it every time. I figured something could have broken, and I'm unaware of it, or someone could have pulled the lever as a prank or sabotage. Who knows, right? So I always released the tractor brake, put it in gear, pulled lightly against the trailer to ensure it was attached, and off I went.

That would have prevented this from happening, so I just thought I'd throw it out there.

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

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Do you still have the drive for this career?

I'm a highly-motivated person. I love to challenge myself. I love to push myself. I love to explore areas of life that are new to me.

As a driver, I loved almost everything about the job and lifestyle of an OTR driver. I wanted to see how hard I could push myself. I wanted to challenge authority to see if they could stop me from accumulating more miles than I legally should. I wanted to learn how my company worked so I could leverage the system to my advantage. I wanted to see the country and experience all of the exciting things that different places had to offer. There was rarely a dull moment, with a new adventure or challenge or event around every corner.

Most of us lose that drive after a while. Sometimes we just get burned out on one particular path in life. Sometimes we attribute it to getting old and soft. Sometimes we don't really know what it is, but that "it" just isn't there like it was.

I've found that at 52 years old I still have every bit of the fire inside me as I've ever had for life. I love to challenge myself. I love adventures. I'm always looking for the 'next great thing' and I even have a tough time choosing what to do and staying focused because there are so many exciting options.

One thing I have discovered about myself is that once I lose that passion for a particular pursuit in life, it never returns. Once I've pursued something to a certain point, I feel like I've fulfilled that curiosity and challenged myself in that area, so it's time to move on. I can't think of anything I've ever done in my life where I pursued it to the fullest, lost the passion for it, and rekindled that passion to its previous level. Once it's gone, it's gone.

I'm curious about the drivers here in our community. Has your desire to challenge yourself as a driver remained as strong as it was when you first started?

What about your life outside of trucking - do you challenge yourself like you used to? Do you still have that curiousity about new paths in life and that drive to pursue your dreams?

How has your time on the road affected your inner drive and your perspective on this career, which is always so challenging and risky?

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

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Real Scoop and Trucking Future

Welcome, David!

Should I give it a go or give up on the dream altogether?

In my way of thinking, this is the easiest question of the day because you answered it already:

Driving OTR was always a dream...I still have that dream

In my world, that's all the reason you need, and I would dare say it's a strong enough reason that you must.

I think taking a shot at trucking is a very low-risk adventure, other than the obvious risk of getting into an accident. But from a lifestyle and financial perspective, you can take a shot at trucking and walk away with little consequence if it isn't for you.

For you, it's even less of a risk because you already have your CDL. You may need some refresher training, but you can find that free from one of the major carriers.

Anyone know any drivers out there with physical limitations and dare I say, disabilities?

They have eased regulations in recent years regarding driving with physical problems, even disabilities. There are programs for people with vision problems, high blood pressure, type 1 diabetes, hearing problems, and even programs for amputees. So if you're afraid of any physical limitations you may face, the industry is moving in a friendly direction for you.

The guy I worked for that drove for many years OTR said he left trucking with a back injury. He thought I was crazy for trying to start with a back injury. But, if there's a will there's a way right?

I think this may be something you won't know until you try. I'm sure there are many things you can do to better your chances of success, like physical therapy, yoga, proper eating, maintaining proper weight, and more. But I don't think you'll know until you give it a shot and try everything you can think of to make it work.

"Where there's a will, there's a way" is more powerful than most people realize. You'll never know what you're capable of until you truly have no choice. But if this is a dream of yours and you want it badly enough, you'll make it happen. There's no way to know how long you'll want to remain out there, but you'll have fulfilled that dream and given yourself more career opportunities and experience at the same time.

I never try to talk someone into trucking if I don't feel they're cut out for it or I don't think they'll give it a worthwhile effort. But it sounds like you'll give it one hell of a shot if given the opportunity, so I say go for it. Take a shot and see where it leads. The worst-case scenario is that you only last a short time and decide it isn't for you. Even if that happens, you'll have learned a ton, fulfilled your dream, and formed a clearer picture of what to do with your future. Not only that, but you'll always have some great stories to tell.

Lastly for now, how far out is the industry in terms of automated trucks? What is the job outlook for drivers?

Self-driving trucks are no concern. They've hyped that technology for a very long time, and it's nowhere near mass-scale adoption. I wrote an article about this seven years ago, in 2017, and it's still as relevant today:

Self Driving Trucks Are Not Coming Anytime Soon

However, the industry right now has too much capacity for the amount of freight available, and that won't balance out for at least another year, they say. Trucking companies are always hiring, but it's a little tougher now than it normally is during times of strong demand.

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