Profile For Brett Aquila

Brett Aquila's Info

  • Location:
    Plattsburgh, NY

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:
    Brett Aquila On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    12 years 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:  2 days, 7 hours ago

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Was let go today.

Marc, you're handling this with the utmost integrity and professionalism. There isn't enough of that in this industry. It's very encouraging to see that.

You're the kind of guy we all love to help. We certainly hope and expect you'll get past this soon enough and you'll be back out there getting after it like nothing ever happened. We look forward to following along as you work through this situation and get back out there.

Posted:  2 days, 12 hours ago

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What CDL training company does not use hair follicle testing?

I asked the clinic at Swift about how much time are they concerned with. The answer (at Swift, at least) is 90 days back. The chemicals they look at do decay over time, so beyond 90 days the results would be questionable.

Oh thanks for that! It's hard to get definitive information about how far it goes back. That's great to know.

Posted:  2 days, 15 hours ago

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Was let go today.

I was going to make the exact same point about paid CDL training and the company dropping Marc so quickly.

We always recommend that people go with one of the Paid CDL Training Programs. I've written an article about this and you'll find it here:

Why I Prefer Paid CDL Training Over Private CDL Training

This is a great example of why we prefer the programs these companies offer. They're investing their money, personnel, time, and equipment up front to train you to drive for them. Not only is the training better than you'll find at private schools, but it puts you in a much more secure position as a brand new driver. The only way these companies can hope to recoup their investment in you is if you go on to become a safe, productive driver for the company for about one year. If they lose you before that time they've lost their investment.

If JB Hunt had paid thousands of dollars up front to train Marc already it's highly unlikely they would have let him go like that. Not only does this apply to medical issues, but it applies to safety issues. It's quite common for new drivers to get into some small incidents. Normally they're slow speed incidents like backing into something or cutting a corner too sharp and hitting something.

If a company has a lot invested in you they're going to be a lot more lenient if you make a mistake or two. If they have nothing invested in you and you have one or two little mishaps they may just decide to let you go. Then you'll have a hell of a time finding a decent opportunity after that. I get emails regularly from people asking me what they can do after getting fired from their first job after a couple of incidents. Telling them to pray isn't a very nice thing to say, nor a great option, so I just try to encourage people to apply everywhere and hope someone gives you a chance. There isn't anything else you can really do.

Hopefully Marc will get this worked out and he'll be out there driving before too long. But this is exactly the kind of scenario that we worry about when someone chooses private schooling instead of paid training.

Posted:  2 days, 15 hours ago

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CRST Exit Oppurtunities???

My concern is about what to expect at the end of the 10 months not whether or not I'll make it...because I surely will.

You can be confident that if you complete 10 months with CRST and you have a solid work and safety record you'll be able to land a job at most of the companies out there. Every so often you'll find a company that requires 2 years of experience, but the overwhelming majority will take someone with 10 solid months of OTR under their belt. That you can count on.

Posted:  2 days, 18 hours ago

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What CDL training company does not use hair follicle testing?

Here is the most recent information we have on it. We can't guarantee that some of the companies listed under urinalysis only haven't begun hair follicle testing at this point. This is just the latest information we have:

Hair Follicle vs. Urinalysis Drug Testing: Breakdown By Company

I highly, highly suggest you wait until you've been completely clean for at least 6 - 9 months or more before you attempt getting into trucking. One failed drug test and your career is shot before it ever begins, and nowadays that track that stuff permanently. No one is really sure how far back those hair follicle tests go. It could even be longer than 6 months. We do know that a failed drug test is pretty much the end of your career, at least for a very long time. You absolutely must not risk it.

Posted:  2 days, 19 hours ago

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Family riders/passengers

Most of you sound like you either don't have families or don't get along with them which is why your opinions really should be removed and left to those who actually have experience on the topic.

We'd love to hear your experiences on this topic. You gave a lot of overreaching opinions and criticisms, but haven't shared any actual stories or experiences. Please do. We'd love to hear them.

And again....every baby/child who remembers being in a truck...absolutely loved it.

Being in a truck for a short vacation is a whole lot different than being raised in a truck full time.

I drove for 15 years and I've been in the industry for 25 years and I think I've heard of maybe two or three cases where people were going to try living with a baby full time in the truck here on the website but they never checked back to let us know how it went for them. When I was driving I can't recall one single time in 15 years that I came across a family that was actually raising a child in a truck. How many families do you know that are raising children full time in a truck?

Posted:  3 days, 16 hours ago

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Stuck In A Bind: How I've Gotten Into And Out Of Some Terrible Circumstances - New Article By Rainy

Another fantastic new article by Rainy!

Every driver finds themselves in tough circumstances from time to time - a parking lot that's too small to maneuver, a country road with no place to turn around, and all kinds of crazy circumstances.

We all love to hear stories from the road. In this article Rainy share some stories of really tough circumstances she's been in over the years, how she got out of them, and the lessons she learned from it.

Stuck In A Bind: How I've Gotten Into And Out Of Some Terrible Circumstances

Posted:  4 days, 15 hours ago

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Unions

I asked you a question. Was that you that put the 1 star review on iTunes?

Posted:  4 days, 16 hours ago

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Unions

Google Play didn't give me the option to rate you. I don't have the mini-player installed, maybe I need that?

I was looking at that last night and I didn't see any options for ratings on Google Play, either, but I figured that was because it's my own podcast so they weren't giving me the option. I'm not sure if they have ratings or not.

Posted:  4 days, 16 hours ago

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We Had A Major Truck Accident

Whoa Dan! Man, that's awful! Definitely our best wishes on a speedy recovery and let us know when you have more information.

Posted:  4 days, 17 hours ago

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Unions

Hehe....he said voting dont matter then he says let's take a vote.

Ironically I think he gave me a 1 star rating on iTunes. I had nothing but 5 star ratings until right after I posted that last reply to Bruce, then someone gave me a one star rating. But again, if everyone gives it 5 stars and one person gives it one star they kinda sound delusional to me!

It was you, wasn't it Bruce?

smile.gif

Posted:  5 days, 3 hours ago

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Unions

Well Bruce, you're an interesting case. On the one hand you have absolutely nothing positive to say about anyone or anything: Democracy is a fraud, voting doesn't work, the members here that don't agree with you are moronic, the entire political system is a fraud, If you or I as truck drivers think we have any influence in the system we are badly mistaken, and even the big carriers are victims of the economic manipulation by the 1% of powerful interests that keep the rest of us 99% sheep people under their thumbs.

Yet here you are with freedom of speech, a great paying job driving a beautiful rig, total freedom to pursue any life you choose, political freedom, religious freedom, and a super cushy life in a thriving economy and a stable political environment. You say that no one and nothing in life is any good, and yet the reality seems to be that everything in your life is utterly fantastic.

Not only that, but you're clearly a hypocrite. You insulted me directly, immediately after asking everyone to stop insulting you, and you asked everyone to stop their personal attacks right before calling their opinions moronic. You're such a hypocrite that sometimes your behavior contradicts your own demands within the same sentence.

If what you claim about the state of your existence doesn't match up in any way with the reality you're actually living, and every request you make of us with regard to our behavior is exactly the opposite of how you're behaving toward us, then it is plain to see that the only reasonable conclusion one could draw is that you're delusional.

Of course being delusional by definition means you won't think you're delusional, so naturally you'll be offended. You would think I might feel bad for pointing out this fact, but since you've gone out of your way to insult everyone at every turn, to be honest I've rather enjoyed it. You made yourself an easy target, and I thank you for that.

Man, why don't we have a mic drop emoji???

Posted:  5 days, 6 hours ago

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Unions

No Brett, I called the comment moronic. not the commenter. There is a difference.

Good grief. You'll argue the value of a penny, won't you?

Posted:  5 days, 6 hours ago

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New Podcast - Episode 21: This Driver Let One Tiny Problem Spiral Into A Career Changing Ordeal

Oh, I forgot to mention. If you guys get a minute, would you do me a huge favor and give us a (5 star!) rating on iTunes and Google Play? It will only take a moment and it's super critical if we want others to find our podcast on either platform. Also, subscribe to our podcast on those networks for the same reason.

Just click on the images below and it'll take you there. Thanks!

itunes-badge.svg en_badge_web_music.png

Posted:  5 days, 6 hours ago

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New Podcast - Episode 21: This Driver Let One Tiny Problem Spiral Into A Career Changing Ordeal

Hey folks,

I published a new podcast today:

Episode 21: This Driver Let One Tiny Problem Spiral Into A Career Changing Ordeal

This idea came from a story that Jamie posted here in the forum a few days ago. It was about a driver who let one tiny little problem in an ordinary day spiral out of control into a major ordeal that changed his career forever.

We talk all the time about the level of commitment it takes to make it in trucking.

We also talk about what it takes to be a top tier driver.

Out on the road you're going to have a million little problems that have the potential to spiral out of control into a life changing and career changing ordeal if you don't handle them properly. You have to keep your cool, act like a professional, communicate well with the people involved, and work your way through it. If you don't, this is the type of catastrophe you can run into.

This story also illustrates how screw ups and hotheads have given the large carriers a bad reputation by blaming them for all of their problems, even the ones where the driver was clearly the only one who screwed up. We call these people "terminal rats", and you'll find another podcast I did about these types called Terminal Rats Are Derailing Trucking Careers.

For anyone who is new to trucking there are a ton of very critical lessons in the links I've just posted. I highly suggest you take the advice to heart and realize that handling yourself like a true professional is just as important to your trucking career as the way you handle your rig.

Enjoy!

Posted:  5 days, 7 hours ago

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Unions

please refrain from the personal attacks and your moronic comments about leaving the country.

Wow, so in the same sentence you ask people to stop attacking you and then call them moronic?

Great job.

Posted:  5 days, 12 hours ago

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Study suggest that the ELD Mandate causes unsafe driving behavor.

Is this the same Dennis as a couple years ago that went by the name Greatest truck driver on earth ?

I have no idea. It shows he just joined the site a short time ago but that doesn't tell us if he rejoined and started a new account.

Posted:  5 days, 14 hours ago

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Another Accident Thread

I understand that this requires commitment and determination. I'm committed and determined.

In what way? You've been thinking about this for over a year. The only thing you seem determined to do is take the safest path with the least amount of risk or commitment. I just don't see that working with trucking. In an industry where most of the people who take a shot at this don't last a year, I just don't see someone who is on the fence with a safe backup plan drumming up the fierce determination it's going to take to keep moving forward and make it in this industry.

Now you're talking about keeping a part time job and paying tuition up front for an inferior type of schooling just in case things don't work out. You're trying to keep a foot on both sides of the fence, and I like to say that anyone who tries to move forward with a foot on both sides of the fence gets their balls ripped off. That's just not the way to accomplish something like trucking which takes full commitment.

There's a method to my madness and I have to take my logical approach to things. It's how I operate.

That's what you tell yourself to justify the inability to move forward. It doesn't take a year to determine whether or not you want to get into trucking, just like it doesn't take 15 minutes of staring at the water to determine if you want to jump in or not. Your method has produced nothing but daydreams at this point. You're not operating, you're pondering. Operations produce results.

I have a family that depends on me and that I have to provide for.

And you're already providing for them. You're obviously comfortable and secure where you're at, and you don't seem to be the type to take chances or go for things. You say you've thrown caution to the wind many times, but as someone who has done that his whole life I'm not seeing that type of person in you. I do see someone who is able to convince himself of a lot of things though.

Listen, I know I'm giving you a hard time but that's only because I don't want to see you fail. I know the level of fierce determination it's going to take to make it in this industry and you simply don't have that at this point. Maybe someday you will. Maybe someday you'll wake up and realize you can't live another day on this Earth without pursuing your dream of becoming a truck driver and you don't care what it's going to take - you're all in.

But that day isn't today.

We always tell everyone to see it through and stick with that first job for one full year no matter what. We say that because everyone wants to quit from time to time because they're just overwhelmed by it all. We do everything we can to encourage them to drum up the fortitude to see it through. And yet even armed with that knowledge and those expectations most people quit that first year anyhow.

Keep doing your research. Keep pondering things. Keep saving up money for a rainy day. Maybe your day will come. But right now I just can't encourage you to take a shot at this industry because I don't think you're ready. Maybe other disagree, and that's perfectly ok. Maybe they see something in you that I'm missing. If so, I would encourage them to speak up.

Normally I'm the most encouraging person in the world. I want to see people be successful in realizing their dreams. But I'm also very pragmatic. If I don't think a person is cut out for trucking or I don't think their mind or their life is in the right place then I'm not going to encourage them to go for it. It's not that I don't think you're capable of it. I'm sure you are. But most of the people who only last a short time are capable of it. They're just not willing or able to see it through.

I just want you to think about everything I've said and be brutally honest with yourself and the direction you think you should go in at this point in your life.

Posted:  5 days, 16 hours ago

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Another Accident Thread

Your plan still doesn't make any sense. Once you get out of private school there are no guarantees that you'll find a job. Even once you do find a job you still have to go on the road with a mentor and pass their training, their company road test, and anything else they throw at you.

You have to remember that going through a private school means the company that hires you has no skin in the game. If you make a mistake and they fire you it's no skin off their back. They didn't invest the money, equipment, and personnel it took to train you. You did. So they can drop you like a rotten potato if they like and it only hurts you, not them.

So how would that make getting started in trucking less risky? New drivers tend to make some mistakes and get in a fender bender or two. You've had a couple in the past few years in your personal vehicle so chances are you're going to in a big rig, also. If the company you're working for has no vested interest in your success they're not going to tolerate much in the way of mistakes.

If you were to get fired from your first job for having an accident you'll have a hell of a time finding a second chance. I get emails from people in that situation from time to time. They struggle like mad to find work.

I can't just walk away from a job that pays very well to chase a dream

Then you shouldn't. In the end I agree with the others. You're too tentative and you're not dedicated to making this work. You see your success in this industry as being optional with a backup plan if it doesn't work. I refer to backup plans as "failure plans" because that's what they're going to lead to most of the time. If you don't believe in yourself enough to go after something 100% without giving yourself the option of backing out then you're not going to do whatever it takes to succeed. You won't go above and beyond to make it happen. You'll hit a few rough patches, get spooked or get lazy, and back down. Before you know it you'll be back home at your old job.

I would stay right where you're at until you can't stand the thought of staying where you're at any longer. When you're ready to throw caution to the wind and really go for it because you can't imagine settling for anything less then you'll know you're ready for this. Right now you're not ready for this.

Posted:  5 days, 16 hours ago

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Study suggest that the ELD Mandate causes unsafe driving behavor.

One could say the same about this board..If one comes in here and makes a comment about Prime or Swift they are attacked like a rabid dog.

What we're doing here Dennis is helping people understand the trucking industry and formulate a strategy for getting their trucking career off to a great start. We are mentors. We're a classroom run by some of the kindest, most helpful, and knowledgeable professionals in this industry who have all reached the top level of driving with regard to miles, pay, and the responsibility they're given at their companies.

We are not a sounding board for the peanut gallery. We never were.

You've seen the other trucker's forum. I'm sure you've read through comments on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. If you allow anyone to say anything they like, 95% of it will be useless garbage filled with lies, misinformation, personal attacks, or sensationalistic nonsense in an attempt to drum up attention, start a fight, or promote an agenda.

If you go to a University and spew nonsense in a classroom you will be shot down, not only by the students, but of course the teachers, and you will not likely be allowed back if it continues. We're no different. We won't let anyone mislead the people who come here because they intend to take full personal responsibility for the outcome of their career and they have every intention of becoming Top Tier Professionals in this industry. They want genuinely helpful opinions and honest facts to help them understand the industry and prepare for the start of their career.

So Dennis, you now have the attention of a large group of the top professionals in the industry whom you've just criticized for the way they mentor new drivers. Would you care to enlighten us with your knowledge of the trucking industry? Please offer us something that will help cast a light on where we've gone wrong with our teachings and help us make this website better, won't you?

You have the floor. Let's hear what you have to say.

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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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