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, 11 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 6

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Posted:  23 minutes ago

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The Highest Form Of Flattery

The author of that article reached out to me and said he'd like to feature us on Trucker.com from time to time because we have so many great conversations and articles. I told him that would be great. I believe this is one of the first features he's done with our website.

Posted:  1 hour, 35 minutes ago

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CRST after 3 months

Sure, I'll give you some constructive feedback. How about a little humility and appreciation for people who are willing to take their time to help out? You show up out of the blue and introduce yourself by saying, "I'm a criminal, here's what I'll accept from you, otherwise shut up."

Not really an enticing prospect.

Instead of acting like our boss and approaching us like we owe you something, maybe you could take a better approach. Also, a sex offender who describes themselves as having a, "boyish charm, nice smile, and good attitude" sounds like a creepy predator.

Was that introduction part of your charming good attitude?

Posted:  16 hours, 50 minutes ago

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Trainer kicked me off the truck tonight!

I know you're being lauded for your "commitment" here, but I'm not seeing it. You give up way too easy over the exact things thousands of us have gone through. Are you committed? The only way I'd have gotten off my trainers truck was if he was sexually abusing me. Since he wasn't, I fought tooth and nail to make it work even when he was throwing my bag off the truck.

andhe78, I agree with your sentiment. I don't believe you would win any awards for sensitivity and tact, but if such awards existed I would be the last person they would allow to be the judge anyhow. I've been guilty of being insensitive far too many times in the past and it's something I've worked on in a big way.

That being said, I do agree with your advice and I think it's something Jay can benefit from.

Jay, you said:

He proceeds to chew me out again saying he didn’t understand why I couldn’t listen to simple instructions.he was Just real condescending and talking down to me. I just took it like I did the day before. I was so shook up I didn’t eat that day.

I think in this case, Jay, you're being overly sensitive. It is not normal or healthy to get so shaken up that you don't eat for an entire day. I've had family members pass away but I was able to eat after the funeral. Full disclosure, I'm Italian, and we're famous eaters. But still, you get my drift.

It's fantastic that you care so much about your performance, but in this industry, you will also need a thick skin at times. People are not patient with truck drivers, nor are they always nice. If you can shake that stuff off you'll keep your sanity, at least a little longer.

smile.gif

It can also be a safety issue. For instance, you're trying to get backed in off the street and cars are blowing their horn at you because they're impatient. If you're overly concerned with upsetting them you'll rush things, and may back into something. This is more common than you might expect. We don't like holding people up, but sometimes it's necessary. You're upsetting people, but there's nothing you can do but ignore them and get the job done safely.

So don't let yourself get bent out of shape. Staying cool under pressure is a huge part of this job. Start practicing it right away. It's actually a skill you can develop.

Go get em!

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Posted:  17 hours, 44 minutes ago

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I miss the Blog Posts!

I actually have several ready to go from Rainy that I haven't released yet. We'll be putting them out more consistently very soon.

Posted:  2 days, 4 hours ago

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I am uncomfortable taking an on-site sleep study-I already have 2 year medical card

Companies almost always require a physical after you begin working there. They have no idea who the doctor was that gave the previous physical, nor have they given a recent drug test which is required by law. So to be safe they make everyone get a new physical by a doctor they know, often one that works in-house for a major carrier.

Listen, don't sweat this kind of stuff. You'll give yourself an anxiety attack over nothing. These are normal procedures in this industry. Before you know it you'll have conspiracy theories floating around in your head, you'll start getting feedback on them from the wrong people, the anxiety and mistrust will build, and it will begin affecting your performance and relationships. Things will only continue to spiral downward.

Keep your focus on what you must do to become the best driver possible. Develop strong relationships within your company. Prove to them you're as good as anyone out there. Keep a positive attitude. Enjoy yourself out there. If you'll do those things you'll be making top pay with a great company that treats you like gold. Don't harbor any thoughts that won't help you in that mission. Be vigilant about the thoughts you keep. Our lives are a manifestation of our thoughts. If you allow your thoughts to spiral downward, your life will soon follow.

Posted:  2 days, 12 hours ago

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Trainer unsafe practices

He got into a huff, then drove home to DE from Cali, supposedly

I'm pretty sure from reading his background that once he got on the road they did a thorough check, found the criminal charges he left out, and they kicked him off the truck. No one voluntarily gets off the truck 2,500 miles from home, drives home in a rental car, then decides to keep their job and stay with the company. That's absurd.

But I'm sure we'll be getting that selfie of him on the road in front of his truck anytime now.

Posted:  2 days, 14 hours ago

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Trainer unsafe practices

Yeah, like I said in that other thread we tend to get people who are in the most extreme of emotional states. They're either frustrated or scared or disappointed and they feel compelled to get help or to publicly blame someone for their circumstances.

Posted:  2 days, 14 hours ago

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Trainer unsafe practices

Lol you must be a former or present CRST employee as well I still have a job there for your information, they screwed up and they admitted it

Oh yeah? Take a selfie of you in front of your truck. Let's see it. And by the way, your picture will have the metadata in it that will include the date and time. If it doesn't, it doesn't count.

Posted:  3 days ago

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Seeking solo otr

I wish I were better at expressing these concepts. I work hard at it, but it often falls flat. I know it helps some people who come along later and encounter these conversations. I keep banging away.

You're amazing at expressing the key concepts for success. No one does it better. In fact, you have always been far more eloquent and sensitive than I have when teaching someone the things they need to know. I've put a tremendous amount of time and effort into improving my delivery, and that inspiration came from yourself, Kearsey, and so many of the Moderators and long-time contributors here.

The challenge we face is that so few people have been properly taught what it takes to be successful and feel fulfilled in their lives. They don't understand that 80% of it is psychological. Attitude really is everything. The discipline you have, your work ethic, the relationships you build, the humility it takes to be willing to listen, the fierce responsibility you must take for the outcome of your endeavors - all of that stuff is critical to success in any area of life, but it stems from your mindset and rarely is it taught properly. I know I never learned any of that in school. In fact, I learned most of the important lessons in my life from reading books, playing sports, and being in business.

The things we teach here at Trucking Truth are so completely foreign to people that they often become very angry or defensive. To them, we sound preposterous. How could we have the nerve to say that someone should earn their position in life or focus on making themselves better? Who are we to say that a person is responsible for their own success and can't blame the company if things don't go their way? How dare we say someone's time isn't valuable, but only their productivity is?

I'm fully confident that we have a quiet, invisible army of followers reading everything we say, taking it all in, and using it to build an awesome career and an awesome life for themselves. The people we hear from most often are those who are upset by the poor start they've had to their career or are shocked and baffled by what we teach. Only when they're truly upset do they feel compelled to come out of hiding and speak their minds.

Those very people are a blessing for us, though. They give us the opportunity to teach. They challenge us with their misperceptions. They force us to explain in great detail our philosophies and back them with real-life experiences.

I feel truly sad for people like Concept because he has maybe a 10% chance of being in this industry a year from now. He won't make it. He'll fall prey to the misperceptions he has and the terminal rats will only reinforce those misperceptions. Before long he'll decide trucking is the wrong career to be in even though he may have turned out to be an awesome driver who cherished his years on the road.

We'll help anyone who is open-minded and willing to listen, and I believe there are plenty of them reading this right now. If it wasn't for "Concept" and his misperceptions we wouldn't have had such a great opportunity to help those who are eager to improve themselves and get their career on solid ground.

Posted:  3 days, 2 hours ago

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My Journey - Clarksburg,WV to Careers World Wide to Stevens Transport

OldGrizzlyBear, let me put this in a different perspective. If I said to you, "Give me $4,000 and tell me your preferences. I'll do the research for you. I'll let you know which company is the best to work for."

You would think that was insane, right? Like, who would give me $4,000 to do the research for them?

Well, that's how much money you're losing every month while you sit home thinking about who to work for, and that's a conservative estimate. You should easily make $50,000 your first year back out there because you already know how to do this job. You have experience. You should be able to jump behind the wheel and get back in the swing of things quickly.

Quit wasting your time and money. Pick a company and get to work.

Posted:  3 days, 3 hours ago

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My Journey - Clarksburg,WV to Careers World Wide to Stevens Transport

Wow, man. You really do think you're going to dig up some golden nuggets by piling on the research and pondering decisions forever, don't ya?

After reopening my 3 ring binder full of research and going over what I was doing before, I elected to start over from scratch and take my time in finding out more for each company

Have fun with that. You're losing a fortune pondering these decisions when you could have been out there already making money, building relationships, and re-establishing your career.

I can't believe you were an OTR driver for a couple years back in the day and still you fall for the classic misnomers like the major carriers are just "starter companies" and they "herd cattle through CDL mills." I would expect a total newbie to maybe fall for that line of thinking, but not someone who has been out there on the road and should understand by now that you'll make top dollar at any major carrier as long as you perform at a high level.

I just hate to see people with good intentions wasting their time and energy with this misguided idea that they're digging up all of this valuable information that will have a profound impact on their career. In fact, all you're doing is wasting time and money and putting all sorts of false ideas in your head.

If there were companies to look out for don't you think we would have warned you about them? If "CDL mills" and "starter companies" were legitimate concerns we would have been talking about it for years. In fact, what we warn people not to do is waste months of their lives pouring over research thinking they're going to dig up this mythical unicorn company. All of the major carriers are outstanding companies. I can't understand why people can't see that. It should be obvious. They're all elite carriers that have reached the highest level of success in this industry and maintained it for decades.

Here, listen to this:

Episode 9: Are Major Carriers Nothing More Than Starter Companies?

Posted:  3 days, 16 hours ago

View Topic:

Seeking solo otr

How can I possibly make “awesome money” with a pay of 29cpm?

This question really shows that people don't listen when they think they know it all and their mouths are always yappin. Old School had already answered his question:

I started at 27 CPM. I busted my tail at that rate for two reasons.

1) I was grateful to have the job.

2) I understood that I had no intrinsic value. I was determined to build my value.

Would fifty thousand dollars be an acceptable year's pay for you? That's what I earned that rookie year.

All you can do is give someone the answers. If they're not willing to listen it won't do them any good.

confused.gifsmile.gif

Posted:  3 days, 16 hours ago

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Seeking solo otr

Well, this visitor's time with us was short but you guys gave our community a ton of fantastic information. Great job, as always. You guys are awesome. Not only will your information helps tons of people get their careers off to a great start but our friend "Concept" has demonstrated exactly why they say attitude is everything and why so many people fail in their attempt at this career.

On with our mission!

smile.gif

Posted:  3 days, 21 hours ago

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Should tandems be forward or back on icy roads

The farther away all the pivot points are to each other the harder it is to move the hole system.

Actually it's the opposite. The longer wheelbase would extend the length of the lever, thereby increasing the leverage the crosswind has to pivot the trailer. Not only that, but the longer the wheelbase the less weight there is on the trailer tandems making them even easier to break loose.

I have found on the ice it does not matter how light or heavy the tandems.

Really? So if the tandems weigh 1,000 pounds they'll have the same grip as 25,000 pounds?

When you hit the brakes on an empty trailer isn't it more likely to break loose on slick roads than if you have a heavy trailer? Of course. That's even in the CDL manual. So naturally the more weight you have the more grip you have, regardless of the surface. Even on ice.

I've lived the overwhelming majority of my life in Upstate New York and spent 15 years driving big rigs. Weight has a profound effect on grip.

Unfortunately, most of this thread is extremely confusing with a lot of misnomers. Plausible theories in some respects, but incorrect.

The correct answer is to keep the weight balanced between the tractor drive tires and the trailer tandems regardless of the wheelbase. That's the safest way to distribute the weight regardless of the road conditions. It gives you the best traction under acceleration, braking, and sideways forces.

Posted:  3 days, 21 hours ago

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Should tandems be forward or back on icy roads

I would leave the tandems set for now until you get to Oregon then, reassess how the truck is handling

I would ask this. Right now he's lighter on the tandems than on the drives. How might the truck handle that would make him want to take even more weight off the tandems?

I'm thinking more of wind for the tandems being to the rearward position.

Just like with braking, if you take more weight off the tandems they're more likely to break loose with a strong crosswind. Weight holds the tires to the road, not wheelbase.

Posted:  3 days, 22 hours ago

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Seeking solo otr

Work hard on increasing your reliability, productivity, and establishing a great working relationship with your dispatcher. One full year of that and you'll realize how misguided your concerns about CPM rates are now.

I can't stress how critical it is to understand this. You want to make big money because you have big goals. That's awesome. That's how it should be. Now to achieve those goals, focus on what you must do to become the best truck driver possible.

Over time, your pay will be equal to your awesomeness. Becoming awesome takes time. It won't happen in your first year. You can become very good by the end of your first year. You can become excellent by the end of your second year. It will take 3 - 5 years before you gain the experience and knowledge it takes to consistently perform at an awesome level.

You'll get there if you keep your focus on becoming the best you can be. Don't lose sight of the fact that you must consistently reach the highest performance level in order to reach the highest pay level.

Posted:  4 days, 1 hour ago

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Should tandems be forward or back on icy roads

Normally for snow-covered roads, the further to the rear the tandems, the more weight on the drives, so more traction. It's also more stable when encountering higher winds.

Yeah, but you want weight on those trailer tandems so they don't lock up when you hit the brakes.

It's not the length of the wheelbase that matters nearly as much as the weight distribution. Ideally, you want as much weight as possible on the steer tires with the remaining weight distributed evenly between your tractor drive tires and your trailer tandems. That way you're getting forward traction on the drives when you're on the fuel and equally good traction from all tires when you're on the brakes.

Your weight looks pretty good where it's at. I hate to contradict PackRat, but I would not move any more weight off those trailer tandems. In fact, I wish you had a little more weight on them but it's fine like it is.

Posted:  4 days, 8 hours ago

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Trainer unsafe practices

Yeah, this sounds awfully suspicious. You voluntarily got off the truck in California and drove yourself home to Delaware?

Come on. I give that about a 1 in 1,000 chance of being the real story.

There are a million different ways you could have handled the situation you describe. What you're saying makes no sense. You're so worried about the money you'll make trying to support your family but you decided to quit your job, pay for a rental car, and drive home 2,500 miles?

I don't think so.

However, this is interesting from your past:

[I have] a 15 year old felony for burglary CRST sent it up for review I was approved . Problem is I have a lot more on my record all most recent being 9 years old . Receiving stolen property, dui , criminal trespass doesn’t look to good I didn’t disclose everything just the most serious reason being it’s a lot of little charges. Again my record is clear for 9 years I had a drug problem when I was younger . I operated my own business for the last 7 years I’m a changed man that is why it is so embarrassing to bring all this up . My question is when he sends this back up for review is it going to be bad that I didn’t include it all ?

I'll tell you what might have happened. He failed to disclose his entire background and when the company finally dug it all up they kicked him off the truck. Now he's trying to save face by telling everyone it was a bad trainer at a bad company.

Whatever happened, it wasn't what he says happened. If we can't get the truth I'll just delete this story. After all, this isn't truckingfiction.com

Posted:  4 days, 11 hours ago

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Paper logs

The question I would ask is how much is it worth to you? Because 95% or more of the jobs out there will be electronic logs, and you can bet your life the best-paying jobs will be electronic logs.

Are you willing to give up $10,000+ per year and fail to qualify for 95% of the jobs for the sole privilege of using paper logs? Because that's almost certainly what you'll do.

Posted:  4 days, 15 hours ago

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Opportunity or not?

I agree with everyone here, Mikey. I wrote that article about small trucking companies being a disaster waiting to happen.

You'll notice that almost all of our moderators and highly experienced drivers choose to work for large carriers even though they can go anywhere they like.

In my 15 year career, I worked for every size and type of company imaginable. I chose to spend the last six years of my OTR career at a major carrier (U.S. Xpress) because they were by far the best places to work.

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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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