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, 3 months 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:  1 day, 3 hours ago

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LOW FREIGHT---IS THIS TRUE?

Freight may be slow at a company or industry, but not necessarily for everyone.

This is the key thing to understand, especially at a major carrier that has tons and tons of freight. Right now nationwide the freight is slow overall. However, within a major carrier you'll find a huge variance in the amount of freight available in different regions of the country or for different drivers.

A company is going to keep their team trucks and best drivers rolling all the time if at all possible. However, that isn't always possible even for the best drivers. There will be ups and downs at times. It's never anything to worry much about. If you hit a slow patch you should take advantage of it. Get some extra rest or go have some fun. Before long things will pick up for you again and you'll be wishing you had more time to sleep or head off on adventures.

Posted:  1 day, 22 hours ago

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The Freedom of Trucking: Blessing or Curse? - new article by G-Town

We have an awesome new article from G-Town:

The Freedom of Trucking: Blessing or Curse?

This article really highlights how some of the most coveted aspects of trucking are also some of the most difficult to manage. You get so much more flexibility and freedom when it comes to doing your job, but without experience it's extremely difficult for new drivers to learn how to manage the huge number of variables involved in making their appointments on time.

A great article with tons of interesting insights and great advice for managing your life on the road.

The Freedom of Trucking: Blessing or Curse?

Posted:  2 days, 1 hour ago

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11000 lbs one piece

I’m not doing a load like that again, I’d refuse it if I found it like that at customer

Risk management is one of the most critical disciplines you must have to stay alive and stay in the game long term. About a dozen experienced drivers all said they wouldn't have hauled that load in the first place, and yet you did it anyhow. Now you're saying you would never do it again.

My question: If you knew it was dangerous, which you did, then why did you do it in the first place?

Posted:  2 days, 4 hours ago

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Rider Program

Heath, welcome aboard. This topic is almost 6 years old so I'm not sure you'll get an answer from the original person, but most companies will let your wife ride along with you. Every company does have a different rider policy, but most do have one.

Posted:  2 days, 4 hours ago

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My 10 Year TT Anniversary...

Very cool man! It certainly is great having you back again. You definitely raise the level of our conversations and dive into the details like no one else.

Posted:  3 days, 4 hours ago

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7 years experience forgotten?

I wouldn't sweat it. It's not a big deal. If you were to go through one of the Paid CDL Training Programs they'd push you through as quickly as they can and you'll be out there making money before you know it. You'll run team for a short time and then you're solo. It's not worth worrying about.

Besides, do you really want to choose a company based on something dumb like bypassing a few weeks of training? The best companies out there - the ones with the nicest equipment, the best pay and benefits, and the most opportunities - are going to do things the right way which means they'll have you go through training. You might find some shady mom-n-pop somewhere who is struggling to survive with a dozen trucks, no perks, minimum benefits, and very few opportunities that will lie to their insurance company to get you out there in one of their old roach coaches. If that sounds like the path that leads to long term happiness and success you could try your hand at it.

Anyone who knows what it takes to be happy and successful will always teach how important it is to make long term decisions and invest in a strong future for yourself. In this case, going through a little refresher training is an investment you're making to put yourself in the driver's seat with a top notch company.

Having discipline means doing the right thing for your future, not the easiest thing for the present moment. Think long term and do what it takes to get on with a great company that you'll be happy with.

Posted:  3 days, 15 hours ago

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Terminated by Schneider

Please forgive my ignorance but if Christian had all those safety events can the company list them on the DAC? A reportable incident would have to meet specific criteria like loss of lol life, property damage, or the vehicle. Swerving or a hard break or any other critical safety event that doesn't meet the criteria would still get reported?

Yap, they can put it on his DAC. Companies can put pretty much anything they want on a DAC. If the person disputes a claim then the company has to prove their claim to be true within 30 days.

Posted:  4 days, 2 hours ago

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Prime PSD training, from a trainer's perspective.

At first, I wasn't going to bore you guys with the details of another student.

Clearly no one is bored with these stories. They're super interesting, not only for experienced drivers who enjoy following along, but for newbies coming into the industry who are craving any advice or experiences that will help them succeed.

Keep sharing em!

Posted:  4 days, 3 hours ago

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Terminated by Schneider

I think this conversation has been incredibly helpful. It demonstrates perfectly some of the most critical points we talk about here all the time. It shows how careful you have to be about taking career advice from the wrong people. It also shows the lengths people will go to in order to protect their own vanity. This guy completely fabricated most of this story. He was willing to tell lies, mislead innocent people, and try to ruin the reputation of a great company in a pathetic and desperate attempt to save himself the embarrassment of his failures. He had even said:

This is a completely transparent account of events.

That, along with much of his story, was a blatant lie. He's treacherous, that's for sure.

If you think back to the beginning, Christian played the "poor me" card perfectly. He portrayed himself as the innocent victim. He made it sound like he did everything right and put all of the blame on the people at his company, and even the truck itself. He made himself sound like a nice guy who was doing a great job but suddenly was crushed under the wheels of a ruthless and uncaring mega carrier.

One of the many great lessons I've learned in life is to be patient and allow people to keep talking. Encourage them to embellish their story. People who are foolish enough to fabricate stories often feel compelled to keep adding details to the story in order to make it sound more believable.

Unfortunately their story becomes like a jenga tower. It appears to be solid at first when it's small, but as they add more lies it grows taller and becomes less stable. You'll soon notice that some critical pieces seem to be missing, while others that don't seem to fit quite right are holding the entire tower together. Remove those critical pieces and their entire story comes crashing down.

Then, of course, the grand finale comes after the collapse when they go into a tirade and tear into you. They know it's over. Their story has crumbled and there's no hope of saving it. They're seriously embarrassed and it almost always comes out in a fierce tirade. That's always my favorite part - the meltdown. Game over.

Some of the pieces that didn't seem to fit for me were:

1) He was fired but his co-driver was not. I knew there was a reason for this. It was a critical missing piece.

2) He never talked with anyone from safety. Never have I heard of someone being fired for safety violations without even talking to the safety department.

3) He was on a bus home but was then told that the company handled it wrong and he was being given his job back. Highly, highly unlikely.

4) At first he had said only 5 of the 17 events had been reviewed and they all happened on "fairly straight roads". But then he said, "But when you are turning left from a stop at a light and register a critical event...." ......hmmmmm......this is the first time he mentioned anything about triggering one during a turn from a stop light. I thought they all occurred on fairly straight roads?

5) We heard from other Schneider drivers who couldn't make sense of the story.

6) We heard from other drivers who had transitioned to newer trucks and found them to be far more sensitive to critical events. However, these drivers were willing and able to adapt to the new sensors just fine.

Finally, one of the best ways you can tell a story is bogus is when the person telling the story claims to have done absolutely nothing wrong. Everything was someone else's fault. They do nothing but complain, blame, and criticize everyone and everything without taking any responsibility upon themselves for any of it. How often is someone truly 100% innocent of all wrongdoing?

Unfortunately it takes a lot of experience in this industry to be able to identify when certain people are lying. That's one of the most important services we offer here at Trucking Truth and it's obviously the reason I picked that name. We'll tell you the truth about how this industry works and we'll expose the lies that are so prevalent across the Web.

We know what it takes to get your career off to a great start and become a top tier driver in this industry. We also know the pitfalls that often lead to failure. We tell it like it is in trucking, both the good and the bad. We'll do all we possibly can to help those who seek our advice and we enjoy it immensely. We won't pull punches if someone needs an attitude adjustment or if they're full of crap, and I have to admit I enjoy doing that too.

Well this was a fantastic lesson in how to identify someone who is full of crap. It's also a great lesson about the type of people who always complain, blame, and criticize.

Here are some really fantastic resources related to this conversation:

You're Getting Career Advice From The Wrong People

What It Takes To Be A Top Tier Driver

Stop The Fear And Doubt: Focus On Your Own Success

Terminal Rats Are Derailing Trucking Careers

We hope you've enjoyed the show!

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Posted:  4 days, 12 hours ago

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Terminated by Schneider

I love the tone of elitism you express as a truck driver: you’re a truck driver. You’re a loser, probably overweight, and a slave. Trying to condescend me is laughable. Ooooo I’m not good enough for Schneider oh I’m so ashamed of myself because my measure of self worth is my ability to drive a truck and be someone’s *****. If this endeavor doesn’t work, I’ll do something else with my life. I don’t put up with bull**** and follow stupid rules. Maybe you do and if you live your life that way that’s fine! Good for you. I don’t.

rofl-3.gif

Another classic reaction! I love calling someone out and then watching them have a meltdown because they're embarrassed how easily you were able to see through their entire charade. Classic. It must be hard realizing you're not as clever as you thought you were.

You're not even smart enough to realize that your reaction just totally gave you away, not that I believed much of anything you said to begin with.

rofl-2.gif

you’re a truck driver. You’re a loser, probably overweight, and a slave.

Wow, are you ever right about anything???

I'm not a truck driver anymore and I'm certainly not a loser. I'm a retired truck driver who had a fantastically fun and safe and successful 15 year career and now I'm a very successful business owner. I'm certainly not a slave, whatever that means in 2019. I'm also in fantastic shape.

Trying to condescend me is laughable

Actually it was easy......

Ooooo I’m not good enough for Schneider oh I’m so ashamed of myself because my measure of self worth is my ability to drive a truck and be someone’s *****

Says the guy who was just booted to the curb and is on his way back to his mom's basement and his video games.

If this endeavor doesn’t work, I’ll do something else with my life

I've got news for you. It's already not working, and it's not going to. You can't see that yet, but I've been watching this same story play out for 25 years. It always ends the same way.

Well, I guess that wraps up this mystery. Great job, Christian. You've made a monumental ass out of yourself. I knew you would accidentally reveal your true nature and the essence of what really happened if we let you keep talking.

Man, that was fun.

Next!

Posted:  4 days, 16 hours ago

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Terminated by Schneider

If this is their new “standard” for safety, I am willing to concede that I am too “unsafe” to drive their new trucks. If Schneider insists on operating in this manner, I simply don’t want to drive for them.

I agree - you're not safe enough to drive their trucks and the fact that they put you on a bus home tells me they really aren't interested in having you drive for them any longer. I don't think it's your choice, and I don't believe they're extending an olive branch to bring you back. I think it's your way of trying to convince us you were right and they were wrong, but of course conveniently you won't accept their offer to continue driving for them. I think a lot of this story is just propaganda. I'm confident that if we heard Schneider's side of the story it would be shockingly different than what we've been told thus far.

Posted:  4 days, 16 hours ago

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Terminated by Schneider

There are always certain themes that come up with people who fail to find success at new endeavors, and one of course is a biggie I talk about all the time - they incessantly complain, blame, and criticize. They always think they know more than everyone else so they never listen. They never think they're wrong so they never learn. When they are wrong and someone holds them accountable they get indignant, run their mouths, and find themselves on a bus home.

So here we are with another one, and he won't be the last.

I've known throughout this thread that Christian's driving was the problem because after 25 years in this industry I pick up on the little things which includes subtleties in their language and reading between the lines. Several things have been clear from the start:

1) Christian never thought he did anything wrong. It couldn't possibly be his driving that's the problem, right? Heck, he's been doing this for six months. What could he possibly have to learn, right?

2) He never pursued a proper resolution to this. He never talked to safety. He never reached for a manual or even asked any of us what he could be doing wrong. He made no attempt to improve his driving habits or learn from any of this. He assumed from the start that the problem was the truck and his dispatcher and his company, but of course not his driving. It couldn't possibly be his driving.

3) He was fired, but not his co-driver. First of all, I don't believe his co-driver had as many violations as he claims. Regardless, I knew there had to be a reason Christian was fired but not his co-driver, and of course it was because he ran his mouth to the wrong people. For those who aren't aware, the office personnel don't take kindly to some rookie talking down to them. It will indeed earn you a bus ticket home. You were both driving the same truck but only one of you was fired. The fact that you never tried to dive into that spoke volumes. It said there's a lot more to this than you're telling us.

4) He said he had 17 violations but only 5 were reviewed and some of them happened on straight roads. As Rainy pointed out there are numerous ways to trigger a critical event on straight roads. Not only that, but that only accounted for a few of them. What about the others? Mysteriously the road characteristics weren't mentioned in the others. What about the other 12 violations? Did you pursue a review of them? Did you try to learn from them?

I lost count years ago how many stories like this I've heard - people claiming they did absolutely nothing wrong but were completely wronged by everyone - the truck, their dispatcher, the company. I can't think of a single time this has ever actually been the case. The reason I haven't said anything to this point is because I wanted him to keep talking until he accidentally revealed enough information to let us understand this situation a little better.

You ignored the warnings, you refused to change your driving habits, you ran your mouth, and you complained, blamed, and criticized every single person and entity around you from the truck to dispatch to the company itself. These are not the behaviors of someone who is doing their best to learn their trade, be humble, and give it all they've got. These are the behaviors of someone who is arrogant, overconfident, disrespectful, and dangerous to the people around them on the highway, which is why you were given a bus ticket home.

I also find it hard to believe they've asked you to return. Naturally you're too good for the company, or at least that's the story you're telling us. Personally I find it hard to believe a lot of what you've said. Whenever a story comes from someone who is 100% right with everything they've done and everyone around them is 100% to blame the story is almost without fail a steaming pile of BS.

Posted:  5 days, 16 hours ago

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One more thread on losing weight.

Now that im in my own truck id like to start again but am worried about the way i feel when i first start the diet and wondering if i should wait for a hometime to go through that few day transition period.

No, there's no reason to wait. Just take it slow. You're in it for the long term. There's no hurry. Eat as much meat, eggs, and dairy as you like and try to keep the carbs and sugars to a minimum. Keep an energy bar or two with you at all times. If you start feeling really lethargic then grab an energy bar and get some carbs in you. Eat two if you have to. You'll immediately feel way better. Then you can just go back to the same plan. Eventually that will stop happening and you won't need those energy bars anymore.

No need to push yourself too hard. You know what they say - it's not a sprint, it's a marathon. Take it slow but keep easing forward all the time.

I find it particularly difficult to disconnect from work and use what free time I do have to seek out healthier foods and use that free time to get a little exercise in....

At first it just takes some good old fashioned grit and perseverance. You just have to force yourself to get in some exercise each day. The more consistent you are with it the easier it becomes. You have to turn it into a habit.

Make sure you find something to do that you enjoy and don't make it gruelling. Too many people go too hard and burn themselves out. They get sick of it. Make it pleasant. Maybe do a little light jogging. Maybe jump rope a little here and there. Do some bodyweight exercises.

Consistency is far more important than volume. It's much better to exercise 20 minutes per day, 7 days per week than it is to exercise for two hours once or twice a week.

One of the things I used to do was build a streak. Like decide you're going to do 30 minutes of exercise every single day without fail. Pick several different exercises that qualify, like the ones I mentioned earlier - jumping rope, jogging, and bodyweight exercises. Then do any combination of those three totalling 30 minutes every single day without missing a day. You can do 30 minutes of one of them or blend two or three together. As long as the total is 30 minutes you've accomplished your goal for the day.

Once you get a week or two under your belt you'll realize that missing a day means you've ruined the entire streak and you'll have to start over from scratch! You won't believe how motivating that becomes. I remember doing that with a friend one time as a challenge when I was on the road and we hit 72 days in a row. That was really fun.

Posted:  5 days, 17 hours ago

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One more thread on losing weight.

Unfortunately there's just a ton of bad information out there that has really misled a lot of people. In fact, you'll find it at both ends of the spectrum.

On the one hand there are people who claim getting in shape simply means walking around the mall and drinking a lot of water.

At the other end of the spectrum you have a lot of people selling gym memberships, workout equipment, and video training programs that make it seem like you have to punish yourself brutally to get in shape.

The answer, as is normally the case, is somewhere in the middle. You certainly don't have to put yourself through long, gruelling workouts to be fit but you do have to put in enough effort to elevate your heart rate and use your muscles.

By the way, being thin doesn't mean you're in shape. It just means you're not fat. You could still have tons of toxins in your body, heart disease, weak lungs, and poor circulation. Being fit means you have good muscle tone, a healthy heart, and healthy lungs. I see people all the time who are thin but are clearly not fit or necessarily healthy at all. Eliminating extra fat is a huge step in the right direction but it's by no means the Holy Grail.

Posted:  5 days, 18 hours ago

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One more thread on losing weight.

1. that water is very important

Of course water is important. I'm just saying that drinking tons of extra water isn't going to do any good. Your body only needs what it needs and nothing beyond that will do any good. I've known people who think they're going to pound a ton of water all day and be healthier because they're too lazy to do anything that will actually help. I had a friend who was 60 pounds overweight, got zero exercise, and drank beer every night but during the day he pounded about a gallon of water because he read that drinking water was good for you and that was the most effort he was willing to make.

I think Bruce said he was told to drink 64 ounces a day, which is about half a gallon. That's perfectly fine and reasonable. Anything beyond what your body can use just gets tossed aside. You don't get any extra points for drinking extra water

baby steps are better than no steps

Doing something that isn't helping is not better than doing nothing. Walking around parking lots is only increasing your daily dosage of diesel fumes. So if by baby steps you mean walking on flat ground then I still say it's not better than doing nothing because it is doing nothing.

I've seen a guy lose 100 pounds just from walking on the treadmill

With all due respect he didn't lose an ounce walking on a treadmill. He lost weight because he changed his eating habits. Walking on flat ground burns maybe 75 - 100 calories an hour. Maybe. It's probably not even that. If you're doing that to be fit or to lose weight you're completely wasting your time.

If walking on flat ground was all we needed to do to be fit we'd all be fit. 60% of our society wouldn't be obese. If you're not elevating your heart rate you're not doing anything that's going to help your heart, your lungs, or your muscles at all because you're not straining any of those systems. If you don't strain anything then nothing will be forced to adapt. That's what exercise is - you're purposely straining your body so that it will repair itself better than it was before. If walking on flat ground made you better we'd all be Olympians.

Walk the hills. That will elevate your heart rate and then you're doing something worthwhile. They don't have to be super steep by any means. Just find some hilly country road and go for a walk. Build up some extra speed on the uphill to get that heart rate elevated.

Fitness and nutrition are like trucking - there's no faking it. You guys don't have to agree with me. You're free to believe what you like. Go pound a gallon of water, walk around the parking lot all day huffing diesel fumes, and tell each other how great you're doing if that's what makes you feel better. Kid yourselves all you like.

But like always I'm going to tell it like it is and share the information people need to know if they want to get better. I'm not going to lie to people or get their hopes up about some lazy ass ideas like pounding tons of water and walking around parking lots.

Either you care enough about your health to put in a little effort or you don't. That's a decision each of us has to make for ourselves. In the end the results will be there or they won't.

Posted:  5 days, 20 hours ago

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Prime Inc TNT students will see increased mileage requirements in training

Just a question about the simulators...how close are they to how a steer tire blowout feels, or a full on skid on ice? I had a slight skid on ice in my actual truck, and it didn't seem the same to me as the Sim.

Simulators really aren't designed to learn how to handle the truck itself. They work best for teaching things like defensive driving techniques, shift patterns, techniques for descending mountains, strategies for approaching intersections, and things of that nature. They're not going to excel at things like handling skids, stab braking, tire blowouts, and icy roads.

Posted:  6 days, 1 hour ago

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Prime Inc TNT students will see increased mileage requirements in training

Brett, you say freight is slow, I say freight is slow, everybody says freight is slow and right now I'm waiting for a load, so why why is it that every time I hit an OC, yesterday for one, I see full classes of trainees. The OC I stopped in also had rows upon rows of brand new trucks with the plastic on the seats as well. What do they know that no one else seems to know?

There are always fluctuations in freight that are impossible to predict. Unfortunately all anyone can do is try to react to the current trend and make some guesses as to where things are going next. It's like the stock market - the only thing that's certain is the past, and past performance is not indicative of future performance.

So for starters, what happens next is anyone's guess.

On top of that, it takes time to set plans in motion for a big company. They often purchase trucks many months in advance of their actual arrival, and they set up students for class several weeks or even months ahead of time. So they're not able to react real quickly to changes in the marketplace.

Not only that, but the large companies can flip switches to change the amount of freight they have fairly quickly. If they need more freight to keep their trucks rollin they can always find it, but it might not pay very well. If they're decreasing their fleet size they can increase their freight rates a little bit and still keep the trucks rolling.

So it's a constant game of looking at the recent trends and trying to predict where things are going over the next few months to a year. Ultimately there's no way to know, so sometimes they get surprised. They wind up with too little freight or too much freight, too few trucks or too many trucks, too few students or too many students. It's a moving target. They're always trying to match up their truck inventory and the number of drivers they have with the amount of available freight that pays enough to be worthwhile.

Posted:  6 days, 4 hours ago

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Prime Inc TNT students will see increased mileage requirements in training

Yeah but Brett, there are so many gadgets, apps, macros, sensors, and procedures to learn now. It isnt just about handling the truck or flicking the reefer on and set the temps, it has like 30 different settings and understanding the alarms and messages it sends to the QC can kill or save a career. the new trucks are the same way. Mine is so advanced i have roll over airbags, so even understanding how the seat works can save your life. Having seat covers or objects blocking the seats could harm you. Our QC systems has had 3 updates in the last year and it sucks. Each update reacts differently.

Interestingly enough you don't even need to be in a truck to learn most of that. You can learn about the reefer codes, macros, seats, and sensors from computer based training or simulator training. In fact, I would say those would be the better ways to learn that kind of stuff. You only need to be in the truck if you're learning how to handle the truck or dealing with circumstances on the road like parking and fueling.

Posted:  6 days, 16 hours ago

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One more thread on losing weight.

Brett you're not at my age yet.

I'll be 48 in a few months. It's not like I'm 16 years old. Age has nothing to do with any of this.

baby steps are better than no steps

No, they're really not. Walking on flat ground does absolutely zero for you. It helps you feel better mentally because you're convincing yourself it's helping, but in reality it does absolutely nothing whatsoever. Now walk up and down some hills so you're getting your heart rate up and now you're doing something! That's where it's at. If you're not getting your heart rate up you're doing no good whatsoever. Don't convince yourself otherwise.

I'm never going to run a 5k.

Why not? You could easily run a 5k. You could easily run a 10k for that matter. Heck, here's a quote from CBS about the oldest marathon runners:

Marathons are for young runners, right? Don't tell that to all the seniors who ran the forty-second annual New York City Marathon on Nov. 6. This year a whopping 88 runners age 75 or older set out to compete, including 78-year-old Ginette Bedard of New York City (shown here), who finished with a time of 04:33:42.

I can't even come close to running that kind of time yet and she's exactly 30 years older than me and I train 6 days a week.

  • Never put limits on what you can accomplish
  • Don't kid yourself into believing things that simply are not true
  • Challenge yourself in a big way.

If people don't think your dreams are beyond hope then you're not dreaming big enough. When you tell someone what you're going to accomplish and they laugh out loud at you then you know you have a worthy dream to shoot for.

Posted:  6 days, 16 hours ago

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One more thread on losing weight.

Anybody have any comments on if they think the 8/16 is a good idea?

I don't think it's a bad idea but I don't think it's important, either. The two best times to eat are:

1) Just before bed - this helps you sleep well and allows your body to focus on digestion. Ever notice you get real tired after eating a lot? That's because your body is telling you it would like you to rest so it can focus on digestion. Ever try to sleep on an empty stomach? You'll lay there staring at the ceiling for two hours.

2) Immediately after exercise - this is when your body goes into recovery mode and can best utilize the nutrients

Otherwise it doesn't matter too much. Once your body adapts to burning fats you'll find you can go very long periods of time without eating and it won't bother you at all.

I do all of my long runs and big hill climbs in the morning in a fasted state. I never eat before doing aerobic exercise, which is lower heart rate stuff. If I'm going to do strength training I'll eat some carbs about an hour before the workout to fuel that type of workout. I'll usually eat a Clif bar for that.

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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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