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, 1 month 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:  11 hours, 42 minutes ago

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Thinking of Packrat...

Unknown at this point, Brett. My goal is before 1 April. I'm ahead of everybody's schedule at this point. "Try to be early..."

Nice! That's not too lengthy of a stay considering the severity of it. I'm sure it feels like a long time though.

"Do I have to go home? I've finally learned to love this place!" said no one ever about a hospital.

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Posted:  12 hours, 45 minutes ago

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Thinking of Packrat...

That's fantastic!

How long do they expect it to be before you go home?

Posted:  12 hours, 50 minutes ago

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Tandem release pins

What often happens is what Errol mentioned - the pins get jammed against the rails. That happens two ways:

1) Applying the brakes hard will jam the pins against the back of the hole

2) Turning the trailer very sharp in a tight circle, like when someone does a tight spin in the parking lot, will twist the tandems and jam the pins on one side of the trailer against the front of the hole, the other side of the trailer against the back of the hole.

If all 4 pins are stuck it's almost certainly because of one of those two circumstances. When they're stuck, take a moment to look at all four pins and you'll normally figure out why they're stuck and you can free them.

If they were stuck from hard braking you can keep the trailer parking brake on, put the tractor in reverse, and push against the tandems to get the pins recentered in the holes.

If you can see one side is stuck against the front of the hole, and one side against the back from a spin, then I would normally keep the trailer brakes on and pull on the tandems, then push on them. Do this a couple of times in each direction and it will get the twist out of it.

In both cases you might have to play around for a couple of minutes. You might jam the pins too hard against the front or the back of the holes, so just keep pushing or pulling on the trailer until you get them centered and the pins will pop out easily.

Posted:  13 hours, 1 minute ago

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Help Me Find The Best Stories From Our Training Diaries

Ok, I've finally gotten caught up. I've made a complete list of these. If you guys know more good ones just keep em comin! This has been fantastic and I really appreciate it.

Big Scott - do you have a link to yours?

It is funny you came up with this Brett, cause I was thinking of doing something similar with the negative ones in order to point out the difference. I can always read the first few posts of a diary and tell from the complaining the person wont last. Just seeing the blaming and lack of commitment.

It is like I want to shake them and say "Wake up!!! You have a great opportunity and you are ruining it!"

If someone can see themselves doing the same, perhaps they can change their attitude before it is too late.

I totally agree. That's the goal here for sure is to teach people lessons the easy way so they don't have to learn them the hard way. We've witness quite a few bad endings, and they are rather predictable.

So yeah, if you know of some cautionary tales, definitely put em here and I'll include them.

Posted:  1 day, 6 hours ago

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Help Me Find The Best Stories From Our Training Diaries

Oh you guys are amazing! Please, keep em coming! I'm definitely going to consolidate these in one place so everyone can find these easily.

Posted:  1 day, 8 hours ago

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Help Me Find The Best Stories From Our Training Diaries

Thanks so much Packrat! I've gotta hand it to ya - I'm amazed you're in here helping out after surgery like that. Astonishing! So great to see that.

Posted:  1 day, 8 hours ago

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Help Me Find The Best Stories From Our Training Diaries

Fantastic start! I really appreciate this.

Rainy, give me a link to yours if you know where it is. I also want to find Old School's and MillionMiler's.

Posted:  1 day, 13 hours ago

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Help Me Find The Best Stories From Our Training Diaries

I need your help!

I'd like you guys to help me find the most compelling, interesting, and inspirational CDL Training Diaries you've followed here on Trucking Truth. I know we have a ton of them. So many people have struggled, endured the hardships, nearly given up hope, and overcome the challenges to get their truck driving career underway and I want to assemble them in one place for everyone to enjoy.

There are three main ways you can identify them:

1) Give me a link to the thread

2) Give me the subject of the thread

3) Give me the topic number from the URL. To get the topic number, just look at any page of the thread and in the address of the page you'll see something like /Topic-4523/ - that number is the topic number.

I'm going to assemble them into stories and probably put them in our blog, or create a new section on the website for them.

Off the top of my head I know Old School, Rainy, and MillionMiler had very compelling stories. I'd like to find those threads. But I know there are many, many more. I'd love to get at least 20 or more stories that you guys really enjoyed following.

Let me know some of your favorites!!!

Thanks!

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Posted:  1 day, 14 hours ago

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How ignorant!

When you hear people throw a fit about trucking companies that use driver facing cameras, these are the guys screaming the loudest. There's a very good reason they don't want those cameras. They know they're doing things they shouldn't be.

Posted:  2 days, 12 hours ago

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Federal taxes and Per Diem 2019

My first year ever living in a state w/ State Income Tax, and hopefully my last.

Don't get too hung up on this. There's a lot to consider. If all other factors were equal then certainly you would prefer a state with no state income tax, but all other things are not equal.

Take my home state of New York, for instance. People complain incessantly about the real estate and income taxes being high in New York. When you compare them to other states, that's true. We're high on the list.

However, our real estate prices in Upstate New York (basically anyplace that isn't New York City) are some of the cheapest in the country. The house I recently sold went for $107,000. It was a 1260 sq ft house with cathedral ceilings, wood stove, stone chimney, two pole barns, and a shed on 3 acres of land about 45 minutes from Buffalo.

As a comparison, a friend of a friend bought a house in Florida that was similar. Florida has no state income tax. His house was almost the exact same size, had one pole barn instead of two, was 45 minutes from Tampa, and had 5 acres of land instead of 3. He paid $700,000 for his house!!!!!

So who do you think made out better, the guy in the high income tax state or the guy in the state with no state income tax?

When evaluating finances, people famously focus on a specific set of numbers while ignoring the rest, giving them a poor view of the big picture, and poor results. If you really want to optimize your finances you have to consider every penny going in or out of your life.

Posted:  3 days, 12 hours ago

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Regrets

The best thing I can do is throw my hat in the ring to say that Old School has already spoken my mind perfectly:

All of us were surprised when you quit abruptly. We supported you, but secretly were disappointed. You hadn't done what we teach all the time - to stick it out for one year. That commitment makes such a difference. It is just that - a commitment. I would always rather see a new driver decide to quit after that trying first year, than immediately following their training time. There is a world of difference in their vantage point and their enjoyment of this career at that point.

One thing we really pride ourselves in here at Trucking Truth is teaching people what they need to know to survive and then thrive in this industry, and the most important lessons we teach have nothing to do with driving the truck. They're about attitude, expectations, and commitment.

It takes a full year in this industry to learn how to handle that rig, develop strong relationships within your company, prove yourself as a driver so you'll get the best opportunities, and adapt to life on the road. You can't possibly know if trucking is right for you until you're capable of doing the job well and you've adapted to it fully in mind, body, and skillset.

My mantra was summed up perfectly in a movie once - your heart is free, have the courage to follow it.

Most people seek security in their lives. In many ways we're taught to do that, mostly by people who never had the courage to pursue adventure or the wisdom that comes from it.

Trucking is an adventure. It takes a lot of courage, ambition, and nerve to pursue this career.

I think the most important decision you have to make is whether you want to pursue adventure or security, and why. Because no matter what path you take you're going to have hard days and the only way to push through and keep up the fight is to know why you're doing it.

You're jumping back and forth between two vastly different careers and lifestyles, so it stands to reason that you don't know what you're pursuing, or why. Until you figure that out you won't know what to do, nor will you have any fulfillment from your life.

Posted:  5 days, 7 hours ago

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NASCAR in Fontana

Hey, on the bright side, tickets are super easy to get now and once you get in you can choose almost any seat you like! You can move around and get all different views! The lines aren't long at the refreshment stands or the bathrooms, and it doesn't take so long to get in and out of the parking lots.

It's never been less of a hassle to be a NASCAR fan.

Good times.

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Posted:  5 days, 7 hours ago

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NASCAR in Fontana

Hey, the cars are still super cool and I love racing! I don't mean to sound like a Debbie Downer but man, I just used to be such a huuuuuge fan and I wish it was like it used to be.

I wish they'd hire me to be the Director of Operations. I'd show em how it's done!

Posted:  5 days, 8 hours ago

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NASCAR in Fontana

I am a dyed in the wool racing fan. Have been since I was about 10 years old. If it goes fast and makes lots of noise, I'm in. Cars, boats, planes. All good in my book.

I always was too. I used to watch NASCAR when it was on Wide World Of Sports in the 70's and they'd only show it a few minutes at a time. Grew up going to the local tracks. Even did a tiny bit of racing myself.

But NASCAR nowadays for me is completely unwatchable. I still love the cars themselves but the racing, the tracks they run, the points garbage, and the boring, generic cookie cutter drivers are unbearable.

I like NHRA a lot better.

I would still watch NASCAR if it was remotely like it used to be back in the day.

Posted:  5 days, 9 hours ago

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NASCAR in Fontana

I was the biggest NASCAR fan years ago. I went to a ton of races, including the '98 Daytona 500 that Earnhardt had won.

Nowadays, NASCAR would make an exceptional case study in how to completely destroy an entertainment brand, or how to watch your own ship sink slowly beneath you.

They asked a driver recently what they need to do to get the fans to come back to the races. He said he wasn't sure. Well that's obvious!

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Posted:  5 days, 11 hours ago

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Pre-Trip Inspection Preparation

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Million Miler, All of your emails arrived. Thank you so much.I will get to work on them this afternoon after work. Thanks to everybody who responded to my post.

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Hopefully it helps. 😜

Why don't you email that guide to me. I'd like to have a look at it, maybe put it up on the website.

Posted:  5 days, 14 hours ago

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Truck comparison

It's interesting, because trucking is a commodity business just like the airlines are. The idea is to move freight or people as inexpensively as possible. One of the most efficient and consistently profitable airlines, Southwest, has nothing but Boeing 737's because they said it limits their parts inventory, makes repairs and maintenance more efficient, and makes it much easier to hire and train mechanics.

It would seem on the surface that you would have the same effect if you did that with trucks - just stick with one manufacturer, one engine type, one transmission type throughout your fleet. I'm sure every trucking company has their reasons for their fleets being structured the way they are, but I strongly suspect most of them are simply taking the best deal they can get at the time they're ready to make a major purchase. They probably see the trucks themselves as commodities also. They all do the job well. It's just a matter of finding the best price you can get on a truck that will work well for you.

Posted:  5 days, 16 hours ago

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Jamie keep me posted on your progress & plans!

Hey, that's super cool that you two were able to meet up! Awesome to see that.

Posted:  5 days, 16 hours ago

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Saw an electric truck yesterday.

That's amazing!

There's a truck stop in Nebraska that has an old pickup truck and an original letter from a guy who bought one way back in the day, like the 1930's or something. It was a letter to the dealership letting them know that he really loved his truck. He said it used to take a team of 3 horses 3 days to take a load of hay to town and now he can do 3 loads a day in his new truck!

It was the first time I had heard a literal comparison of horsepower to truck power.

Posted:  1 week ago

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Federal taxes and Per Diem 2019

Holy crap Rick.......great to see ya!!! Thanks so much for that help and I really hope your health gets stronger. You're always welcome here ya know. We're always happy to see ya.

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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 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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