Profile For Brett Aquila

Brett Aquila's Info

  • Location:
    Keeseville, NY

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:
    Brett Aquila On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    16 years, 7 months ago

Brett Aquila's Bio

Hey Everyone! I'm the owner and founder of TruckingTruth and a 15 year trucking veteran.

Brett Aquila's Photo Gallery Group 1 of 7

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Posted:  5 days, 23 hours ago

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I thought I would approve this message to see if we can get a conversation going. Doesn't matter what company we're talking about. Hopefully, there's a learning opportunity here.

Posted:  6 days, 3 hours ago

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Prioritizing - Or Risk Versus Reward

Great post, Old School!

I lost the entire tread from a recapped tire one time. The entire contact surface was the steel belt. The tire still held air, and I was an hour from the delivery and had little time to spare, so I drove the rest of the way on it. When I got there, the drive had polished the steel belt as shiny as chrome, but the tire still held air, and I made the appointment on time.

Sometimes ya gotta do whatcha gotta do.

When I hear stories like Old School just told, I'm always reminded of the best filter I have for examining my own thoughts and actions: the word 'helpful.'

Is what I'm thinking even helpful in any way? Are the things I'm saying helpful in this situation?

Simplest word, yet the effects are profound when you use it to examine your own thoughts and actions.

If it isn't helpful, don't do it. When we get emotional, we often say and do things that simply don't help the situation.

Think things through and be especially mindful of unintended consequences.

Posted:  2 weeks, 6 days ago

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Observation on the Hazmat practice test

I'm really not sure why I bother trying to help out anymore.....or you get called lazy.

How would you describe the efforts you made to pass this exam? You sat around thumbing through some practice questions. Do you call that a genuine effort? You didn't even bother to read the materials! I wouldn't call that much of an effort at all, but maybe you don't have my work ethic.

You should have signed into the High Road and read the materials. The program would have given you all 75 questions, along with an extra review of the questions you needed help with. If you had prepared properly, you would have flown through that exam in the blink of an eye.

You also said, "it seems to have the same few softball questions over and over."

Would you call 75 questions "the same few" ??? I wouldn't.

Would you call that assessment helpful and accurate? I wouldn't.

You took the lazy approach to testing, you almost failed, and then you blamed our training program for only having "a few questions" repeated over and over, which isn't even close to the truth.

Next time, put in a serious effort by using our materials the right way and then assess the tools we provide accurately. Now that would be helpful.

Posted:  3 weeks ago

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Observation on the Hazmat practice test

I used the practice tests here multiple times and it seems to have the same few softball questions over and over

We have 75 questions in the Hazmat section. It chooses 10 at a time randomly.

Plus it only does 10 questions at a time.

I'm not sure if that's a bad thing?

Not sure about other states but here in IL the test is 30 questions. The test covered far more in depth and detailed questions then I went through on the practice tests. Especially, nuclear, ( which always trips me up) 1.1 explosives, and a couple other random marking laws I never have to deal with.

Might be something worth looking into.

Bobcat, you've been here waaaay too long to shortcut the process and try to learn what you need to know from practice tests alone. You must use the High Road CDL Training Program and read the materials and answer the questions.

I'd say out of the 30 questions on the test probably only 7ish were like the ones here on the practice test. A few more were similar but worded different.

I would love it if the DMV would send me the actual test so I can use their exact questions in our programs, but for some reason they won't.

They are saying that the High Road Training Program is in adequate when it comes to Hazmat testing in certain states.

They didn't use the High Road. I checked for their scores and they didn't have any. They wanted to cut corners and hoped a few minutes running through some practice questions was enough preparation for a professional Hazmat driver. Turns out it wasn't.

Come on, guys. Please don't be lazy about it and then get on here trying to blame our materials. We have by far the best CDL test prep materials anywhere, but you have to use them properly.

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

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But human nature should be to help each other out, and I'm not going to stop doing that, even if it offends some people.

I agree. And I have to say, if the worst thing that happened in a person's day is that someone tried to help them out, even if the person's intentions were not purely innocent, they've had a really good day with plenty to be happy about.

I'm a rock climber, and female rock climbers do the same thing. If you *dare* try to help them or even ask if everything is going well, they'll get furious with you for mansplaining and talking down to them, and they will immediately take to social media to shame you and complain. Of course, if you dare *not* help when they need it........

We live in a world where people have been programmed to be offended by everything. That is by design, and unfortunately, it's working. Many people look for reasons to be offended all the time. It makes interacting with these people in a positive way nearly impossible.

My entire life growing up my mom would say, "Treat women like a princess and put them on a pedastal." That's how I was raised. My father was the perfect gentleman. I'm old school when it comes to being a gentleman.

NaeNaeInNC, I'm should a man approach you if he's just looking for friendly conversation? Or maybe that's not possible? I'm asking because I'm the type that will just talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime. I'm just the friendly, talkative type. It would never cross my mind that someone might be offended by an attempt at friendly conversation and a helping hand.

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

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Nobody will hire me after termination. Should I give up on trucking?

I know this conversation has grown quiet, but I was thinking about this yesterday and didn't have a chance to respond.

DevilDogTrucker163 said this:

I explained to the supervisor what had happened, apologized, accepted responsibility for it, and said it would not happen again. He said that wasn’t a good enough excuse, started to scold me, belittle me, said I didn’t take the company and the job seriously, and accuse me of lacking integrity. I told him I didn’t appreciate his tone or accusations, and that if he called me in there with no resolution and just to make me beg for job as he power trips I could just empty out the truck because there was no need for that kind of disrespect. He told me that because of my attitude he was firing me for a company policy violation

New and old drivers alike, I want you to remember something important: You never know when you're being tested.

DevilDogTrucker163, you said you won't let anyone disrespect you. If they do, you'll defend yourself. On the surface, that sounds legit and maybe even hard to argue against. Dig a little deeper, and you can see where that can become a problem if you can't humble yourself at the right time.

For instance, you're driving down the road minding your own business, and a four-wheeler pulls out in front of you. He's in a hurry and says to himself, "I'm not getting stuck behind this truck. He'll just have to slow down as I pull out in front of him. I'll get out of his way soon enough. He can deal with it."

That's dangerous, and it shows a lack of respect for the truck driver and the dangers of heavy trucks.

So now that you've been disrespected, are you going to defend yourself? Maybe you'll tailgate the guy a little to intimidate him? Maybe you'll lie on the horn to tell him you're angry? Regardless, he disrespected you, and now you've disrespected him.

Maybe he retaliates and slams on the brakes, nearly causing an accident as you narrowly avoid plowing into him.

Now you're really steaming mad! This causes an additional problem. When we're angry, we're not thinking clearly. Our decision-making becomes poor. We become emotional, our judgment becomes clouded, and things spiral downward.

Many times, what led to a catastrophic accident was a series of smaller incidents that happened to one driver earlier in the day. He had something little go wrong, and he became frustrated. Then he started making poor decisions, and things became worse. Before you know it, he's having "one of those days" where nothing goes right, he's in a foul mood, and he's quite distracted by the events of the day.

Suddenly, a dangerous situation develops in front of him, but he doesn't recognize it because his mind is on other things. He fails to react properly. An accident happens, and he's involved. He would have avoided it altogether if he wasn't distracted by the frustrations earlier in the day.

The problem we face as drivers is that we're disrespected all the time, even by other professional drivers. If you can't learn to let it go sometimes, you'll spend most of your time frustrated. This becomes distracting and exhausting, both of which are the perfect recipe for disaster.

DevilDogTrucker163, I suspect the supervisor was testing you. He wanted to see if you were one of those hotheads who gets all bent out of shape if you feel you were disrespected or something little doesn't go your way. Those types don't stick around long at the company they work for and they certainly don't keep a stellar safety record for long.

Most of us here are Type A personalities, and we were hotheads when we were young. Keep in mind you're not a lion on the African plains. You won't get eaten by a pack of hyenas if you don't defend yourself against every perceived slight.

You're part of a complex society where emotional intelligence is necessary if you want to maintain relationships and achieve your goals. Defending yourself by going on the attack after every perceived slight is not a smart strategy in our environment. Sometimes it's best to keep quiet and develop a deeper understanding of the situation and its consequences on your future.

You said:

Everyone is telling [me] that because I was fired from my second job I need to do 6 months somewhere else first

In other words, they think you need time to mature, and they want someone else to take the risk of developing you into a safe, professional driver. They'll consider hiring you again once you've matured and you've proven you can be a safe and professional driver over the long run.

Instead of being reactive at the moment, take the time to understand the situation on a deeper level and think through the ramifications of your response. That's one of the defining differences between mature and immature people. An immature person always acts like a lion, no matter the circumstances. A mature person will react like a lion when it's appropriate, but knows when it's the right time to keep quiet and let it go.

Posted:  4 weeks ago

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Turning in my truck and going on FMLA

Best of luck BK!

I've spoken with many, many people who have had knee replacements and I've never heard even a single bad outcome. Everyone was thrilled with the results! I'm sure you will be, too.

Wow, you have to stay with your grandson, who is in college? Yeah, college kids aren't happy about hanging out with us old people, but I'm sure you guys will make the best of it!

Posted:  1 month ago

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Prescription adderall

So, Brett, that is an amazing routine. What would your routine be if you were still doing OTR full time?

It would contain all the same elements, but I'd have to adjust the schedule to fit everything into my day.

I ran a lot when I was on the road, and I had dumbbells with me. I did yoga and meditated, too.

Managing your physical, mental, and emotional energy throughout the day should be a key consideration in a person's routine. You need the right mix of intensity and tranquility in all three areas to be at your best when you need it and to sleep hard when the time comes.

My day alternates between times of intensity and tranquility. I start my day with tranquility, doing yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises. Then, I get mentally intense for a couple of hours doing computer work. I follow that with an hour of physical and mental intensity as I exercise hard while learning something important from an audiobook or a video.

I cap off all that intensity with an ice-cold shower.

So far, I've had plenty of tranquility, followed by plenty of intensity. Now it's time to trade the stock market, which I do for about three hours daily. Although you might think that's intense, I'm attempting to keep it tranquil. I remain calm; I listen to slow jazz, and I breathe slowly to make sure I don't get caught up in any emotions. I want my mind to remain calm and clear for those three hours, so I try to make it a meditative environment.

After all that, I'm ready for a nap.

After the nap, I wake up with some coffee and check on the markets before doing a bout of afternoon exercise. Then, I take time to handle unfinished business and wrap up the workday. That leads to an hour of wine and music, followed by cooking steaks and seafood on the grill.

Alternating between periods of intensity and tranquility is how you manage your mental, physical, and emotional energy. If your schedule changes from day to day, like an OTR driver, it's that much more important to find ways of alternating between intensity and tranquility to maintain peak performance and health.

Eating one meal per day actually keeps my energy high throughout the day. Eating makes you feel heavy and sleepy. If you're getting cravings during the day, it's because you're eating too many carbs and sugars. Proteins and fats don't cause cravings. I don't get hungry throughout the day because my body is primed to get energy from fat, not carbs, and we all have plenty of fat. So eating once a day is key to maintaining my energy levels, along with proper hormone levels, especially insulin.

When you see my routine and understand why I manage my energy the way I do, you might understand why I'm opposed to labeling children as having a disease and drugging them because they can't sit quietly all day long. The real problem, in my experience, is that their energy isn't being managed properly. If we gave them a routine where they could alternate between periods of proper intensity and tranquility, you would find them to be far more manageable. All that's left is to feed them a lot of meat and teach them something they actually care about.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Prescription adderall

As far as that side-discussion on alternate medications, remember that there's a whole range of ADHD severities. As a teacher, I've seen and had to discussions with many students on the severity of their symptoms. For many, it's extremely severe and medication is the only thing that keeps them focused for the day

Right. In other words, to get them to quit behaving like kids and instead sit down, shut up, and do what they're told all day, every day, you have to drug them.

I'm almost 52 years old, and you'd have to drug me, too. I still won't sit down, shut up, and do what I'm told all day long. I would flip out if I didn't get the exercise I needed to manage my energy levels.

Not to mention, the children realize that 95% of the garbage they learn in school is useless. Do teachers think kids don't know this? Who wants to sit still all day and be force-fed useless, uninteresting garbage?

I hated school, even though it was easy and I was at the top of my class. In fact, I was taking a college calculus course when I was 15. But I knew they were just wasting my time. I resented it terribly. I still get angry when I think about all the things I could have done with the first 18 years of my life. Thank God for sports, anyhow! That was the best part!

I thought about this conversation a lot yesterday. I said to my girl, "These people are giving children drugs to keep them quiet and still instead of managing the kid's energy properly. If you exercise hard enough for long enough, you can sit quietly and concentrate for a relatively long period.

Now you might say there are certain exceptions that never seem to run out of energy. Ok, great! Then keep them outside running! That's obviously what they need! They can learn about the ancient Egyptians some other time, like when they're 70, and might be interested in such things.

I just think it's insane they label children as having a disease if they won't sit quietly and learn uninteresting, useless garbage all day long. To this day I will not go along easily if you try to force me to do things against my will, even for a little while. I think about wasting my time at the DMV arguing with people because 23 forms of identification isn't enough, or sitting in a college classroom learning garbage I know has nothing to do with my chosen profession, and it makes me want to take a baseball bat to the entire thing.

If you have to drug someone to get them to go along with your plan, you might consider it's your plan that's the problem, not the person righteously opposed to it.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Are CB radios actually useful in 2023?

It almost seems like it’s become ostracized because it’s “old school” and not digital

Exactly. For fifty years, the U.S. has been infatuated with high-tech stuff, and for good reason. We have invented a ton of amazing stuff!

But it's unwise to think a high-tech solution is always the best. That's rarely the case.

I always shoot for the "simplest effective solution" to any problem. As a computer programmer, that sounds like an odd take, right? Computer programming is one of the most complex things on Earth. That's the most important reason to focus on simplicity. I'm already in a very complex environment that is potentially unstable and insecure. So, I always look for a simple, stable solution to any challenge.

I do that throughout my life.

If you get muscle cramps, try more salt and water.

If you get a cut or blister, try super glue! (Seriously, I've done it for many years!)

If you're struggling with weight or physical health, eliminate sugars and carbs. Eat mostly meat!

You don't need complex, high-tech solutions to everything.

The CB is the simplest, most effective solution to so many challenges. Honestly, it's the only solution for many of them. Nothing else allows you to broadcast and receive messages from everyone in the area all at once, and sometimes that's exactly what is needed.

If the iPhone had been around for 50 years and the CB just came out a few years ago, people would feel differently about it.

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