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:  16 hours, 43 minutes 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:  16 hours, 47 minutes 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:  17 hours, 39 minutes 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:  18 hours, 48 minutes 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:  20 hours, 54 minutes 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:  23 hours, 35 minutes 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:  1 day, 1 hour 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:  1 day, 1 hour 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:  2 days, 16 hours 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.

Posted:  2 days, 17 hours ago

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Thinking of Packrat...

All the best man! Be strong!

Posted:  2 days, 23 hours ago

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Automation and the future of trucking

what would you say the odds are of me needing a career change because of automation in the 10-20 year time frame if I get started with company sponsored training in the next few months?

I say the chances of autonomous truck having an impact on drivers are somewhere between 0% and not a chance in hell, whichever sounds smaller.

I wrote this article about it:

Self Driving Trucks Are Not Coming Anytime Soon

The hype is just that - hype. It's all about Universities trying to raise research funds and tech start-ups looking for funding while they develop software in hopes of a gigantic payday if they get bought out by one of the major truck or auto manufacturers.

If the powers that run the world wanted to do something about moving freight faster and cheaper they would. There's a million things they could do that would work perfectly fine. They could raise the weight and length limits of trucks or build dedicated high speed freight lanes, high speed railways, autonomous truck lanes, and a million other things. The least logical way to do this would be to try to get software to operate tractor trailers on today's existing infrastructure.

I write software myself and I can tell you it's nearly impossible to make this work the way they're talking about doing it. It's a joke, to be honest.

I've always been a science and technology guy and one thing I've learned over the years is that science isn't nearly as advanced as they would like us to believe. Sure, we've done some pretty awesome stuff in some areas. But airplanes are still basically flying buses, I'm still driving a gas burning V8, we're still mowing our own lawns and vacuuming our own carpets, nutrition and exercise information is continuously being overhauled, weather forecasting is embarrassing most of the time, and the iPhone was the last major advancement in personal technology and there has been very little innovation even in those in the past 12 years.

Where are the flying cars? Why aren't robots vacuuming my carpet? Why aren't movies immersive 3D Holograms? Why hasn't virtual reality taken over our lives, or at least the video game arena? Why are computers still comprised of silicon chips running binary code? Why are we all still dying of the same diseases we were 75 years ago?

If you study science over the past 100 years you'll see that very few of the technologies that seemed to be utter certainties on the brink of taking over our lives have ever even managed to become mainstream, or even be invented at all. Let's first see if they can manage to write software capable of safely and effectively mowing our lawns while the children and the dog are playing nearby. Then maybe they can hope to someday write software that operates a tractor trailer on crowded highways full of innocent families.

Posted:  4 days, 22 hours ago

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Final Recap and Impressions of Roehl and Their Get Your CDL Program

I'm going to chime in here too because not only has Professor X gone against everything we teach and put himself in a terrible position, but his accusations of the company are an attempt to deflect the attention away from his own failed obligations and ruthless scheme.

So the truth has to be brought to light.

First of all, it was obvious to us that you would wind up in a mess of your own doing. How did we know? Because you have "smartest guy in the room" syndrome. You definitely think you're a lot more clever than you are. One of the biggest reasons that new drivers fail to make headway early in their career is because they think they know more than they do. They take the little sliver of knowledge they have, they make the mistake of thinking they know all they need to know, and then make decisions that go against the advice they've been given by highly experienced, successful professionals.

You've done exactly that. You think you're clever enough to game the system. You're trying to take advantage of the company that took a chance on you, drop them like a hot potato, and take your newfound skills and career down the road to a competitor. Well now that it's too late I'm going to clue you in on the precarious position you've unintentionally put yourself in.

Let's start with that big, fat bonus you're counting on. Now I haven't looked into it, but I'm going to guess that they didn't pay you that bonus up front, did they? They're going to divide it up over a period of time, probably somewhere between 6 months and one year.

Why are they doing this?

Because they're going to wait and see if you're worth all of that extra money or not. It hasn't cost them anything to steal you away from a competitor. They weren't the ones who invested in training you for this career. They let a competitor do that, and now they're going to take advantage of the situation. Pretty ruthless, right? Which works for you because you're just as ruthless. You've taken advantage of Roehl's paid training program and now you're turning your back on them in hopes to better your own situation, a situation you wouldn't be in if it wasn't for Roehl in the first place.

But here's the kicker. Just before it's time to start paying on the bonus JB Hunt will have the opportunity to be ruthless to you, also. They're going to evaluate your performance and ask themselves, "Is this guy worth paying out this big bonus, or should we get rid of him and give the next guy a shot?"

So in a big way that potential bonus is going to work against you. If you don't perform exceptionally well it's not worth keeping you. If they were ruthless toward Roehl they'll be ruthless to you, too.

You've heard the expression, "Honor amongst thieves" - well you're about to get a good lesson on it. You're both thieves that have taken advantage of Roehl and now you're going to find out just how ruthless they might be if they turn the tables and take advantage of a few months of cheap labor before cutting you loose.

So go ahead and make one tiny mistake before that bonus is due and see what happens. Get in one tiny little incident like backing into someone's mirror, and watch how quickly you're on a bus home without a job. If that happens, and believe me it happens all the time, then what kind of a position are you going to be in?

Well, you quit your first company right away and broke the contract, demonstrating that you're willing to take advantage of someone if the chance arises and you don't honor your obligations. Then you went to your second company and got fired right away for a safety violation.

So who do you think is going to be the third fool in line to sign you up?

You're going to hear nothing but crickets chirping when you start filling out applications.

Unfortunately you're still going to owe Roehl all of that money for training, even though you're unable to find a job.

Not to mention all of the other calculations you've failed to make. For instance, JB Hunt pays more per mile but are you going to get as many miles with a company that mostly focuses on short shuttle runs? Nope. So are you going to make more in the end at JB? Not likely.

You're also starting again at the bottom with a new company which means you're not going to get the freight you would've gotten at Roehl. That's going to cost you even more money.

So now your career is in a very precarious position.

  • You've ruined your reputation by failing to meet contractual obligations and jumping ship right away
  • You have a big bonus hanging over your head that you have to try to prove you're worth or you'll be on a bus home
  • You're in debt to your first company
  • You're going to have a very negative DAC report when Roehl reports every negative detail about you
  • You're starting over again at the bottom and have to prove yourself to a new company
  • You're no longer working for a company with a vested interest in keeping you, but instead you're with a company that has a vested interest in letting you go in a few months

Let me explain that last one. In order to recoup the investment Roehl made in you they had to do everything possible to make sure you stayed with the company and went on to be successful. Financially they would gain by keeping you and making sure you succeed.

JB Hunt will now owe you a bunch of extra money if they keep you for the long term. However, they can get some cheap work out of you for a few months and save themselves that bonus money by letting you go. Financially they would gain by getting rid of you in a few months and letting you fail.

I'm pretty sure that last point never crossed your mind until right now, and if you understand what I'm saying you're thinking, "OMG what have I done????" Because that's what anyone would be asking - what the hell were you thinking?

The answer to that is easy. You were thinking you were the smartest guy in the room. You thought you could ignore the advice of long time industry professionals and take advantage of two of the largest, most successful, and most savvy companies in the industry. Well you're about to find out the hard way who the smartest guy in the room really is. We already know the answer to that, and I suspect even someone with your limited capacity can now see how this mess is going to end.

Posted:  5 days, 11 hours ago

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Wasted Day

Jamie, you're doing the right thing by bringing these situations here and letting us help you work through them with your company. Hang in there, and don't get discouraged!!! This stuff is totally normal.

What you're going through now is the exact same thing that every new driver goes through in the beginning. It's easy to see why the Web is overloaded with thousands and thousands of videos and forum posts from brand new drivers saying, "I quit my job because this company sucks!!!"

Yet you come here and you find that all of our experienced drivers are thrilled to death with their companies and they're not having nearly as many problems as new drivers seem to have.

Trust me, you're going to work through this kind of stuff and before long you'll have a better understanding of your company and the industry. You'll form great relationships with the people at your company and you'll be getting huge miles and all sorts of special favors, just like the experienced drivers here are getting.

Stay the course and stay positive. Being new to anything is always a bumpy road and a clumsy process in the beginning. This is the point where people who are not committed to success quit their job and start making "my company sucks" videos. If you'll stick with it and keep working through it one day at a time you'll come out on top and you'll have it made.

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Posted:  5 days, 22 hours ago

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Still hanging in there

Glad to hear things are going well for ya and I'm really glad you hung in there with Western Express. So many people in this industry quit their job and switch companies instead of working through issues that come up. You'll never get anywhere that way.

The drivers who make the most money, drive the nicest equipment, and get those special opportunities within a company are the drivers that have been there for a while and have performed consistently at the highest level.

Stay focused on learning your trade and keep working on developing strong relationships within the company. That's going to put you in the strongest position possible.

Posted:  5 days, 22 hours ago

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The photo and opportunity that took almost 7 years to achieve!

Fantastic! That's awesome. Great photo, too.

Posted:  5 days, 22 hours ago

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So I just had a guy next to me knock on my door. Period.

Hey, the guy parked next to you, realized you had a reefer running so he asked if you needed it on, you said yes so he moved. Sounds reasonable to me.

I have to say, it doesn't sound reasonable to me. Does this guy really go knocking on people's doors all the time asking them to shut their reefer unit off? He's concerned about losing sleep so he goes around waking people up to ask them if they can turn their unit off to help him sleep better?

And who would run a reefer if they didn't have to? You don't just run it for no reason.

This has to be a new driver. First of all, an experienced driver knows that if you go knocking on a bunch of doors waking people up you're going to do that to the wrong person at some point and it's going to end badly for you. Secondly, almost anyone with experience can sleep just fine with engines running and wouldn't worry about it.

All I can say is if the sounds of Diesel engines running bothers you.... time to pick a different career.

Exactly.

Posted:  5 days, 22 hours ago

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Hourly Pay vs Mileage Pay

Conditions on the home front may warrant how and what you do for a living.

Yeah, I think it mainly comes down to two things in the local vs OTR choice:

1) Some people want to be home with family as much as possible, while others don't

2) Some people prefer a comfortable, predictable routine while others prefer every day to be unique

One thing that always surprises me about hourly vs mileage pay is how many people can't get past the mentality of being paid by the hour and change their focus to getting paid for the amount of work they do. In the end your assessment of the job should be the same; how much work did I do and what did it pay? Was it worth it or not? Simple as that. It shouldn't matter if they pay you by the hour, by the mile, or by any other measure. Is the work you've done worth the pay you were given? That's what matters. But this inability to change the way you approach your job has also driven some people away from regional or OTR work and over to local jobs simply because they preferred to be paid by the hour.

This is one area where people who have owned or managed businesses really shine because they're used to thinking in terms of being productive as opposed to just putting in time. I think athletes understand this a little better also because they're used to being rewarded for their performance, not their time.

Posted:  1 week ago

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Manual or Automatic?

Never heard it before...

I never did either, and to be honest it would be better if you would use the word "automatic" or "auto shift" so people can find these conversations in searches.

Posted:  1 week ago

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Hourly Pay vs Mileage Pay

cause I never ran myself out of hours...

I have to say, I don't think anyone here, myself included, understands your fascination with limiting your hours so you can drive every single day. I'm not sure why you would want to do that. What is that accomplishing for you?

No one turned more miles than I did throughout my career, so you're certainly not doing that. And no one had more fun than I did over the years in Vegas, New Orleans, Seattle, Atlanta, and all the fun places I knew people or had favorite hangouts. So you're certainly not doing that.

I would much rather run as hard as I could when the miles were there and if I ran myself out of hours then great! I get to take some time off and go have some fun. Heck, we didn't even have 34 hour resets throughout most of my career. I might have turned even more miles if I could've done that.

Not to mention, I've probably hauled 500 loads over the years that required you to run a hell of a lot more than 8 or 9 hours a day to make the delivery on time. Heck, I literally drove that much by noon much of the time. I wouldn't have had the opportunity to run the loads I ran if I had refused to run the way I did.

So if you're not turning more miles, making more money, getting access to special loads, or having more fun than I was when I ran hard and took some days off along the way then what exactly are you accomplishing with your system? I just don't get it.

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Posted:  1 week ago

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How long has it been since you updated your location?

It showed you in Kansas last week!

Good grief! I use AT&T to connect to the Web most of the time. I have no clue why it keeps moving my location around like that.

May have doing some more rock climbing?

Actually I'll be heading to Banff, Alberta, Canada to the Canadian Rockies to do some ice climbing from March 29th to April 7th. So if my location shows Banff, Canada then you'll know why.

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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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