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, 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 6

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Posted:  5 hours, 22 minutes ago

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Released from Schneider Program / Job due to poor backing

Marc, you're the one that said you're not giving up your license or endorsements. Have any companies asked you to do that?

Posted:  13 hours, 7 minutes ago

View Topic:

Released from Schneider Program / Job due to poor backing

And Brett, I understand what you are saying in your comment, but it comes across as kicking a man when he's down. Sometimes you are too harsh. I think criticism has it's value, but not the right timing. I know I'm going to catch hell for what I just said.

Bruce, when a man is down would it serve him best to pity him, or to offer help?

Our job here at Trucking Truth is to coach people, and we do what we do because we care.

You're offering your condolences because it makes you feel good, it makes you look good, and because you don't know enough about trucking to actually help Marc with his career. I offer my help because I care about Marc becoming successful and I have the knowledge and experience that can help him accomplish his goals.

I'm not here to look good or to feel good or to make friends, though all of those things would be nice. The reason I'm here is to help people get better and find success in their trucking career. Someone who truly cares about helping another human being will do so any way they can, especially when it's hard or requires them to do something that isn't popular.

I was listening to a coaching session earlier today. The coach said to the client, "Listen, I care about you, but I'm not here to be your friend. You already have friends. I'm here to help you get better any way I can, and sometimes that means making you face uncomfortable truths about yourself."

If you listen to speeches given by successful people, they always thank the people who demanded the most of them, who didn't let them settle for less than they were capable of, and made them face the truth especially when they didn't want to. No one ever thanks anyone for their pity. We give people what they need to be successful, and pity isn't on that list.

Posted:  19 hours, 38 minutes ago

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Irritating weekend.

I was always under the impression calling customers was frowned upon although from now on I will probably start calling if it could benefit me.

It's not frowned upon at all. I've always encouraged people to call customers, and your situation is a good example of why. There are a lot of reasons though - getting better directions, moving appointment times forward, alerting them you're on your way so they can prepare, find out about unexpected delays, etc. It can always benefit you to call the customers. Most of the time you couldn't have known what the benefits might have been without calling.

This is why I dislike dealing with the weekend crew!

No one likes dealing with the weekend crew. It's something you should try to avoid at all costs. Getting set up for the weekend by your main dispatcher is a very important strategy for turning maximum miles. Once you're in the hands of the weekend crew, your weekend is usually shot.

Posted:  19 hours, 47 minutes ago

View Topic:

Thinking About Leaving Schneider

Jamie, it's hard to advise you because you contradict yourself sometimes and you don't seem to have a clear vision of what you want.

When you first joined this local account you said it was because you wanted to be home with your family more often. Now you're saying you want to return to OTR and that the time away from home wasn't a problem.

You said you would make double what you were making running OTR, and we called BS on that. Then you rescinded that statement but said you would make way more on this local account than you did OTR. Now you want to return to OTR where apparently you made less money and had less home time with your family? So you want to make less and be home less often?

You've spent a lot of time talking about how difficult certain items are to strap down and that you don't want to take the risk of something falling off the truck. But then you say that's not the reason you want to change jobs; that you simply want to return to OTR. You have the option of OTR with Schneider running dry van or tanker, and you say tanker sounds interesting too, but you're not sure if you want to do that.

Are you after the best pay?

Do you want to be home more often or not?

Do you like pulling a flatbed, but only if the loads are easy to secure?

You're all over the place. You clearly don't know what you want. I'm not sure how we can help you when you have no clear vision of what you're looking for.

Posted:  1 day, 9 hours ago

View Topic:

Irritating weekend.

Michael, I've always been a big fan of calling customers. You'll often find out something important about the directions getting in there, but it obviously would've helped prevent a lot of running around chasing your tail in both situations. Call the customer to verify the directions, the load information, and move appointment times ahead if possible.

Being proactive as a driver is a critical component to turning a lot of miles out there. Don't rely blindly on the information you get on the Qualcomm. Verify it. Finally, don't sit back and wait for dispatch and customer service to handle things for you if you can do something about it yourself.

Driving a truck is often like running a small business. You're managing a lot of things at once out there. Gather all the information you can, verify everything you're told, and manage that truck like it's your own.

Posted:  2 days, 23 hours ago

View Topic:

Took off with the wrong load today!

In turn they loaded smithfield foods in WI. Instead of Smithfield in OH. I didnt double check it as I seen the P.O. matched and so did the receiver name.
Glad you weren't, "That Guy"!

Wait a minute. He saw the receiver's name, but didn't see the address on the bills? It's hard not to give him a "come on, man" for not checking the address on the bills.

We need "come on, man" emojis.

smile.gif

Posted:  3 days, 6 hours ago

View Topic:

Released from Schneider Program / Job due to poor backing

I have an application on 10 Street (another "blast" site) which I can and will update first as it is quicker and easier for me.

Our application literally takes one minute to fill out........that's if you take your time and do it slowly. But hey, I'm sure you have your reasons. You always do.

Ya know, Marc, you seem to be a nice guy, but you always think you have a better plan than we suggest. Your entire attempt at a career in trucking has been a complete fiasco because you've ignored every suggestion we've ever given you. Every single one.

  • We told you to go through paid training, you went through private school.
  • We told you JB Hunt wouldn't be very tolerant and that they weren't hiring you because they thought you were something special, and you were fired.
  • Even this very day we've all suggested you fill out our form but yet again you have a better plan because somehow you literally don't have a minute to spare.

Seriously, do you ever do as anyone suggests or do you always think you have a better plan? For God's sake take someone's advice once in a while. Good grief. I can't imagine you've been any different in your dealings with JB Hunt, Schneider, and the school you went to. You should really rethink your approach.

Posted:  3 days, 10 hours ago

View Topic:

Released from Schneider Program / Job due to poor backing

Wow, this has been rough, although there are people here on our website that had an even tougher go of it at the beginning of their careers. They persevered, you must do the same.

Heck, PackRat had to get a new heart....literally....and he's still out there! How's that for perseverance?

Unfortunately, it will be increasingly difficult to find new opportunities. Some companies will look at your circumstances and decide you're too risky at this point. If you hear "no" a few times, don't let it discourage you. It only takes one opportunity and you're on your way. You'll get another shot.

Posted:  3 days, 11 hours ago

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Petit Theft Charge Will I still get hired?

I have racked my brain and do not remember anything like this occurring

That also makes no sense. If you stole from a sporting goods store, you would know it. If you didn't steal from a sporting goods store, you would know it. No one will buy the "I can't remember that" defense with regard to committing a crime.

Posted:  3 days, 19 hours ago

View Topic:

Any good,reasonable CDL schools in South Florida?

Starting over and giving this a second try, assuming technology and my maturity will make it easier.

When does that maturity kick in? We'd welcome that.

There are certain traits that highly successful people have when learning something new:

  • Humble
  • Respectful
  • Good Listeners
  • Always Learning
  • Eager To Prove Themselves
  • Highly Motivated
  • Fiercely Determined
  • Appreciative Of Their Mentors

Posted:  6 days, 14 hours ago

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One month experience! Am I in the wrong place?

I have to agree, most of those numbers were bogus.

It does sound like you're on one of the dollar store accounts, and we have always recommended that rookies stay away from those accounts because of the difficult backing and navigation. You should switch to an OTR if they'll allow it.

Posted:  1 week ago

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Now they're talking about "smart" trailers

Whatever happened to the promise that everything would have an RFID tag on it and I could push my entire shopping cart full of groceries through the scanner at one time? They promised that like 20 years ago. My grocery folks still have to scan barcodes. That's so 1970's...literally! They introduced barcodes in 1974.

There ya go, Jan. Answer that one for us. And let all the grocery stores know they're getting left behind, would ya?

Posted:  1 week ago

View Topic:

Now they're talking about "smart" trailers

Whatever happened to the promise that everything would have an RFID tag on it and I could push my entire shopping cart full of groceries through the scanner at one time? They promised that like 20 years ago. My grocery folks still have to scan barcodes. That's so 1970's...literally! They introduced barcodes in 1974.

Posted:  1 week ago

View Topic:

Now they're talking about "smart" trailers

We have talked about the backup camera issue a few times, and it's an interesting topic. I've never heard of a single company that has used them. Has anyone else?

Backing accidents are by far the most common accidents, but it's rarely because the driver didn't know about something that was behind the truck. It's normally because there are so many areas that can come in contact with something while you're backing up on an angle. All four corners of the trailer, the drive tires, and the front corners of the tractor can all come in contact with something when you're not backing up in a straight line, which is most of the time. It's in those cases that getting fixated on the camera screen would cause the most problems.

So I think having backup cameras on the back of the trailer would be a distraction that would cause more accidents than it solves. If anyone had concluded that the benefits of the system might be worth it you would see at least a few companies using them. I'm not aware of anyone that's using them.

I have seen the newer version of the cameras on 4-wheelers that show a 360-degree view from above the vehicle. It would take a rather large array of cameras to produce that view on a big rig, but it would make it seem like you were backing up a big rig on a video game, which is pretty cool but not necessarily safer. It might make for a good teaching aid, though, in helping the student see the big picture of how the angles change in relation to each other.

As far as sleep apnea goes, you may have to be tested for it. That will vary from company to company. Each company makes its own decisions on the matter.

Posted:  1 week ago

View Topic:

New Ride

That's awesome. It sounds like a pretty sweet gig!

Posted:  1 week ago

View Topic:

Got 2 tickets.

I think you'll be able to work it out. Susan is right; get a lawyer and fight it. Your buddy should pay for the lawyer since he got you into this mess. You stand to lose a ton of money if you have trouble finding work because of this, so fight it and see if you can get it reduced or thrown out.

One concern trucking companies will have is regarding personal responsibility. The driver is responsible for the vehicle they're driving. It's up to you to do a proper pre-trip inspection for safety and to make sure the registration is valid on the tractor and the trailer. However, there's no way for you to know if the insurance is valid on a vehicle without making some phone calls, which they wouldn't have expected you to do. The registration sticker is right on the vehicle, so that's plain to see, but I'm sure it wouldn't have crossed your mind to make sure it's valid under the circumstances.

I think you'll be fine. You may find that some companies won't hire you because of it, but others certainly will. Get a lawyer and fight it. Hopefully, they can work out an agreement with the prosecutor so your career won't be in jeopardy. Under the circumstances, it seems forgivable.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

View Topic:

Company Recommendations In South Florida?

You can enter your zip code on this page and get job listings for your area:

truck driving jobs

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

View Topic:

Trucking as a new career.

Welcome Bernard!

Will trucking companies allow me to bring my dog with me to my OTR trips?

Yes, most companies will allow the dog, but not all. You'll have to discuss that with each company you consider.

she never saw more than $400 weekly as a trucker for swift and Werner

Bernard, one of the big problems people face when they're considering a new career, is finding good advice. That is why this website exists. There is an appalling amount of misinformation out there about trucking, and most of it comes from people who either don't have what it takes or aren't willing to do what it takes to thrive in this industry. Those types often believe that someone else or something in their environment is responsible for their poor performance or their subpar results. They never shoulder the responsibility for the outcome of their endeavors. They blame, complain, and criticize constantly. If they had taken responsibility for their own success they would have improved their skill set and found the motivation to perform at a high level.

Never take advice from someone that hasn't had a sustained level of success in their career field, nor from someone who didn't enjoy their work. If you want to be happy and successful, you need advice from someone who has found it themselves.

Here is a podcast I did about this topic:

Episode 19: You're Getting Career Advice From The Wrong People

Notice your friend even changed companies and still couldn't find success. Those are both elite companies, two of the largest and most successful in the nation. Doesn't it stand to reason that both companies had all of the tools necessary to turn big miles, make great money, and enjoy your career? Of course they did. Yet your friend couldn't manage to make it happen, even with the right tools and as part of a highly successful team.

Nowadays the average first-year driver makes around $45,000, with some making as much as $55,000. We have quite a number of drivers with a few years of experience that are in the range of $70,000 - $80,000. You can make fantastic money in this career, but it's a performance-based career and a lot of people fall way short of that mark. If you learn your trade and you're highly ambitious you'll be at the top of the pay scale. If you're unable or unwilling to perform at a high level you'll never make top money no matter where you work.

Go through our truck driver's career guide. That's a great place to start if you want to understand this career.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

View Topic:

Trucking days for new driver

Rates are so low companies are closing left and right.

That's partly because when rates were higher everyone thought it was a great time to buy a truck.

When Is The Right Time To Become An Owner Operator Or Lease A Truck? Never.

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Realistic beginner driver pay for regional drivers

No offense, but is there anyone else out there that can back up what G-town is saying (someone that isn’t a moderator, recruiter or looking for a referral bonus)?

John, I'm guessing you're pretty young - like 20's or early 30's. Am I right? I say that because insulting experienced professionals who are volunteering their time to help you with your career isn't too savvy, to put it mildly. Not to mention, saying "No offense, but" means you knew it was offensive, and you said it anyway. It was only the second comment you've ever made here. The people helping you have been here for many, many years.

That's not too bright.

Being successful in life means doing a lot of things well. Deciding to insult the boss or your mentors is a terrible first impression. Try not to do that.

In a few weeks, I will attend a conference at the Small Business Development Center, which is an organization of highly experienced and successful business professionals who volunteer their time and resources to help small business owners succeed. Do you know what I won't do during the question-and-answer phase of the conference? You guessed it - I won't publicly question the integrity of the highly experienced professionals donating their time to help me succeed.

I also have a professional fitness coach who was a World Cup athlete and has coached World Cup and Olympic athletes for years. Do you know what I don't do? aaaaah.....I'll bet you already know without me saying it. That's fantastic.

smile.gif

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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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