Profile For Brett Aquila

Brett Aquila's Info

  • Location:
    Plattsburgh, NY

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:
    Brett Aquila On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    11 years, 8 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:  9 hours, 29 minutes ago

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A strong case for much better needed trucker security and the laxing of gun laws nationwide.

No, security is a matter that needs to be addressed. I feel people in the transportation industry are more often targeted for crimes save for banks, convenience stores, armored cars and liquor stores. Vehicles, buses, trucks, trains, etc. are possible get-away vehicles for fugitives on the run. For some reason, the criminal elements perceive transportation personnel as carrying substantial sums of cash.

Where do you get this "feeling" from? Do you have some sort of specialized knowledge or experience with the subject matter? Because I drove for 15 years and never even had someone look at me in a threatening way, nor was I ever once around to see any sort of crime committed, or even recently committed.

You said last week:

Old School, I'm not committed to any trucking career. I'm just curious about it from a technological standpoint. Many people are fascinated by space exploration but will never be astronauts.

We don't mind your curiosity with the industry, but you say a lot of things about trucking as if you're an authority on the matter. Trust me, if security needs to be addressed we'll say so. From 15 years of driving and 25 years in this industry I don't feel security is a major concern at all.

Posted:  10 hours, 42 minutes ago

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A strong case for much better needed trucker security and the laxing of gun laws nationwide.

That's very sad to see, but it's also surprisingly rare. I personally don't have a strong opinion on gun laws either way, but this incident certainly isn't a good enough reason to arm 3 million truck drivers nationwide. More people will get beat up in mall parking lots in a week than there will be at truck stops in a year and I certainly don't want a ton of people walking around malls with a gun either.

High Schools nowadays are far more dangerous than truck stops or rest areas.

What I am a big fan of is dogs. I have a huge German Shepherd and no one is going to target someone with a big dog. There are much easier targets. Not to mention, people will know you have a dog long before they get into your truck. They won't know you have a gun until you have to use it and they're right on top of you, and by then it's too late, you're in a mess. I prefer a dog because they're a highly visible deterrent. I don't want anyone to even considering me as a viable target and I don't want to have to defend myself or get in a fight of any sort.

Get a big dog and put a "Guard Dog On Board" sign on your windows. No one will bother you, and it's totally legal.

Posted:  12 hours, 3 minutes ago

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Is it possible to just jump into a truck and learn enough to get a CDL without school?

The most common mistake that new drivers make while learning to back is oversteering and not waiting long enough for the trailer to react to your steering inputs. If you practice on a small trailer that reacts quickly requiring large movements of the steering wheel you're probably going to exacerbate the oversteering tendency of a new driver.

Posted:  12 hours, 6 minutes ago

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Is it possible to just jump into a truck and learn enough to get a CDL without school?

I think I'm also going to hook up my small trailer to my car and practice backing.

I wouldn't do that. It's not going to help and will almost certainly confuse things. The timing, reaction speed, visual feedback, and wheel input is vastly different. It's like driving around fast in a pickup truck hoping to get some practice in for your upcoming NASCAR race. The feedback you get from using your car and a small trailer simply isn't going to transfer to the big rig.

Posted:  3 days, 5 hours ago

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Leaving CRST after Training

You’ll have to look at the contract, but I believe once you’ve gone through the training you all the money for the contract or you have to work for them to fulfill the contract. If you’ve already gone through the training then you owe them the money. The whole point of the contract is to make sure you don’t get training from them for free and then go work for somebody else. They need to get a return on their investment for the money it cost them to train you.

Posted:  3 days, 6 hours ago

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Leaving CRST after Training

You can just pay them for the schooling, but I believe you have to pay the entire amount before you’ll be able to go work anywhere else. I don’t think they’ll let you make payments on it if you’re working for someone else.

Posted:  3 days, 6 hours ago

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VA apprenticeship (Guy with a REALLY bad attitude)

I thought your name was Josh?

Posted:  3 days, 7 hours ago

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VA apprenticeship (Guy with a REALLY bad attitude)

You can respond but I’m not going to approve your comments anymore if you can’t say something worth saying. We’re here to help people understand what it takes to succeed in this industry and that’s what we’ve done for you. What else would you like to know?

Posted:  3 days, 20 hours ago

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VA apprenticeship (Guy with a REALLY bad attitude)

I'm glad Josh gave everyone the opportunity to see his true nature. The Internet is loaded with people like Josh claiming they're just good, honest, kind, hard working people who did everything right but the mega carriers didn't treat them well. It's rare we get to see what they're really like when they take off the mask. They put together videos and forum posts that are more like marketing campaigns telling only their side of the story and showing the personality they want to portray to the world.

In this case, Josh took off the mask and made it abundantly clear who the problem really is.

For anyone new to trucking, when you come across horror stories floating around the Web about this industry, keep this conversation in mind.

Josh, in all sincerity I hope you can turn things around for yourself, or I hope you find some professional help. You have to get yourself right before you can get your life right.

Posted:  4 days, 20 hours ago

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Its been a while...

!Nk, it's super cool that you came back with an update, and sorry to hear things got off to a rocky start. It sounds like you're in a much better position now.

My advice at this point would be to do your best to get along with everyone. One of the key factors to the happiness and success of any driver is their ability to get along well with the personnel they work with. It's funny, because you think of truckers being alone in that truck and you wouldn't think that people skills should matter. But they matter in a big, big way.

Your going to find that dispatchers and load planners and the other office personnel will make or break your career. They can pile the miles on you or they can hold you back. Every dispatcher has drivers on their board making $70k per year, and drivers making $40k per year. You could wind up being either one and it all comes down to your performance and your attitude. If you can handle the big miles and you're the type of person they want to take great care of then you're going to have it made in this industry.

In your travels out there you're going to meet a ton of miserable drivers. If you listen to their story you're going to find that they all complain about how they're treated by their company. What you probably won't hear is the way they talk to those people. If they talked to you the way they talked to their dispatcher you'd probably smack em in the mouth. They don't understand why things never go their way and why they're not treated as well as the top tier drivers, but the top tier drivers and their dispatchers certainly understand why.

So be mellow, and go with the flow. There are a lot of tough people to deal with in this industry, but most of them are drivers. The office personnel will normally be a reflection of you. If you're cool with them, they're cool with you. If you make life hard for them, they're going to make it worse for you.

People skills are huge in trucking. I learned that the hard way early in my career when I was 21 and a little too salty. I learned quickly that if I didn't talk to people the right way I was going nowhere fast.

Keep us updated! You've found a great home at Averitt. Now you just have to figure out how your company works and how this industry works. You'll get there.

Posted:  4 days, 20 hours ago

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VA apprenticeship (Guy with a REALLY bad attitude)

The more I try with these megas the more I realize all the crap you read about them is true.. no wonder the turn over rate is so high, they treat everyone like crap.

Josh, you copped an attitude with some recruiters, so they knew they weren't going to hire you and decided to give you some attitude back. So now your conclusion from that is that all of the largest, most successful companies in this nation treat everyone like crap? Why, because a few losers on YouTube said so and now you've confirmed it?

Man, have a tough road ahead of you I'm afraid. The entire reason we exist is to help people learn how to be successful in this industry and your attitude isn't going to let that happen. I can see you're the type that gets snippy the moment someone says something that you feel may be less respectful than you deserve. You hold yourself in high regard and everyone else better too. A ton of people come into this industry with that attitude because they hear there's a demand for drivers so they think they're in a position of strength. You've already found out that no one is going to kiss your feet and roll out the red carpet for you. When they see that kind of arrogance in someone who hasn't even set foot in a classroom yet they quickly show them the door, as you've experienced already. And yes, that's how you're coming across to them and that's why they're toying with you.

You have to turn this around and realize that you're the one that has to prove yourself in this industry. You're not in demand yet. You don't have any skills, you don't know anything about the industry, and you can't make any money for anyone yet. You're still a liability. You say you're willing to prove yourself, but only if people talk to you the way you think they should. You have every right to set the minimum requirements for how everyone is supposed to treat you, but as you've seen, so do the people who are doing the hiring.

Do you want to wind up sitting home broke, without a job, just another crybaby on Youtube complaining that they've been wronged by the trucking world, or do you want to reach the pinnacle of this career? Because it can very easily go either way, and the future is in your hands.

Look at these:

What It Takes To Be A Top Tier Driver

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

It always amazes me that people are willing to take career advice from crybabies and complainers on YouTube. Josh, have you ever read the book, "How To Complain And Blame Your Way To The Top?" Probably not, because it's never been written, and never will be.

Posted:  5 days, 6 hours ago

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VA apprenticeship (Guy with a REALLY bad attitude)

Hey Josh, listen, the recruiting process isn't something you should take personally at all. Every company has their own criteria for choosing drivers, and you'll never really know or understand what it is. No one really does. Quite honestly, some of it doesn't always make sense. So look at it as a numbers game. Apply to a bunch of companies, see who offers you an opportunity, and go with the company you feel suits you best.

Also, please keep something very important in mind. The recruiters work for their company, but do not project your experience with them as meaning more than it does. There are a ton of recruiters, and they're human like we are. Some are good at what they do, some aren't. They have good days and bad days. Don't worry about any of that. All you want to know is whether or not the company is willing to hire you. If not, then forget about it and move on to the others.

Read this article I wrote: The Biggest Mistake New Drivers Make When Speaking With Recruiters.

Also, keep in mind that attitude really is everything. Something like 95% of the people who take a shot at this industry don't last a year. These companies are looking for people who seem serious about making this career happen. If you give them attitude, they're going to figure you're not worth the trouble because you're not going to be one of the 5% that are really successful in this industry.

People hear that drivers are in demand and they think they're going to be treated like high rollers in Vegas. Knuckleheads off the street aren't in demand. Proven professional drivers that are safe and efficient are in demand. It's your job as a new driver to prove you're capable of being that good. Once you can prove you're that good you'll be treated great and you'll be making top wage. But until you demonstrate to them that you can make it in this industry, they're going to assume you're just one of the 95% that won't be around long.

That's the reality of it.

Posted:  5 days, 20 hours ago

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VA apprenticeship (Guy with a REALLY bad attitude)

Josh, we have a massive section of our forum dedicated to people going through apprenticeship programs, otherwise known as Paid CDL Training Programs .

Check out our CDL Training Diaries. You'll find tons of amazing information on all of the different companies and what it's like going through their training programs.

Now you mentioned VA apprenticeship. I'm not familiar with that specifically, but I don't think there would be a huge difference in your training regardless. You may get to skip the CDL exam or something with a military exception or something, but otherwise I don't think your experience will be any different than anyone else's.

We have an article here that I wrote about these paid programs: Why I Prefer Paid CDL Training Over Private CDL Training.

You can also Apply For Paid CDL Training here on our site with a bunch of different companies.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Motion sickness and training

at least to the recruiter and her manager's knowledge, most new hires drop mid-way through their program due to issues with motion sickness.

How common do you think motion sickness is? *Most* new hires drop because of it? Not hardly.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

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Looking for a team driver with Prime

Out of curiosity, could somebody put themselves through CDL training, and then link up with somebody looking to team drive as a way to gain experience vs going through company training program?

No, you'll have to go on the road with an experienced mentor so they can show you the ropes. Once you get done with that phase of training and it's time to go solo you could choose to run team with someone. But that phase with the mentor comes first.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

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Looking for a team driver with Prime

Welcome Nancy. We have some Prime drivers here that aren't looking for partners but might be able to get you some information on ways to find one.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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A Husband and Wife Trucking Journey

Grumpy Old Man, that was an awesome reply and super helpful. Where did get that information in the image? I didn't see it in your links.

Man, those numbers in that image are grim to say the least.

What kills me that they use the word "Salary" to describe an owner operator's revenues. Salary and revenues are not the same thing and that confuses a lot people. In fact, it confuses people who don't understand the business world very well, which is the majority of people who lease or buy trucks in the first place.

A lease driver in a conversation the other day used the word "Paycheck" to describe his revenues. I've also heard a lot of people describe their revenues as the money they "bring home".

All of that wording makes people think they're going to make a lot more money than they really are. I wish they would stick with the word "revenues" when describing revenues.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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A Husband and Wife Trucking Journey

I would love to see the real, honest numbers after a year

Or even better, I'd love to see the net result after 5 years.

What happens after the first 2 or 3 years when it's time to turn in that old, beat up truck that has had some major, expensive breakdowns recently and you now have to put the down payment down on the new one and start making much bigger payments?

You've also had all sorts of things go wrong over the years - major breakdowns, illness and injury, fluctuations in the economy and fuel prices, tough winters, the loss of some great paying freight (nothing lasts forever), and of course 5 years of relentlessly grinding out big miles from coast to coast.

Looking at the big picture after 5 years will truly tell the story.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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Pro's Of Companies With Lots Of Terminals?

Personally I always avoided terminals like the plague. I would rather be anywhere else.

They tend to be a massive waste of time because you always seem to get caught up in something. For one, there tends to be a million trucks there all waiting on freight, so it can be tough getting out of there sometimes. Then it triggers everything imaginable in the computer - you have some computer training modules to complete, you need to go for a drug test, we need to do a safety review, we want you to meet so-and-so, the shop wants to check out your truck, etc.

ugh!!! Just give me the next load assignment and leave me alone!

No, I don't think being near terminals will benefit you much, if at all. In my entire career I never lived near a company terminal, and in fact never worked for an OTR company with a terminal anywhere near my home state. I was glad for that.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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A Husband and Wife Trucking Journey

Unfortunately, some of your financial comparisons would imply that the business end of things may not be your particular forte.

LMAO!!!

wtf.gifrofl-3.gif

That was literally the first thing I read after I woke up this morning. My Keurig hadn't even warmed up yet and I was laughing so hard I was almost crying. That is fantastic.

I'll just throw it out there that I've been a business owner for 14 years now, and I've been in the trucking industry for 25 years, and the last thing I would ever do in the business world is buy or lease a truck. But don't worry Larry, I certainly don't know any more about business than Old School does. I don't have half the experience in business that he has.

there was a fairly GQ looking older gentleman, an owner-op, with a beautiful cherried out truck there getting his new Mack-daddy CB installed

In the end, this is always the reason anyone buys a truck. They dream of being that sharp looking guy with shiny gold jewelry and that decked out rig, making the big bucks, and bragging to all the guys at the truck stop. I'm certain that 95% of the people who become owner operators wouldn't do so if by law they were required to drive an ugly rig and tell everyone they weren't making much money.

“When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.”

― Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People

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