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, 4 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 5

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Posted:  1 day, 1 hour ago

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I really need some advice ☹️

You really don't need the wheels to turn. As long as the tractor and trailer bend at the 5th wheel that's good enough. You'll see how the trailer reacts as you push on the tractor. You'll just slide the tractor around at different angles as if it's being steered.

Posted:  1 day, 5 hours ago

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I really need some advice ☹️

My problem is recognizing what to do to recover from a misstep.
The problems I’m having are cured by experience. More reps is what I need to be able to recognize what I’m doing in relation to the hole and be able to recover from a mistake. If I’m going wrong, I need to know how to fix it or I’m never going to pass.

That's why I said you should practice with a toy truck on the table. You'll get to do hundreds of reps without hurting your knee and you'll see exactly how the trailer reacts to the tractor's input. You'll see how to adjust as you're backing up, and which way to go to make corrections.

You don't need to be in the truck doing it at this point to learn. You know in your head what you're trying to make that trailer do, and you've practiced it a bunch. What you need more than anything right now is to better visualize how the trailer is going to react to anything you do, whether that means steering inputs while you're backing or corrections you make during pull-ups.

Get a little toy truck and practice like crazy with that thing. I know it doesn't sound like it would do much good but I promise you'll be shocked at how much better you'll understand what's happening and visualize what you need to do. It made all the difference in the world for me and there's a ton of people here on the website that said it helped them also.

Posted:  1 day, 6 hours ago

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I really need some advice ☹️

You'll get it, man. Try not to sweat it too much, as tough as that is. There's no such thing as someone who wanted to become a truck driver but couldn't pass the CDL exam. There's no limit on how many times you can test. It doesn't matter what you have to do to pass it, once you've passed it you're on your way. It's just a matter of time.

You can also do what a lot of us have done, myself included, and that is to get a cheap little toy truck at Walmart and work with it on the kitchen table. Do backing maneuvers by pushing on the tractor and watch how the trailer reacts. For some reason doing this really helps you visualize what's happening a lot better. You can really see how the trailer reacts and how you're "steering the trailer" with the tractor.

Practicing with that toy truck helped me discover some really clever backing tricks that I used throughout my career. They weren't something I probably would have thought of if it wasn't for getting that perspective on it and just trying a bunch of things.

More than anything just try to keep your mind calm. Don't let the frustration build. Don't let this turn into something bigger than it is. Getting past this test seems like a big deal but it's really not. It's just one tiny item in a long line of steps to ultimately becoming a top tier driver. There's no question you'll get past this, so don't question it, don't stress over it. In fact, get your mind off it completely for a while. Go see a movie, go hang out with friends - get completely away from it 100% and let your mind chill out for a while. We all perform our best when our minds are at ease.

Posted:  1 day, 20 hours ago

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How NOT to Have a Good Looking Application...

Jrod, I'm super glad you posted this. I've said many times that there are plenty of drivers out there with many years of experience that never do figure out how to make their way in this industry, and you've given a perfect example of that.

I can understand that a rookie driver may not at first realize that it's not a matter of choosing the right company, but being an awesome driver. An awesome driver will get great miles and make great money at any major carrier. I specify "major carrier" because the majors are the ones with tons of freight and proven logistics systems in place. There's no question the opportunities for great miles are there at the major carriers. I can't guarantee that for small companies, like those with fewer than 50 trucks. There's no telling what experience you'll have at a small company.

It's astounding to me that there are so many drivers who never figure this out, even with many years of driving experience. It's a very simple concept - any large company has all of the opportunities in the world for great miles and great paychecks. If you're not getting these opportunities, then who is???

And why aren't you one of them???

Folks, I want you to understand something. When you want to be successful at something you need to seek out experienced professionals who have found happiness and success in their field and ask them what you can do to achieve the same.

Do not take career advice from people who are failing to perform or are unhappy with their situation. Do you think you'll find happiness and success by following the advice of people who are miserable and unsuccessful?

As amazing as it is that there are experienced drivers who never figure this industry out, it's just as amazing to me that so many people take career advice from them. If someone is miserable and failing, why would you listen to them?

If you want to understand why there is so much unwarranted negativity in trucking, and how you can handle it, check these out:

Posted:  1 day, 21 hours ago

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Start July 9th company sponsored training....excited a little nervous any advice?

I thought it was about being a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles for 59 years...? Huh...

rofl-2.gif

Posted:  2 days, 1 hour ago

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61 And Starting Drivers Solutions CDL Training Monday

I know PAM is a starter company. But some of the reviews are BRUTAL!!

These will help a ton - do yourself a favor and listen to these podcasts. They'll really put your mind at ease and help you understand why there is so much unwarranted negativity around the trucking industry. You'll also never use the expression "starter company" again after hearing the first one because you'll realize how ridiculous that notion is.

Enjoy!

Posted:  2 days, 5 hours ago

View Topic:

How to get out of contract

Yeah, but when you took the company physical they asked you on the form for a list of medications you're taking. If you had listed it they wouldn't have allowed you to drive with it in the first place. They certainly wouldn't have sent you on the road and then decided later not to allow it.

In the end, if you want to drive a truck you're going to have to switch to something that's allowed for commercial driving. I don't think anyone is going to allow Xanax.

Posted:  2 days, 15 hours ago

View Topic:

How to get out of contract

Welcome John.

I'm 99% certain there isn't a DOT doctor anywhere in the nation that will allow a commercial driver to take Xanax. It also seems a little odd to me that you've been taking it for 10 years but you don't know how to spell it?

Anyhow, if you want to drive a commercial vehicle you have to switch to something that will be allowed for commercial driving.

I'm also 99% sure that when you signed up with the company and went through the physical they asked you what medications you were taking and you must not have admitted to being on Xanax. They wouldn't have allowed it.

So what's the deal? Did you hide it from them?

If you went through training then you owe them the money or you need to complete the contract. They didn't fire you, they simply sent you home to switch to a different prescription. If you refuse to do that, and you hid it from them in the first place, you have no real argument for getting out of the contract.

I'm pretty sure no one else is going to hire you and let you take Xanax anyhow.

Posted:  3 days, 4 hours ago

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Riding The Emotional Roller Coaster Of Paid CDL Training - article by Old School

I just wanted to bump this up to make sure everyone saw it.

I also wanted to ask you guys to share a brief story of your time in a paid CDL training program so the people who are getting ready to enter these programs know what to expect.

  • Did you come across any terminal rats during your training that tried scaring you away from working for the company?
  • Did you have any moments of panic where you thought maybe you had chosen the wrong company?
  • Were there times you thought the training wasn't going to have you well enough prepared for the CDL test as the time was approaching?

Going through CDL training can be a scary thing at times. When you're going through it and times get tough it's good to be able to remember what others have said about their experiences to remind yourself that you're going to make it through just fine.

Posted:  3 days, 4 hours ago

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High road training question

It's perfectly fine to restart the program anytime you like but keep one thing in mind........the most powerful aspect of the program is the review system. What it does is go through all of your scores each time you submit a new set of answers and figures out which questions you need the most help with. It lists them in terms of priority, and the next page you load will contain the highest priority questions you need to review. That might mean you've only seen the question one time. It might mean you've missed it more often than you've missed other questions.

There's a whole algorithm I've setup to figure out which ones you should review next. So the entire system adapts in real time to each student individually. Maybe you struggle with Hazmat - you'll be reviewing more of those Hazmat questions. Maybe you struggle with math - you'll see more of those math questions. Maybe you've missed this one particular question twice now - you'll see that question a few more times.

If you reset the program it also resets that review system so you're starting over without the system having any prior knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses. And that's perfectly fine. The system will start again and create a new priority list of review questions based on how you're doing now.

Just wanted you to be aware of how the program works.

Posted:  3 days, 4 hours ago

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Securement of Cargo Question

teresting.... and yes I have stopped my own personal vehicle in the middle of the road before.

Ok I'll bite......why did you stop your personal vehicle in the middle of the road?

Posted:  3 days, 18 hours ago

View Topic:

Im back.....again

Welcome back! Keep us updated as you move along through the process. Hope you get to meet Errol, too - that would be cool!

Posted:  3 days, 18 hours ago

View Topic:

PAM/Driver Solutions Training

No Brett, Nighthawk is a woman aka "Misty" aka "Deisel ****"

oooohhhh..............I see.

Well I guess with her recent "performance record", or whatever you'd like to call this rolling train wreck, I'd be changing my name all the time too.

I hope she finds a real home at Roehl.

Well I hope the same thing but I see almost no chance of that happening. If she doesn't screw it up then Roehl will likely find out about all of this stuff in the past and she'll be on a bus home. I mean, let's face it, she has no interest in making this career happen. The only thing she's concerned with is how hard everyone around her should be working to pamper her.

In trucking, nothing is given freely but the opportunity to prove yourself. Everything you achieve will be earned the hard way.

Posted:  3 days, 20 hours ago

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Company says I didn’t take a random drug test.

Welcome Joseph.

For starters, look at the picture you're painting:

  • The possession charge
  • Probation
  • The bad relationship with the boss
  • The additional random drug testing
  • Giving them a hard time when they request a random drug test
  • Getting fired

They call that "swimming upstream" and that's what you're trying to do all the time. For starters, don't do any sort of drugs if you want to work in a safety related field. Then, no matter what field you're in, go with the flow. Why would you argue about another drug test? You have possession charges and probation and yet they gave you a job. Wouldn't you expect them to watch you closely?

What did you expect them to say when you argued about the drug test?

"Yeah, you're right. We're not being fair. We've changed our minds. You don't have to take another drug test. We trust you."

Good grief, man.

As far as this showing up - I'm afraid it probably will. You're going to be asked if you have failed any drug tests, and a refusal is a failure. Now if you don't have a CDL and this job didn't require a CDL then I don't think you'll have to go through the Return To Duty Process. If you do have a CDL then you might have to go through that process before you can drive a commercial vehicle again.

The "swimming upstream" thing is kind of a road to nowhere, ya know what I mean? It's always two steps forward, three steps back. Nowadays with the drug testing technologies available today and the number of scheduled and random tests you'll have to take in order to drive a rig it's nearly impossible to get away with anything anymore. It's become a "go all in or go nowhere" kind of deal.

Posted:  3 days, 20 hours ago

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PAM/Driver Solutions Training

OMG Rainy I didn't even realize this was the same guy!!

And he tried giving me that ol' classic "You think you know me?"

rofl-3.gifwtf-2.gif

Yeah pal, I think I know you.

rofl-1.gifgood-luck.gif

Posted:  4 days, 4 hours ago

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Riding The Emotional Roller Coaster Of Paid CDL Training - article by Old School

We have a great new article from Old School:

Riding The Emotional Roller Coaster Of Paid CDL Training

Getting started in trucking is really tough. It's appalling how many people fail to get anywhere with it. In fact, nearly 50% of the people who begin their training through one of the paid CDL training programs never even manage to get their CDL! Heck, that's the easiest part of this career. Another 50% fail to complete their on-the-road training phase.

Why is getting started in trucking so tough? Well Old School does an awesome job of explaining why those first weeks will be so difficult and what you can do to get through it.

This article comes at a great time because we're having a forum conversation now about quitting your job and changing companies during paid CDL training.

Sticking with that first company for one full year is super important. We stress this constantly because we know how easily people become discouraged and disillusioned early on in their career. We've watched countless people work themselves into a panic over nothing, and the next thing you know they're on a bus going home or going to another company. It's a shame to see so many people either quit on themselves or quit their company because they don't have the right expectations or they're getting career advice from the wrong people.

Read Old School's article and then follow some of the links I put here. We hope you'll have the right expectations and the right goals when it's time for you to get started with your CDL training.

Riding The Emotional Roller Coaster Of Paid CDL Training

Posted:  4 days, 5 hours ago

View Topic:

PAM/Driver Solutions Training

Thankfully, your opinion of me does not define me.

Nor does yours. Actions tell the story pal and my opinions about you came from your actions and were backed up by your own words.

Trust me, it won't take the people running these companies any longer to figure out what you're all about than it took us. You quit your first company after only a few weeks and explained in perfect detail why - because you weren't being coddled as well as you think you deserve to be. You expect people to roll out the red carpet for you. I have no idea why you would think that. Maybe that's just what you were raised to believe. Doesn't matter.

Roehl made you feel important and your feelings are more important to you than your performance. But Roehl is a tough company with high standards. The honeymoon is going to end quickly and they're going to expect you to put up or shut up, just like the rest of the companies will. You'll either man up and handle it, or you won't. It won't make any difference what you think of yourself. What's going to matter in the end is what they think of you, and that's going to be based on your performance.

So I'll say it again. In the end the only thing that's going to matter is your performance. There's no faking it in trucking and so far the only thing you have to show for your efforts is that you're too soft, your expectations are too high, you've broken a contract before fulfilling your end but after receiving their services, and you quit easily. You've yet to even drive a big rig one mile solo in your life. You've yet to make even one dollar of profit for a trucking company. Yet you're jumping from company to company because you expect to be treated like a king.

Your self-importance far exceeds your performance, and that's always a clear sign of someone who is going nowhere. If that doesn't change and you don't wake up and realize you have to prove yourself before anyone is going to approve of you then you won't be around long. You'll be another statistic like 95% of the people who take a shot at this industry.

Trust me, I want to see you succeed. I want to see everyone succeed. That's what we do here. But the most important service we provide to help you is brutal honesty. Because in the end your opinions aren't going to mean jack squat to anyone. Your performance will. So I'm telling you that if you don't get over yourself and start learning how to perform at a high level there won't be any demand for your services.

Trucking Requires A Big Commitment - one that you've demonstrated thus far that you're unwilling to make. Unfortunately for you it won't be an option. You either make it happen out there or no one will have you. That's your choice. I'm not making up these rules, I'm simply explaining how it all works. You can do whatever you like with what I'm telling you. I've had a stellar 25 year career in this industry. It won't affect me any if you ignore what I'm telling you and run yourself into a brick wall, but I hope that doesn't happen.

Posted:  4 days, 15 hours ago

View Topic:

PAM/Driver Solutions Training

Brett, I am amused that you think you know me.

Oh yeah, you're super tough to figure out..........

From the beginning, recruitment was non-chalant and seemed to barely give 2 poops about me. By contrast, Roehl's recruitment has been amazing. She and her manager both have been super sweet. I know some of you will think I'm an entitled brat. That's fine. I did what was best for me.
I was given a crappy smoker's truck and asked for another one. I was looked at like I'm a terrible nuisance. They did give me another truck. It was pretty crappy, but whatever. At that point, I was just done.

Yeah, you're a real tough puzzle to put together. I'm not at all surprised you think you're complex.

Posted:  4 days, 16 hours ago

View Topic:

PAM/Driver Solutions Training

I know some of you will think I'm an entitled brat. That's fine. I did what was best for me.

Well that pretty much sums up your character, that's for sure.

Not one single thing you said has anything to do with the quality of either company, nor was any of it grounds for making a career move. To sum it up is real simple - you heard truck drivers were in high demand so you expected to be coddled. PAM didn't coddle you, Roehl's recruiters did, so you went with the company that treated you like your mommy does.

In the end, the only thing that's going to determine how you're ultimately treated is your performance. That's one of the things I love most about trucking - there's no faking it. Trucking will test you to the core in a million different ways and it never lets up. You can either hack it, or you can't, and the overwhelming majority of the people who try don't last a month.

I asked earlier in this conversation how badly you want this. You clearly don't really want to be a trucker. There's no shame in that. What I don't like is the pointing fingers and blaming others when things don't go your way. Either the man in the mirror can hack it, or he can't. That's the reality of what will determine your ultimate success in this industry.

Posted:  5 days, 5 hours ago

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Automatics for Millenials?

I am 93% sure you don't even know ten truckers to ask that question of them!

rofl-3.gif

There's a 99% chance that's true. When he says he "talked to them" he means he saw them shifting gears on television.

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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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