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, 6 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

Page 1 of 550

Next Page
Go To Page:    

Posted:  5 days, 13 hours ago

View Topic:

How do you track loads?

It sounds to me like he’s thinking about building an app for truck drivers and is trying to find out which kinds of data we track.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

View Topic:

Instructor announced 1st Time EVER Newbie Hiring @ UPS & J.B. Hunt!

The union part is enough for me to say no thanks

They're the best paying jobs in the industry and they have full benefits, so I don't think anyone will be upset that you'll be leaving an extra job open for them.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

View Topic:

Instructor announced 1st Time EVER Newbie Hiring @ UPS & J.B. Hunt!

Marc, the reason I named this site Trucking Truth is because almost everything I found on the Web and everything I heard from truck drivers during my 15 years of driving was BS to some degree, and oftentimes a high degree. I lost count only a few months into my career of the number of times I'd be listening to some trucker stories thinking, "I wonder if he thinks I believe any of this? I wonder if he believes any of this?" But I'd just smile and listen and enjoy it like any good piece of fiction.

Fortunately I no longer have to do that. Unfortunately you're "listening career" is just beginning, and it's off to a great start. Smile big!

Also... I realize "easy" was a bad choice... I know this won't be easy.

People say that, but they don't realize that at all. I've never met anyone who could honestly tell me trucking was easier than they expected. Everyone famously underestimates this career, which is why 75% of the people who make an attempt at it never even get to the point that they're driving solo. At the Paid CDL Training Programs I'm told 50% of the students who show up never even manage to get their CDL!

So you think you're being respectful by telling us you expect this career to be hard, but have no worries. We won't be offended if you think it's going to be easy. From the outside it seems like it would be. In this country the general consensus is that any idiot can drive a truck if they can't do anything worthwhile with their lives, but we don't take offense to that either. That's just public perception.

And all of those "too good to be true" opportunities that ask nothing of a driver but pay big money? They're exactly what they seem - too good to be true. But heck, they make for an exciting story, don't they?

smile.gif

when I asked if they hired new CDL drivers he replied "who doesn't?!?"

Almost no one hires new drivers. You see a ton of advertising about it, but that's all coming from a very tiny percentage of the companies out there. The overwhelming majority can't hire new drivers because their insurance companies won't allow it.

The best thing to do is apply for Truck Driving Jobs everywhere you can, see who offers you an opportunity, and choose the one you feel suits you best.

Definitely take what Old School says about starting your career OTR very seriously. You can't believe how many drivers manage to wiggle their way into a local gig and immediately find they're in over their heads. Many get fired from that first gig, others get lucky and hang on for dear life long enough to figure out how to handle that rig.

I’ve seen the places where JBH drops their loads, you’d soil your drawers if you had to attempt it right now

rofl-3.gif

It's true - this job is way tougher than you think.

Posted:  1 week, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Update email address

Just send me your new email address: brett@truckingtruth.com

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

View Topic:

Signs, Signs, Everywhere A Sign

Brett, you are from Buffalo?

Yeah, I grew up in Alden and moved away for a while after high school. Lived in numerous states but mostly lived in my rig for about 15 years. Returned and lived in Attica for 12 years. I'm selling my house in Attica and I now live outside of Keeseville, NY in the Adirondacks.

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

View Topic:

Signs, Signs, Everywhere A Sign

When you leave, take your truck and trailer with you

That's Jim's Truck Stop outside of Buffalo. I went home to visit my family one Christmas and left my truck there on Christmas Eve. There were like maybe 10 trucks in the whole place that night. I came back the next morning and it had been towed. $400 tow bill and a Merry Christmas from Jim's Truck Stop for me.

After years of being a regular customer there I've never returned since, and never will. Who tows someone's truck from an empty parking lot on Christmas Eve? That place.

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

View Topic:

HI EVERYONE! STILL TRUCKING

Wow, that's fantastic. I didn't know if you were driving anymore or not. I think I remember you mentioning that route back in the day but I had completely forgotten about it. I'm glad things are strong and steady for you now.

Are you pulling double trailers? Triples?

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

View Topic:

HI EVERYONE! STILL TRUCKING

WOW! Blast from the past!

Great to see you. We're awesome. How have you been? Fill us in.

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

View Topic:

Schneider training is changing

just considering all my options

Yap, as you should. The better you understand your options the more confident you'll feel when you do commit and the more committed you'll be. A lot of people hear all of the negativity about trucking and they're very skeptical and cynical right from day one and it winds up ruining their career in the end. They don't commit to the training or the school/company they're training with. They don't get along well with people, they don't perform well, and many of them wind up quitting or failing altogether before they even drive a truck solo one mile in their life.

The worst part is that most of them had what it took to be great drivers and have a fantastic career. But they just didn't do everything they could to succeed. They weren't committed.

Old School has an awesome talk about commitment that everyone should read.

So yap, definitely consider everything before you commit, and when you do, make sure you go all in 100%. Give it everything you have and stick with that first company for a minimum of one year. That's the best way to get started in this career.

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

View Topic:

Schneider training is changing

Wolverine, you'll find that we very much prefer the paid CDL training programs over private schools. I wrote an article about it. Check this out if you haven't already:

Why I Prefer Paid CDL Training Over Private CDL Training

I'm regularly in contact with many of the companies who offer paid CDL training and every last one of them says they're having much better success with the students they train themselves than they are the students they're getting from private schools.

Now that's not to say all private schools are bad schools. But think about just one aspect of this. If you pay a private school up front for training, they have your money already. Now they have to train you, right? Whether or not you get your CDL doesn't affect their pay. They still get paid. Not only that, but they're trying to turn a profit. If you give them $5,000 for training, they're going to train you in whatever way costs them the least amount of money. That means you're going to get as little time in a truck as they can get away with and still get you that CDL. Time in the trucks is very expensive for them - fuel, maintenance, insurance, and a trainer to be in the truck with you.

Finally, once you're trained you're out of there. You're going to work somewhere else and you're not their problem anymore. So if you're trained well enough to squeak by on your CDL exam then that's the best possible scenario for them. They make the most money they can from you. The fact that you're not very well trained isn't their problem. It's someone else's problem. Unfortunately in the business world that's the basis for most decisions - profit. It has to be if you want to remain in business for long.

The companies that offer training are training you to work for them. The better you're trained the more productive you're going to be and the more money they're going to make someday in return. So it's in their best interest to train you well enough to be a safe, productive driver. They don't get paid up front. They pay the money up front to train you and have to recoup that investment from your success as a driver.

Read this article to get the full scoop:

Why I Prefer Paid CDL Training Over Private CDL Training

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

View Topic:

Working For Maverick

It really makes no difference how many miles you get in a day. How many are you getting in a week, and how many in a month? If you're bumping up against your 70 then you should be cranking out 3,200+ miles per week and around 12,000 miles per month.

The concern is whether or not you're maximizing your logbook time. We've seen a lot of new drivers say they're maxing out their 70 but only turning 2,400 miles per week. Something is very wrong with the way you're recording your time if that's what is happening.

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

View Topic:

Working For Maverick

Kevin, you know what your problem is? You have these ideas in your head about how things should work and how things should be done in this industry. When your ideas don't match up with your reality or you're not doing as well as you expected you think the problem is something outside of yourself.

You think you have the wrong teachers.

You think we're not the right mentors.

You think you're hauling the wrong type of freight

You may be thinking you're not working for the right company

What you need to do is realize you're brand new and there are a lot of things you just don't get yet. That's how it goes when you're new to anything that's difficult and complex. It takes time to figure things out. You've only been out there a matter of months. It's going to be quite a while yet before you get up to speed and more things start to make sense.

When you said you could make more money running refrigerated than flatbed we told you that you were simply not keeping things moving quickly enough with flatbed and gave you a ton of examples of people who were getting way more miles and making way more money their rookie year than you were. That should have clued you in to the fact that you simply have to keep learning and keep improving your performance.

This statement says a lot about your thinking:

When a new person came on here asking about what to expect when they got to North Little Rock and how they could excel in training there I honestly thought that the best person to reply would be by someone who recently lived the experience. Not someone who may have a decade or two experience with other companies that may have entirely different ideas of how to train a person to drive.

So you figure that since the experienced drivers didn't tell you what you wanted to hear that maybe we're the wrong guys to teach you, and maybe a student would be a better mentor for you?

Come on, man! Seriously?

Face the facts. You simply have to learn to become more proficient at this. It takes time.

Why aren't you asking us specific questions or giving us any information to go on?

What areas are you struggling with most?

How many miles are you turning each week?

What parts of your job or lifestyle aren't making sense or aren't living up to your expectations?

You come here to complain that you're in the wrong division or you have the wrong company or you have the wrong mentors, and at the same time you're not asking us any specific questions about how you can get better. That tells me you're not taking the right approach to learning. Focus on where you're struggling, ask questions, learn from others, and get better. That's the process. You have to be focused on making yourself better, not making changes to everything around you as if the problem is outside of yourself.

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

View Topic:

Schneider training is changing

I'll bet it's more quality of training than saving money. imo...

It certainly is.

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

View Topic:

Schneider training is changing

I heard from the orientation instructors that Schneider is going back to in house training. They’ve been using Trainco where I went, but it looks like they’re going to resume training their own drivers. It’s weird because they’re made a significant investment in Trainco giving them trucks etc, but they must have decided they can save money by training in house.

I'm not surprised at all to be honest, other than the investment you've mentioned.

I speak with a lot of companies who are doing Paid CDL Training Programs and they're all trying to get away from hiring students through private schools or working with outside schools at all. They're all trying to grow their in-house programs as much as possible and would love to train 100% of their own students if they could. It's all about getting enough qualified drivers who are serious about their trucking career, that's their biggest challenge.

Way back in the day Schneider and JB Hunt were two of only a handful of companies that had their own training programs. JB Hunt has gone heavily into the rail niche so they're not really bringing in students anymore but I've been wondering for a long time when Schneider was going to get their program up and running again.

I worked for US Xpress for 6 years at one point and they had their own program at the time. They've gone to outside schools in recent years and I'm thinking they'll switch back to an in-house program at some point also.

The in-house paid CDL training programs have been so much more successful for a number of reasons:

1) Many of them pay students right from day one

2) You don't need to pay any tuition up front, and often times you'll pay little or no tuition at all if you work off your contract

3) Students stay around longer because they do have the contract to fulfill in exchange for the training that the company paid for up front

4) Students learn the equipment and procedures they'll be using while working for the company instead of getting some generic training on old, ratty, ancient equipment at a private school.

For anyone wondering about the differences between private schooling and paid schooling, check this out:

Why I Prefer Paid CDL Training Over Private CDL Training

Posted:  2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Think Only Newbies Have Accidents? Think Again! - article by Rainy

We have another awesome article by Rainy called:

Think Only Newbies Have Accidents? Think Again!

This is a very important article for drivers of all skill and experience levels, as you can probably tell from the title. Student drivers may not know what they're doing, but they realize they don't know what they're doing so they tend to be super cautious.

The problem is you drivers with a little bit of experience that think you have it all figured out.

"Oh no, not me! I learn something new every day!"

Yeah, baloney. You all say that. Then you're out there tailgating 20 feet of someone's bumper or driving too fast through truck stop parking lots.

"Oh yeah, maybe that is me."

Yeah, well it's time you take a look in the mirror before something really bad happens, eh?

Here's some great advice and insights from Rainy about staying safe out there on the highway:

Think Only Newbies Have Accidents? Think Again!

Posted:  2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Failed First attempt at (TEXAS) Written Exam...

Why did TEXAS DPS give me questions about flags on ropes, bus safety checks, etc.?

Any questions they asked that weren't covered in the High Road were part of that section 14 that Texas has in the Texas CDL Manual. They ask a bunch of questions about lighting and flags and all sorts of stuff. I've never even read that section myself so I'm not sure what's in there.

If you look at the table of contents of the Texas CDL manual, the very last section is called, "Special Requirements for Texas Commercial Motor Vehicles" - it's section 14 - that's only for Texas and it's not covered in the High Road.

There's also a "school bus" section which some states have, some do not. I don't know if that's required for the CDL permit or only for a special School Bus Endorsement but that section is not in the High Road either.

All of the rest of it is.

Posted:  2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Donna M.

I have no clue if I disabled mine. Can we reverse it, if we did?

You would have to go into your phone or laptop settings and enable location services for this website. It will show a list of websites that you've blocked or required manual updates for. You would just have to allow location services for this one.

Posted:  2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Driving and Handling an Automatic in Mountains, Downgrades etc.

I put the Jake's on high and point the truck down hill........use the trolley break to bleed off some speed

wtf.gif

Wow! Did that come straight from the Smokey & The Bandit Driving School? That's like straight out of the 70's. I just had this sudden urge to grow huge sideburns and a mustache and put on the Burt Reynold's shades.

Big Scott, we love ya, but you come up with some scary stuff once in a while.

Way back in the day, when most of the trucks on the road were owner operators, people would commonly use the trolley brake to slow the truck because the driver owned the tractor but not the trailer. So they'd use the trailer brakes to save their own brakes. Of course some of them killed themselves or burned up their trucks in a brake fire trying this method, but that didn't stop others from trying it. Obviously to this day that horrendous idea is still floating around.

Never, ever use the trolley brake for going down mountains. There is absolutely no advantage to doing that and you're risking over-heating the trailer brakes. Once you overheat the trailer brakes there is no way to slow down the truck using just the tractor brakes, not that you'd want to because that is also dangerous as hell!

OMG I'm hyperventilating.

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Trainers Deal Breakers

You can read this too - this is a great article:

Types Of Trainers And How To Deal With Them

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Donna M.

Only works when we update ourselves on it

It will update you automatically when you're in the forum unless you told it not to when you got the pop-up message. If you said you didn't want your position tracked automatically then you have to do it manually.

Page 1 of 550

Next Page
Go To Page:    

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

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.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

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.

Learn More