Comments By Brett Aquila

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Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

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Mistake on Swift application.

Brad, how will you react when your trainer criticizes your driving?

How will you react when a customer tells you to sit in the parking lot and wait for a few hours?

When you show up at one of these Paid CDL Training Programs and experienced professionals give you instructions, will you listen to their advice and follow their direction?

You've had experienced professionals give you perfect advice, and you've ignored all of it. You're proving to be overly sensitive, stubborn, and unwilling to take advice. Truthfully, there are quite a few people who show up to these training programs who fit that description, and the overwhelming majority wind up on a bus home in short order. We don't want to see that happen to you.

You'll need alligator skin to make it in this industry. You can't be overly sensitive. You must also be humble, hard-working, willing to listen, and eager to learn. Before you consider saying or doing anything, I recommend that you ask yourself, "Will this move me closer to being successful in this career?"

Ignoring the advice of experienced professionals will not help you.

Obsessing about Swift or criticizing their recruiters will not help you.

Giving two different sets of information to the same company when applying for a job will not help you.

Incorrect information on your application or during an interview will get your application tossed in the trash quickly. Get your information straight and apply elsewhere.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Rookie Solo Adventure, thoughts, questions, vent, and ramble.

Man, I'm so disappointed to hear that! It was interesting and fun reading your stuff. Your writing is always super interesting.

I hope things turn out well for you. Living off the grid sure will be an enormous change from the everyday chaos of trucking!

We wish you the best of luck and I hope you'll check in if you get the chance. If you return to trucking, you know where to find us!

Best of luck!

Posted:  2 months ago

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Big News! Off-Topic but I kind of grew up here (been on TT since I was 20) so I must tell!

Congrats, man! That's incredible news. This will bring a whole new level of meaning and purpose to everything you do. I can easily imagine how proud and excited you must be. That's fantastic!

Posted:  2 months ago

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Hair Follicle Testing

So, with no name or picture, did he quit the site or did a moderator?

He blacked out the picture and changed his name to "unknown." I will update it so it's something we can work with. I warned you guys what was coming. Have fun with this guy. I'll spend my time on better candidates, those who appreciate the help, and will listen.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Hair Follicle Testing

Folks, our friend here "Mr Ginger" has 5 posts pending approval. I can sum up each one of them like this:

"I'm new to trucking, but I have it all figured out. Here are the reasons I'm the smartest guy in the room and you guys know nothing."

He says things like, "People who would come late and leave early, leave for break early and come back late, and do half the work get treated like kings. People like me who kept their heads down and worked our asses off [get treated like crap]."

If you want me to approve his posts so you can argue until the end of time with someone who believes that makes sense and has no interest in listening, I'm happy to do it. Many others will learn from your advice, even though he won't. But I'm warning you, this guy is a professional know-it-all and makes up whatever he wants to believe, so be careful what you wish for!

smile.gif

Posted:  2 months ago

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Does anyone drive for Swift's Dollar Tree dedicated account?

I think I may be up for the challenge. I've always gravitated to the tasks that others shy away from as having an ace in the hole, so to speak.

That's a fantastic approach, but as a brand new driver, you won't often know what you're getting yourself into until it's too late. I was on a Dollar Tree account for a year at one point. The labor is hard, but that's not the only problem you'll face. The stores are often in small plazas in very busy areas. They're difficult to get in and out of and the backing is tight.

Your schedule is also tight because many of the loads deliver to multiple stores.

We highly discourage new drivers from getting on these accounts. You have a lot to learn and the challenge is fierce. The hard labor, tight backing, busy plazas, and tight schedules are too much too soon.

Don't worry. Those accounts aren't going anywhere. They'll be available when you're ready for them if you want to give it a shot.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Should companies be required to issue you a clean truck?

That falls under the category of, "it would be nice" but it doesn't always happen. As Kearsey said, if you're at a terminal they'll normally do it. If you are picking up an abandoned truck, you're not at a major terminal, or there are other circumstances involved like you don't have the time to wait for the shop, you may end up doing it yourself.

In trucking, you often make the best of circumstances that are less than ideal. If you win the lottery and find yourself worth $50 million dollars, you do that far less often.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Turn Around

I know it's tough to hear the advice Old School has given, which is why I want to confirm that I agree wholeheartedly with what he's saying. A failed drug test is pretty much the end of your career, at least for many years. It's something you can not risk. Wait until you've been clean a minimum of 6 - 8 months before attempting it. Most of the major carriers that hire truck drivers have switched to hair follicle tests at this point. I wouldn't recommend trying to find a company that only does urinalysis testing because nothing is keeping them from springing a hair follicle test on you at any time.

I wish the news was better, but failing a drug test would be far worse than waiting a few more months to get started in trucking.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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I'll Be Live On Road Dog Trucking Radio This Thursday

I rechecked the Road Dog Live archives and last Thursdays show with Brett has finally posted.

I'd imagine you have to be a subscriber to SiriusXM to get access to the archives, which many of us are not. So I'm hoping they'll let me embed that broadcast here on our website. I'll try to find out more today.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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The more I ask the less I know

Mike, I agree with Old School - stop waiting around for that school to help you. There's nothing they can do for you that you can't do for yourself. In fact, they're not even putting you with solid, reputable companies. They're going to hurt you a lot more than they'll help it seems. You have your CDL so their job is finished.

Start applying like crazy to all the major carriers and see who offers you a shot. If you get more than one offer, pick the one you feel suits you best and go for it. We'll help you decide if you're not sure. You could apply to 100 companies and no one would care. It's not a concern. But sitting around and letting your CDL go stale is a concern. So don't hesitate. Start applying everywhere and get the process started.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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The more I ask the less I know

Have you applied to the large carriers yet? You can apply to a bunch of them here:

Apply For Truck Driving Jobs

The ones we don't work with directly you can apply for on their websites. Apply to a bunch of them and see who offers you a shot.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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The more I ask the less I know

No worries, Mike. Great questions.

Is team driving the way of the future as has been said to me?

rofl-3.gif

I laugh because I've been hearing that since I started in trucking in 1993.

No, teams are not the future of trucking. You have a massive variety of freight in this country and team operations are not efficient for most of it. There will always be a mix of team and solo operations.

Many companies, especially refrigerated carriers, take fantastic care of their teams because they can produce great money for the truck. But great solo drivers will always be valuable and necessary.

Do others have the same negativity as me regarding living with someone else (unknown person) for prolonged periods?

I do!!! Man, do I ever! I'm a loner. I've lived most of my life alone. Well, more specifically, with a dog.

You do not have to run team. There are plenty of great companies out there with solo operations. If you want to run solo, you can.

You do not have to run OTR and stay out for 3 - 4 weeks at a time, either. There are plenty of gigs for rookie drivers that will get you home on weekends. Some people love OTR, some would rather be home more often. It's just a personal preference.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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I'll Be Live On Road Dog Trucking Radio This Thursday

Hi Brett I was the "Chris from NY" That called in. I hope I didn't sound like a blithering idiot talking

You sounded great, Chris. Awesome job! Thanks for calling in, I really appreciate it!

I'm glad you guys enjoyed the show.

I does look like I'll have the audio available. Dave, our news guy, has a copy of the audio and I think the station will give me a copy also. I will find out this week about any legal technicalities for posting the audio here on the website and I'll keep you guys updated.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Staying regular OTR

Moe, our bodies don't need fiber to stay regular. That's one of the many nutritional misnomers we hear all the time. I don't eat an ounce of fiber and I have no issues whatsoever. I'm a carnivore - 99% of what I eat is meat, eggs, and dairy. I don't eat vegetables, I don't get any fiber, and I'm in elite shape. I've been training hard under a professional coach 6 days a week for over two years now. My health and fitness are incredible.

Water intake is the key. You need a lot of water to stay regular. In fact, if you eat a bunch of fiber without drinking tons of extra water the fiber will make the situation even worse. Fiber requires a ton of extra water to flush through your system. Not drinking enough water is causing problems, then eating fiber on top of that is making it worse.

Focus on eating a lot of meat and eggs, and drink a lot of water. Try to limit your carb intake from bread, potato, and pasta. Try to limit your dairy for a few days because that can make the problem worse, also. Drink at least 3 quarts (liters) of water per day.

Listen, this idea that you have to drive a ton of hours all at once is also a misnomer. Throughout my career, I very rarely drove more than 2 - 3 hours at a time without stopping, and I averaged 3,200 miles per week. Stopping every 2 - 3 hours just to use the restroom and walk around for 5 minutes makes a world of difference in how you feel. You'll be far more healthy mentally and physically with short, frequent breaks and you'll turn just as many miles over the long run.

I don't know how many carbs you're used to getting, but if it's a lot you may find yourself feeling lethargic from the cut in carbs. Keep a few energy bars or granola bars in the truck with you. If you feel lethargic, have one. It will perk you right up. It takes a while for your body to adapt to a low-carb diet, but once you do it's miraculous.

Experimenting with your health and fitness is very important. Try different things, even if they go against the advice you hear all the time. I hate to say it, but nutritionists have been a complete disaster for us. They've been completely wrong for decades. In fact, back in the 80's and 90's the food pyramid had "breads and grains" as the basis of our diet, and they said to avoid fatty foods. They created a generation of diabetics hooked on carbs and fundamentally lacking the critical fats your body desperately needs. Now vegetables are the big thing. Do we look like we're built to eat plants? Look at a horse, cow, sheep, goat, deer, and antelope. They're built to eat plants. Do we seem to be built like that? No, obviously not. We're built to hunt and eat meat.

Eat a lot of meat and eggs, forget the fiber, keep carbs low, and drink a minimum of 3 quarts of water per day. If you feel lethargic just eat a small energy bar or granola bar. Do that as an experiment for 2 - 3 days and you'll find that all your problems will be solved.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Well it was fun while it lasted.

Greg, I'm really sorry to hear that. I really wanted to talk a bit about what PackRat said because it's something I truly believe in:

Keep plugging away at your rehab, physical activity, diet, and mental health Greg.

If you can picture it happening, you can make it happen.

Listen, there are literally millions of stories of people who were told by numerous doctors that something was completely impossible and they were hopeless. But for those who refused to believe it and put in the time and effort to find ways to beat their condition they came out stronger and healthier than ever.

I am no fan of modern medicine. I'm a huge fan of exercise and natural remedies for health issues.

Greg, do not let anyone tell you that your condition is hopeless. I don't believe that for a moment. The body is incredible, and nothing has a more profound effect on your body than the mind. Start doing your research. Find some natural foods or supplements that might help. Maybe talk with a natural cure doctor about it. Look into getting consistent exercise. Keep a fierce determination that you will turn this condition around and be strong and healthy and ready for action once again.

Like PackRat said, if you can picture it happening you can make it happen. Believe in it. Believe hard. Refuse to settle for being less than incredibly healthy. Be fiercely determined to find a way and you will!

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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I'll Be Live On Road Dog Trucking Radio This Thursday

Thank-you for taking the time for the show. I apologize for using your name last week without your permission 😇😇. I really enjoyed it.

Hey, no worries at all. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Very good show Brett!! I got interrupted and missed a little but listened and enjoyed the most of itthank-you.gif

Thanks!

I had a lot of fun. I had no idea how it was gonna go. I was just rolling with it. But I really enjoyed doing it. I'm pretty certain I'm gonna start doing that kind of thing for the website. Maybe I'll do YouTube Live as Kearsey does, and I'm definitely going to start interviewing people for sure.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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I'll Be Live On Road Dog Trucking Radio This Thursday

Just bumping this up as a reminder I'll be live today on Road Dog Trucking Radio from 4:00 - 7:00 PM Eastern Time. If there are any topics you'd like us to cover, let me know and I'll see what I can do. It's a call-in show so if you'd like to go live on the air with a question we'd love to hear from ya!

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Western Non compete contract

Sorry Brett.

No worries. We all have our moments.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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I'll Be Live On Road Dog Trucking Radio This Thursday

Yeah, I'm with you guys. I listen to dozens of podcasts because I love intelligent, thoughtful conversations with knowledgable people. I go through audiobooks by the dozens. I love that kind of stuff. I just think it's a highly unproductive use of time to take random ramblings from the peanut gallery. If you're looking for fights and drama and you consider that to be entertainment, then that's the way to go.

My goal when I'm listening to something is to learn as much as possible and hear interesting, thought-provoking viewpoints on topics from well-informed people. Call-in shows aren't the best format for that.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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I'll Be Live On Road Dog Trucking Radio This Thursday

Hopefully, it won’t wind up like so many others I’ve heard which go off the rails when they open the phone lines for Q&A. I’ve stopped listening to RoadDog for the same reason I don’t read Truckers Report.

That's the biggest concern for me, too. When she asked me what I thought about it being a call-in show I told her we could have had a positive, energetic, and productive show without taking calls, or at least without taking live callers. I would prefer to see questions phoned in and then selected to be discussed on air, but I think they believe the appeal is letting truckers get on the air and discuss their thoughts live at the moment.

To be honest, I expect it to go off the rails a few times. I'm working on putting together some topics I'm hoping we can discuss to steer the conversation in a productive direction, but I expect at least a few ranting lunatics to get through the screeners.

But, I'll take my chances. I've been in the industry 27 years. I won't face anything I haven't faced 1,000 times.

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