Password Protected Trucks Now Part of Peterbilt Line

In an attempt to decrease theft of Peterbilt trucks, Peterbilt Motors Co. is now offering a new system that requires drivers to enter a password to start the truck.

At Progressive Truck School, we’re excited to see that new technology is helping to decrease theft in our industry.

Truckers enter the password into a 5-inch screen on the instrument panel, within the driver information center. After the code is entered, the engine must be started within six minutes, or the code will need to be re-entered.

To ensure that drivers won’t be locked out of their system, passwords can be changed and the Peterbilt service department can activate or deactivate the system.

The system is available on Models 579 and 567 equipped with Paccar MX-13 Engines.  The anti-theft system is now available for order.

To learn more about CDL certification, contact a Progressive Truck School admissions adviser at: 773.736.5522

Schools Receiving PTDI Course Recertification Address Need to Fund Driver Training

Read the a release below from the Professional Truck Driver’s Institute, issued on September 22, 2014. Gina Buda, President of Progressive Truck Driving School, is one of the featured contributors for this release from PTDI. Progressive Truck School is being re-certified for it’s PTDI-certified program.

Alexandria, Virginia — With the recent passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), PTDI checked in with programs across the U.S. and Canada that received PTDI course recertification in August about how funding initiatives might help address the increasing driver shortage.

“Any kind of funding to help more potential drivers attend school is critical for the industry,” said Paul Bulick, executive director of All-State Career School. “The driver shortage is huge and going to get bigger, to the point where I don’t know how they’re going to fill the need.”

Although WIOA, which provides new funding to train workers for jobs in transportation and other industries, will not affect Bulick’s program since it’s already eligible for federal funding, he noted, “without a doubt, it will help the industry and non-accredited schools.”

Industry leaders expect WIOA will offer increased funding for entry-level driver training—a definite need in the industry, as many students in truck driver-training programs rely on loans and grants for their education.

“Even though they are guaranteed to have employment right after graduation, young people in general don’t have the money to get through the program, so obviously this is a tremendous benefit for them,” said Gina Buda, president of Progressive Truck Driving School, whose schools at three locations in Illinois received PTDI course recertification. “Available funding is always crucial because our students are either in transition or unemployed, and there’s such a great opportunity for employment now. I’ve never seen such a shortage of drivers, and I’ve been in the industry 40 years,” Buda said. Even with the federal funding available, “we still don’t see as many young people as we would like to,” she added. “The public needs to be more aware of the funding available and that there are jobs actually waiting for these young new drivers. Every student who comes through our school gets prehired and will have a job waiting.”

Roxanne Wilkieson, manager, Kim Richardson Transportation Specialist Inc. in Ontario, Canada expressed similar concerns about funding for younger drivers. “We have funding options available for our older clients through TIOW – Targeted Initiative for Older Workers and Second Career, which is an Ontario government program that will pay your tuition. The Ontario government is helping laid-off workers get back to work. We also have funding for programs, services, and initiatives for our First Nations clients. Where we lack funding is for our younger clients 18–30. There really is nothing in place for them other than borrowing money from family members or having to take out loans.”

Despite the funding available, Bulick said, “road transportation is still a secret as to the opportunities, the money you can make. The industry’s reputation has been tarnished, and to attract more drivers, we need to work on our image. This is where adopting PTDI standards at the federal level can make a difference.”

The programs that recently received PTDI course recertification are A. Duie Pyle Truck Driving Academy, West Chester, Penn.; All-State Career School, West Mifflin, Penn.; Kim Richardson Transportation Specialists Inc., Caledonia, Ontario; Ontario Truck Training Academy, at two locations in Oshawa and Peterborough, Ontario; and Progressive Truck Driving School, Inc., at three locations in Chicago, Cicero, and Lansing, Ill.

# # #

PTDI is a national, nonprofit organization established for the twofold purpose of developing uniform industry skill, curriculum, and certification standards for entry-level truck driver training and motor carrier driver finishing programs, and certifying entry-level truck driver training courses at public and private schools and driver finishing programs at carriers for compliance with PTDI standards. PTDI is based in Alexandria, Virginia.

Contact Progressive Truck Driving School at 773.736.5522 to discuss our PTDI-certified training program.

Happy National Truck Driver Appreciation Week!

America Lives By Truck!

September 14-20 is when America takes the time to honor all professional truck drivers for their hard work and commitment in tackling one of our economy’s most demanding and important jobs. These 3.2 million professional men and women not only deliver our goods safely, securely and on time, they also keep our highways safe.

 

We’re proud of all of our 50,000+ graduates. It’s a great time to be a driver!

To learn about how you can become part of this high-demand industry, contact Progressive Truck School at 773.736.5522.

5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Truck Driving School

1. Does the school offer courses certified by the Professional Truck Drivers Institute (PTDI)?

Progressive Truck Driving School meets or exceeds the standards required by the Secretary of State of Illinois and also offers a course certified by the Professional Truck Driving Institute, PTDI.

PTDI is a non-profit dedicated to ensuring a high-level or training standards, safety, and driver professionalism in the trucking industry. PTDI develops a uniform skill performance curriculum as well as certification standards – since 1989 their certification is the gold-standard for quality driving curriculum.

2. Does the school offer job placement assistance?

So you’ve completed you coursework and on-the-road training, now what?  It’s time to find a job at a great company. Progressive Truck Driving School not only teaches students how to find a job in the trucking industry and what employers are looking for, but also assist students in getting placed in top-companies. 

Some of the companies we place students in include Schneider National, Swift, Werner Enterprises, FedEx, Roehl Transport, Inc. and Con-Way Freight. We not only ensure that you’re well-trained, but also provide assistance in job placement.

3. Does the school offer top-of-the-line equipment for student training?

On-the-road training is an extremely important part of learning to drive a truck. At Progressive Truck School, our fleet of training vehicles includes late model conventional and cab-over tractors, day cabs and sleepers with single and double axles and various transmissions, as well as various brands of vehicles: we offer all-around training with industry-standard vehicles.

We also offer our training in an actual trucking terminal. We provide one of the largest training parking lots in the Chicago-land area as well as training on public streets and highways. Not only do you learn in a safe training environment, but also gain real-life experience similar to what you’ll find once you graduate.

4. Does the school hire top-tier trainers and instructors?

Your instructors will have a direct impact on the success of your training. At Progressive Truck School, we not only ensure that our instructors have a proper background check, state credentials, and education, but also that they have significant training experience.

Progressive’s instructors must complete a specialized training program, which trains them on how to train and prepare new drivers for a future in trucking. All Progressive instructors must participate in a continuous education program provided by the Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA).

5. Does the school have a reputation for successfully graduating students?

You want to make sure that you’re training with an accredited institution that has been an established trainer in the trucking industry for a long time. Progressive Truck School has been training drivers for over 40 years! We’ve helped over 50,000 students graduate with their Commercial Drivers License. Contact us to discuss how you can join a fast-growing industry through training with Progressive Truck School!

Call 773.736.5522 to speak with an admissions adviser today!

 

Tony Justice: Mixing a Love of Country Music with Trucking

Tony Justice likes to sum up his life in seven words: God, Family, America, Country Music, NASCAR, and Trucking.

Tony, an East Tennessee man via California and Kentucky, lives the trucking life and incorporates his trucking lifestyle into his music. A singer-songwriter who is chasing his dream of having a No. 1 hit country music song, Tony draws inspiration from his life on the road.

According to Tony’s Facebook Page, one of the benefits to driving over the road is the endless hours to write, and the highway provides endless inspirations to write about.

Today, Tony is driving his Peterbilt truck over the road, a trade handed down to him by his father. Tony takes a lot of pride in being a second generation driver.

Tony has just completed his third album titled “On the Road”, written by Kenny Chesney, Kim Williams, and Randy Bodreaux.. You can sample all thirteen songs on the album at reverbnation.com or through Tony Justice Facebook.

Listen to “Peterbilt 379” from Tony’s new album, “On The Road”

Contact Progressive Truck School to discuss how we can help you start your career in trucking: 773 736-5522

The Other “Progressive” Announces “Real Life Trucking Hero” Contest

Progressive Commercial Auto Insurance (not affiliated with Progressive Truck School) has announced a $5,000 grand prize for a “Real Life Trucking Hero.”

If you’ve helped a fellow trucker or weary traveler, Progressive Commercial Auto Insurance wants to hear about it. They ask you to share a photo of your truck and tell them your story via their website here, and then ask your friends and family to vote for your entry in October.

Truckers are the “unsung heroes of the transportation industry,” notes a Progressive Commercial release about the latest installment in its Real Life Trucking Hero contest. “They work long hours, are away from their families, and often don’t get the credit they deserve for a job well done.”

This is Progressive’s third annual contest meant to recognize truckers. Progressive Commercial Auto Insurance launched their first contest at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas. Anyone can nominate a trucker, now through September 30. Nominating and voting is easy: simply submit a photo and a short essay (up to 500 words) explaining why you (or someone else) should be named the winner.

Link to the contest: http://www.progressivecommercial.com/hub/trucking-hero/#!/

Call Progressive Truck School to learn about how you can join the trucking industry: (773) 736-5522

Transport America, U.S. Express, and Con-Way Raising Driver’s Pay

Three of the largest trucking companies: Transport America, U.S. Express, and Con-Way have announced significant increases to driver pay in 2014.

Now, earning a CDL through training like that offered at Progressive Truck School has become even more profitable for drivers.  Effective Aug. 25, 2014., U.S. Xpress is raising its base mileage pay for over-the-road, solo, non-dedicated truck drivers by an average of 13 percent.  Con-way Truckload is also raising per-mile pay, effective Sept. 7, for both company drivers and independent contractors.

Transport America, one of the U.S. branches of Canadian trucking giant TransForce has also increased driver pay: owner-operators will receive a two-cents per mile increase in pay, team drivers will receive a one- cent per mile increase and hazmat pay will increase by four cents per mile. Newly hired drivers can start as high as 40 cents per mile and drivers with more than four years of experience can start at 43 cents per mile.

With trucking jobs becoming more and more lucrative, large companies are competing to hire qualified drivers, like those trained by Progressive Truck School.

“The new pay structure keeps Transport America as a leader among industry pay and one of the first to increase pay among the larger fleets,” said Transport America CEO Scott Arves.

Con-way drivers can also gain additional earning through an annual bonus of between 1.5 cents and three cents per mile, on miles driven over the previous 12 months from their anniversary date. The company is also increasing layover pay from $60 to $75 per day.

This move will likely put pressure on the other trucking companies to increase pay and benefits to their drivers as well. With wages on the rise, now is a great time to earn a Commercial Driver’s License from Progressive Truck School.

Call Progressive Truck School today to learn about CDL training: (773) 736-5522

2014 ATRI Survey Asks Trucking Industry to Rank Top Concerns

For the 10th year in a row, the American Transport Research Institute (ATRI) has released a survey asking stakeholders in the trucking industry to rank their top industry concerns.  ATRI is the trucking industry’s not-for-profit research organization.

“In complex times like this, it is critical that we do our part to help ensure a thriving future for the trucking industry,” said Philip Byrd Sr., chairman of American Trucking Associations, the organization that commissioned the survey.

During ATA’s Management Conference and Exhibition, scheduled for Oct. 4-7 in San Diego, the results of the survey will be released.

In 2013, the ATRI Survey concluded that the top trucking industry concerns were:

  1. Hours of service
  2. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program, commonly known as CSA.
  3. Driver shortage issues

The ATA survey results will be used by the federation to better focus its advocacy role in the trucking industry.

To participate in the 2014 survey, click here.

Contact Progressive Truck Driving School to learn more about CDL certification and the trucking industry: (773) 736-5522

A Record 55 Drivers Were Nominated for 2014 Trucking’s Top Rookie Contest!

Encompassing the spirit of the lucrative and exciting career in trucking, there were a record 55 nominations for Top Rookie in Mike O’Connell’s Memorial Trucking Top Rookie award.

Introduced in 2011, the contest was created to increase pride and professionalism between new drivers in the trucking industry and promote truck driving as a career. Over $25,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded!

These are the entry-level drivers who were nominated to be the 2014 Mike O’Connell Memorial Trucking’s Top Rookie. We at Progressive Truck School wish them all good luck!

  • Kevin Carpenter, C.R. England
  • Joe Boyle, Veriha Trucking
  • Phillip Alley, Epes Transport System, Inc.
  • Joshua Andrews, Stevens Transport
  • Freelin Berry, Transport America
  • Dion Blair, TMC Transportation
  • Ashley Bowers, Maverick Transportation, LLC.
  • Elisee Carnelli, Hogan Transports, Inc.
  • Derek Fischer, H.O. Wolding
  • Jonathan Chastang, Dart Transit
  • William Childers, Cargo Transporters, Inc.
  • Jason Dulier, Hogan Transports, Inc.
  • Rommel Duran, TMC Transportation
  • Kyle Friauf, Transport America
  • Matthew Frisbee, Stevens Transport
  • Clarence Gillespie, Hogan Transports, Inc.
  • Lyle Grant, Maverick Transportation, LLC.
  • Paul Hedge, Werner Enterprises
  • Byron Kilgore, Transport America
  • Brandon Hooten, Maverick Transportation, LLC.
  • Othello James, Werner Enterprises
  • Steven Jameson, Dart Transit
  • Alex Jusino, Maverick Transportation, LLC.
  • Amanda Kidd, Cargo Transporters, Inc.
  • Daniel Mota, C.R. England
  • Sean Klarer, TMC Transportation
  • Michael Kline, Roehl Transport
  • Dominick Krajewski, TMC Transportation
  • Jason Kiser, Stevens Transport
  • William Mills, Britton Transport
  • Richard Mullen, D&D Sexton Inc.
  • Julie Matulle, H.O. Wolding
  • Jeffrey Nace, Stevens Transport
  • Joel Nelson, Dart Transit
  • Carlos Nordquist, Werner Enterprises
  • Cheryl “Charlie” Naujokas, C.R. England
  • Reg Polante, H.O. Wolding
  • Karl Sall, Dart Transit
  • Adam Sanford, Core Carrier Corporation
  • Sandy Schultz, C.R. England
  • Chad Sears, Maverick Transportation, LLC.
  • Byron Simpson, Epes Transport System, Inc.
  • Fred Smith, Roehl Transport
  • Roger Wright, Transport America
  • Ryan Sparks, Boyd Bros. Transportation Inc.
  • Cartha Speed, Transport America
  • John Spofford, Premier Crude, LLC
  • Jordan Steffens, Norseman Express Trucking Inc.
  • Robert Strong, Roehl Transport
  • William Steinmetz, C.R. England
  • Michael Towler, Roehl Transport
  • Nico Turner, C.R. England
  • Joseph Watson, C.R. England
  • Robert White, Werner Enterprises
  • Joel Wieland, Britton Transport

Call Progressive Truck Driving School to discuss how you could start a career in an in-demand field: (773) 736-5522

How Lucrative is a Career in Trucking?

So, how much money do truckers make? In other Progressive Truck School blog posts, we’ve covered the current truck driver shortage – there’s currently a demand for drivers with CDLs. Current projections indicate a projected growth of 1.1 million jobs in the trucking sector through the end of 2014.

In the current state of trucking, a career in tucking can be extremely lucrative. After earning a CDL certification, like the CDL certification offered at Progressive Truck Driving School., drivers’ average anywhere from $30,000-$80,000/year!  Also, in the trucking industry its common for employers to offer guaranteed annual raises to drivers along with generous benefits packages (medical, dental, vision, retirement, paid vacations, etc.).

Experience, location, and cost-of-living can affect salary and compensation packages. Also, in trucking, the level of certification (including HAZMAT licensing) can affect driver compensation. Some experienced drivers (often in teams) report income of over $100,000; truckers can reach a very high compensation level.  Also important to consider is that with the economy on the rise and drivers in short supply, job security as a truck driver is unusually high right now compared to other low-demand jobs.

Another factor currently affecting trucker compensation is the retirement of tenured drivers.  Simply put, older drivers are reaching retirement age and are leaving the trucking industry.  These retired truckers open opportunities for employment for a younger generation of truckers.

The first step in starting a lucrative career in trucking is to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License. Contact Progressive Truck School to discuss your options: (773) 736-5522