Trucking Adds 3,900 Jobs in October 2014

In a significant increase, the trucking industry added 3,900 jobs in October 2014. Along with the jobs increase, the unemployment rate decreased to 5.8%, declining for the third consecutive month according to a Nov. 7th report from the Labor Department.

This increase mirrors the recovery of the U.S. domestic economy, with an overall increase of 214,000 jobs. The unemployment rate has also dropped to the lowest level in six years, according to Bloomberg News.

This is great news for truckers earning their CDLs, as the trucking industry is not only adding jobs, but also many employers are increasing driver pay and benefits packages to entice new drivers.

The trucking industry also added 3,800 jobs in September 2014.

Now is an excellent time to earn a Commercial Driver’s License. Contact Progressive Truck School to request more information: 773.736.5522

Trucking Companies are Upping Driver Pay to Attract New Drivers (Again).

Wal-Mart, one of the countries’ largest retailer, has begun releasing radio ads in hopes of attracting drivers with a new compensation structure: Wal-Mart is offering qualified drivers with CDLs, like those obtainable through Progressive Truck Driving School, a $76,000 salary plus benefits.

According to a Wal-Mart spokesperson, the company currently has 7,200 drivers, but needs even more.

According to The American Trucking Associations, the US currently has 750,000 “for hire” drivers but needs at least 30,000 more right now. They estimate that the industry must hire 100,000 drivers every year for 10 years if it hopes to keep up with retirements, turnover and industry growth. This will no doubt lead to increased compensation packages and benefits to attract new drivers.

Average annual pay for drivers was under $50,000 last year, up roughly 28 percent from around $39,000 in 2000, according to data from ATA and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. With Wal-Mart offering compensation of $70,000+, it is estimated that other companies will join suit to remain competitive, so increases in salary for 2015 are expected.

With pay on the rise, now is a great time to obtain your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and be on your way to a lucrative career in a fast-growing industry.

Contact us to talk to an admissions advisor about earning your CDL:  (773) 736-5522.

 

5 Classic Movies Featuring Truckers

Here are 5 classic movies featuring truckers and (often action-packed) life on the road, some so bad that they’re good.

 

1big trouble. Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

This irreverent 1986 Comedy features Kurt Russell as a trucker who helps rescue his friend’s fiancé from the Chinatown underworld in San Francisco. Crazy action scenes, hilariously bad Kurt Russell one-liners, and one of the wildest trucker protagonists in a feature film.

 

 

 

 

 

black dog2. Black Dog (1998)

Patrick Swayze is an ex-con who takes a new job driving long-haul. What he doesn’t know is that his truck is filled with illegal weapons, leading to a fight to survive and save his family in this 1998 action extravaganza.

 

 

 

 

 

 

white line3. White Line Fever (1975)

In this 1975 action flick starring Jan-Michael Vincent and a cast of little-known actors, Carrol Jo Hummer borrows money to buy a truck after returning from a stint in the Air Force. He’s hoping to make enough money hauling produce to marry Jerri Kane and set up housekeeping. In the world of White Line Fever,  he discovers that his long-haul business is run by racketeers and decides to fight the corrupt forces that control the trucking business.

 

 

 

 

smokey4. Smokey and the Bandit (1977)

Burt Reynolds, The Bandit, is hired on the run a tractor trailer full of beer over county lines, only to find himself in hot pursuit by a pesky sheriff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ovr the top5. Over the Top (1987)

Sylvester Stallone plays Lincoln Hawk, a struggling trucker who arm wrestles on the side to make extra cash while trying to rebuild his life. After the death of his wife, he tries to make amends with his son who he left behind 10 years earlier. Hawk enters the World Arm Wrestling Championships in Las Vegas hoping is to receive the grand prize of $100,000 and an expensive current custom semi-truck and thus start his own trucking company.

3 Things to Consider Before Forming a Husband and Wife Trucking Team

Husband and wife trucking teams allow couples to share in the experience of OTR/Long Haul trucking: spending time together, traveling around the country, and making great money. There are a few things to consider before making the decision to form a husband and wife trucking team:

1. You can make excellent money.

A husband and wife can drive double the amount of time as a single person in one day, as long as one rests while the other is behind the wheel. With double the miles driven, one of the primary reasons couples team up to drive is the monetary incentive.

2. Husband and wife trucking works best when both people enjoy the work.

Team trucking might be a bad idea if one person doesn’t enjoy driving or the experience of a career in trucking. It’s best to be on the same page with the skill involved, shared responsibilities, and avoiding back-seat driving. Keep in mind that you will be together 24/7, you have to both enjoy the work.

3. Spend time planning what you’ll pack and what you don’t need.

Sleepers do not offer a ton of storage. It’s best to pack light in both clothing, food, and personal items. You won’t have a walk-in closet; planning and packing appropriately for long-hauls allows you to relieve the stress of an over-crowded sleeper. Organize well and make sure that all items are in their proper place.

Are you interested in teaming up with your significant other to drive? Contact us at 773.736.5522 to learn more.

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.

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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