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

Why take a CDL Practice Test?

To begin your career in trucking you must obtain your CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). As part of the test, you must pass a series of written CDL tests in order to obtain your CDL endorsements. For all CDL endorsements, including Class A, Class B, and Class C, a written test must be passed.

Every state requires a written CDL exam. This exam is based on Federal Guidelines – the test is the same for every state. The official test changes often, but taking a practice taking a practice CDL test will give you an idea of the score you would receive on an actual CDL test.

We have compiled some sample test questions to give you an idea of how you might score on the CDL exam. To become well-versed in the material you’ll need to know for the written test, take classes at Progressive Truck Driving School. Take our free CDL Practice Test to see how you would score today.

Take Progressive Truck Driving School’s Free CDL Test to find out how you score: Progressive CDL Practice Test

Trucking Jobs: High Demand, Low Driver Supply

Trucking companies are currently in a scramble to find certified truckers like those certified by Progressive Truck Driving School. There are currently thousands of openings, but not enough truckers to fill the demand. As the economy picks up speed, there’s a greater need for truckers. It’s a simple equation: when people start spending money, there’s additional freight to move. For this reason, it’s being projected that truck driver salaries will be on a steady increase over the next few years.

There are as many as 200,000 job openings nationwide for long haul truckers, according to David Heller, director of safety and policy for the Truckload Carriers Association.

Although finding certified truck drivers, like those certified by Progressive Truck Diving School, is proving to be a challenge for employers, the pay for Truckers is well above the median wage for all jobs. The top 10% truck drivers make more than $58,000 a year.

One of the reasons for the short supply of divers is simply that drivers aren’t willing to put the time into a training program, like the one offered by Progressive Truck Driving School, even though the training program could lead to a substantial salary and long-term employment. Some tenured truckers are reporting income of $150,000+ after taxes, and some trucking companies are offering signing bonuses in the thousands of dollars for new drivers to sign with them.

Several of the largest long haul trucking companies in the U.S. are currently hiring. Those companies include Swift Transportation , Schneider National, J.B. Hunt Transport Services, and Werner Enterprises – all of which are currently aggressive hiring drivers.

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