The YWCA / Progressive Truck Driving School 2017 Graduating Class

For over 5 years, Progressive Truck Driving School and the YWCA have partnered to help train YWCA program participants to get their CDL license.

The YWCA works every day to eliminate racism and empower women. Through advocacy and local programming, they create real change for women, families and communities.

In 2017, the YWCA worked with ComEd to help people obtain jobs – for some of these jobs a permit is required. Progressive Truck Driving School helped these job-seekers start new careers by training them to earn their license. In addition, Progressive Truck Driving School directs prospective students to our school to complete full training. Progressive has been successful every year helping people obtain their permit.

Progressive Truck Driving School is very proud to partner with the YWCA to help change the lives of their students for the better.

Congratulations to the 2017 graduating class!

 

Seriously Skilled Truck Driver

Check out the turning skills by this truck driver! Are you interested in earning your CDL and seeing if you can make this turn? Apply to Progressive Truck Driving School.

A Letter From a Progressive Graduate to His Instructor

Alberto Ledesma CDL Student

Why Trucking is a Safe Bet for Military Veterans

Safety isn’t just a buzzword in the trucking industry — it’s a lifestyle. It has to be, for a reason more than familiar to military veterans: neglecting safety comes with consequences. Fortunately, veterans transitioning into trucking will find a familiar — and enduring — commitment to safety. The statistics prove it.

According to the American Trucking Associations, the number of truck-involved fatalities fell 21% between 2002 and 2012 (the most recent range data is available for). The number of truck-involved injuries fell 20% during the same period. Altogether, trucks have overall crash rates almost half that of other vehicles.

The numbers are even more impressive considering in 2012 there were nearly 3 million more registered large trucks on the road than in 2002. Every day, the drivers of those trucks travel millions of miles, facing challenges like careless motorists and fluctuating weather conditions.

A combination of factors contributes to safety progress made in the industry, including better equipment and technology. Ultimately, it comes down to each driver making safety a top priority, and working for a company that never compromises that commitment.

For example, Schneider, an industry leader for 80 years and the number eight G.I. Jobs Military Friendly employer, has a core value of “safety first and always.” No freight matches the value of a human life, and Schneider’s policies reflect that.

Learn more about Schneider’s commitment to safety, see why those with a military background choose Schneider and apply to join the team by visiting schneiderjobs.com or calling 800-44-PRIDE.

Top 5 Things Drivers Should Look for in a Carrier

1. Integrity

A reputable trucking company has a set of core values it lives by and a track record to prove it. Anyone can claim to value safety, but what do the statistics say? Every company boasts respect for drivers, but what do the men and women behind the wheel really say? All carriers strive for excellence, but do they have decades of proven success to stand on? There are some fly-by-night operations in this industry, but you won’t regret working for a company with a reputation of integrity.

 2. Fair Compensation

Every driver deserves to be rewarded appropriately for the hard work they do, but it isn’t all about money either. Some companies will fill your wallet but treat you terribly. Others promise hefty pay per mile but don’t have the freight to make it worth it. Still others follow through with a great paycheck but don’t offer benefits. When you pick a carrier, look into the entire compensation package, along with opportunities for bonuses and career advancement.

 3. Career Options

The trucking industry has a notoriously high turnover rate, but finding the “green grass” right away will be just as helpful for you as it will for the company you choose. The best carriers will treat you right and pay you fairly, but they’ll also provide opportunities for advancement and movement within the company that meet your work-life balance needs. Some carriers put you through their school and funnel you in the direction that helps their bottom line or fits their limited freight base. Wouldn’t you rather be able to pick your driving school, and then find a company where you can continue to pick the best driving option for your life situation?

 4. Home Time

Let’s be honest: truck driving is more than a job – it’s a lifestyle. Being away from home is simply a reality as a truck driver, but a carrier worth choosing understands how to maximize that home time. Whether it’s special programs to get over-the-road drivers home for longer periods, or regional routes more conducive to drivers supporting families, or even part-time options, the best truck driving companies will encourage a healthy work-life balance.

 5. Equipment

The trucks you drive and the technology you use aren’t just accessories on the job. They impact your quality of life and even your livelihood. If you work for a company that promises great mileage-based pay, frequent home time and steady freight, but your tractor keeps breaking down before you can rack up miles, get home or haul your next load, what’s the point? What if the poor condition of equipment negatively impacts your CSA score? Look for a company that continually invests in new equipment and has a track record of technological innovation that makes a driver safer, more comfortable and more productive.

If you’re looking for a company with all of the above, and 80 years of proof, check out Schneider.

4 Tips for Choosing a Chicago CDL School

There are multiple CDL schools in Chicago, so how do you find the right one for you? When choosing a CDL school in Chicago, there are a few key factors that you should take into account:

1. Look at their track record.

First and foremost, look at the track record of the school. How many commercial driver’s licenses have they issued? A school that advertises that they’re the “best driving school in Chicago”, but doesn’t have an establish track record of helping students to graduate and find jobs is a school to avoid. At Progressive Truck School, we’ve graduated over 50,000 students since 1974 – those are the types of numbers you should be looking for when selecting a school.

Also, look at the testimonials on the school’s website and social media. Look carefully at what students say about the training and professionalism of the staff. Avoid schools where you aren’t able to find feedback from former students.

2. Check out the equipment they offer to students.

Does the school offer late-model conventional and cab-over tractors, day cabs and sleepers, with single and double axles and various transmissions, as well as different brands of vehicle, so you get an all-around training experience?

Also, what does their training terminal/lot look like? A school without a dedicated, large training terminal and parking lot is typically a CDL school to avoid. Also, look for a school that offers on-the-road training, so that you can get real-life experience.

3. Find out if they offer job placement assistance.

Does the school you’re considering offer Job Placement assistance? The last thing you want to be is a CDL graduate without a great job to jump-start your career.

Look for schools that have experience placing students with top companies. At Progressive Truck School, we assist students to get jobs at companies like Schneider National, Werner Enterprises, FedEx, Roehl, and Con-Way.  Also, look for CDL schools that offer job placement assistance free of charge!

4. Find out if they offer PTDI-accredited courses.

PTDI is the first nonprofit organization to develop uniform skill performance, curriculum, and certification standards for the trucking industry and to award course certification to entry-level truck driver training courses and motor carrier driver-finishing programs.

Look for a school that offers classes that are certified by PTDI. PTDI is a great indication that the trucking school is recognized on the national level for meeting the PTDI’s high performance standards.

By taking these four factors into consideration, you are well on your way to finding a great truck school for your CDL certification! To apply to Progressive Truck Diving School, complete this form.

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.

 

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.

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!