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.
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.
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.
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 established 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!
By taking these factors into consideration, you are well on your way to finding a great truck school for your CDL certification! To apply to Progressive Truck Driving School, complete this form.
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.
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.
- Open HouseAugust 2, 2018 - 11:41 am
- The YWCA / Progressive Truck Driving School 2017 Graduating ClassMay 8, 2017 - 4:31 pm
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 […]