Top 10 Illinois Truck Driving Schools and CDL Training
Are you interested in truck driving but don’t know how to drive this heavy vehicle? There are several trucking schools at which you can undertake a truck driver training course in Illinois. This kind of training is not only given to men but also women who are interested in making their career in this field. In fact, a lot of companies have female trainers and are employing women whenever possible.
Why might you want to become a truck driver?
There are plenty of good reasons to become a commercial driver. One of the most popular reasons is to secure a good salary. Well trained and experienced drivers earn a reasonable monthly salary. In some cases, truck drivers can earn much more than those who work in other fields. In the first year, a driver may earn $28,000 to $40,000. Many husband and wife couples even work as a team and take on truck driving as their profession. They work in shifts and earn good salaries while taking the opportunity to enjoy each other’s company.
Apart from the salary structure, there is also another reason why people choose to undertake this kind of training. Most of the people working in private companies or office jobs do not always know whether their jobs will be there for them the next day when they come to work. So, finding a job in a secure industry is what most people look for. Truck driver jobs offer this security. This security is mainly because of the shortage of truck drivers in this country.
If you undertake a truck driver training course in Illinois, you will be able to find a job in any part of the United States. This industry has a shortage of qualified truck drivers and thus trained and experienced truckers are needed throughout the country. This means even if you move from Florida to Oregon, you will be able to find a good truck driver’s job for yourself.
There are three important things that students who want to undertake this training on truck driving in Illinois must know beforehand.
Eligibility for undertaking truck driver training in Illinois
- The applicant must be 18 years of age.
- Not all applicants are accepted in all CDL schools. This is because some schools have a goal of finding truck driving jobs for each of the students. Some schools will only allow a student into the training program if they feel sure that they will be able to find a job. However, there are many schools that do not operate in this manner and are only concerned with taking money from the students for their training fees.
How to choose the right truck driving school?
There are plenty of truck driving schools across the United States. Each school has different programs set for their students. As with any business, there are bad ones and good ones. So, you have to know exactly what to look for in a trucking school.
- Never go for schools that provide truck driver training at a very cheap rate. Many people make the mistake of choosing these schools. In the hope to save money, you will actually cheat yourself out of a good training program and hardly learn anything from the school.
- There are also many individuals who get tempted by advertisements offering free training on truck driving in Illinois. This kind of training isn’t free because the individual is expected to work for the trucking company for a specific time. The individual is originally paying by agreeing to work for the company, which helps with the cost of training. On the other hand, this will guarantee you a position with the company, so it may actually be a benefit.
- The school you choose should not only get their students ready for the CDL test, but also for real jobs in this career field.
- Opt for a CDL school that offers company-sponsored tuition aid and financing options to help its students meet their training costs for truck driving careers. There are even many schools that pay for food and lodging during training.
- There are some schools that provide 100% job assistance to their students. It’s a good idea to try to enroll in such programs.
- The school you choose should have professionals with years of experience to teach the classes.
Work hours for truck drivers
A very common question asked by students is how many hours a truck driver needs to work per day. Although each trucking company sets its own shift requirements, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has set some regulations regarding maximum allowed daily hours.
According to the regulations, a truck driver must not drive more than eleven hours straight, or work not more than fourteen hours a day in total. The working hours must be followed by ten hours of off-duty. If any truck driver has worked for sixty hours in a week or seventy hours in eight days, he/she should take thirty-four consecutive hours break before starting to work again. These truck driving regulations are mainly for the protection and safety of the driver as well as other people on the road.
How does the training process work?
The training is usually held for a month or so. It combines hands-on experience and classroom presentation on CDL training. With this training, you will acquire basic skills to become a professional and safe truck driver in the United States. You can get valuable experience in map reading, CDL permit study, straight backing, 90 degree backing, 45 degree backing, pre-trip inspection, ramps, shifting, lane changes, tractors, downhill/uphill and double clutching after undertaking a truck driver training from a reputable CDL school.
Industry experts are predicting that the trucking industry will continue to grow in the near future. Although this is great news for the trucking companies, it doesn’t solve the problem of scarcity of truckers in the industry. A lot of veteran drivers in the United States will retire in years to come. This will even lead to a greater shortage of truck drivers in the industry. So, if you want job security as well as good pay, consider truck driver training in Illinois.