How to Find a Truck Driver School near Rolling Meadows Illinois
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Rolling Meadows IL. Perhaps it has always been your goal to hit the open highway while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some analysis and have found that a career as a truck driver provides good wages and flexible work opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to get the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are several factors that you’ll want to examine before making your ultimate choice. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Rolling Meadows home. The expense will also be of importance, but selecting a school based entirely on price is not the best method to make certain you’ll get the proper training. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Will You Need?
In order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully in Illinois and within the United States, an operator needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driving school near Rolling Meadows IL, we will address Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief descriptions of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. A few of the vehicles that operators may be able to drive with Class A licenses are:
- Interstate or Intrastate Tractor Trailers
- Trucks with Double or Triple Trailers
- Tanker Trucks
- Livestock Carriers
- Class B and Class C Vehicles
Class B CDL. A Class B Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate single vehicles having a GVWR of more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. Several of the vehicles that drivers may be qualified to operate with Class B licenses are:
- Tractor Trailers
- Dump Trucks
- Cement Mixers
- Large Buses
- Class C Vehicles
Both Class A and Class B CDLs might also need endorsements to drive certain kinds of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.
How to Evaluate a CDL School
When you have decided which CDL you wish to pursue, you can start the process of researching the Rolling Meadows IL trucking schools that you are considering. As previously mentioned, cost and location will certainly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only concerns. Other issues, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So below are several more things that you should research while conducting your due diligence before choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few Rolling Meadows IL trucking schools are accredited due to the stringent process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more typical and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will receive plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of real driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will fulfill the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help determine the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top Rolling Meadows IL schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Illinois licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Illinois and employ instructors that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the teachers in the next segment. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the personal instruction they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that claims it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time period. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Rolling Meadows IL schools offer training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As already stated, it’s imperative that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors keep up to date with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors may be a little more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the ideal method is to pay a visit to the Rolling Meadows IL school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also talk to some of the students completing the training and find out if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent truck driving school will furnish lots of driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training methods, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. And even though driving time can vary between schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Rolling Meadows IL schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from a number of Rolling Meadows IL trucking schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of maintaining affiliations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in Illinois, find out if the Rolling Meadows IL schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates from competing schools for test times at Illinois testing facilities. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV deems the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As previously mentioned, CDL training is just one to two months in length. With such a short term, it’s imperative that the Rolling Meadows IL school you enroll in offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to dedicate more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Offered? The moment you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be anxious to begin your new profession in Rolling Meadows IL. Verify that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few employers hiring their grads, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Given? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be completed in Rolling Meadows IL.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Trucker?When prepping to interview for a Trucking position, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask truck driving prospects is "What drove you to decide on trucking as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a trucking operator, but additionally what qualities and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to trucking, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should ready a number of approaches about how you would like to address them. Considering there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an excellent truck driver and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down a few ideas and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Select the Ideal Truck Driving School Rolling Meadows IL
Selecting the right trucking school is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options offered and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must obtain the proper training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on cash or financing, you might need to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will in the near future be part of an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Rolling Meadows IL.
A Bit About Rolling Meadows Illinois
Rolling Meadows, Illinois
Rolling Meadows is located at 42°4′34″N 88°1′33″W / 42.07611°N 88.02583°W / 42.07611; -88.02583 (42.076209, -88.025911), 24 miles (39 km) northwest of the Chicago Loop. According to the 2010 census, Rolling Meadows has a total area of 5.635 square miles (14.59 km2), of which 5.63 square miles (14.58 km2) (or 99.91%) is land and 0.005 square miles (0.01 km2) (or 0.09%) is water.
In 1836, Orrin Ford became the first landowner in the area that is now Rolling Meadows, staking his claim of 160 acres (0.65 km2) in an area known as Plum Grove. Other farm families followed, many traveling from Vermont. By the early 1840s, settlers had built a dam across Salt Creek and had laid claim to the entire Plum Grove area.
The community became part of the newly formed Palatine Township in 1850 as German immigrants arrived. In 1862, the Salem Evangelical Church was built, and the church's 40-foot-square (12 m) cemetery still exists at the corner of Kirchoff and Plum Grove roads.
In 1927, H.D. "Curly" Brown bought 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) of land in the area with the intention of building a golf course, along with land adjacent to it for a racetrack. In the early 1950s, Kimball Hill purchased the land intended for the golf course, and began home sales by advertising a floor plan of his basic house in the Chicago Tribune. Although the response was positive, officials in neighboring Arlington Heights protested, hoping to buy the land themselves for estate homes. However, prospective buyers of the Kimball Hill homes persuaded the Cook County Board for zoning changes to allow Hill to proceed.
More Cities of Interest in Illinois