How to Pick a Truck Driving School near Roseville Illinois
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Roseville IL. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides good pay and flexible job opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to receive the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are certain variables that you’ll want to examine before making your ultimate choice. Location will no doubt be important, particularly if you have to commute from your Roseville residence. The cost will also be of importance, but picking a school based exclusively on price is not the ideal means to guarantee you’ll obtain the right training. Just remember, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?
To drive commercial vehicles legally in Illinois and within the United States, a driver must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driver school near Roseville IL, we will focus on Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short explanations for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. Several of the vehicles that drivers may be able to operate 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 CDL is required to drive 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. Some of the vehicles that operators may be qualified to drive with Class B licenses are:
- Tractor Trailers
- Dump Trucks
- Cement Mixers
- Large Buses
- Class C Vehicles
Both Class A and Class B CDLs may also require endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driver School
As soon as you have decided which CDL you would like to obtain, you can start the process of researching the Roseville IL trucking schools that you are looking at. As earlier mentioned, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other issues, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So following are some more things that you need to research while performing your due diligence before selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few Roseville IL truck driving schools are accredited because of the rigorous process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more commonplace and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive lots of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of actual 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 satisfy the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help assess the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Roseville IL schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s track record is pertaining to 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 regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Illinois licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Illinois and employ instructors that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the following section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the personalized instruction they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that insists it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. Most Roseville IL schools provide training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As previously stated, it’s essential that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers keep current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors may be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the ideal method is to pay a visit to the Roseville IL school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driver school will furnish lots of driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training tools, they are no alternative for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time varies among schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Roseville IL schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can get free or discounted training from a number of Roseville IL trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having associations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just remember to inquire if the schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in Illinois, find out if the Roseville IL schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates of competing schools for test times at Illinois testing facilities. It is moreover an indication that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As earlier mentioned, truck driving training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief duration, it’s important that the Roseville IL school you choose offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to spend more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to begin your new career in Roseville IL. Make sure that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be completed in Roseville IL.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Tractor Trailer Operator?When preparing to interview for a Trucking position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask truck driving candidates is "What made you decide on trucking as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for being a trucker, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to trucking, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to ready a number of ideas about how you would like to address them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an outstanding truck driver and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Select the Right Truck Driving School Roseville IL
Selecting the ideal truck driving school is an essential first step to launching your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available and understanding them is critical if you are going to succeed as an operator. Most importantly, you must obtain the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking money or financing, you may need to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you receive your training, you will in the near future be joining an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Roseville IL.
A Bit About Roseville Illinois
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,083 people, 438 households, and 296 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,333.3 people per square mile (516.2/km²). There were 478 housing units at an average density of 588.5 per square mile (227.8/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 99.45% White, 0.18% African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.09% Asian, and 0.09% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.46% of the population.
There were 438 households out of which 28.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.8% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.2% were non-families. 29.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.83.
In the village, the population was spread out with 21.6% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 22.0% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 27.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 80.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 74.7 males.
The median income for a household in the village was $32,031, and the median income for a family was $37,125. Males had a median income of $30,625 versus $18,594 for females. The per capita income for the village was $16,225. About 9.1% of families and 10.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.0% of those under age 18 and 6.0% of those age 65 or over.
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