Category Archives: Illinois

Dump Truck Training Westfield IL

How to Decide on the Right Truck Driver Classes near Westfield Illinois

tractor truck in Westfield IL Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Westfield IL. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver offers good pay and flexible job opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are certain variables that you’ll want to consider prior to making your final choice. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Westfield residence. The expense will also be of importance, but choosing a school based only on price is not the best method to make sure you’ll get the proper education. Just remember, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.

Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?

Westfield IL long haul tractor trailerTo drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Westfield IL, a driver needs to attain 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 topic of this article is how to pick a truck driving school, we will focus on Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type 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 summaries of the 2 classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. Some 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 Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive single vehicles having a GVWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. A few 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 may also require endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.

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How to Research a Truck Driving School

Westfield IL truck driving schoolAfter you have decided which CDL you wish to pursue, you can start the undertaking of researching the Westfield IL truck driver schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other factors, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So below are a few more things that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many trucking schools in the Westfield IL area are accredited due to the rigorous process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more common and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of actual driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will measure up to the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Operation? One indicator 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 usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Westfield IL schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Illinois licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in good standing.

How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Illinois and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the teachers in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the personal attention they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that insists it can train you to drive trucks in a relatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Westfield IL schools provide training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Instructors? As previously mentioned, it’s important that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the teachers keep up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors may be a little more intuitive than other standards, and perhaps the best method is to visit the school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driver school will provide ample driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training tools, they are no substitute for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time varies between schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Westfield IL schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they provide.

Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to obtain discounted or even free training from some truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined amount of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of maintaining associations with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the best way to get affordable training. Just be sure to ask if the Westfield IL schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in Illinois, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at Illinois testing centers. It is also an indicator that the DMV deems the approved schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Class Times Accessible? As earlier mentioned, CDL training is only about one to two months in length. With such a short term, it’s imperative that the Westfield IL school you choose 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 instructor should be willing to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.

Is Job Assistance Provided? The moment you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to begin your new career. Confirm that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or few Westfield IL employers hiring their graduates, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Given? Trucking schools are much like colleges and other Westfield IL area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be completed.

Dump Truck Training Westfield Illinois

Westfield IL long haul truckPicking the ideal truck driving school is an essential first step to starting your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in Dump Truck Training and wanting information on the topic Trucking Schools.  However, you must obtain the necessary training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on cash or financing, you may need to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent trucker school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will soon be part of a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Westfield IL.

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    Westfield, Illinois

    Westfield is a village in Westfield Township, Clark County, Illinois, United States. The population was 601 at the 2010 census, an 11.4 percent loss compared to 678 in 2000.[3] Reflecting the city's economic decline, much of the downtown area consists of boarded-up and abandoned buildings.

    The village of Westfield was laid out in 1839,[4] and a post office opened there on June 18, 1840. The community did not incorporate until August 31, 1875.[5] Westfield College operated here from 1865 until 1914. The school was founded by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ in 1861 as a seminary, then was incorporated as a coeducational college in 1865. The peak enrollment was 160, in 1909. However, enrollment declined sharply thereafter, and financial problems forced the school to close in 1914. The building was used as the Westfield Township high school from 1914 until being destroyed by fire in 1917.[6]

    As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 678 people, 277 households, and 195 families residing in the village. The population density was 675.3 people per square mile (261.8/km²). There were 313 housing units at an average density of 311.7 per square mile (120.8/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 97.94% White, 0.44% African American, 0.88% Native American, 0.29% Asian, and 0.44% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.29% of the population.

     

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