Is Illinois A Cursed State To Be A New Driver In?

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The Little Trucker's Comment
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I am trying to join the trucking world but I am new to it so I would need to go to a company sponsored trucking school that will pay for the cost up front (under contract agreement of course) and teach me what I need to know. I used to live in Colorado and the options to do trucking were abundant. Now, people are saying I have to get the CDL myself or pay for school up front (4,000) and they will reimburse me which doesn't help. Should I move to another state or is there a way around this?

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Steve S. C.'s Comment
member avatar

Check with a local college to see if they have a CDL class as they will be able to help you with a student loan. Is this place near you? There is also state funding options too. http://www.richland.edu/cpe/cdl

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Steve S. C.'s Comment
member avatar

Sorry, I forgot to check that map. Decatur is a little far from Midlothian, IL. There are a bunch of companies ot there that still run schools though, and on top of that they sometimes will even pay you while being trained. Here is a list here, but remember to check with the company before you commit and see if they cover hotel expenses. https://www.truckingtruth.com/paid-cdl-training/

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Annee's Comment
member avatar

I am trying to join the trucking world but I am new to it so I would need to go to a company sponsored trucking school that will pay for the cost up front (under contract agreement of course) and teach me what I need to know. I used to live in Colorado and the options to do trucking were abundant. Now, people are saying I have to get the CDL myself or pay for school up front (4,000) and they will reimburse me which doesn't help. Should I move to another state or is there a way around this?

I'm from IL and going to school at Prime in MO. You are away from home for a bit but Prime pays for your lodging and first week's food and you sign a contract for the cost of school. But you should know IL does not accept CDLs transferred from other states so in this scenario you would need to pass the CDL testing in the state you train in and go back to IL and do it again.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
The Little Trucker's Comment
member avatar

Sorry, I forgot to check that map. Decatur is a little far from Midlothian, IL. There are a bunch of companies ot there that still run schools though, and on top of that they sometimes will even pay you while being trained. Here is a list here, but remember to check with the company before you commit and see if they cover hotel expenses. https://www.truckingtruth.com/paid-cdl-training/

Thanks for the advice. However, I checked that list out and a lot of the places on there are saying the same thing as CRST, which is they can't help me because I'm in Illinois. Or, in the case of Premier, they can't help me because they are only hiring experienced drivers. I have narrowed it down to two companies. I know it's a "pick your poison" kind of thing and that there is bad to every company. But from what you know and have heard, which one is better: CR England or Swift?

I could care less about not having a social life, not getting home time, etc. I have no kids, no spouse, no family, no friends, so I don't care about that. Which one pays decently and treats their drivers better? Which one gives more mileage? I know they both pay for your transportation to trucking school, etc. I cannot find any information regarding whether or not they team drive. CR England will pay for hotel while you go to school, but Swift just tells you to go home if you live in the same state. What are the other differences in the companies?

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
The Little Trucker's Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

I am trying to join the trucking world but I am new to it so I would need to go to a company sponsored trucking school that will pay for the cost up front (under contract agreement of course) and teach me what I need to know. I used to live in Colorado and the options to do trucking were abundant. Now, people are saying I have to get the CDL myself or pay for school up front (4,000) and they will reimburse me which doesn't help. Should I move to another state or is there a way around this?

double-quotes-end.png

I'm from IL and going to school at Prime in MO. You are away from home for a bit but Prime pays for your lodging and first week's food and you sign a contract for the cost of school. But you should know IL does not accept CDLs transferred from other states so in this scenario you would need to pass the CDL testing in the state you train in and go back to IL and do it again.

Thanks for that information because I have not heard that. So I guess I could take the test twice, or I should just try to find a company-sponsored trucking school that has a base in Illinois. But what if I just don't drive in Illinois? Or do I have to have a CDL license in my home state no matter what?

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Brad P.'s Comment
member avatar

I have seen post like this before. I too am an Illinois resident that is going to Roehl for company sponsored training. I already got my permit in Illinois. I asked Stephanie from Roehl if I would have to retake the driving test after I passed mine at the Co. Sponsored training program. She has told me they have everything ironed out and i would not have to take anymore tests in Illinois. If I was to have problems at local DMV to give her a call, they have a contact within Jesse Whites office.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

Annee's Comment
member avatar

I have seen post like this before. I too am an Illinois resident that is going to Roehl for company sponsored training. I asked Stephanie from Roehl the same thing. She has told me they have everything ironed out and if I was to have problems at local DMV to give her a call, they have a contact within Jesse Whites office.

That's the first I've heard this but if she can pull strings for you, wonderful. There is a federal mandate that requires states to accept CDL transfers but IL (and a few other states I believe) have refused to comply. This state sucks :)-

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

Annee's Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

I am trying to join the trucking world but I am new to it so I would need to go to a company sponsored trucking school that will pay for the cost up front (under contract agreement of course) and teach me what I need to know. I used to live in Colorado and the options to do trucking were abundant. Now, people are saying I have to get the CDL myself or pay for school up front (4,000) and they will reimburse me which doesn't help. Should I move to another state or is there a way around this?

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

I'm from IL and going to school at Prime in MO. You are away from home for a bit but Prime pays for your lodging and first week's food and you sign a contract for the cost of school. But you should know IL does not accept CDLs transferred from other states so in this scenario you would need to pass the CDL testing in the state you train in and go back to IL and do it again.

double-quotes-end.png

Thanks for that information because I have not heard that. So I guess I could take the test twice, or I should just try to find a company-sponsored trucking school that has a base in Illinois. But what if I just don't drive in Illinois? Or do I have to have a CDL license in my home state no matter what?

If I remember correctly, in IL you will have to prove residency with mortgage statement, utility bill,, etc. in order to get your permit. So the state you reside in when getting CDL does matter. I believe all states are like this.

At first I wasn't crazy about taking the CDL test twice but have since realized if you can drive and pass in one state, you can do it twice.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

LittleTrucker listens to "people":

Now, people are saying I have to get the CDL myself or pay for school up front (4,000) and they will reimburse me which doesn't help.

Trucking school is all about the CDL. You need to get the CDL permit to get started in school. Some schools will help you with the permit, also. But Trucking Truth's recommendation is to get the CDL (& physical) out of the way before you board the Greyhound. Yes, you are out the $100 physical exam & the $60 License fee, but no school or company will pay those for you.

As for commercial school, nearly all of them offer financing. If you choose a commercial driving school, get your ducks in a row with several Pre-Hire letters, including an understanding the company will pay off your school when you're hired.

I chose Swift, mainly because I live close to a Swift school (Memphis). Don't let distance stop you - most companies that hire you will get you to their school, provide a hotel room, and get you educated in truck driving. BTW, except for the CDL permit & physical, I did not need to pay anything up front for Swift's Academy.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

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