Star Truck Driving School
Looking into truck driving schools? It can be confusing. There is a lot of information out there.
Truck driving school is not cheap, so, you need the best value for your money. Here is a little help narrowing down the best choices.
If you live in Illinois, the Star Truck Driving School is one of the best in the area. It’s reputable. And, also offers financing help if you need it.
About the School
The Star Truck Driving School has been in business since 1992. It is in Hickory Hills, Illinois. Along with courses to help you successfully obtain your CDL, they also have job placement services.
Training Program and Schedule: Classification Overview
Star Truck Driving School offers a variety of different course programs. The courses you take depends on what you plan on driving. Different commercial motor vehicles (CMV) need different commercial driver’s license classifications. There are 3 classifications for CDLs: Classes A, B, and C.
Class A CDL
This classification is for vehicles that are over 26,000 pounds, and the towed vehicle is more than 10,000 pounds.
Class A CDL applies to drive the following vehicles:
- Livestock carriers
- Truck and trailer combinations
- Tank vehicles
- Tractor trailers
Class B CDL
Like a Class A CDL, a Class B requires the vehicle to have a gross weight of at least 26,001 pounds or more, but, the tow vehicle needs to be less than 10,000 pounds – not over it. This is the CDL you need if you plan on driving passenger vehicles.
You can drive the following CMVs with a Class B CDL:
- Large passenger buses
- Segmented buses
- Box trucks
- Tractor trailers
- Straight trucks
- Dump trucks with small trailers
Class C CDL
And finally, with a Class C CDL you can drive CMVs with hazardous materials. You would also need to have this type of driver’s license if you plan on driving vehicles with more than 16 people, including you.
You need a Class C CDL to drive the following:
- Passenger vans with 16+ people, including driver
- Small hazardous materials vehicles
- Any combination not covered in Class A or Class B
In addition to choosing which CDL class, you may also need endorsements. Endorsements are additional testing for special CMV cases. You will find out more about endorsements when you enroll in a training program.
Star Truck Driving School: Training Programs and Schedule
Star Truck Driving School offers 3 Class A CDL programs and one Class B course. They are designed to train you for specific commercial driving professions.
Their OTR Pro Driver Course is a 160-hour training program. It is designed for those who plan on driving tractor trailers. They provide knowledge and skill training to enter this career field successfully.
Another Class A CDL program this school offers are what they call the Local Pro Driver Course. This is a 200-hour program which places emphasis on local pickup and delivery that has grown popular over the years.
The final Class A CDL program from Star Truck Driving School is the Regional Pro Driver Course. This 240-hour course combines aspects of both Pro and Local. The aim is to make you marketable as a regional driver for less-than-truckload or truckload companies.
The only Class B CDL program they offer is a 160-hour course. If you want to drive straight trucks or another type of single commercial vehicle, this is the way to go.
The school also offers 40-hour course upgrades. If you already have a Class B CDL and want to go to a Class A CDL, this is the class you would take. You must already know how to drive a manual transmission to take this upgrade.
And, if you don’t see exactly what you need, this driving school also offers customized training courses. This is for people who need specialized training, and already have a CDL. They charge $600 per block of truck time. And, training is in 10-hour blocks.
Training programs run for both full- and part-time students. You may attend during the week, or on the weekends; the choice is yours.
Full-time students attend classes Monday through Friday during the week. They put in about 40 hours a week.
Part-time students may also attend weekday classes. They are Monday through Friday for 20 hours a week.
If you prefer the weekends, Saturday and Sunday classes are available for 16 hours a weekend. If none of these fit your schedule, you can also schedule personalized training time.
Star Truck Driving School also offers tutoring assistance; you don’t have to struggle alone. Tutoring is provided by school instructors at the request of the student.
Going to trucking school can be expensive. Trade schools don’t often qualify for student loans. So, that leaves many students out in the cold.
Luckily, they have many financing options. One option is to pay in installments. After paying the down payment, a student can pay off the rest of the tuition during their program. And, they don’t have to pay finance charges.
Additionally, if you prefer to pay via credit card they accept Visa, Mastercard, and Discover.
If none of these options appeals to you, you can try for state and federal grants. Guidelines apply for both state and federal grants. So, you must meet these first. Also, you must be eligible for the Star Truck Driving School’s Preferred Placement Program as well.
However, if you have the funds, you can pay your tuition all at once. You will also receive a discount if you pay your tuition in full before your first class starts.
Lastly, tuition prices fluctuate. But, once you enter into a program and a payment agreement, your tuition will not be subject to it. That means your payment won’t increase while you are in the program.
One of the more appealing aspects about this driving school is its placement program; they call it their Preferred Placement Program. They make it their goal to meet industry standards for quality training programs and training length.
The 60-hour Pro course meets, and sometimes exceeds, national and regional over-the-road (OTR) carrier requirements. Additionally, if you are interested in getting a job locally, there is high demand for drivers. You must complete 200-240 hours of training.
To be eligible for this program, you must be able to get a Class A CDL with all the necessary endorsements. Additionally, you cannot have criminal convictions regarding illegal drugs, alcohol or other substances. You also cannot have recent felony convictions on your record.
Lastly, you must pass all your classes. And, you must have a minimum 80% grade point average (GPA) in your classes to be a candidate for job placement.
Deciding to go to trucking school is a big decision. You will invest a lot of time and money in this endeavor. But, many reputable trucking schools try to make this as simple as possible.
The Star Truck Driving School is one of those training programs that tries to give you both value for your money, and job assurance afterwards. Whether you are just starting a career, or changing to a new one, this is a big transition for you. And, this school tries to make it as painless as possible.