Trucking’s Role in each IndyCar Team

The Indianapolis (Indy) 500 takes place each year on Memorial Day weekend in Indianapolis, Indiana, yet plans for the event start at the end of the previous race. Truck drivers have a vital role to the overall success of the race. Truckers have to haul every piece of racing equipment into Indianapolis Motor Speedway from the previous race on the IndyCar calendar. This means the equipment is being transported over-the-road, across the country to Indianapolis each May. Each Indy 500 race has 12 full season teams, with three extra teams only racing during the 500. That brings the total number of drivers to 33.

Each team hires professional truck drivers for the season to ensure their cars make it to each race on the calendar. Every team must move the cars by trailer from racetrack to racetrack and ensure that nothing breaks in transport. When IndyCar has multiple races in one area, they split up the logistics to care for each part. For example, all IndyCar’s use Firestone tires hauled from race to race on two trailers holding 700-plus tires each. Each car needs enough spare tires to get through practice, qualifying, and the race. As for the remaining equipment, teams divide it amongst three more trailers. This brings the total amount of trailers for the cars to six per team because each car also gets its own trailer.

Each truck is driven by a team of drivers, so the trucks don’t have to stop to rest on the way to their destinations. Nearly all teams require their trucks to return to headquarters after each race to perform necessary repairs. It also gives the team’s engineers a chance to check the equipment before the next race. That means the driver teams must make two cross-country trips per race. Many times, these drivers also help set up the pit lanes once they arrive at each track.

Finally, after the race is over, the truck need to be packed back up and head to their next destination. Depending on the damage done to the cars during the race, the re-packing process can take more than an hour post-race. The drivers then prepare for the next race on the schedule. If the next race is more than a week away, the drivers set off for the team headquarters to inspect all of the car’s parts.

Logistics for the Indy 500

The Speedway itself also needs a fleet of trucks to have enough food, merchandise, and drinks for the 400,000-person crowd. For the Indy 500, this requires approximately 15 truckloads. When it comes to the amount of merchandise required for the race each year, there are about 10 truckloads brought in.

This brings the total number of trucks coming to and from the Indy 500 each May to 63 trucks. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and each IndyCar team handle logistics for their team so that each race can go smoothly. Most of the teams have mastered the logistics required for the race by now, as most have been running in the Indy 500 for many years.

Does this sound like an event you want to be a part of? DriveCo CDL can help prepare you for jobs like these during our Class A CDL training. Contact us today to reserve your seat!

The ELDT Mandate has officially gone into effect on February 7, 2022, which means there are changes in the trucking industry. What do these changes mean for you as a student and the CDL school you decide to attend?

What Is the ELDT Mandate?

The Entry-Level Driver Training Mandate is a new set of federal training rules that all certified CDL training schools must follow. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) has designed the ELDT Mandate to make trucking safer for everyone involved. All new drivers entering the industry will receive the same standardized training.

How Does it Affect Students?

Students are affected by the ELDT Mandate in two distinct ways. First, anyone taking their CDL test will need to have received training from an FMCSA approved training provider. Secondly, training is now be standardized for all students. CDL training includes the following rules:

Theory Training:

  • No minimum number of hours; must score at least 80% on the assessment
  • Lectures, demonstrations, computer-based, online learning, etc.
  • May use a simulator
  • Topics covered:
    • Basic Operation
    • Safe Operating Procedures
    • Advanced Operation Procedures
    • Vehicle Systems and Reporting Malfunctions
    • Non-Driving Activities (e.g., Hours of Service)

Behind-The-Wheel Training:

  • The actual operation of a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) is equal to the type of vehicle the Class of CDL covers.
  • Takes place on a range and public roads
  • May not use a simulator to meet requirements
  • No minimum number of hours, the training provider will assess and determine each student’s proficiency.

ELDT forces schools to adhere to the FMCSA training rules while also requiring that all schools register and self-certify the following:

Curriculum:

  • Must meet the new FMCSA changes listed above

Facilities:

  • All facilities must follow all Federal, State, and Local regulations.

Instructors:

  • Theory and Behind-The-Wheel Instructors must meet one of two requirements:
    • Instructors must hold a CDL of the same or higher class. They will also have the required endorsements to operate the CMV that schools provide during training. Must also have at least two years of experience driving a CMV that requires a CDL of the same or higher class.
    • They will also maintain the required endorsements to operate the CMV that the schools provide in training. Must have at least two years of experience as a Behind-The-Wheel CMV instructor.

State Licensing:

  • Schools must be licensed, certified, registered, or authorized to provide training per the applicable laws and regulations of any State where training is in person.

Vehicles:

  • All behind-the-wheel training vehicles must comply with applicable Federal and State safety requirements.
  • Training vehicles must be in the same group and type that driver-trainees intend to operate for their CDL skills test.

At DriveCo, our CDL training already adhered to all the required standards before the FMCSA implemented the ELDT mandate. We are also proudly registered within the FMCSA Training Provider Registry.

 

Are you ready to get your ELDT certified Class A CDL? Contact us at 219-336-8722 today, and our team can answer any questions you might have or get you started!

When students get their CDL, they mainly focus on what company they want to work for and not on the type of work they will be doing. The three main types of employment for new drivers are OTR (Over the Road), regional, and local driving. While all three of these jobs have similarities, certain differences make it an important decision for all new drivers when considering career options.

Over the Road

OTR driving is the most common job for new truck drivers. Many times, it is the way drivers gain the experience needed to move on to other jobs. While OTR drivers haul similar freight as regional drivers, the main difference is the number of miles these drivers travel to make these deliveries.

  • Pros
    • Highest pay: Truck drivers are paid by the mile, making OTR drivers the highest paid of the three jobs. The average salary of an OTR driver is around $55,000 starting.
    • Travel: OTR drivers are tasked with taking freight across the lower 48 states, which means they get to see the full beauty of the United States.
    • Independence: OTR drivers set their driving schedules as long as they deliver their load on time. Drivers are able to drive when they deem best for themselves without anyone constantly looking over their shoulders.
  • Cons
    • Home Time: Many OTR drivers are gone for weeks, which means that the amount of home time they get is minimal. Most drivers average one day home per two weeks.
    • Lonesome: OTR drivers are on the road by themselves for long periods, which gets lonely.
    • Health: Drivers have minimal access to healthy food while on the road. This, combined with being behind the wheel for long hours, makes living a healthy lifestyle hard but not impossible for drivers.

Regional

Regional trucking is the best blend of OTR driving and local driving. For regional drivers, their work is focused within geographic regions of the United States. These regions usually are 4-5 states and don’t go past a 1000-mile range. Regional drivers also have more dedicated routes to deliver to instead of the independence that OTR drivers have.

  • Pros
    • Home-time: Regional drivers spend the week on the road but can come home on the weekends to spend time with family.
    • Travel: Drivers can still see the US as they drive throughout their region, but they have less travel time than OTR drivers.
    • Relationships: Regional drivers can make relationships with customers as they are likely to make deliveries to the same customer repeatedly.
  • Cons
    • Stricter Deadlines: Many of the jobs that regional drivers take will be back-to-back to return to their home state. Many jobs will have tight turnaround times, which can leave the driver stuck in their truck.

Local

Local drivers typically deliver in a 100-mile radius which means they can be home in the evenings. These drivers also tend to make the same deliveries each day.

  • Pros
    • Home-time: Since local drivers operate within a 100-mile radius, they can return home for the evenings during the week and could be off on the weekends depending on the company they work for.
    • Health: Being home for dinner and close to home for other meals means that local drivers have easier access to healthier meals. Local drivers are also in charge of loading and unloading their trucks, leading to less time sitting behind the wheel.
    • Consistent routine: Local drivers are given their routes and deliveries at the start of the day, which provides the driver with the ability to schedule things outside of work.
    • Relationships: Drivers build relationships by making constant deliveries to the same people over time. Local takes this to the next level as drivers build relationships daily with customers. They also are able to stay in close contact with their families.
  • Cons
    • Pay: Due to local drivers not traveling as far, the pay opportunities are less than regional or OTR drivers. The average starting salary for local drivers is $41,000.
    • Manual Labor: Regional and OTR drivers, once they have arrived at a pickup or drop-off point, their part of the job is mostly over as there will be a team that loads or unloads their truck. Local drivers load and unload the truck on their own, which leads to more manual labor for the driver.
    • Longer hours: Many local drivers work similar hours to OTR drivers; however, they usually don’t get to choose when they start and stop. Many drivers feel like they get home just in time to go to sleep and start the next day again.

Students who graduate with their CDL have many options available to them to decide which type of job they take. Recognizing the difference between the three types of driving jobs will help students decide what career option best suits them.

Now that you’ve seen not all trucking jobs are the same, contact DriveCo to get your CDL and get started today!

The 2021 year is being forecasted as a transitional year for the trucking industry. The economy and truck driver demand are expected to bounce back throughout 2021 from the negative impacts the pandemic and have an upward trend going into the 2022 year. Anyone looking to become a professional truck driver should strongly consider starting your training as we move toward 2021!

Economic Rebound

Even though the economy took a hit in 2020, the need for truckers hauling freight is still high. E-commerce and online shopping sales have never been higher, and they are only expected to increase in the coming years. This means America will continue to need drivers to move more and more freight. FTR Transportation Intelligence forecasts that truck freight will grow 6% in 2021, which should be considered strong growth when looking at year-over-year comparisons.

The trucking industry will need to hire more drivers to meet the growing freight demands. Currently, the trucking industry has a shortage of drivers. Unfortunately, if this trend continues, the trucking industry could have a shortage of over 100,000 drivers by 2023. Even though this number is high, it is good news for new drivers. New drivers will have a variety of jobs to choose from after obtaining their CDL.

Increase Pay Rates

Another reason to get a career in the trucking industry is the increased pay rates that companies are currently implementing to beginner drivers. Spot rates are increasing compared to earlier in 2020 due to the high demand. Drivers are seeing new rates that are much more incentivizing to them. The average salary for a truck driver right now is between $55,000-$60,000 with an entry-level driver making between $40,000-$50,000. The more experience drivers gain, the more their pay can increase. Pay rates can also increase with different certifications and licenses, such as hazmat or oversized loads.

Fast Training

Fortunately, CDL training does not take long, meaning individuals who want to obtain their CDL can be driving into their new career in as little as 4 weeks. Truck driving does not require years of training and learning like other careers, so students can get out and start making money quickly.

The trucking industry is always changing, so more forecasts and insights may become available as we get closer to 2021. But right now, a job in the trucking industry could give you a long successful career! If you would like to get your CDL and start your trucking career, contact DriveCo CDL Learning Center today and see which campus is closest to you!

Are you interested in getting your CDL? If so, you’re probably trying to figure out how to pay for truck driving school. You may want to consider sponsored CDL training. With it, you don’t have to pay for CDL school and you have a job waiting for you when you earn your CDL.

What is a Sponsored CDL Training?

Sponsored CDL training means a trucking company pays for you to go to CDL school. In return, you usually have to sign a contract saying you will work for the trucking company when you get your CDL. Your contract may state you’re expected to work for the company for a minimum length of time like one or two years. Sponsored CDL training is a great option because you don’t have to go into debt or spend your savings to attend CDL school.

A Few Companies That Offer Sponsored CDL Training

  • McElroy Truck Lines, Inc. pays tuition to a school of their choice like DriveCo CDL Learning Center. The company also covers school lodging and travel. Whether you have to work for McElroy for one or two years is based on your location. For over 30 years, flatbed carrier McElroy Truck Lines has worked in the Southeast, Southwest, Midwest, and Mid-Atlantic.
  • PAM Transport covers tuition at CDL schools they’ve partnered with. This trucking company provides a well-paying driving job to students who the company has sponsored. PAM Transport provides van truckload services in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
  • CRST takes care of tuition for training at one of its partner schools in exchange for a commitment to work for CRST for ten months. Founded in 1955, CRST is a team carrier with a fleet of over 4,500 vehicles. This carrier has both company drivers and owner-operators.

CDL Training in Indiana

If you are looking to start your truck driving training at DriveCo, don’t let money be the reason why you’re not pursuing it! There are so many tuition assistance options to make school affordable. If sponsored training doesn’t seem to be the best fit, take a look at our other options or contact us for more information.

Updated May 2021

As baby boomers steadily retire and technology continues to advance, millennials are quickly becoming the prominent backbone of the workforce in America. But with rising student loan debt, unemployment concerns, and high turnover rates, the stakes to find stable, well-paying work are high. It’s no wonder why many people between the ages of 21 and 40 are dissatisfied with their current employment situations. Fortunately, there is a growing demand for a career that pays well, provides good benefits, and isn’t going anywhere: truck driving.

COVID’s Impact

The COVID-19 pandemic has weighed heavily on everyone, including the trucking industry. Freight has resumed to pre-pandemic levels again and presenting an excellent opportunity to begin a career as a truck driver. COVID has allowed trucking companies to update their procedures and become more efficient than they previously were. Carriers have equipped more and more drivers with tablets and contactless technology to make their routes safer and more convenient. These industry upgrades are just a few of the reasons why trucking is a great, stable career choice!

Why Trucking?

Driving a long-distance truck may not be the first option that people think of when looking for work, but it should be. Working for a trucking company is a great opportunity for those who are concerned about:

  • Job security
  • Competitive pay
  • Paying off debt
  • Health care costs
  • Retirement

High Demand

Thanks to a huge increase in online shopping orders and older drivers reaching retirement age, the demand for truck drivers is greater than ever. Even with advances in technology that hint toward self-driving trucks being a possibility of the future, these advancements are still many years away, which means that the need for reliable, qualified drivers isn’t going anywhere.

Competitive Pay & Benefits

Because of the growing need for drivers, trucking companies are willing to pay incoming drivers more money and offer them strong incentives to stay. The average trucking company provides:

  • An hourly wage of $21
  • An annual salary of $43,680
  • 401(k) plan
  • Healthcare benefits
  • Paid time off

Advanced Schooling

Many companies now train their students with advanced trucking simulators to make transitioning into a new career as a truck driver as smooth as possible. These electronic devices can help rookie drivers experience countless real-life experiences before ever getting behind the wheel of an actual semi. Because of this, new drivers can safely encounter every circumstance they could see on the road, big or small. When the time comes for you to drive on your own, you will be confident and equipped to handle anything.

DriveCo CDL Learning Center is Here to Help

If truck driving sounds like a good fit for you, DriveCo CDL Learning Center is here to help you get started. We strive to assist as many qualified students attain their CDL Training for as little out-of-pocket cost as possible. Thanks to DriveCo CDL Learning Center’s tuition assistance options, many students are able to train for free or very little money!

In addition to our sponsorship and tuition reimbursement options, we offer assistance for

  • Veterans
  • People with disabilities
  • Displaced workers

To learn more about starting a new career as a truck driver, contact us today. We look forward to helping you get started in a career to be proud of!