• Report: #1071138

Complaint Review: Progressive Truck Driving School

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  • Submitted: Mon, July 29, 2013
  • Updated: Mon, July 29, 2013

  • Reported By: Chris.D — Lansing Illinois
Progressive Truck Driving School
1945 Bernice Rd Lansing, Illinois USA

Progressive Truck Driving School Progressive, Inc.www.cdltruck.com Misleading Prospective CDL Applicants Lansing Illinois

*Author of original report: Thank you for your comments and Insight

*Consumer Comment: GINA & HER REPRESENTIVES AT PROGRESSIVE TRUCK DRIVING SCHOOL

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Progressive Responds

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I highly discourage anyone from signing up with Progressive Truck Driving in order to obtain a CDL A License.  There are a number of reasons why I discourage anyone from signing up with Progressive and why I regret having taken their course; a student is not guaranteed a CDL after taking any of their courses; additional testing starts at $400; the curriculum is set up so students are almost certain to fail the CDL exam; there is no real instruction given in the classroom time; the school is constantly flip-flopping classroom instructors; students are required to buy a $70 book from Progressive that is not necessary for the course; students are required to sit through numerous recruiting sessions from Trucking companies like Schneider and Swift; a student will not be given a certificate of completion of the course until they apply to one of the recruiting companies; and the school performs random drug tests on their students while the student is enrolled.

There are a few positive points to Progressive Truck Driving School.  I attended the Lansing branch of Progressive so keep this in mind; the conditions may be different at their other two locations. 

POSITIVE ASPECTS:

The first positive thing I would like to point out are the driving instructors at Progressive.  I had very good experience with the driving instructors on the skills course and during my road practice.  The driving instructors do not reflect the management of Progressive and seem genuinely concerned about students passing the CDL exam.  This is not to say all the instructors are top-notch, but for the most part I was very impressed by their knowledge and ability to teach the skills of truck driving.

The second positive aspect at Progressive is the equipment.  I felt the trucks and equipment used for training were in good repair, and if they weren’t, Progressive has their own mechanics to fix the trucks.  Also, they are very easy to drive and good for training a new student.  Occasionally, a clutch would get out-of-line but that is to be expected.

Progressive is also a very safe environment for learning considering how many people go through their doors.  There are cameras in every room, and they keep cell phone usage to a minimum.

NEGATIVE ASPECTS:

My description of the negative aspects of Progressive Driving School may be long-winded, but I feel it necessary to warn every single person considering Progressive Driving School, about their practices, after the experience I had with them.

I will start with the negative points that are easier to explain and then work towards the more complex. 

  1. Progressive Driving School runs random drug tests on the enrolled students.  Every student has to get a DOT Medical Card including a DOT physical prior to entering the school.  For this reason, I don’t see it being necessary to randomly drug test students.  I do understand they probably do this for insurance reasons; example, a student practicing with one of their trucks drives into a parked car while on the road and happens to have marijuana in his/ her system.  I feel that a student should be tested prior to entering the school and immediately after an accident, and this should be enough.  I think random testing during instruction is a little excessive. 

My real complaint with the drug testing policy is the way they perform the random drug tests.  If the drug tests are random, they should be truly random.  I am a white male in my 30’s, I was never randomly drug tested while at Progressive.  Progressive seems to have a tendency of random drug testing the younger African-American students at a more frequent rate than other students.  There are some people who were randomly tested 2-3 times while I was enrolled at the school.  And it always takes place on Mondays, so be forewarned. 

  1. Students are required to sit through recruiting sessions with truck driving companies like Schneider, and Swift.  Progressive states that they guarantee job placement of graduates once they obtain a CDL.  The truth of this is that companies like Schneider, Swift, Warner, C.R England, and a few others will hire individuals, without a CDL, who have not graduated from Progressive.  The reason these companies do this, is because they have their own rigorous driver training every driver will go through regardless of whether the new driver has a CDL or not.  As a driver, especially if you have obtained a CDL, you do not need Progressive to get you a job; there are plenty of companies out there willing to hire CDL drivers who have no experience.

The reason I was so annoyed at having to sit through recruiting sessions is because I paid for the driver training, and the recruiting sessions are counted as classroom hours.  I did not pay to sit through recruiting sessions; I paid for classroom hours. Also, I was not interested in working for any of the recruiting companies and yet I was not able to opt out of sitting through the recruiting sessions. 

Expect to have about 2 recruiting sessions per week (as a part time student), and expect to see Schneider, Swift, May Trucking, Falcon Trucking, Warner, Dot, Boyd Bros., Covenant, and a few others. Also expect to see Schneider and Swift a few times.

It is pretty obvious to see that Progressive is monetizing its student enrollment information by selling the names and information of Progressive students to trucking companies, and also selling the student classroom time to the companies for recruiting purposes.  

  1. The classroom time at Progressive is a complete waste of time.  Progressive has no curriculum for the classroom hours.  The director of the school created a detailed outline for the pre-trip CDL exam, and most of the classroom hours are spent going over this outline; what are the parts of the brakes, what are the parts of the suspension, explain the brake tests. 

The problem with using this outline to teach the students is that outline requires students to memorize parts of the truck, and things to do in the truck, when students are not actually in the truck.  Progressive should allow students to take notes and learn these things on their own (active learning), and then give them the outline a week prior to the test as a study tool.

The teacher is more of a baby-sitter for students who are not out on the trucks practicing their driving.  Students who have not obtained their permits are sent to the computer room, students who have obtained their permits sit in the classroom and go over the outline, watch videos, “study”, or are required to sit through recruiting sessions.  

Most of the actual classroom instruction is “life coaching”.  I don’t know any other way to describe it.  It is a lot of come to class on time, be motivated, when you go into the test… look like you need a job, don’t wear jewelry into the CDL exam, why don’t you guys know this stuff, you should go to bed early if you expect to succeed.  This life coaching stuff is a lot of advice that will do nothing to help a student pass the CDL exam. 

The reason why I found this life coaching stuff so annoying and insulting is because every single person in the class got up one day and took the time to research driving schools, applied to the driving school, paid the money, and is now in class.  If a student went through all of that, then I feel they are motivated, and they don’t need to be constantly told to be motivated in life.  I also think the school is making a sweeping assumption that the majority of the students in the class are unemployed and “down-and-out” type people.  I found this not to be the case; the majority of the people I was in class with were employed and many of them were getting a CDL to advance their career. 

I went online and looked up the requirements for driving schools (which can be found on the Secretary of States website).  Driving schools are required to have a classroom of a certain size, and have an approved book for instruction.  The State of Illinois does not dictate what the driving school does with that book, or how it uses its classroom hours. 

  1. Progressive requires every student to purchase an instructional book (Adams, Alice. Trucking: Tractor-Trailer Driver Handbook/ Workbook. USA: Delmar Cengage Learning, 2006, 3rd Edition.) from the school.  The cost of the book is added on to the cost of tuition for the school, and students are not allowed to purchase the book from any outside sources.  The book costs approximately $70 from Progressive.  On Amazon, the book costs $25.97, plus $3.99 for shipping.  The book is also available used for as cheap as $3.73.  It seems, Progressive is charging students over double the price for the required textbook

The book that is required for the class was seldom used in the class.  I believe that the book is only required to fulfill the State Requirements.  We very seldom used the book, and all the information needed to pass the CDL exam is in the CDL booklet available for free at the DMV.

Students are required to complete 10 “exams” or short assignments, which require the book to find the answers.  I found that most people just skimmed the book to find the answers, and some students didn’t even open the book and just filled in the answers using common knowledge.  I would say that about 3% of all the students at the school actually read the book.   

If Progressive actually utilized the required book, and created a curriculum for teachers to teach in the class, students wouldn’t feel like they are wasting time and money.  After sitting through a few recruitment sessions, and watching a few outdated videos, students start to become agitated and also begin to resent the school.  There are about 30 chapters in the book, Progressive could create outlines of the chapters (for the teachers) and go over about 5 chapters per week on a rotating schedule.  This would give students a descent education on trucking and the trucking industry, and be a better use of the classroom time.  The school could also alternate so that when morning students are going over chapters 1-5, evening students are going over chapters 6-10 to avoid overlap.

I also felt that Progressive should devote a certain amount of classroom time to teaching the information needed to pass each endorsement exam (found in the DMV CDL Book).  I completed each endorsement available while at Progressive, but I studied and tested on my own without Progressives help.  This would be a good way to make students aware of safety regulations, operations, and responsibilities of more specialized driving operations such as driving a tanker, double or a triple, or hazmat truck.  I feel this would be another good way to utilize the classroom time at Progressive.

  1. Progressive oftentimes swaps out their teachers, or hires new teachers, during their programs.  During my 2 months at Progressive, I had a total of 3 classroom teachers.  This is not “one day this teacher, the next day another teacher”, it is one teacher teaching for a period of time and then quitting or being moved to another school and a new teacher being brought in.  The problem with this is there is no even flow for the teaching, and paperwork is often lost in the shuffle.   

There are also times where they are short on driving instructors and they will swap out mechanics for driving instructors.  This wouldn’t be a problem except the mechanics speak Polish and their English is a little difficult to understand.

 

  1. Every student is required to sign a contract upon entering the Progressive Driving School program.  Inside of this contract are a number of ways in which Progressive fines students.  In addition to fining its students, there are no guarantees that a student will pass the CDL exam regardless of how many times the student takes the course. 
  • Progressive fines every student $10 for signing in late to class.
  • Progressive fines a student $10 every time they run over an orange cone on the driving course.
  • Progressive fines a student $45 dollars for changing his/ her schedule (going from full time to part time or vise-versa).
  • Progressive fines a student $25 dollars for not showing up to class.

Progressive has a number of programs a student can sign up for.  The majority of students sign up for the 160-hour program ($3200), unless they receive funding from the state.  In that situation, the student usually signs up for the 240-hour program ($4800).  When I was inquiring about the courses offered at Progressive, I asked if the 160-hour program was sufficient to pass the CDL exam.  They assured me that if I did my work, fulfilled my requirements, and studied hard, that the 160-hour program should be sufficient.  Later on, while enrolled in the course, I talked with an instructor at Progressive regarding the number of people who usually passed the exam (exams are given every Friday).  He told me that, “on average, if 12 people are testing, about 3-4 will pass”.  And that includes students who have previously failed the test and are retaking the test.   That means that 9 people out of 12 are failing at least one part of the 3 part exam.  I don’t know what the DMV numbers are, but I know that those are terrible odds.  And what I noticed from hearing other student’s stories, and from paying attention to who was passing and who wasn’t passing, is that on average, each student is failing the exam at least 2 times.  I failed the exam once, and passed the exam the second time, but that was at the South Holland DMV. 

Although a driver, with a permit, is allowed to fail the CDL A exam 3 times before he/ she has to reregister for the exam ($50), Progressive will not allow a student to retest any part of the exam without paying approximately $400.  Any student who signs up for the 160-hour program is allowed to test 1 time.  If a student takes a more expensive program (200, 240, 300hr) they are allowed more attempts at the exam; the more expensive the program, the more attempts they get.  

Progressive is making a large percentage of its money from students failing the exam and having to retest at $400 dollars for each retest. They are not charging for the retest, they are charging for the additional training they feel a student needs in order to be allowed to retest.  For example, if a student fails the first attempt at the exam, and then has to retake the exam twice, they are paying an additional $800. 

There is another trick that Progressive has; every student who is set to test has to be OKed by the driving instructor, the skills instructor, and has to finish their 10 assignments, in order to take the CDL exam.  If a student is not OKed, or does not finish their assignments, Progressive will not allow them to test, even though they have paid for the course and gone through the training.  That means that a student can go through the entire training, pay for the training, and still not be allowed to take the CDL exam.  If the student wants to take the exam, they will have to pay $400 for the required training to get them ready for the exam.  I have seen this happen. 

  1. Progressive sets up each student to fail.  Allow me to explain.

When a student signs up with Progressive, they are given a certain number of classroom hours, a certain number of skills hours, and a certain number of driving hours (coinciding with the 3 parts of the CDL exam).  Regarding the skills hours, a student of the 160hr program is given a certain number of hours on the skills course.  The skills hours are divided into three types; straight backing, angle backing, and driving the actual testing course. 

A student of the 160hr program is only allowed to drive the actual testing course the week that they are testing.  Some students were only allowed on the testing course the day before they were tested.  Of the total number of hours a student has for skills practice, sometimes a student is only allowed an hour on the testing course prior to testing.  I was allowed 2 hours.  This makes it very difficult for a student to pass the exam when testing on a course they have hardly driven on.

The majority of the time the student spends practicing “skills”, the student will be practicing the “straight back”.  A student is required to do 6 hours of straight back practice.  “Straight backing” is simply pulling up a certain distance, and then backing up that same distance.  There are lines painted on the ground to guide the student.  Even if a student does not have problem with straight backing, they still have to practice 6 hours of this and are not allowed to move onto angle backing until they have finished those hours.

The next stage of skills practice is the angled backing.  A student starts from a boxed area, pulls up at a variety of angles, and then backs back into the box they started from.  Although this is helpful, this is impractical because a driver seldom has to back into a space they originated from.  A driver usually has to pull next to a spot and then back into it, such as a loading dock.  I was never allowed to perform the loading dock maneuver on the skills course, except for the 2 hours of practice I had on the testing course.   

A student is also set up to fail because of the braking tests that are required during the pre-trip examination.  Although we study the pre-trip ad nauseam, the brake tests are never actually performed in the running vehicle.  I asked two instructors, on separate occasions, during my driving hours, if they could help me perform the braking tests and they both told me “this is time for driving instruction, you have to do that another time”.  

If a student wants to practice the braking tests, they have to practice them while in the truck on the skills course.  If the brake tests are reviewed, they are reviewed in the classroom, or near a truck, which is not running. 

It is not surprising that the portions of the CDL exam that students most often fail are the pre-trip exam (brake tests) and the skills section. 

  1. If a student completes the program, but fails the CDL A exam, and is unable to pay for further testing, they will be denied any certificate from Progressive until that student passes the CDL A exam.  This means a student can complete the entire course with flying colors, complete all required coursework, and fail one section of the CDL exam, and they will walk out of Progressive Driving School with nothing; no certificate of participation, nothing.

 

A WORD TO THE WISE:

As a graduate of Progressive, who passed the CDL A exam at the DMV (not at Progressive), I recommend you not to patronize Progressive Driving School.  Save yourself a giant headache and money by researching other schools and applying elsewhere. 

1.)  If money is an issue, don’t be fooled by Progressive’s scholarship program.  On the 160-hour program ($3200), Progressive offers a scholarship of $1000.  Remember, if you do not pass the exam in one shot, you will have to pay $400, and you are not allowed to go and take any portion of the exam at any Illinois DMV.  If you do, you will be disqualified from testing at Progressive.  The program, minus the $1000 is still more expensive than some other driving schools, like Acapulco Driving School in Cicero, which costs $1700.

 

2.)   Make sure the school you are signing up for can guarantee that you will complete the CDL exam.  Some students take longer than others, but there are schools out there that will follow a student from start to finish and will stay with you until you finally pass the exam.  One of these programs is the Truck Driver Training Program offered by Prairie State Community College in Chicago Heights, Illinois.  The program will take you all the way to completing the CDL A exam, and is a non-for profit school run by the state of Illinois. 

 

HOW TO GAME THE SYSTEM:

If you have no other choice than to sign up for Progressive’s Driver Training Program (your company is paying and insists you go to Progressive), this is how to game the system. 

1.)   Take the 160-hour program, apply for the scholarship, but pay your tuition up-front.  Do not take the extended payment plan.  If you get the scholarship, and pay up-front, the total amount you have to pay is about $1700.  That means Progressive is charging about $500 for the extended payment plan. 

 

2.)   Get your permit before you enter the school.  Progressive will discourage you from getting your permit before you enter the school and will tell you “we’ll make sure you get your permit”.  In order to get your permit, all you have to do is get the free book from the DMV, and read three chapters; General Knowledge, Combination Vehicles, and Air Brakes.  You should be able to pass the permit exam. 

 

You will also have to explain to the DMV that you will be taking the A exam, for interstate travel, and take a DOT physical.  If you don’t want to take a physical, I think you can specify that you will only be traveling inside of Illinois and then you can change it later.

 

Doing the permit test takes about 2 weeks, if you study.  If you finish it ahead of time, you will be allowed on the truck sooner.  If you fail the permit exam, while you are at Progressive, you will be barred from the school and have to wait a month before taking the test again and re-entered into the school.

 

3.)   Get all of your endorsements while at Progressive.  The classroom time is a waste of time, use that time to study the endorsements in the CDL DMV booklet.  Most of the tests are fairly short which means you can use a day to study and then go to the DMV on your own to take the test.  By the time you complete your program, you can have all the endorsements finished. 

 

4.)   Get your CDL B license while you are at Progressive.  I didn’t meet anyone at Progressive who was in a Class B specific course, but I did meet people who were only looking to drive a Class B truck.  Class B trucks are much easier to rent than a Class A truck, and you can test for a B license while in class for an A license without there being any conflict with Progressive.  Penske, Rider, and a number of other places will rent you a truck. 

I hope this article helps drivers make a more educated decision when deciding on a driving school.  If you have also dealt with Progressive Driving School, please post your experience and advice.  I am interested to know how other people feel about this school. 


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/29/2013 05:34 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Progressive-Truck-Driving-School/Lansing-Illinois-60438/Progressive-Truck-Driving-School-Progressive-Incwwwcdltruckcom-Misleading-Prospective-1071138. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Author of original report

Thank you for your comments and Insight

AUTHOR: Chris.D - ()

I would like to thank you for taking the time to comment on my article!  It seems like we ran into a lot of the same problems at Progressive Truck Driving School. 

I would just like to suggest one thing.  If you could take your comment, and make a separate article (complaint), using this website.  I decided to used this website because of another article I saw posted here about Progressive Truck Driving School, and I have received a lot of feedback from the article I wrote.  I think that more people would be able to view your comment, while searching on the internet, if the comment was created as a separate article.  I feel the more information that we provide to other people looking to find a driving school, the better informed those people will be when they make a decision.  You should just be able to publish it by following the "File a Report" button. 

If you do file it as a separate comment, feel free to also leave it posted here.

Thanks again and good luck with your driving career!  I hope you were able to complete your drivers exam.

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#2 Consumer Comment

GINA & HER REPRESENTIVES AT PROGRESSIVE TRUCK DRIVING SCHOOL

AUTHOR: NOTE2CREW - ()

PLEASE READ: Do not be fooled by either Gina's written reply or anyone that she herself or others that may claim to represent her or progressive truck driving school. Each time progressive is contacted by either telephone or in person they have a script that they either read from or have memorized in hopes that by the time their sales pitch is over you will have been so astonished by their ability to sell you swamp land in Arizona that you wallet/purse will fall open on the desk your sitting in front of that the miracle of paying the highest listed price for snake oil has now even become a bargain. In there script it has and always will emphasive P.T.D.I. certification which is not even necessary to be employed by several major companies throughout the United States. Schneider National Inc. Is the largest independantly owned trucking company in the world with over 15, 500 trucks over the road at anytime and looks at P.T.D.I. certification as if was an unnecessary $1,500.00 extra expense that you could have had in your pocket instead of thiers. The reason they have been in business for as many years as they have is not because of the level of integrity they display, it's because they have had many years to practice their ability to live the american dream as con artists. They sell you on a 200 hour course for $4, 00.00 and then will allow you to make payments of $333.33 over the course of 6 months after graduation for the 200 hour course you were sold by verbal manipulation and twisting of words. Several local truck driving schools here in Chicago currently are full without openings to register students until other openings open up. Progressive however, is all about looking the best to try and get unsuspecting individuals to call or walk in so the sales pitch and deception can begin. Gina uses other woman of Polish decent who dress in ways that a dominated male industry will say to themselves: This is the place to be...So for $4,000.00 you got to see blonde and brunette washed up polish woman who are professional liars and once you graduate will not be able to forget them because each month your reminded of it by a payment of the above mentioned amount for 6 months. It's then at that point you begin to ask yourself, Did I go to the right cdl school??? And your answer should be an overwhelming no but it's to late now. They only option you have is to report them to the BBB and make sure whenever you come across anybody interested in a cdl school that progressive never gets released from your lips but, schools like Acapulco & Compass do which usually do not have registration openings often but when you do get in you can relax take a deep breath and begin the process of learning a new career. PROGRESSIVES MOTTO: we progressively do our best to make our students convince themselves that you must have P.T.D.I. training in order to be employed in the trucking industry. Please note: each progressive truck driving school are all the same because they are all ran by the same person who is named Gina. We will now expose you to the world about progressive truck driving school, you and your practices. Your employees Barbara & Beatta in your Cicero, Il. Location and the erroneous way you conduct your business. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF WHO YOU ARE & DISGUSTED ABOUT WHAT YOU HAVE BECOME. Gina, you are a sorry excuse for a human being and am proud that my name will never be associated with you or progressive driving school...YOU HAVE NEVER HAD AND WILL NEVER HAVE INTEGRITY!!! 

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#3 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Progressive Responds

AUTHOR: Progressive Admin - ()

It would be hard to begin to respond to this opinion but I think it is best to state certain facts.

Progressive has been in business for 39 years and has trained thousands of students. We accept students of every different ethnic background, race, sex and, indeed, many different skill levels.

It is a fact that we are all human, and each human being brings different skills, talents, experience and knowledge to any endeavor, including educational training, employment and most importantly to us, truck driving. Truck driving is an occupation shared by hundreds of thousands of people, but I don’t think anyone would argue that the first qualification for the position is safety. A driver must be able to observe the rules of the road and relevant laws, operate the vehicle safely and properly, and be able to follow the mandates and regulations of the states, the federal government and their employer.

Our process is designed to take individuals, train them in the safe and proper way to operate the vehicle, get their Commercial Drivers License (CDL) and finally, make them employable in the industry. The last part of the equation is indeed very important. The vast majority of our students want to get a job in the industry. We are very open and honest with prospective students by enumerating some of the things that will prevent them from getting hired.- including poor driving records, criminal backgrounds, and job histories.

We recognize that not everyone who wants to work in the industry can qualify to drive a truck. The important distinction is the qualification part. Our certified courses meet and exceed Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI) standards and Progressive is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education (COE), both of which mean our courses and standards are rigorously reviewed. While we provide a state-of-the art education to students, it is a fact that the states of Illinois and Indiana conduct the CDL examinations of students. Based upon our years of experience with thousands of students, we devise coursework that we firmly believe gives the student the best chance of success at getting their CDL and most importantly, a job. We also assess the student as an individual, and we always desire to match the number of hours of coursework needed to the skill level of the individual. We are rated and judged by the organizations that requlate the industry on our graduation rates, so it is in our best interests, indeed it is the lifeblood of our business, to have as many students graduate as possible.

Education naturally requires something of the student as well as the instructor. We require students to be on time, to participate in classroom work, to study their materials, and prepare themselves for the exam that they must pass to earn their CDL We also require that students show up-on time-when they have agreed to do so, because some of the most important part of the training is behind–the–wheel training that requires the student be matched with a truck. If students show up late or not at all, the school and other students suffer and resources are not utilized efficiently. The situation is no different for any employer in the real world, as the trucking industry requires these same attributes of their employees as we do of our students.

The last part of what we do for students is to get them hired. I believe we are one of the few truck driving schools in the Chicago area that has a full-time placement director. This director’s job is to place the student in contact with the many hundreds of firms that are hiring drivers. We also require students to do things on their own behalf to help that process. This means the students need to apply to the trucking firms in a timely manner, so that their skills don’t become dated. Most of the industry is looking to hire an individual directly from school. Many of our students lack an extensive job history or experience in job hunting in the industry, so we very emphatically focus on the techniques that we have found, through our extensive experience, are most successful in the industry.

Having made these most important points, I will respond to the individual points in the report, section by section, below.

Gina Buda

President-Progressive Truck Driving School

  (The Comment Below Applies to the Report Relating to Our Truck Fleet under the Heading POSITIVE ASPECTS)

We hire the most experienced instructors available. We also believe in having a mix of individuals of different backgrounds that can relate to a very diverse student body.

We also expend a tremendous amount of resources to obtain, operate and improve our vehicle fleet. Later, I will explain why we insist that students comply with their agreed schedules to maximize the efficient usage of these trucking resources.

(The Comment Below Applies to the Report Relating to our Drug Testing Policy under the Heading NEGATIVE ASPECTS)

The Department of Transportation (DOT) through its regulation 49 CFR Part 40 regulates drug testing in the federally regulated transportation industry. Progressive uses an outside service to implement this policy on our behalf. We have absolutely no role whatsoever in the selection or identification of the individuals who take the test.

 

Testing of individuals is important in an environment where everyone’s life can be jeopardized by an impaired individual. Our own employees are also subject to random testing. This policy is for the protection of the students and instructors.

(The Comment Below Applies to the Report Relating to our Recruiting Sessions under the Heading NEGATIVE ASPECTS)

The fact is that no commercial truck is operated in the U.S. without a CDL. Trucking firms cannot supply CDLs. Each state has requirements and processes and finally, an individual must test and obtain their CDL We follow the state of Illinois’ requirements for training, which are established by the Secretary of State’s office.

As I emphasized before, our focus is on getting our students hired, so any time spent in front of recruiters we feel is very, very well spent. I think almost all of our students would very strongly agree with me. We never sell classroom time or names of students to any company. We have very strong relationships, extending over many years, with some of these companies, and they regard us as a trusted source for their hiring which, of course, is very important to them. We feel it is also very important for our students to have the opportunity to meet the firms and people they are considering as their employer.

(The Comment Below applies to the Report Relating to Classroom/Teachers under the Heading NEGATIVE ASPECTS)

Motivation is something very important in obtaining employment, and truck driving is a rigorous and demanding profession. We emphasize that the reality of the profession requires dedication and hard work. There is effort required, as we forcefully emphasize, after the CDL is obtained in getting a job. Job hunting is not so automatic that it requires no effort on the part of the student!

We do not feel that going over specific points in the pre-trip exam is wasted time. Some students fail their pre-trip test, and knowing the parts of the truck is a part of this pre-trip exam. What may be routine to one student may be unknown to another. Again, based upon our experience, we are able to identify the material most students have problems with, and we stress that in our coursework

(The Comment Below applies to the Report Relating to the PTDI Manual under the Heading NEGATIVE ASPECTS)

Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI) is the organization that certifies and ensures we meet professional standards of training in truck driving.. The PTDI manual we believe is a complete and all inclusive resource for students, particularly as they seek more specialized training in specific endorsements.  Often what you put in a class determines what you get out of it.  Our instructors focus on real life experiences related to the coursework, and leave the student to read the background material, much as a college professor would not read a textbook to a lecture audience but would focus on extending and interpreting the material.

If the manual is being offered online, it is probably a used manual, but the manual also includes testing/workbook sections that make it impractical to resell or reuse.

(The Comment Below Appplies to the Report Relating to Teachers, Contracts, under the Heading NEGATIVE ASPECTS)

 I think there is a lot of misinformation here that I will not attempt to refute point-by-point only to say the following things most emphatically:

Our coursework has been developed over a period of years using the input and experience from thousands of students, instructors, professional trainers and state examiners.  Nothing is so perfect that it remains static, but we constantly scrutinize our courses, instructors and students in order to do a better job

I must now make the most important point:

WE DO NOT SET UP OUR STUDENTS TO FAIL!!!

I can tolerate fair criticism from any source, and here I must say that all our students perform a review of our courses and instructors, which we use extensively to assess what we do, but I cannot stand for the insinuation that we set up students to fail. It is ridiculous and wrong. I can document how many thousands of free hours we have donated to students above and beyond what they have paid for, in order to help them to pass! We are judged on our graduation rate and as any student knows, the schools we compete with for students are very open in promoting their graduation rates, so anyone who says we set up students to fail is just plain wrong and malicious!

Also an important reminder, WE CANNOT UNILATERALLY PASS OR FAIL ANY STUDENT!

All students must stand for the state exam to earn their CDL. We do not grant it by ourselves! If they do not earn their CDL on their first test we will do anything we can to help them earn it. It is also true that a student without a CDL is not employable in the industry, and since our goal is to get students employed, as I said before, we will make every effort to help our students pass. That is the bottom line.

(The Comment Below Appplies to the Report Relating to 1. If money is an issueunder the Heading A WORD TO THE WISE)

Once a student enrolls with a school, an attempt to take an exam with the state will mean that the student will be automatically withdrawn from the truck driving school. This is an automatic action by the state and has nothing to do with the school.

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