Truck Driving

Overview

Getting your CDL at Elgin Community College gives you an advantage! You will learn and train on vehicles used throughout the industry, so you will be confident and ready to excel in your new career. Our state-of-the-art driving simulator that you won't find elsewhere. You will work with the best and most extensive fleet of tractors and trailers as an ECC student.

Students in the Truck Driving Program in Elgin learn critical skills in addition to driving, including map reading, trip planning, log keeping, vehicle systems, cargo handling, driving under adverse conditions, defensive driving, transporting hazardous materials, and legal topics of interest to trucking and transportation. We are a training provider registered with FMCSA with instructors with decades of experience in the industry who are here to help you. Jobs in the trucking field are plentiful and open to everyone, so join us and get your career rolling towards success. You can find the median wage for Truck Drivers and Fork Lift Operators on Elgin's Career Coach site.

Get additional information, including course listings and class descriptions.

Truck Drivers are in Demand


With the current truck driver shortage, it's never been a better time to consider a career in freight moving and getting your commercial driver's license (CDL). The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that working as Delivery Truck Drivers and Driver/Sales Workers will grow by 12 percent by 2030 and Heavy. Tractor-trailer Truck Drivers can expect to grow about as fast as other occupations at 6 percent within 10 years from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Delivery Truck Drivers and Driver/Sales Workers, (accessed December 22, 2021).

Why get CDL training at Elgin Community College?

This is the most comprehensive training program in the area with smaller class sizes than many of our competitors, meaning that you will have more time behind the wheel in maximum group sizes of 3 students per truck. Our relationships with local and over-the-road companies, state and local municipalities, and utility companies help you start your career with quality partners.

How do I start a career as a truck driver?

ECC admits students to the program each semester; after applying to the school, you will begin at the start of the new semester with six weeks in the classroom and ten weeks in the truck with experienced faculty who care about your success. 

How long does it take to get a commercial driving license?

Truck Driving is a high-demand career, offering excellent pay. ECC prepares you for this lucrative, dynamic, and fulfilling career in one semester. Classroom instruction coupled with on-the-road hands-on advanced skills and maneuverability training provides you with all these essentials to receive your CDL license for immediate employment and roadway to success.

What is the student-teacher ratio?

ECC Truck Driving Program caps its classes and maintains a 3 to 1 student-teacher ratio for an individualized tutorial, instruction, and professional on-the-road observation. Students receive seasoned hands-on training from teachers who mentor with sufficient credentials that provide extensive cross-functional experience.

What's the average experience of the Instructors?

The average driving experience for ECC truck driver instructors is decades of local driving and cross-country driving in various multi-wheel vehicles with or without trailers. A truck driving instructor well exceeds 12 years of hands-on and in-class instruction in addition to their practice. These instructors have a wealth of industry knowledge which helps students understand all the advanced skills necessary to be successful in the field.

Is ECC and its Instructors licensed to train class CDL A?

Yes, ECC is on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) list of approved entry-level driver training (ELDT) facilities. This allows all students to progress through the curriculum with a clear understanding of requirements, rules, and regulations that secure certification.

How much time will I be at the wheel?

At ECC, on-the-road training is the most critical component of the curriculum. This is where the rubber meets the road, and everything learned in the classroom is applied in real-time. There are two primary areas of instruction where the student receives hands-on training at the wheel requiring 50 hours and skills lot training requiring 170 hours.

Where will I take my state CDL test?

ECC students go to the West Chicago Illinois Division of Motor Vehicle (DMV) for testing with ECC trucks. Students take pre-trip, skills, and road tests. During training, you will practice test driving and maneuvers on the Secretary of State (SOS) road test route. The ECC skills lot, which you practice, in your curriculum, is a replica of the SOS skills lot. This combination of the ECC truck driving facility and the SOS road test route makes it evermore priceless in providing the comfort level students need to complete all testing successfully.

Careers for Forklift Drivers


ECC offers a Forklift Operator Certificate through classroom and hands-on instruction. Understand how to operate the intricacies of forklift operations and all the safety factors. This includes truck manipulation (forward, backward, left and right turns, stopping and parking) and fork manipulation (placement, raising, lowering, forward and backward tilts, and skid control). Adding a forklift operator certificate to your degree is a valuable credential for truck drivers and employees in manufacturing, warehouse, logistics, and other business settings.

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that working in material moving machine operators (as Forklift operators are sometimes called) will grow by 7 percent in the next 10 years. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Material Moving Machine Operators (accessed December 22, 2021).

What are the duties of a forklift operator?

Many functions require a forklift indivisibly connected to the forklift operator. The primary purpose of an operator is to lift and move heavy materials that are packaged and bundled on pallets. The mechanism is an adjustable fork on the lift that'll allow the operator to maneuver objects by placing the fork underneath the object. They're used primarily in warehouses, loading docks, storage lots, and large retail stores. Using a forklift requires exceptional knowledge of payloads, navigation skills, and critical safety practices.

How long does it take to get certification as a forklift operator?

In one class, ECC students learn safety inspections, balance calculation, and safety operations for raising and lowering forklifts while working with and without loads. All instruction complies with recommended training outlined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.

Is it worth it to get certified as a warehouse forklift operator?

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that working in material moving machine operators (as Forklift operators are sometimes called) will grow by 7 percent in the next ten years. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Material Moving Machine Operators (accessed December 22, 2021). This dynamic field serves multitudes of requirements at local, state, and federal levels of employment, from retail, to wholesale, to the warehouse, to loading docks, and to the trucking industry, all of which are federally regulated by OSHA.

Program Highlights

Prepare for Immediate Employment

Vocational Certificate

Basic Certificate

Planning to Transfer

Learn more about earning a Bachelor’s degree, earning summer credits for transfer, or dual admissions with a university by visiting University Transfer & Partnerships.

Learn more about programs at ECC in Truck Driving

Jobs in this field are in high demand, and offering a chance to be your boss has great pay and prepares you for the workforce after just one semester.

Apply today

Student Stories

Krissy Button

Elgin Community College helped graduate Krissy Button earn her commercial driver’s license and start a new career as a truck driver.