Midwest Truck Driving: South Bend Edition

Commercial Semi Truck Cargo Transport Hauling Freight on an Interstate Highway in the Midwest USA Afternoon

The truck driving industry has been growing for decades, ever-increasing in size and reach. But despite its consistent growth, its history runs deep throughout the American Midwest. Midwest truck driving has created a huge portion of the national success of truck driving across the board–from exports to its employees to city-wide transportation hubs. In addition, TDI has a long-standing connection with Indiana and, more specifically, with the city of South Bend, Indiana. Keep reading to learn more about South Bend, Indiana, its role in the truck driving industry, and truck driving in the Midwest. 

Growth of Truck Driving in the Midwest 

Truck driving is a vital step in the national consumer supply chain. In 2021 alone, truck driving accounted for over 80% of the consequent freight bill. Not only that, but truck driving also accounts for about 72.2% of the nation’s freight (by weight). Talk about a heavy freight load! The truck driving industry is so nationally relevant and vital that the White House released an entire fact sheet detailing how the Biden/Harris administration will help strengthen the truck driving industry’s workforce. 

While truck driving affects the national economy, the Midwest is also especially relevant within this industry. Driving back and forth across the nation inevitably leads truck drivers through the Midwest, increasing the likelihood of a personal connection. Due to the consistent passage through the Midwest, many truck drivers may train or live there because of its convenient location. Notably, the truck driving industry and its employment rate have been ever-increasing since the 1990s. Even with significant economic and transportation factors like 9/11 and the Great Recession, truck driving, and Midwest truck driving continue to see employment growth! In fact, truck driving overtook air transportation in 2004. Moreover, truck driving is predicted to see a steadily increasing employment rate of 4% each year. It’s goodbye wings and hello wheels! 

Indiana’s Truck Driving Industry

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the state of Indiana is the most active within the truck driving industry. Although the Indie 500 takes place in this racing state, it’s not the reason for Indiana’s prominent role in the truck driving industry. But that doesn’t mean Indiana isn’t one of the fastest trucking contenders. Indiana’s geographical location makes it an ideal hub for Midwest truck driving as they travel to other Midwestern cities, the mid-Atlantic, and even the Northeast. It’s also close to other cities and states like Chicago, IL; South Bend, IN; Indianapolis, IN; Ohio, Michigan, and Kentucky. Being in a central location makes Indiana an ideal stop for transnational transportation and end-game stops. 

Besides being an appropriate geographic hub for Midwest truck driving and transportation, Indiana is also home to many industries the truck driving industry affects. With all the open farmland for agriculture, Indiana is a perfect location for large-scale American agricultural exports. Of all 50 states, Indiana is the 12th largest state exporter in the United States, exporting $39.8 billion in 2018 alone. $12.4 billion of that $39.8 billion came solely from transportation equipment exports–making Indiana another vital contributor to the truck driving industry, besides its prime location. Some of its top exports include:

  • Soybeans
  • Corn
  • Feed and other grains
  • And pork

South Bend & TDI: a Longstanding Relationship

When it comes to the Truck Driving Institute and Indiana, though, this relationship goes back many years. South Bend, IN, is home to TDI’s oldest and most popular CDL training facility. Because of its close location to transportation hubs and its wide-spread acreage, South Bend is the perfect place to train new truck drivers. They’re close enough to the growing export hubs and have vast access to spacious land to practice truck driving skills in low-stress areas without fear of hurting other people or vehicles. South Bend is also home to multiple universities, such as Indiana University and the University of Notre Dame, which help with Indiana’s export business. 

South Bend Campus

TDI’s South Bend campus, as previously stated, is one of the oldest and most popular TDI training campuses. South Bend is a great place to start your truck driving career. If you live in or near South Bend, TDI’s South Bend training campus may be for you. This campus is accessible to those who live in Elkhart, IN; Gary, IN; southern Michigan; Kalamazoo, MI; and more! If you’re anywhere in the Midwest, South Bend may be the perfect spot to start–even if you’re not located within the city itself! 

No matter where you’re based, this campus offers many CDL training sessions. During your first week of CDL training, you’ll spend most of the time in the classroom learning every skill you’ll need for your CDL. You’ll learn about trip planning, cargo claims, maintenance basics, writing driver’s logs, map inspection, weight scales, and Smith systems, among other things. You’ll also be introduced to TDI’s placement experts so you can begin to get ideas about who you’d like to work with/for and where you’d like to be placed. 

During your second week, you’ll take the next step and begin using your classroom knowledge and get behind the wheel training. You’ll have access to TDI’s private, multi-acre driving range in South Bend, where you’ll spend most of your practical, hands-on driving training. During this time, you’ll get as comfortable as possible behind the wheel in a stress-free environment before taking your CDL exam. Then, after you’ve got the jitters out of your system, you’ll get real-time experience on the road. This will be one-on-one time with TDI’s instructors in low-traffic environments off of our private course, so you can finally test out the skills you’ve been developing. 

And finally, during your third week of training, the time to apply everything you have learned arrives. Instructors will walk you through low- and high-stress situations, night driving, complex situations, and more. Then all that’s left is to take your CDL exam!

Join the TDI South Bend Community

Are you in the South Bend or the Midwest area and interested in earning your commercial driving license (CDL)? Contact us today to join the South Bend and Midwest truck driving community. 

Get Started

Get your Class A CDL in our friendly, supportive CDL training program. TRAIN with experienced instructors – multiple good-paying, secure job choices with benefits available for eligible graduates. EARN $700 – $1000+ / week to start as a truck driver. Get started today by filling out the form below. We look forward to hearing from you!