I will try and give you only the facts and keep my opinions to a minimum.
When the recruiter tells you that a hotel and $70/week will be furnished, it
means that they front this to you and you will be paying it all back.
When the recruiter tells you that they will "help you out" with bus ticket
to Dallas, it means you will be paying it back.
When Steven's gets you to Dallas, you will be required to sign a promissory note for aprox $240 for hotel stay, $210 for food money, $65 for physical (even if you already have your DOT physical card) and the cost of a bus ticket (if you chose to take the transportation they provide you). I believe my total note is $645.
You will also have to bring enough money to cover changing your driver's
license to Texas, the cost of your CDL permit and the cost of your CDL.
Then, the cost of changing your Texas CDL back to your home state.
This note is paid back at the rate of $25/week through payroll deduction.
You are required to sign a loan for $4,552 plus 18% interest for total of
$4,950, to be paid back on the 10th of every month after graduation of their school for one year. It is also to be paid if you fail the class, get fired
for any reason (even if you get fired for having two accidents on the road)
for any reason at all. However, if you work for them for one year, the loan
will be forgiven. If you work for them even one day shy of a year, you owe them the same amount of money. The loan payback is not pro-rated. If you go into default, your loan will be turned over to a collection agency where they will add 30% to the amount owed.
Avoid any contact with a lady named Carol. She is the owner's daughter and a vice-president. To say that she lacks people skills is an understatement. After one visit with her, you will have the tone set for how Steven's treats people as a whole. This is not an opinion, it is a fact. The trainers will agree as will the folks at the Greyhound station that try to avoid her. Folks, this is the lady in charge of recruitment.
The hotels that they contract are nasty!!!!!!! Fact.
You will have 3 weeks of training at their CDL school. Do not look at this
school as a separate entity from the company. You are there to be trained in order to receive your CDL to work for Steven's. The school is a separate company only on paper in order to receive funds from the Texas Workforce Commission and Federal Gov't funds. I quote: "The loan that you sign is only to encourage folks to work for Steven's for one year." What I trying to point out is, don't give any indication that you have plans other than what they lay out for you.
You will then go through a one week orientation, at which time your
employment with Steven's begins. Then, if you don't have to wait for a
trainer to go on the road with, you leave for 5 weeks teaming with a
trainer. The number of hours vary. Usually, if you are with an
owner/operator, you will drive 11 hours a day. If you are with a company
driver, your drive time may be as little as 5 hrs/day at first. If at
anytime the trainer needs to go home, gets sick etc..., you will have to
wait for another trainer. Then, you come back to Dallas and go through a
second week of orientation. At this time, you are back waiting for a tractor
to drive with another student. You team with another student for 3 weeks.
Then back to Dallas to wait on a tractor of your own. This last week they
sent out several students who have been waiting on a tractor by way of
Greyhound to pick up 14 trailers that where abandoned. These tractors became the tractors they will be driving. So, plan on not making a real paycheck or well over 3 months. I would estimate no less than 15 weeks if everything goes smoothly (hahaha, right).
If the recruiter says that you may take your tractor home, what they mean is that you can if you can prove to them that you have at least a six foot fence and locked gate to secure it in.
Their trucks are governed at 62mph.
You aren't forced dispatched, but you better take the dispatch if you want
to be dispatched in the future. (quote from a trainer)
You will see NYC quite a bit. At least in the first 8 months or so.
According to their Director of New Hires, they think that a person who has
an 8th grade education and has made $6.25/hr all their lives and are happy taking what Steven's has to offer works out best there.
Steven's trained aprox 2000 drivers last year. They put only 100 new trucks on the road. (quoted from an instructor, verified by an office personnel)
They have about 1800 tractors on the road with just over 2000 trailers.
Owned by Steven Aaron.
Direct competition is FFE.
I will add more as I think about it. Just be aware before you leave for
Dallas. They bring you there without informing you of much. I believe that I was just plain lied to. Once you are there is when they tell you things that might have been helpful to know before you left home. I only hope that I canshed light on what Steven's is offering before you find yourself feeling trapped. With my experience with getting recruited in the military and with my education I feel like a fool for falling right into their trap. If I knew this info before I went, then I can only blame myself for being in a situation. However, going without knowing, then shame on them.
Stevens Transport - Dallas, Tx.
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Also, if you are told that you are guarentee a job after CDL training...your not. Most do get jobs, but they do not run your checks untill just before they offer a position to you. (I'm sure this saves them money) You may be disqualified for any number of reasons.
You're STILL gonna owe them the five grand, AND you will have a nice little USIS entry that states you were "terminated or voluntarily quit during orientation and/or training".
You mentioned in your post above that " The school is a separate company only on paper in order to receive funds from the Texas Workforce Commission and Federal Gov't funds", and "Steven's trained aprox 2000 drivers last year". Now think about that for a moment.
Do you begin to see what is going on here? If they are compensated in some way by the Government(s) for every warm body that is run through their revolving doors, plus whatever they can milk out of those unsuspecting people at the same time, they are taking in between 10-20 MILLION dollars per year to train drivers. They could care less if they stay or not.
Now think about something else. What do they gain by shoving two people into a truck that are making peanuts for 6 to 8 weeks at a time, if they get THAT far into the program, who are generating 1000 miles per day?
Where is the outrage? This is nothing short of RICO Act material that ought to be investigated by the Federal Government.
as a resent ex employee of stevens I have found out they play game about releasing employement information so one can get another job has anyone else had this problem? I found out working for them cost more money than you make and then once you quit they still find a way to cost me money and a very good local job.
Under Federal laws that went into place last September, carriers can take up to 30 days to respond to a request for employment information on a previous employee.
They are even allowed to charge for the information, but cannot refuse to respond with the requested information, if a prospective employer refuses to pay a fee for a reference.
Too many people are not aware of this change in the way references are handled, and it does cost people the chance at some good jobs. When one quits and is then looking for a job, the delay in getting one can be devastating to their finances.
Drivers need to keep in mind that it can take up to six weeks for some of the ore strict carriers to approve an applicant, and the day of applying today, and being hired tomorrow are practically over.
Is it even legal to get a license that way. Since you haven't established any form of legitimate residency in Texas, how does that part of it work? I'm under the impression from being in the military that you have to establish a residence as an address, not just a hotel room to be a resident of the state.
Otehr than that, it sounds like a real royal screwing to the poor guy starting out with them. The dollars of support they are getting probably make the school a tidy rprofit center, and any drivers they can keep are just icing on the cake.
I had the same question in my mind. When I went to the driver's license office, they knew that I was driving for Steven's and knew the adress given was a hotel, yet they still issued me one. In fact, I gave them my home adress in Florida as a mailing adress. So, I assume, in some way, it is legal. I am as stumped as you are on that one.Kwaione Thanks this.
It isn't legal, under the Federal guidelines for the issuance of Commerial Driver's licenses, and while the state may be hand slapped by the Fed's if it is discovered, it puts the individuals at risk of being charged with a Federal crime.
383.23 states that a CDL must be applied for, approved, and issued by the state in which the driver is domiciled. The ONLY exception to this, is in the case of a foreign driver with a temporary work visa, who can obtain a non-resident CDL license.
The fact that these licenses are being issued to drivers who CLEARLY do not live in the states in which they are being issued, puts drivers in jeopardy, and the states will wash their hands of the debacle for one good reason. The individuals fill out and sign the application, giving them the addresses claimed on those applications. There is no requirement for the states to verify addresses or residency.
In other words...it all will fall on the driver. I'd urge anyone who has a CDL that has been issued in another state than the one you actually live in, to immediately change it over to your state of residence. You don't need to be detained in a scale, and have this discovered by an officer, and have him confiscate your licence, charge you with having an invalid license, or arrest you. It COULD happen.
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