Stevens Transport aviary

Discussion in 'Stevens' started by Smokr, Dec 13, 2009.

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  1. Barracuda905

    Barracuda905 Light Load Member

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    How far is the hotel where drivers and students stay from the Stevens yard?
     
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  3. Smokr

    Smokr Medium Load Member

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    Go to the Texas DPS and download the PDF of the CDL manual and study chapter 14 to start, then all the pertinent chapters as well long before you get down here.
    A site called E-gears.com helped me tremendously! I got in for $5 and it had me passing all the tests for Indiana in one week. It doesn't help with Texas Special Requirements (section 14) but then I didn't take the Texas version there, just the Indiana version because I didn't know yet where I was going.
    Know your CDL stuff before you get here! They don't help with that because they are not supposed to.
    Otherwise, be familiar with the Texas Air Brakes tests and the Pre-Trip Inspection.
    As for qualifications, the Stevens website has all that right there for you. Even if you have something that disqualifies you, talk to a recruiter and ask to talk to Lou Ann Arrona about any concerns you have. Or ask to talk to Miss Shirley (they call her that even though it's her first name)
    They will know and let you know.
    The training isn't "hard", but it IS thorough! If you don't learn from a book well, get with your fellow students to learn the CDL stuff and get those tests at the DPS done and over ASAP so you can spend more time with the class at the range and in classroom. If you can get them all done first week, great! If you can do them all in two days, awesome!
    Pre-Trip Inspection, Air Brakes, Combination Vehicles, General Knowledge are the four mandatory tests after the Texas Special Requirements test that you do first day to get your permit. Stevens wants a HazMat as well, but you can wait until you are done with both of your trainer drivers and do that in your home state after you transfer your CDL there. That one costs nearly a hundred dollars and requires you to get fingerprinted, so you have to go to a special office for the fingerprinting, so go do that on your week off after your training drivers, or later too I guess.
    You can fail any one test twice, so you can fail all the tests twice, but if you fail any one test a third time you are out. You will have to start all tests over again after paying all your fees again, except the transfer of license fee.
    If you are coming from out of state, the day you go to the DPS first time, you have to pay between $40 and $100 dollars to transfer your license to Texas and the fees for your CDL tests and driving tests. You want to make sure your instructor gives you that letter from the hotel about your residency status!!! And you will have to give up your current out of state license and get a paper CDL learner's permit.
    BTW, that letter from the hotel states you are a resident there, making it possible to get a CDL in Texas, and when you get through your home state later after driving with your trainer drivers you transfer that Texas CDL to your home state. You have something like 90 days to do so after you get that real CDL here in Texas.

    http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/ftp/forms/CDLhandbook.pdf

    Chapter 14 is what you have to know to get your learner's permit first day at DPS. Department of Public Safety, Texas license branch offices.
    Stevens has a van that will take your there everyday until you pass all the CDL tests, even into week two. Your instructor will make sure you are aware of times to go and all that. Ask if you aren't sure. Usually 2:30 every afternoon. They pick you up at 5pm and take you back to the hotel.

    The Stevens yard is about five to ten minutes away from the hotel, about five to seven miles almost straight down the highway.
    DPS is about ten miles straight down the highway in the opposite direction! lol
    Behind the hotel is a BigLots where you can get cheap food and drink and clothes and coats, socks and underwear, and such, there is a Kroger about two blocks away, Wendys, Subway, a local Italian place called Napolis that delivers is awesome, there is a couple small Mexican taco/burrito/nacho places, a 7-11, a cigarette store all in the Kroger shopping plaza and more. Everything you could need is within about three blocks, including a Pawn and gun shop! lol
     
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  4. Smokr

    Smokr Medium Load Member

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    And before anyone asks, it is illegal (DOT) to have a firearm or ammunition on board any commercial vehicle. Period. No matter the local state laws.
    Commercial vehicle = no firearms OR ammo
     
  5. Baack

    Baack Road Train Member

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    You may want to post that opinion in this thread :biggrin_2556:

    Carrying firearms in a truck
     
  6. drivetime

    drivetime Bobtail Member

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    get out of there while you still can !!!! trust me get out find another company and get out now!!! look at the post about stevens on this site, they are true!!
     
  7. Smokr

    Smokr Medium Load Member

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    That's my bad. Stevens policy = No weapons or ammo

    Otherwise:

    Title 18 Setcion 926(a). The peacable journey law.
    TITLE 18-CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
    PART I-CRIMES
    CHAPTER 44-FIREARMS
    Sec. 926A. Interstate transportation of firearms
    Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or
    regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person
    who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting,
    shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a
    firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully
    possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully
    possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the
    firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being
    transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the
    passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in
    the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver's
    compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked
    container other than the glove compartment or console.

    So follow local state laws every time you cross a state border, and this law, and you should be good to go.
    The first week our instructor answered the question "Can we carry a handgun with us in our truck?" with the answer, "According to FMCSA rules, any company policy has the force of a federal law, and our company policy is no, so, no."
    He then told us of a guy who was going into Canada with no gun but several shells he had forgotten from a hunting trip in the US, and no handgun permit. He was slammed with importation of firearms, fired by Stevens, and jailed, his truck impounded. His truck was released to Stevens, he had to have a relative come up there with bond money and money to get a lawyer before he was released. He later went to court and plead guilty and still lost his CDL and his job. No recourse.
    CANADIAN GUN LAWS

    CLASSES OF FIREARMS
    PROHIBITED FIREARMS, DEVICES, AND WEAPONS
    Prohibited firearms, devices, and weapons are:
    • full-automatic firearms
    • sawed-off rifles or shotguns with barrel length less than 457mm (18 inches); this does not apply to firearms manufactured with short barrels
    • sawed-off rifles or shotguns with overall length less than 660mm (26 inches); this does not apply to firearms manufactured with short stocks or short barrels
    • handguns with a barrel less than 105mm (4.14 inches), except certain specifically listed competition handguns which are restricted
    • handguns in caliber .25 or .32, except certain specifically listed competition handguns which are restricted
    • silencers
    • large capacity magazines for a semi-automatic center-fire firearm. What constitutes "large capacity" varies; as a general rule, the maximum capacity is 5 rounds for long guns, 10 rounds for handguns "commonly found in Canada", and 5 rounds for handguns "not commonly found in Canada." Magazines for rimfire cartridges, the 8-round clips used in the M1 Garand, and 10 round Lee Enfield rifle magazines are exempted by name from this prohibition.
    • any of a long list of firearms specifically listed as prohibited. With few exceptions, if it has a remotely military appearance, it is prohibited.
    • replicas of firearms
    • any type of Taser or other firearm that discharges a dart or other object carrying an electrical current.
    • tear gas, Mace or other gas, or any liquid spray, power or other substance that is capable of injuring, immobilizing or otherwise incapacitating any person
    • any type of stun gun or other electrical charge device of length less than 480mm
    • a large additional class of prohibited weapons, such as nunchakus, switchblades, brass knuckles, etc. which are not discussed here. Read the list here if you care.
    That's right, you're not allowed to use non-lethal means of self-defense in Canada. This would seem to ban pepper spray for use against bears, but apparently there are some forms of bear spray which are legal for use in Canada.

    http://www.panda.com/canadaguns/
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2009
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  8. Barracuda905

    Barracuda905 Light Load Member

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    Thank you for the info Smokr. Since you are still in training, does Stevens provide you with a lunch, or do you have to bring it. Also, is there a microwave and refrigerator in the hotel room?
     
  9. Smokr

    Smokr Medium Load Member

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    lol And who do you suggest? Swift or Prime? Or maybe C. R. England?
    lmao
    If you find any company with more than one employee and who's been in operation for more than one year who doesn't have unhappy ex-employees, then tell us all about that company!
    Otherwise I'll go with the company that has a top safety record, the company that when you apply anywhere else and say you passed their training and they will say "When can you start?", the company that has the newest and best maintained fleet I could find, and the company that is putting APUs onto all it's new trucks and reto'ing its older trucks with them, and the company that puts you out with two training drivers for a month each before they consider you half trained.

    What else should I settle for? Two weeks in classes then three weeks with a trainer who has as little as six months driving himself? HA

    Why not pay more for far more training and one of the best reputations in the industry? Not to mention some of the VERY best trucks and trailers? Why drive an '87 Volvo that needed a complete rebuild a decade ago when you can drive an 07 KW T2000 that's barely broken in? Why have to idle in hot or cold weather when you can flip on an APU?
    I'm in their yard everyday, I can tell you they have APUs on all the new ones, and putting them on all the older ones that aren't older than two years. Older than two years are going onto the sale block daily. TWO YEAR OLD TRACTORS GOING OUT ON SALE. Most of the other company are buying them from us!!!
    No thanks, I'll go with the company that is putting those rigs out to pasture rather than be with the companies that are buying those rigs from Stevens.
    When I counted complaints against the large, training companies, Stevens came out with the lowest count by a huge margin. When I compared safety ratings, Stevens had the lowest by a wide margin. When I compared vehicles in the truckstop where I lived, Stevens had the newest, cleanest and best rigs. When I compared drivers at that truckstop, Stevens had the cleanest and most polite, though there it was close with a local company, but a much smaller company. When I looked at damaged equipment, Stevens had NONE. Not a single damaged rig in over a month of watching an hour or two a day. Swift? Hahahahahaha. lost count and stopped bothering. Werner? Almost the same. C.R. England? Geeeeze.
    I could go on and on, but I researched for months and months.
    Stevens came out on top again and again. Central Refrigerated was right up there on many things, Knight was up there too, but Stevens just won hands down. One driver who seemed miffed, and severely at that, but all other companies had almost more drivers miffed than happy!
    I can't claim this was an accurate, scientific examination, but it was days and days of watching and talking to drivers.
    I may end up a miffed and unhappy driver, certainly, but I did my research, and on numbers alone, Stevens was tops. So far, in my experience here in Dallas, my research was dead on.
    Everyone is friendly, the training is thorough and in depth, everyone is neat and clean, the building is in top shape, the grounds are immaculate, the equipment is nearly perfect (with the logical exception of the training trucks, but what are you going to give first day drivers to learn in if you owned the company?)
     
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  10. Smokr

    Smokr Medium Load Member

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    The hotel is an extended stay. They have generic raisin bran and corn flakes, milk, coffee and orange drink in the common room in the mornings. Not very good stuff. Stevens does not supply you with meals, but you can sign up for $70 a week when you do your paperwork down here that is added to your loan. Not the best idea if you can afford to cover everything yourself, but if you have any worry about money, do it. Best to have it and pay it back if you need it than to need it and not have it or have to beg it off relatives. Best bet is to buy stuff at Kroger and BigLots and cook it in your room, and take a sack lunch or those instant microwave meals at BigLots or Kroger to school. GO TO BIGLOTS first! Cheaper by far if they have what you want than Kroger. At Stevens they have ample vending machines, microwave and coffee makers, and a catering truck (gut truck, chuck wagon, pukemobile) with really tasty stuff that isn't too high. A burger, fries and drink about $5, double cheeseburger, large fries and 20oz soda about $7. Breakfast sandwiches, burritos, tacos, bbq beef, steak sandwich, all that kind of stuff, and actually really good instead of nasty. Also small bags of chips and such. You almost always get a ten minute break in morning, an hour lunch, another ten minute break in afternoon. Usually 7am to 4pm, until 8 or 9 pm last week a couple of days.
    Two beds to the room, both singles. One 17 inch tv with basic cable, one hanging clothes rack, one table, one chair, a shower and toilet and sink in bathroom in your room, one sink, cabinets, two burner electric stove and a microwave in your in-room kitchen.
    Clean, tidy. Cleaned on Tuesday and Friday, but that changed depending on what room you are in, they don't do the whole hotel in one day.
    Laundry is expensive, $2 a load washer and $2 a load dryer. Big ones though, but not industrial sized. Five washers, eight dryers.
    They provide a bar of soap, but bring your own, it's a tiny little thing.
    There is two plates, two bowls, two small plates, all ceramic, and two forks, two spoons, two knives and a can opener in the kitchen drawers. Also a coffee maker. And an alarm clock on the table. Also a canister of clorox wetnaps and salt and pepper on the table. And a phone. And one three drawer dresser holding up the tv across the room from the foot of the beds, and a one drawer dresser between beds. Each room has a heater/AC unit you can set and one window.
    Keycards for door locks, no key. You have to sign into the signin sheet for the school each morning in the common room next to the office while waiting for the van or before you drive to school, and you have to have your key reprogrammed in the office each afternoon, even Sundays, which takes about ten seconds.
    TONS of parking. Great access.

    Any questions left? lol On the hotel anyway? :biggrin_255:
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2009
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  11. Barracuda905

    Barracuda905 Light Load Member

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    Thank you for the info. Once you complete initial CDL training, do you do the four day orientation or go straight to the road?
     
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