RED it is not as hard as you think the tests are easy. The hardest thing about the whole thing is ajusting to the life style it is lonely so you must set goals for your self
and follow thru. I am talking about small goals to achieve in stort periods so you have something to look forward to and conquer. The more you have and achieve the farther you will get,an the better you will feel about your self and road ahead.
Stevens Transport - Dallas, Tx.
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thanks bill! i think that i can adjust to the lifestyle okay. i hope anyways! im single and i dont have any kids. so thats a plus in my favor. ive been reading this forum for awhile now and there is a lot of great info on here!
Sure it's a business an a big responsibility but my truck is '07 Pete and still under warranty so any major breakdown is covered so I need to be worried mainly about the tires and DMs.
Btw, I've overheard someone bragging that he's getting .84/mile. He has to pay 100% tolls, his bobtail insurance is $26/wk (stevens $ 8 and his truck was POS. But he said they pay him fuel surcharge. (don't they all? )
Don't remember what company he was driving for.
As with every business one have about equal chances to succeed as to fail.
The difference imho is treat it like a business, run all they throw at me , try to get as high mpg's as I can and a decent deal of luck.
If they'll run me as they did as a company driver, I don't think I'll have any problems.
There was also a sign-in bonus - 4 weeks with no lease payments and there is also completion of the lease bonus which is based on miles and usually it's ~$3,000.
So wish me luck. I'll keep u posted.
As for the question how hard is training, well it depends on what kind of trainers are u gonna to be stuck with for 8-10 weeks and what kind of person you are..
I hated mines because I'm very hard-headed and I don't care for someone to order me what to do especially if I've got different opinion.
But in the end, I learned a lot from both of them and now we call each other quite often.
They called me today...because I had to register for Texas Workforce to get my unemployment check. I pissed them off something fierce. First I asked how many miles I could get with my experience. Then the pay. They pushed the "Alliance Lease" program heavy. I give them lip service for about 15 minutes and then they came up with the "when do you want to come up here?". I said the day after. The guy said the day after what? I said the day after hell froze over and candy canes dropped from his a--.
I have been in the Stevens training program (Dallas) going on my 3rd week. My instructor is Mike. I have to say that the training is phenominal - with Mike. If Cotton were to train you, you would be losing your head. He is old school. The guys say that he will go Grandpa on you if you dont do things exactly his way. They take personal time to make sure you are comfortable with upshift/downshift in all traffic scenarios, the hill which is a training course. You will drive in rush hour traffic with a 70ft rig. Unfortuantely the training comes at a substantial cost, and green-horns are blindsided with the fees (hotel, transportation, food) that must be paid back with interest. If you start with a class of 30, look for about 14 or so to complete the training. They will do everything possible to get your CDL - I have to hand that to them. They take you to the DPS office to test, even practice the actual driving test with you, telling you which gear to be in at certain landmarks. The training is great! Just make sure you listen to them. Most students already have their CDLs and try to do things their way, however a Kenworth T2000 with a 10-speed Fuller is extremely tempermental. RPM to speed to gear with double-clutching. It only works one way, up and down. They pay is crappy, hometime (whats that?) benefits are outrageously expensive but I can see how Stevens is a way to start your career. Just make sure you dont have a family, because you will never see them again. You start out after your 3rd week with a trainer (make sure you get along with him) at $350 a week for 5-6 weeks, then 3 weeks with a finishing trainer, then 2 weeks with a manager. Go solo after 3 months. .26 a mile with 3000 miles average - not bad, however you will be visiting NY a lot, Chicago, LA, etc Crap no other trucking company wants to take. QualComm (OnStar from Hell) for communication. They reimburse you for tolls, weigh station, minor parts, even your HazMat endorsement ($100). Good place to start, I cant complain so far.
i have been in training for a week in houston at houston community college thru stevens. we just got into the trucks on for the first time on friday. i have to admit that i had a very hard time shifting that kenworth. I am second guessing myself right now. the training thus far has been great though. i honestly think that they want to see everyone pass and get their cdl. they too, drive you to the dps office here also. 2 more weeks here and i will be up in dallas for 4 day orientation then on the road with a trainer as long as i can get the shifting down.
My fiancee has been with Stevens just over a year (he has been on the Alliance side for almost 8 months of that time after being begged repeatedly to sign a lease) and has been screwed from the "get go". He came in with 20+ yrs driving a Class C and was given no credit whatsoever for his experience. He was forced to go thru the same training that someone coming off the street with no trucking experience went thru; and after his first trainer cleared him for a trainee/trainee team after only 2 weeks, he was assigned to another trainer that proceeded to be a royal ##### to him, to the point of giving him whiplash.
He has had to pay/repay ALL his transportation costs and hotel costs(better take a closer look at your pay sheets). You have to go over all your pay sheets with a fine tooth comb, as mentioned by someone earlier, Stevens LOVES hidden fees.
Another one of their hidden fees is that you spend a lot of time traveling I-80, paying huge toll fees as you go and you are only reimbursed 30% of those fees. And the "EZ Pass" and "Pre-Pass", big joke!!! You are charged monthly for the "EZ Pass" and the "Pre-Pass" is something that you have to pay yourself, so if you aren't home when the bill arrives and don't know to check on-line, it is deactivated.
We have had to have trailer tires replaced several times because they had a leak when we picked up the trailer or were coming apart, and when going over the pay sheets, he was charged each and every time out of his maintenance acct which is supposed to be for repairs to the tractor only since that is what he is leasing.
He has requested repowers several times to keep from blowing his logbook after a reset because he had 36-48 hrs too much time on a load, but was turned down, yet he's the first one they call when someone else is in trouble or has too much time on a load. We often get calls in the middle of his 10 hr break to do repowers to help out.
And forget ANY assistance if the QC goes out as his did in December and was out for 6 weeks (they were unable to route us into an area with a repair facility with enough time available to get the repair done). We were given several Opti-stop fuel stops that were 50-150 miles out of route round trip and the fuel department adamantly refused to reset the stops. Also any time he called in (which was several times daily for check calls and produce checks, etc) he was told to send it on QC to which he replied that the QC was down and it was supposed to be noted (at least 200 times). It took an angry call to one of the "top brass" to finally get anything done.
The latest 'slap in the face' came with his most recent trip to the mess that is Stevens yard in Dallas for his Spring Workshop. The truck he has on lease is a 2006 Kenworth without an APU that has almost 400,000 miles on it. At or near 400,000 miles the leased trucks are traded out for newer trucks, so he sent a QC a day ahead of time requesting his new truck be assigned while he was on the yard. Surprise of surprises, no trucks are available because they have all 'just' been assigned to 'new' Alliance drivers. So once again, he's getting the 'shaft'.
My man takes pride in the truck that he drives and does everything possible to keep it looking good on the road, while most of the 'new' trucks we see running with the new Alliance fleet drivers look like s***, the majority of them have been involved in some sort of 'accident' or another as well.
As for 'home time', forget it if you happen to be from one of the states that doesn't have a lot of freight moving. He requested to be home for Christmas in September when he signed his lease and we did get in the general vicinity, under a load with no one to repower the load. When someone was finally found to repower (after we sat for 36 hrs not getting paid), guess what, they had a load going to a state almost 1000 miles away. He finally got his "Christmas" time off at the end of January.
Believe me, my fiancee is not a trouble-maker, he is ALWAYS early to the shippers and the receivers, and is ALWAYS willing to help run a load that someone else is having trouble making. It would just be nice if Stevens would appreciate his dedication and show him a little respect in return.
For some odd reason, the dispatchers and other people at the yard don't seem to realize that the ONLY reason that they have a job is because there are great guys like my man out on the roads hour after hour, day after day hauling the loads from one end of the country to the other while they are snugly and smugly at home.
I LOVE MY TRUCKER and it makes me very angry that he doesn't get the respect and appreciation that he deserves.Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2009
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