Training is about 8 weeks long and is split between two phases. The itinerary is as follows:
Phase one (they call it orientation 1) includes 3 days at the Dallas, Texas terminal to go through basic orientation and take a relaxed skills review test where they determine if you need additional training before heading out.
You will then head out with a trainer for 5 to 6 weeks (minimum of 35 days) and a minimum of 8,000 miles driving. During this time, you must travel over three mountain passes and drive in all five regions of the country. You also have to successfully back into a dock in the northeast region of the United States. While Stevens does everything they can to complete this phase in 35 days, if it takes longer, you will continue receiving your normal training pay.
The second phase (called orientation 2) requires you to spend 2 days of classroom training at the Dallas, TX terminal while still collecting your usual training pay. The classroom training goes over proper trip planning, how to correctly read maps, and how to operate the Thermo King trailer refrigeration units. You will also take another skills test to see what kind of progress you’re making.
After classroom training, you’ll be placed with a finisher trainer for three additional weeks. During this time, you will be in control of all major decisions with your trainer there to only oversee everything. Trip planning, routing, paperwork, and all other aspects of the job are your responsibility. Once you’ve done this for 3 weeks, you are then returned to Dallas for another couple days of classroom training, perform a driving test, and are issued a solo truck.
$350 per week for the entire duration of training. Trainees may earn additional bonus pay if they choose to load or unload freight.
Trucks can be dispatched as both solo or team operations depending on available freight.
No, there is only 1 student per training truck.
No, nobody may sleep in the top bunk while the truck is in motion.
Yes, a non-smoking trainer may be requested.
Students have the option to change trainers at any time for any reason, no questions asked. But if a reasonable explanation is not given, trainees will forgo their training pay until a new trainer can be assigned.
Trainers must have at least 1yr of driving experience and 90,000 miles with no major accidents and a good safety record.
The company paid CDL training program at Stevens Transport appears to be a very good program. It is well structured with checkpoints during your training to be certain you are learning correctly and are being prepared for a successful career. You are also allowed to change trainers at any time for any reasons which is a rare benefit.
While the training pay is a bit low compared to the industry standard, remember that training is only temporary. You’ll likely make $30,000 to $35,000 your first year and even more during subsequent years. So the temporary training pay should not influence your decision one way or another as it’s fairly irrelevant in the long term.
After training, you will receive a pay increase at 6 months, another at 9 months, and finally at 1 year. From there, you will receive a pay increase each year up to $0.405 per mile.
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