Stevens, Knight, Stevens, Knight

Topic 5390 | Page 1

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Trish S.'s Comment
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So now I'm signed up with both Stevens and Knight (Squire) to start school in two weeks. I need to make a choice. I totally understand this is all up to me and it will be fine either way, but just wondering if anybody has comments on one or the other to help me choose. I've got the factual info from this site & the recruiters - more looking for whats-it-like-to-work-there comments. Anybody?

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Daniel B.'s Comment
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I haven't personally worked at either one of these companies. But I see you're from AZ, Knight does have a Western Regional that you could eventually qualify for so you could be home more often. If would give you a Plan B if you start missing the home too much and don't think you can last for that year. I know this because they tried to recruit me for it.

Just something to consider..

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Trish S.'s Comment
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Awesome - something I hadn't considered. Thanks Daniel.

Trish S.'s Comment
member avatar

FYI for anybody else considering Knight or Stevens, a couple of things are now different from the info on this site:

Stevens has me training in Denver, not Dallas - I'm from Arizona. They are telling me to bring $400 to cover $175 for licensing and tests, $90 for housing and the rest to pay for my own food during training. There's supposed to be a kitchen in the lodgings.

Knight (Squire) is no longer paying for students' lodging in Phoenix. They have a setup with a local motel at $38 per night. I was liking Knight because they pay $300/week during training, but the lodging cost will cancel that out.

Old School's Comment
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Hey Trish, I'm not sure how much lodging you will need if you go into the Squire program. I'm completely unfamiliar with it, but you should make sure you understand that part of the equation. If you are assuming that you will need lodging for several weeks, I would think that is unlikely. I would assume that for most of the time you will be living on a truck with a trainer. You need to ask your recruiter some pertinent questions so that you fully understand what you will be doing and how your time will be divided up.

I recently started working for Knight, and I'm thrilled with them, but I got in on a pretty special deal.

AJ D.'s Comment
member avatar

I just received a pre-hire from Stevens. ( I'm still in school ) .

From what I already know about Knight and what I just gathered about Stevens this morning, I would go with Knight, hands down. No Comparison, IMHO

Drive Well :)

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Old School's Comment
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AJ D, before you throw out a statement like this:

From what I already know about Knight and what I just gathered about Stevens this morning, I would go with Knight, hands down. No Comparison, IMHO

It is best to qualify what you are talking about or where the information came from. It's hardly helpful if you got this information from one of the many unreliable sources on the web, and since you didn't clarify anything we don't even know what you are talking about. Trish is trying to make a decision, and she needs good quantitative information that can be verified and confirmed, not just hearsay or truckers gossip.

I think Knight has a lot of great opportunities, but I'm not going to throw down on Stevens unless I've got some good solid facts to back up my arguments.

AJ D.'s Comment
member avatar

AJ D, before you throw out a statement like this:

double-quotes-start.png

From what I already know about Knight and what I just gathered about Stevens this morning, I would go with Knight, hands down. No Comparison, IMHO

double-quotes-end.png

It is best to qualify what you are talking about or where the information came from. It's hardly helpful if you got this information from one of the many unreliable sources on the web, and since you didn't clarify anything we don't even know what you are talking about. Trish is trying to make a decision, and she needs good quantitative information that can be verified and confirmed, not just hearsay or truckers gossip.

I think Knight has a lot of great opportunities, but I'm not going to throw down on Stevens unless I've got some good solid facts to back up my arguments.

Agreed,

What APPEAR to be facts with Stevens are -

1. A great training program 2. Do not pay practical miles 3. Home time is difficult, at best. 4. Training pay is the lowest I have ever heard of 5. Start out pay, is at the bottom of the industry.

Now since I have never run with anyone. Everything that comes from me will be gathered from the internet. The negative towards Stevens just seems overwhelming in this case.

I will avoid such comparisons in the future. I placed the IMHO moniker on the comment hoping the Opinion portion would be noticed.

Apologies.

Doug 's Comment
member avatar

Trish,

I work for Knight in Lakeland Fl. I went through Squire in February in Olive Branch MS. The training pay was $400 a week while I was training and I believe it still is. I have heard they no longer pay for lodging but I would call them a verify that.

If all goes according to their training schedule you should be out with a trainer at the end of the first week. In my case it took much longer because they were short on available trainers. I would verify this with them as well, if there is a delay on their part, who pays your expenses while you wait for a trainer to be assigned.

I am very happy working for them, im getting good miles, I got a substantial pay raise when I completed the solo portion of the Squire program and I get home when I ask to go home. The equipment is well maintained and mostly less then 3 years old.

Living in Florida, my choices were pretty limited but after a couple months worth of research Knight was at the top of my list. They are the only company I applied with and Im happy with my decision.

Since I have not worked any where else, I can only tell you my experience with Knight. As mentioned earlier, I have heard Stevens really pushes their lease hard and it can be difficult to get home. I dont personally know that to be fact but but I hear it a lot.

Best of luck

Old School's Comment
member avatar

AJ D, there's no harm done, and I'm not even trying to get on to you. We just like to deal in facts around here, facts give us something to base our choices and decisions on, and since Trish is a little new to this forum, she may not realize what you are giving her is hearsay. You've now told is it came from the internet, but not what web site, and that makes a world of difference. If it came from their company web site then that quantifies it for us, but if it comes from the many loose cannon truck driver trying to slam his ex employer web sites that too many rookies consider as reliable sources of information then it is considered as completely unreliable garbage around here.

I'm glad you put the "IMHO" on there, but better still to give us some reliable facts, not this:

What APPEAR to be facts with Stevens are

Let's take a look at some of what you came up with:

1. A great training program

Okay, I agree with you here, and I think this is verifiable information.

2. Do not pay practical miles

Okay, this is verifiable information also, that's good, but let's look further into it. This is one of those things that gets some noobs all hung up, and it really shouldn't. Very few companies pay practical miles, and no one pays you for the actual miles you drive. Mileage pay is sort of like a contract between you and the company. I've never been in the camp that thinks you are being cheated when getting paid for HHG (Household Good) miles. When you get dispatched a job they are also letting you know how many miles it pays for that job. They aren't saying how many miles it takes to drive that job, but for the most part it all comes out in the wash. I remember a job I had where I shaved 120 miles off of the run (HHG miles) and if you are a savvy truck driver you will learn how to manage your time and miles so that you are coming out on top. I got a call from my dispatcher on that particular run when he realized what I had accomplished and told me how their logistics software was supposed to be top shelf stuff, but somehow I managed to outsmart it.

Personally, I wouldn't let this be part of my decision making process when determining which company to run with, it eliminates too many of the top paying carriers out of your choices.

3. Home time is difficult, at best.

See, now this one comes out of the blue, because I'm 99.9% sure this comment comes out of the mouth of disgruntled former employees. This is why we want people to go to the truck stops and talk to the folks who are actually driving and working for these particular companies. These are the people whose comments you can trust. Let me give a personal example: I started my career at Western Express, a company that is slammed on these internet sites like the Trucker's Report. This is something you will see constantly - "cant' get home no matter how hard I try, these people don't care about their drivers, blah, blah, blah, and waah, waah, waah!" Do you know that some of these trucking companies have employees that they are just praying will quit and go home. They aren't worth firing because then you have to keep paying for the unemployment taxes that they will cause you to incur. If you are a good productive driver, they will treat you right and you will get your reasonable amount of home time when you request it. I never had any trouble getting home time when I requested it at Western Express, but that is one of the loudest most vehement complaints you will see against them on the web. I'm scratching my head, because you said:

The negative towards Stevens just seems overwhelming in this case.

You just can't go by this stuff and say "well the overwhelming amount of complaining losers said this about the company" when the information is seriously questionable in the first place.

4. Training pay is the lowest I have ever heard of

Fair enough, this can be verified at the companies web site or with a brief phone conversation with a recruiter, I don't know what their training pay is, but I will tell you that I trained for about two hundred bucks a week. You want to know something? I managed my own business affairs for three decades with millions in sales, but when it came to my training for this career I wasn't concerned with the amount I got paid for my training. Training is a step to get you to the next level, don't put so much emphasis on the money at that point, it's only a few short weeks.

5. Start out pay, is at the bottom of the industry.

Okay, this is verifiable information also, so that's good, but again let's look into it a little deeper. I don't have a clue what the starting pay is at Stevens, but for the sake of making a salient point I will tell you that I started out my career making 27 cents per mile. I consistently made close to a thousand dollars a week at that rate. Now I was a flat-bedder and I would get additional pay for things like tarping, but most of my income came from proving myself and turning out the kind of miles that helped my employer make some money. The point I want to try to make is that I was a competitive driver who always kept myself at the forefront of the pack of drivers at my company. I knew I wasn't making the best mileage rate, but I worked my tail off so that they would know I was worth more.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

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