Stevens Transport Trucking School: Company-Sponsored CDL Training

Stevens Transport Paid CDL Training Truck

Introduction To Stevens Transport Paid CDL Training Review

At TruckingTruth, we've done a ton of research for you! We've contacted the company recruiters at Stevens Transport and put together a fantastic review of the Stevens Transport paid CDL training program.

We'll start you off with our opinion of their paid CDL training program and then we'll take you through all of the key features and important information you'll need to know. Some of what we'll cover:

  • Student Hiring Requirements
  • Truck Driving School Locations
  • Driver Pay During Training
  • Advantages Of Working For Stevens Transport
  • Cost Structure Of CDL Training
  • CDL Training Itinerary
  • Stevens Transport Pay And Benefits
  • Vacation Pay And Home Time

Stevens Transport Is Family Owned And Operated

Can you really have the best of both worlds? A large, successful, financially secure company with fantastic equipment and yet a family owned and operated company? Stevens Transport is indeed both!

Read on!

Stevens Transport Review

While Stevens Transport seems to have some advantages over other companies in some areas, there are some initial concerns we’d like to point out. Their CDL tuition repayment plan is a bit complex and somewhat deceiving. The Stevens Transport website indicates there is only a 1yr commitment and the recruiters we spoke with said the same. But upon further investigation, it appears the real commitment is 3 years.

The 1 year commitment only ensures the schooling will continue to be financed, but you will still need to make weekly payments to pay off the loan. This isn’t a free CDL program, rather, it is financed over the course of a 3 year period. Staying for 1 year will enable you to keep the tuition on an interest free loan. In addition to the tuition costs, if transportation and lodging is required, those costs will be placed on a separate interest free loan.

Even though we have some concerns about their tuition payment structure and the 3 year repayment plan, they seem to operate fantastic equipment with a high quality school and have some of the longest average lengths of haul in the industry. They are also a financially stable and secure trucking company. So this could be a great CDL school and company to start your trucking career. As always, we highly recommend you do your own research and explore all options which best suit your personal needs.

About Stevens Transport CDL Training

Stevens Transport, the 4th largest temperature controlled trucking company in the United States, is based out of Dallas, TX and was established in 1980. Over the past 38 years, the company has grown to more than 3,000 associates with the majority of those being drivers. Stevens operates throughout North America with many dedicated and regional fleets.

Getting Hired With Stevens Transport

Stevens Transport Minimum Hiring Requirements

  • Good references form past employers
  • No DWI, DUI in the past 5 years
  • No current probation / parole
  • Must be at least 22 years of age
  • At least 3 years verifiable employment, self employment, or unemployment
  • Verifiable military experience if discharged within the past three years
  • No reckless or careless driving violations in the past 3 years
  • No more than 4 moving violations in the last 3 years
  • No major preventable accidents in the past year or 2 in the last 3 years
  • Must be able to pass a DOT physical and drug screen
  • No felony convictions within the last 7 years

Stevens Transport Hiring Areas

Stevens Transport Hiring Map
Stevens Transport does not hire from the following states:
  • California
  • Montana
  • South Dakota
  • Florida
  • Maine
  • Connecticut
  • Rhode Island
  • Massachusetts

Stevens Transport Facility Locations

Stevens Transport CDL Training Facilities

Stevens owns and operates a CDL truck driving school in Dallas, TX which is a 70 acre campus. They also contract with private truck driving schools located in Denver, CO and Houston, TX.

Dallas, TX (Stevens Transport Owned and Operated)

Denver, Colorado (Contracted through Careers Worldwide)

Houston, TX (Contracted through Lone Star College)

Stevens Transport Drop Lots And Terminals

Stevens Transport Terminal Locations

Terminal locations and drop yard facilities are located throughout North America, including:

  • Dallas, TX (Headquarters)
  • Columbus, OH
  • Houston, TX
  • Yakima, WA
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Oshkosh, WI
  • Chicago, IL
  • Lexington, KY
  • Columbia, SC
  • Toronto, ON

Stevens Transport Cost

Cost Structure Of Stevens Transport

The full tuition cost for the Stevens Transport CDL training program is $4,200. Incoming students will make no down payments for the cost of tuition and the tuition cost is financed interest free with no credit checks.

Once a student obtains a CDL and begins collecting a paycheck, Stevens will deduct $26.84 per week for 36 months. If a driver leaves before 1 full year of employment, the entire remainder of the balance is due immediately.

However, if a student leaves after 1 year, the remainder of the loan can be repaid in increments of $26.84 per week regardless of employment status. In other words, Stevens will continue to finance your tuition loan interest free, even if you are no longer employed by them.

Nearly all up front costs such as transportation, lodging, and $10 per day for food expenses can be provided as an interest free loan which will eventually be paid back at $25 per week (which is in addition to your $26.84 tuition loan payment). However, students will still need to bring a non-refundable $100 registration fee on the first day of class and $70 for CDL licensing and testing.

Will my meals be paid for?

Payment for meals is the students responsibility, but if needed, Stevens will provide a no-interest loan of $70 per week to cover the cost of meals.

Will my lodging be paid for?

If lodging is needed, Stevens will finance the costs for you and you’ll owe nothing up front. The cost of lodging is payroll deducted at $25 per week until the full cost is paid (usually about $200). Most students who require lodging assistance will attend the Texas training academy and will reside at the following hotel with 1 or more roomates: Crosslands Extended Stay Hotel

Can I pay for my CDL training up front and have no further obligation?

Yes, the up front tuition fee is $4,200.

What are the obligations for paying back the schooling after graduation?

A student must remain employed with Stevens Transport for one full year in order to ensure the 3 year loan remains financed interest free at $26.84 per week. If a driver leaves before 1 full year of employment, the loan balance will be due immediately.

In addition, if a student required transportation and lodging, there will be an additional $25 / week deduction until those costs are paid in full.

If a student leaves after 24 weeks of employment (about 6 months):

24 weeks X $26.84 = $644.16 payed into the loan
$4,200 (full cost of loan) - $644.16 (amount already paid) = $3,555.84 (balance)
Total cost due immediately is: $3,555.84

If a student leaves after 52 weeks of employment (1 year):

The loan will continue as usual, interest free. The driver will be billed $26.84 per week until the remaining balance is $0.

TruckingTruth's Take On The Cost Of Training At Stevens Transport

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We have a few issues with the cost structure that Stevens Transport offers and would like to make a couple clarifications. First, the entire loan duration for the school tuition is 3 years, not 1yr. Stevens advertises their program is a 1 year commitment, but it is actually financed over a 3 year period. Staying for 1 year only insures the loan will continue to be financed through Stevens.

  • Lodging: About $200
  • Transpiration: Varies depending upon your location
  • Loan for food: Up to $70 / week (optional)

Finally, while you can pay the tuition fee up front, we see absolutely no advantage in doing so. There is no price break or advantage to doing this so you should take the interest free loan instead.

Stevens Transport Preparation For CDL Training

Items To Bring To Stevens Transport

  • $100 cash or money order: non-refundable registration processing fee for pulling work history, criminal/legal records, and driving record
  • Valid driver’s license
  • If you have an out-of-state license, it must be changed to a Texas license in order to get a Class A driving permit—this will be done while in school in Dallas.
  • Social Security Card / Birth Certificate (Original Only) or U.S. Passport (cannot be expired)

Preparation For Stevens Transport

Recommended Items For Stevens Training:
  • Toiletry items, Pillow, sleeping bag, sheets, blanket
  • School supplies: pen, paper, notebook, calculator
  • 1 week of clothing
  • Flashlight, gloves
  • Dress appropriately and professionally for all climates
  • Money to feed yourself ($70) until the first Wednesday of school
  • Additional spending money for meals
Do I need a US Passport?

A U.S. passport may accelerate background checks and make you eligible to haul Canadian freight, though it is not required.

Do I Need Any CDL Endorsements?

You are encouraged to obtain a HazMat endorsement, though it is not required.

TruckingTruth's View On Preparing For Stevens Transport CDL Training

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We highly recommend that you obtain a U.S. passport and a Hazmat Endorsement. In fact, it’s best to obtain all CDL endorsements in case future opportunities require them. It is important to make yourself as marketable as possible for any future opportunities which may come up during the course of your career.

Be sure to bring any documentation that may assist in the background check process, including former employer pay stubs and tax records. It’s also a good idea to bring any paperwork related to special health issues you may have. If you think you might need it, bring it with you.

Stevens Transport Itinerary

Stevens Transport CDL Training Itinerary

CDL schooling lasts for approximately 3 weeks. The first week is mostly spent in a classroom environment reviewing the CDL study guide and preparing for the CDL written exams. Classroom is a minimum of 40hrs but usually is more than that. The CDL written exams must be passed in order to obtain a CDL driving permit. Those who are unable to obtain a driving permit will be unable to drive until they are able to pass the exams. Students need to have at least $70 for CDL testing and licensing fees.

The remaining 2 weeks are spent driving and practicing precision maneuvers on the special training course as well as studying pre-trip procedures. Students will gradually drive in more congested areas over time, eventually traveling on expressways, visiting truck stops, crossing open DOT Weigh Stations, and navigating city streets.

After 2 weeks of driving and practicing precision maneuvers, students will take their driving exams with a DOT examiner. Upon successful completion, students will obtain their CDL and will be immediately hired by Stevens Transport and placed into the paid company training program.

How long is the training overall?

The CDL course lasts 3 weeks in total (6 days per week).

How much time is spent on the range backing up?

Students normally rotate between road driving and backing maneuvers. During the two week driving phase of training, approximately 50% of the time will be spent refining backing skills. However, if a student needs more instruction in one area or another, this can be tweaked.

During the practice range phase, how many students share one truck?

A maximum of 4 students share one truck.

How much time is spent in a classroom?

There will be a minimum of 40 hrs in the classroom, but normally students exceed this minimum.

TruckingTruth’s View On Stevens Transport Training Itinerary

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Our overall impression of the CDL training program is positive. Many company sponsored CDL training programs seem to place a lot of emphasis on getting drivers licensed as quickly as possible. While the Stevens Transport CDL program is still faced paced, it’s a bit more lengthy than other programs. Three weeks is a very good duration for a CDL training program.

On The Road Training Itinerary With Stevens Transport

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.

On The Road Training Policies at Stevens Transport

How much will I be making when I’m on the road with a trainer?

$350 per week for the entire duration of training. Trainees may earn additional bonus pay if they choose to load or unload freight.

Do they run your trainer and you as a "team" operation or like a solo truck?

Trucks can be dispatched as both solo or team operations depending on available freight.

Is there more than one student per trainer and truck?

No, there is only 1 student per training truck.

Can students sleep in the top bunk while the truck is moving?

No, nobody may sleep in the top bunk while the truck is in motion.

Can you get a non-smoking trainer?

Yes, a non-smoking trainer may be requested.

What is your policy for handling disputes between trainer and student?

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.

What are the company’s minimum qualifications to be a trainer?

Trainers must have at least 1yr of driving experience and 90,000 miles with no major accidents and a good safety record.

TruckingTruth’s View Of Stevens Transport On The Road Training

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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.

Working For Stevens Transport

Advantages Of Working For Stevens Transport

  • Top 4 largest temperature-controlled carrier in the U.S. (largest refrigerated carrier in Texas)
  • Annually recognized by shippers for consistent service and unbeatable on-time performance record
  • Industry leader in miles per load (solo driver average 1,500 - 1,600 per dispatch)
  • Best training, equipment, technology, and most stable freight in the industry
  • Unrivaled Equipment: Kenworth and Peterbilt
  • Privately owned, extremely stable company
  • Exceptional benefits, bonuses, facilities, and people.
  • Have never had a layoff in 31 years

TruckingTruth's View On Working For Stevens Transport

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Stevens operates more terminal and drop yard locations compared to most companies its size. While they do contract to a couple local driving schools, anybody outside of the Denver or Houston metro areas will attend the Dallas, TX location.

Hiring requirements are about average when compared with the other paid cdl training programs. Be up front and honest about your criminal history as they only perform a preliminary background check before arrival. Once you arrive at the Stevens training facility, they will complete a more thorough background check.

Stevens Transport Company Driver Pay And Benefits

Stevens Transport Company Driver Pay

First Year
  • 0-6 months: 0.26/mile
  • 6-9 months: 0.28/mile
  • 9-12 months: 0.29/mile
Next 5 Years
  • 1 year: 0.30/mile
  • 2 years: 0.31/mile
  • 3 years: 0.32/mile
  • 4 years: 0.325/mile
  • 5 years: 0.33/mile
Years 6 - 10
  • 6 years: 0.335/mile
  • 7 years: 0.345/mile
  • 8 years: 0.355/mile
  • 9 years: 0.365/mile
  • 10 years: 0.375/mile
When will I receive pay increases?

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.

Additional Driver Pay:

  • Fuel Bonus: A fuel bonus is offered based upon a sliding pay scale.
  • Layover Pay: $25 / day except Laredo, TX which is $75 / day
  • Unload Pay: Stevens offers unload fee reimbursements but if a driver chooses to manually unload freight, they will receive payment based on the actual labor rate established at customer locations.
  • Additional Stops: An additional $15 will be paid for 2nd and 3rd stop-offs or pick-ups with $25 added for each additional stop or pickup.

Stevens Transport Company Driver Benefits

  • Medical Plan: The medical plan offers multiple coverage options at competitive group rates and includes prescription drug coverage.
  • Vision Plan: An in-network and out-of-network plan is available. Participation in the medical plan automatically provides enrollment into the vision plan at no additional cost
  • Life Insurance: A $50,000 term policy is provided to employees who participate in the medical program at no additional cost. The option to purchase additional insurance is available.
  • Dental Plan: The plan offers complete dental coverage. Participation in the medical plan automatically provides enrollment in the dental plan at no additional cost.
  • Disability Insurance: Employees may elect coverage for short and long-term disability.
What is the average cost of benefits?

Many different plans and price ranges are offered.

How long until you qualify for benefits?

Coverage begins 90 days after employment with 401k available after 1yr.

What about vacation time?

Vacation is available after one year. Drivers earn 5 paid days off after 1 year and 10 paid days off after 3 years.

TruckingTruth's View On Stevens Transport Company Driver Pay

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While starting pay is a bit lower than the industry average, there are several pay increases in the first year. We always recommend drivers stay for 1 year and by that time, you’ll be making what is considered an average mileage pay. Keep in mind, however, that Stevens Transport claims an average length of haul around 1,500 miles for solo drivers.

This is significantly greater than average and could result in more mileage which equals greater pay. Their benefits package appears to be right on par with what most other trucking companies are offering.

Stevens Transport Employee Policies

Pets & Travelers Policy

Do you allow pets?

No pets are allowed on company equipment.

What is the company’s rider policy?

After a driver has completed 90 days solo, he or she may have a passenger who is 18 years of age or older. During summer months riders may be 10 years of age or older. In order to have a rider, a monthy $30 insurance fee is due (can be payroll deducted).

Stevens Transport Dispatching Policies

Can a new driver run regional or dedicated right after school?

Generally, no. most new drivers run in the OTR division for at least 6 months to 1 year. Obtaining a regional or dedicated account depends entirely on where a driver lives, how close they are to a company terminal or drop yard, available freight in their area, seniority, safety and service records.

Will there be any NYC? How soon would a new solo driver be expected to go there?

While NYC freight is not common, drivers will be expected to pick up or deliver in NYC at any time.

Are you forced dispatch? Is the driver given any options for different loads?

Yes, Stevens company drivers are assigned loads based on greatest utilization, efficiency, and profitability for both Stevens Transport and the driver. Lease operators and owner operators are not forced dispatched.

How often can I expect to be home? For how long at a time?

Hometime depends on the type of route you are assigned. Local routes get you home every night, regional and dedicated routes allow drivers to get home every 7 to 10 days, and drivers on national routes get home every 3 to 4 weeks.

What percentage of freight is drop and hook?

About 60% of Stevens freight is drop and hook but drivers on dedicated accounts can have up to 100% drop and hook.

Stevens Transport Company Driver Opportunities

Do you have a leasing program, and will I be persuaded or incentivized to lease?

A leasing program does exist and drivers are strongly encouraged to join the leasing program as an independent contractor.

What divisions do you have? (local, dedicated, regional, tanker, flatbed, reefer)

Stevens Transport only operates 53ft temperature controlled trailers. While they do have a limited number of dedicated and regional opportunities, the majority of drivers remain in the OTR division while with Stevens.

TruckingTruth's View On Stevens Transport Company Driver Opportunities

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While Stevens Transport does offer some local, dedicated, and regional freight, these opportunities are not abundant. Some areas have more opportunities than others, but it sounds as if drivers for these limited positions are hand selected. You must have seniority and a very good service and safety record to even be considered. So don’t plan on these opportunities becoming available as Stevens Transport is mostly an OTR carrier.

We also highly dischorage anyone from participating in Stevens Transport's leasing program (Independent Contractor Division). Through our research, you will always be better off as a company driver.

Stevens Transport Equipment

What kind of trucks do you have?

Stevens offers late model Kenworth T-2000 trucks equipped with 75’’ condo sleepers and have recently begun adding Peterbilt and Freightliner tractors to the fleet as well. The average age of a Stevens Transport tractor is 16 months old. Trucks are equipped with satellite dispatching systems, turn-by-turn navigation, and in-cab email. All trailers are 53’ refrigerated trailers.

Do you run electronic logs?

Yes, Stevens Transport uses electronic logs on all trucks.

What are your trucks governed at?
  • First 2 years: 62mph
  • After 2 years: 65mph
Do you have APU units?

Yes, all Stevens trucks are either equipped or will soon be equipped with APU units.

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