My Journey - Clarksburg,WV To Careers World Wide To Stevens Transport

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OldGrizzlyBear's Comment
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First of folks , I know I was suppose to head to Swift then maybe to Prime due to my earlier post (over 1 yr ago), however I had some family issues (2 Aunt's died and my mom had to have heart surgery) so, I had to back down really fast from getting back on the road. Fast forward to roughly November of last year , I lost my job as assistant manager at a local restaurant due to "management restructuring", it was either take a $3.00 demotion or quit, well , I took my bags and went to the house. After reopening my 3 ring binder full of research and going over what I was doing before, I elected to start over from scratch and take my time in finding out more for each company. For the most part , it seemed that that any of the big , huge or in Swift's case , super huge , the CDL sponsored schooling is roughly all the same across the board, roughly 240 total hours , which is broke down into 2 or 3 different areas (Physical/drug test , Studying/Taking CDL test , yard work / final test ). Well, as I looked over and watched some YouTube Vids from different drivers , I stayed away from all the ones that was negative towards this company or that for this or that reason. I want to give a special shout to to the following channels that I have subscribed to and continue to view when new material is posted :

Stephan Harz - Swift Transportation - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_11YeshWcSMeA1S8TwQVWA Scottied67 - John Christner Trucking - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBYGB7ww88lnDP9Fkv0m2GA Duke City Devil Dog - Stevens Transport - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCP7gWQUD4gHv6SGmp7D8Hyg

I know there is others , if you want to suggest then please post them below , now back to the subject, lol.

So, here is the plan , I leave my house here in Clarksburg,WV via Greyhound bus to Denver, CO roughly on the 24th or 25th of this month to start my training with Careers World Wide in Keensburg,CO then if all goes well, I will head to Dallas,TX and start my training with Stevens Transport. For the most part, I felt that Stevens isnot "herding like cattle" folks into and out of training just to get them into seats of a truck. I do like their very high standards for safety , to me this was a huge appeal. The only down fall that I felt that could have been better was the pay per mile , this was kind of on the low end compared to other companies but not too too bad.

All on all, I am studying hard and taking different online test for CDL and watching vids on pre-trip inspections , backing and such. I also have a good deal of downtime because I am unemployed, so ,I can focus on getting my CDL and Trucking Industry as a whole and I do take breaks and goof off on the PS4, I do have my own YouTube channel : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTAQqpbMemapr52jXk5DImA , with this channel , I plan on giving updates there as well as different things like music reviews and maybe so live streaming thru twitch when I goof off on PS4. With that being said , please go to my channel and subscribe and turn the notifications on. If you have a channel, I will do the same.

Until our paths meet on the open road

Respectfully, Mike

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

PackRat's Comment
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I started at Careers World Wide myself a few years ago myself. Make sure you take lots of warm clothing with you, as you'll be outside six days each week for a month.

good-luck.gif

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Hey OldGrizzlyBear.

A while back you said:

I use to be a OTR Driver ( 2003 - 2005 ) Started out with Werner making 23 cents per mile then moved to JB Hunt making 28 cents per mile , a delivery driver for a window company (2005-2006) and a Delivery Driver for Lowes (2006 - 2013). After that I didnot reup my CDL when it was set to expire (stupid mistake) , so , by the state laws (West Virginia) , I have to retake the entire CDL test and of course get a physical.

After spending some time in the industry I'm a bit surprised by your reasons for choosing Stevens. For instance:

I do like their very high standards for safety , to me this was a huge appeal.

So you think the other major carriers don't have equally high safety standards? Do you suppose upper management at the other major carriers sit around in meetings trying to find ways of being dangerous but highly profitable? Are you aware of any major carriers that were blatantly dangerous?

I'll clue you in to how things really work. They're all focused on safety. Safety is critical for growing and maintaining a large company. It's impossible without a solid safety record.

For the most part, I felt that Stevens is not "herding like cattle" folks into and out of training just to get them into seats of a truck.

I see. So you don't want to work for a company that trains drivers just to put them behind the wheel of a truck? What were you hoping they would do with you once you got finished with training? Send you to DisneyWorld or be a mechanic? Why is Stevens bringing in new drivers if not to put them behind the wheel?

So you're trying to avoid being "herded like cattle" or being placed with a major carrier that doesn't focus on safety? With all due respect, I would hope that someone with a few years of experience in this industry would have a better grasp of how things really work. Those are fallacies that newbies usually fall for when listening to the garbage you find on Youtube, which to be honest is not where I would go for my career advice. I would want a more professional source of information that I knew I could trust.

Private schooling is also not the way to go. Here's an article explaining why:

Why I Prefer Paid CDL Training Over Private CDL Training

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

PackRat's Comment
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Careers World Wide is a company school used by both Steven's and CRST, Brett.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Careers World Wide is a company school used by both Steven's and CRST, Brett.

Oh, ok. Excellent. I didn't know that.

OldGrizzlyBear's Comment
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I'm gonna be packing my hunting coat and overalls, it should be good enough for the cold mornings and snow...I might get some thermal socks also. Thanks for the insight !!

I started at Careers World Wide myself a few years ago myself. Make sure you take lots of warm clothing with you, as you'll be outside six days each week for a month.

good-luck.gif

OldGrizzlyBear's Comment
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With all due respect Brett.

why are you a bit surprised by my choice in Stevens Transport ? see, I could have picked Roehl or Prime, for example of the trucking companies that had paid CDL training. My choices was limited cause of a few factors :

1.) I didnot qualify for WOIA program that paid for my schooling 2.) I don't have the 4K or better money on hand to directly pay for my schooling 3.) ALL the CDL schools in my state don't do grants so getting financial aid was completely out the question 4.) Most schools across the nation dont do grants anyways unless they have classes for CDL that are 600 hours and those classes are about 10K

So, as you see driver, my choices was very limited for not only companies but also schools. I now wish I would have never surrendered my CDL because all I would of had to do was a simple refresher course and be done !!! Live and learn my mistakes in life.

As per safety , I went with indeed , goggle , and a few other job review sites for my research. Stevens "won" hands down when it comes to the reviews on safety basically 3 to 1 for the most part. Also, not to mention that their fleet is newer and in some of the reviews newbees was put in brand new 2020 trucks, this appealed to me. Also on safety, you and I know that all trucking companies have safety standards , and we both know that some are higher than others, so , to argue which one is the best or which one is worse , would be more of a personal opinion and not factual due to the limited research on this subject.

The "herding" comment , well driver for me it don't make any sense to me to have 100 plus people in one class trying to get their CDL within a 3 or 4 weeks span, what can be learned ? what is the success rate ? is this type of "business" good for the industry ? The reviews on this across the board was very low and the main issues was not enough equipment , computers , and overcrowded in the living space. For me this was a turn off completely and hopefully those companies will change this sooner rather than later. This is why I am going to a sponsored CDL school because of the "less folks" and higher chances of learning.

The only thing with Stevens was their pay , it seems more on the low end to me but I wasn't too sure if 39 cent per mile as a new driver was low or not. I do think that most companies has some type of scale they use and it depends on which coast and where in the 48 states. I know that after 1 year of driving then I will have more choices of different companies that offer higher pay and such. My end game will be to try to get into one of these companies that pay a percentage of the load instead of cents per mile , but , I have a lot of research to do on this subject later on . You know got to learn to crawl before I run.

Hopefully, this better informs you to what I am dealing with.

Mike

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
why are you a bit surprised by my choice in Stevens Transport

I'm not surprised by your choice. I'm surprised by how you made your choice. You used Google and Indeed to determine how safe the company was. Let me ask you something. Who is going to be driving your truck, you or the company? How can a company be safe or dangerous? That just doesn't make sense.

for me it don't make any sense to me to have 100 plus people in one class trying to get their CDL within a 3 or 4 weeks span, what can be learned ?

Well here are some interesting stats about class sizes at Harvard University:

Economics 10a: Principles of Economics — 627 students
Computer Science 50: Introduction to Computer Science I — 606 students
Statistics 110: Introduction to Probability — 524 students
Ethical Reasoning 18: Classical Chinese Ethical and Political Reasoning — 508 students
Science of Living Systems 20: Psychological Science — 443 students

So apparently Harvard believes you can learn just fine in large class sizes.

Besides, you were already a driver for a few years. You already know how to drive. These companies have been teaching huge numbers of students for many years now. If it didn't work, they wouldn't be doing it.

Also, not to mention that their fleet is newer and in some of the reviews newbees was put in brand new 2020 trucks, this appealed to me

That's no different than any other major carrier.

My end game will be to try to get into one of these companies that pay a percentage of the load instead of cents per mile

Why? Do you think you'll make more money because they're paying you a percentage of the load? Why would that be the case? What would make a company choose to pay their drivers more by paying them percentage instead of CPM? That doesn't make sense.

I know that all trucking companies have safety standards , and we both know that some are higher than others, so , to argue which one is the best or which one is worse , would be more of a personal opinion and not factual due to the limited research on this subject.

So some of the major carriers have higher safety standards than others, but that's a matter of personal opinion? That also makes no sense. If some have higher safety standards that wouldn't be an opinion, it would be a fact. So you made a decision based on Stevens being safer even though you felt that was just your opinion based on limited research? Why would you make a decision based on that then?

Listen, just go there and give it hell. You'll do great. You already know how to drive, so it wouldn't be a problem no matter where you went. Stevens will be great. They're a great company. So no worries there. It's just disconcerting to me that people make decisions based on all the wrong criteria or things they're just making up in their head.

You mentioned their pay was lower than most. We have a huge list of Paid CDL Training Programs. Did you even apply to any of the others to see what other opportunities you might have?

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

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.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Good luck at training in Colorado, Old GrizzlyBear! Let us know how things are going for you afterwards at Steven's, too.

good-luck.gif

OldGrizzlyBear's Comment
member avatar

I sure will

Good luck at training in Colorado, Old GrizzlyBear! Let us know how things are going for you afterwards at Steven's, too.

good-luck.gif

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