Newbie Needing Non-Bias Opinions

Topic 34107 | Page 1

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Andria R.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi everyone, I'm Andria, I just joined. I am wanting to take the leap into a brand new career path, trucking at the age of 47. I have been in Healthcare 20 plus years and totally burned out. I applied to Tennessee Truck Driving School and they want me to go with Steven's Transport. I have heard good and bad things, mostly bad, but I know reviews can be slanted based on the circumstances. I am looking for unbiased opinions on both the school and Steven's. I cannot afford to pay for school myself right now, and it's going to be hard to make it those 5 weeks without a paycheck so I want to make sure this school and the company are worth it. Or, if I should get my permit and go with a paid training program with another trucking company. I'm sorry for the lengthy post, but I am highly appreciative of any and all advice and opinions given. Thank you in advance.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

All I know of Steven's Transport, is my trainer from India @ CRST in 2019 had went thru them starting out. He drove for them 4 or 5 years, only left when he wanted to go into Lease Op. He told me how well he liked Steven's, and their training program was more on the stricter side. He was training me from what he learned there too

Andria R.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you for your response. I have been thinking maybe the complaints are due to the company having strict guidelines and policies. I appreciate your input.

All I know of Steven's Transport, is my trainer from India @ CRST in 2019 had went thru them starting out. He drove for them 4 or 5 years, only left when he wanted to go into Lease Op. He told me how well he liked Steven's, and their training program was more on the stricter side. He was training me from what he learned there too

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

I have friends who workes there for years. They were trainers there also. They left for local reasons.

They try to.push leasing though. Don't do lease. But a lot.of companies try to push it.

ID Mtn Gal's Comment
member avatar

Howdy!

In this economy you want to go thru company sponsored training. As long as you pass, you have a job. The time you have to give them for your training is nothing in the big scheme of things. As for companies having bad ratings, it's known in the trucking world as those that failed have to talk bad because they can't accept responsibility for their failures. It has nothing to do with Stevens being strict or not. Swift is strict, as is others. It doesn't matter what the name is on the truck, it's what you do to learn and make yourself a top tier trainee and ultimately driver. Below is some reading material:

Laura

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.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

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.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

My wife got her start there several years ago. They sent her to CO for school. She got great training at the school. They told her it took 12 months to repay the cost however it was actually 24 months.

They pushed leasing really hard. Those who declined got pressured pretty hard. She did alot of picking up loads then they would repower the load to a lease operator. Same in reverse with deliveries. Because of that practice she struggled to make decent money. Their solution was always the same, go lease.

While she was there they shutdown their tanker division and that caused alot of issues. Alot of those drivers were let go instead of filling open positions by transfering divisions.

They were very strict with their policies and would constantly question why she was parked with hours on her clock. Each time she was waiting for her appt. time. She would tell her DM this and they would tell her they were required to ask, even though they knew the answer.

I ended up hiring her and I bought her remaing contract out. They were very confussed how to do that. I actually had a HR person tell me she had never experienced someone leaving the proper way and it took her 3 business days to figure it out. She said everyone she has dealt with left without notice and they just sent the paperwork to collections.

These were her experiences, which I can tell you first hand. Others experiences may vary. I know the owners had more than a few legal battles years ago stemming from non payment of taxes. Personally I would recommend someone stay away from them.

Dm:

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.
Andria R.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks everyone for the valuable information. And thanks, Laura for the links.

It seems like taking personal responsibility has become nonexistent. Much easier to shift blame and trash a company online.

I worry if I have the skills to do this, but I'm not going to let fear hold me back anymore. Listening, learning, and applying the material is my responsibility, not the trainers.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Andria observes:

It seems like taking personal responsibility has become nonexistent. Much easier to shift blame and trash a company online.

Yes! YES! The complaints about any company get posted because people who do not understand the system want to "cry to mommy". The successful drivers are happy with their job and mostly are too busy to post.

And furthermore:

I worry if I have the skills to do this, but I'm not going to let fear hold me back anymore.

Yes you can build those skills,. That's why you go to CDL school. The basic "skill" you need to develop is to watch and understand the trailer & those tandems (trailer wheels) and know exactly where they are going, both forward and backwards. I'm a CDL instructor and I have watched many students go from "zero" to passing in four weeks.

My advice: work through the frustration. Keep your eyes on the prize There are over three million truck drivers driving on the road today ("today" as in May 28, 2024). You can be one of those.

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.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Deb R.'s Comment
member avatar
I worry if I have the skills to do this, but I'm not going to let fear hold me back anymore.

You worked in healthcare for over 20 years - you've already got so much experience - dealing with frustrations, keeping your cool while handling challenges, problem solving, interpersonal skills, doing what needs to be done . . . those things will serve you well in trucking. Learning to drive the truck is a matter of practice, it's that "other stuff" that trips up some folks; you have a big advantage going for you.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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