Steven's Driving Academy....Am I Going?

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Re Run's Comment
member avatar

I am also wondering what the out of pocket really is?I am starting school in Denver on 9/8/14, I was told $275 plus food. 3 weeks in Denver-4days Dallas orientation .Then 5 to 6 weeks with a trainer ,then orientation then solo. (No cdl 15 yrs) I chose to leave trucking & work on the River but coal is about dead now.

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.
Mr M's Comment
member avatar

Brett is spot on....Stevens has nice trucks, and I think they will give you all the miles you want, or can do. But in their school, they beat you to death with their lease program....and you DON'T wanna do it....NO NO NO NO........

My research tells a different story regarding miles. With all the temperature controlled freight and tight deadlines on delivery I have been told alot of your loads will get re powered off to teams. You also have to pay for all your meals, your physical, drug test, and permit. You have to pay for housing while in school. You start at .26 cpm. All I have talked to told me they have been trouble making more than it cost to eat out there.

Pros are they have an EXCELLENT training program which is second to none, nice equipment, apu and inverter. But nice equipment does nothing to pay the bills.

If you were to lease you would either need to team or train otherwise you will be in hot water there.

Note this is my opinion based on extensive research I have done as I am also considering them but may go with another outfit. Also note that there are many more companies that provide schooling than are listed here, I can't figure out why they all aren't listed?

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Mr M's Comment
member avatar

Actually you get 400.00 gross now.

I don't know about the Stevens Academy, as I went there with my CDL in hand, but just to clarify, in case anyone else reads through this. Even though I already had a CDL, I still had to go through their training, which wasn't bad at all...

Now I don't know anything about training in Colorado, as Stevens only has ONE terminal , which is in Dallas, Tx. (though I know of a drop yard they have down in Laredo) but we (CDL holders--it's all longer for the Academy students) went through one week of classes, 5 weeks out with a trainer, another week of classes, and then 3 weeks "Trainee to Trainee" (two trainees in one truck) and then you go solo. During your time with your trainer, you WILL be required to go to all 5 "zones" of the country, bump a dock in the northeast (mine was in Trenton and easy-peasy) and do 3 "approved" mountains (at least 5 mile long with a minimum 6% downhill grade--don't worry, they'll sell you your "mountain guides" so you know which ones qualify.)

While you're in training, you get $300.00 a week (gross) and then once you go solo (unless you have recent prior experience) you start at .26/mile.

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.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
All I have talked to told me they have been trouble making more than it cost to eat out there.

Have you spoken with any current Stevens drivers face to face about this? Maybe at a truck stop or somethin? Because that's really the best way to get honest information about life at a company - talk to their current drivers face to face. Several of them - like 5 or 10 minimum.

If you get information from the CB radio, trucking forums, RipoffReport, or any other source that allows people to be anonymous there is simply no way to verify the source or accuracy of anything you're being told. If you can go to a truck stop and talk face to face with a company's drivers and time and time again you're hearing the same story then you know you're on to something.

So hopefully you're getting good information. Because the idea that everyone is starving there leaves me with a whopper of a question....how does Stevens make their truck payments and keep drivers in the seats if the trucks aren't producing revenues and their drivers aren't making a living? The trucking world is incredibly competitive when it comes to pricing (3% profit margin) and driver recruiting (100% turnover nationwide). If a company isn't keeping their trucks running or paying their drivers then how have they stayed in business all these years? They can't just outspend everyone on recruiting and bring in a river of clueless drivers. The trucks aren't generating enough in revenues to fork out that kind of dough on recruiting and turn a profit.

Something has got to give. Either most of the trucks are running hard and a handful of complainers are shouting the loudest or Stevens is pulling off one incredible magic trick where the math doesn't add up but it works anyway.

confused.gif

Now I will say this....if they're currently paying 26 cents per mile they're getting blown out of the water by the competition. There are companies paying 35-40 cents per mile to start. So make good comparisons between companies. But make sure the opinions or information you get about life at a company comes from credible sources - face to face with a company's current drivers.

Mr M's Comment
member avatar

I found only one stevens driver face to face and talked to another 3 through pm on another trucking site. All basically said it's tough due to stevens meat plants that have long loading times and many loads that get re powered. Which was a major bummer for me because of the great training and great equipment. I still may go there just to give it a shot because I am a hard worker but I may also go elsewhere. Once I start with a company I plan to track my progress here. :)

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