I have only driven refrigerator. I have pulled a dry box, but actually I prefer refrigerated freight over dry box freight any day. However, it's a personal preference and depends greatly on the kind of equipment the company operates.
I enjoy refrigerated freight because I always have a load. You can haul both reefer and dry loads and I find I have greater availability when pulling a refrigerator. To me, running a refrigerator is as easy as turning the unit on and off and hitting the enter button when setting the temperature. With a reefer trailer, you don't even have to sweep out the trailer. Just pull up to a washout facility and BAM, the job is done. But like I said, it's all about personal preference.
Oh, one more thing on refrigerator...sleeping with that thing running is like sleeping on a giant vibrator :) It's good sleeping!! LOL. It just sort of lulls you to sleep.
As for the other question, Stevens was good in that they had an incredible orientation session. Although I felt much like a child when going through it, I learned a BUNCH. There appeared to be great communication with drivers and dispatch and the availability of loads seemed to never be a problem. There weren't any layovers of any significant value, although some of the customer places in Los Angeles WERE ROUGH areas of the neighborhood. But all in all, I didn't mind it.
I think the only issue I had was the fact that the tractor and trailer couldn't come home with me. I had to find a secure lot to park them in. And in rural Georgia, that's not an easy task. My yard is about as secure as it gets, but that wasn't sufficient for dispatch and they "made" me park at a Kenworth dealership or Thermo King dealership 85 miles away.
Anyway, my experiences weren't bad. The trainer was pathetic and I never really shared my negative training experience with the staff there, although I did let on to someone whenever they called me at home to ask me when I'd be returning......and they seemed very concerned and wanted to know the whole story. But I never shared it with them because I found another company that would allow teams and would allow the truck to come home with me. Stevens would have made the situation right - I know that. But I didn't give them a chance to.
Good luck with them! I hope they work out for you.