Started with J Rayl Transport one year ago today.

Discussion in 'Discuss Your Favorite Trucking Company Here' started by tarmadilo, Dec 11, 2019.

  1. tarmadilo

    tarmadilo Medium Load Member

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    My first day as an employee of J Rayl Transport was a year ago today, when I began the training program for new CDL drivers. I had taken a short CDL upgrade class (upgrading from a Class B to a Class A), and I ended up with J Rayl mostly because their Sunnyvale, Texas terminal is just a few miles from my house.

    I have to admit that I was a little bit overconfident, I thought making the transition from coach bus driver would be easy. And some parts were, driving down the highway in a truck isn’t all that different from doing it in a bus. But backing up a trailer is nothing like backing up a bus, and 20 years of driving automatic transmission-equipped buses didn’t prepare me for the 10 speed split shifter, either! I can admit now that I almost washed out of training. I had a really good trainer for my last two weeks, though, and that was the difference.

    After finishing my training, I was assigned a 2014 Kenworth T660 with a CNG engine, and I started OTR, mostly taking tire loads for Goodyear, Cooper, Continental/General, and Michelin. I generally ran from Texas via Texarkana up to Franklin, Indiana, and then on to our company HQ in Akron, Ohio, then running a load of furniture to Houston, finishing up with a load of tires to Fort Worth. Or I’d run tires from Terrell, Texas to Houston or Austin, then run a load of raw synthetic rubber to the Goodyear plant in Gadsden, Alabama, and then bring a load of tires back to Terrell. There were a fair number of other runs, too, to Chicago and St Louis, once even back to Maryland (where I grew up) where I got to see a bunch of old friends.

    I should note that, while I liked the idea of CNG engines, which pulled just fine when in good tune, I did have some issues, partly because these trucks (I went through several) had been run hard for five years and all had over 400k on them, and our mechanic in Texas wasn’t worth a bucket of warm spit. He’s gone now, glad to report!

    In September, I got promoted into a dedicated position, running for Georgia Pacific. I like it, I’m on salary and the work keeps me mostly in Texas and Oklahoma, with the occasional run up to Kansas City. The best part for me is that it came with an almost new 2019 International LT diesel tractor, which feels like a palatial estate compared to the cramped quarters in the Kenworths.

    So that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!
     
  2. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    That's the best post I've ever seen on JRayL.
    Hope it helps some new drivers.
     
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  3. Lonesome

    Lonesome Mr. Sarcasm

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    Always wondered about them. They have a local terminal, seem to run a lot of Help Wanted ads.
     
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  4. tarmadilo

    tarmadilo Medium Load Member

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    I think I got really lucky, they just happened to be the closest outfit to my house.
     
  5. tarmadilo

    tarmadilo Medium Load Member

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    The best part of driving out of the North Liberty yard is that I’m pretty sure they don’t run any of the CNG trucks out of there, just newer diesels.
     
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  6. Vic Firth

    Vic Firth Road Train Member

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    I go by there every once in awhile seen a few day cabs too.
     
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  7. Wicked Wizard

    Wicked Wizard Heavy Load Member

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    Did they ever update their website? They had the company picnic video from 2012 forever. Maybe they should hire some IT guys for a refresh.
     
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  8. bryan21384

    bryan21384 Road Train Member

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    The great state of TN
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    Great post man, I am happy for you!
     
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  9. freebeertomorrow

    freebeertomorrow Medium Load Member

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    refreshing to read an honest, positive post about something on here. i did think the quoted portion was a bit funny. at 5 years our trucks have 900k on them, albeit they aren’t cng.
     
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  10. fergie22

    fergie22 Bobtail Member

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    Great post thanks for sharing. You are lucky!
     
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