Mr. Rodney D. Unzicker hit the ground running on September. 4th, 1959 and still hasn’t slowed down. So that being said here is a little history story about Rodney, RJR Transportation, and how the business has become what it is today.
As I already said Rodney was born in 1959 and after helping his father, Walter Unzicker, on the farm till 1977 Rodney started working for his dad at his trucking company servicing trucks, trailers and changing tires in the shop. After getting greasy in the shop at L&W Transportation for 3 years Rodney started driving running 48 states, so yes he is an owner that does understand what a driver goes through day by day. When his father increased the size of his business Rodney came into the office and was the manager of the dispatch and safety departments until 2000.
Rodney started RJR Transportation in 1989 with the intentions of buying trucks and leasing them back to his father’s company. By 2000 Rodney had acquired 17 trucks in which he had leased to his father. Also during the year 2000 his father decided he wanted to sell the El Paso business, L&W Transportation. So with the help of Flanagan State Bank, Rodney bought the shop and office equipment, as well as his father’s extra trucks and trailers and leased the land and building at 575 E. Main St. from his father. In Nov 2003 Rodney was able to buy the land and building on Main St
To continue growing the company, in 2006 Rodney decided to buy Burroughs Trucking of Toluca, IL and moved it to El Paso, bringing with it all of its equipment, customers, and personnel. With the purchase of Burroughs working out quite well Rodney decided to keep growing and bought Furrow Trucking in El Paso, IL in 2009. As of present day RJR Transportation is still growing and going strong.
Jason our “reefer dispatch specialist” also started out young at the age of 14 mowing the lawn as well as washing trucks in the shop for his dad, Rodney. When Jason turned 16 he started unloading the trucks delivering in the central Illinois area. Now when Jason turned 21 he made the mistake that all sons do at least once and made a bet with his dad. The bet was if he lost a game of pool against his dad, he had to get his CDL and start driving local in Illinois.
Well, if you are a son you know how that went and after having his CDL for 6 months he ventured out a few states running from Illinois to Ohio, Indiana, and Minnesota. As another 6 months went by Jason let driving get into his blood a little more and started running all 48, so he is a dispatcher that knows what a driver goes through on the road. After 3 years of driving and a little kicking and screaming Jason made the move into the office working in dispatch. “I’m very glad my dad made me drive so I knew what it took to drive and what all the drivers go through” Now I don’t know if driving is still in his blood, or he is trying to refrain from making another bet with his dad, but he does make the occasional comment about packing up and getting back in a truck for a round or two. I’ll have to remember that when I take my vacation. Jason still remains the head reefer dispatcher.
Ryan keeping with the “family tradition” of starting out young working in the shop washing trucks, mowing and what ever there was to do in the shop. Ryan started driving the day he turned 18 running around the Illinois area while still in high school. After completing high school Ryan started driving more for his dad running local runs to Chicago on a regular basis, as well as around the state of Illinois all while still attending college. Following graduation of college Ryan started his racing career with RUR, Ryan Unzicker Racing, while still driving for RJR full time. Ryan did not stop driving on a regular basis until he worked his way into head Safety Director/Recruiting & Local Dispatcher for RJR Transportation in 2009. When he gets the itch he still jumps in the truck and makes a run or two in between races.
So there you have it, that is how RJR Transportation has grown to be the well respected transportation company it is today. Now if you feel you have the determination, attitude, professionalism, and humor to be as successful as Rodney, Jason, and Ryan and you feel you want to join our company, give Ryan a call at (800) 638-0788. If you are more into researching a company first, ask myself or one of our other professional drivers out riding around.
by James S., Professional Driver