When Todd Ray’s family business in Osage Beach went under in 2011 as a result of the bad economy, Ray set off to find another line of work that had that same family atmosphere.
With the help of OTC’s Transport Training Institute, Ray found what he was looking for as a driver for TSCI/Transland Inc.
“I really couldn’t find a job at first but I saw a lot of trucks on the road. I had a pilot’s license but not a trucker’s license. After doing a lot of research into trucking schools, I found OTC and went to school,” said Ray.
It was while Ray was in the middle of training at OTC that representatives from TCSI/Transland found Ray and hired him even before he graduated from the program.
Mike Walker, president of TCSI/Transland Inc., was one of the first TTI advisory board members when the institute started in April 2007. The company donated a tractor and two trailers for students to use.
Walker has hired several TTI graduates and appreciates the College’s efforts.
“If we don’t bring new people into the industry, we aren’t going to survive. The institute trains and mentors them to be professional,” he said shortly after the program began at OTC.
Ray said the OTC program did a lot to help him secure the necessary license to be an over-the-road, long-haul driver.
“It got me to pass the test on the first try. It taught me everything. Quite a bit of it I use on the road,” he said.
The work isn’t easy. In addition to driving, he has to plan his trip, check roads and make sure he follows the first rule of hauling: don’t hit anything with the truck. So far, he hasn’t dinged anything.
Ray has a wife and two boys and his job requires him to be on the road two weeks at a time and back for a day and a half.
“The boys want to come on a ride with me but I have to have 90 days solo before I can do that,” Ray said. “I’m happy with what I do now. Working for Transland is like working for a family. It’s a nice size. It’s what I was looking for. I enjoy it. It’s a career for me.”
Steve Koehler is coordinator of media relations for Ozarks Technical Community College.
College Director of Communications
Coordinator of Media Relations
Phone: (417) 447-2666