R & J Trucking, Inc. of Youngstown, Ohio was founded in 1960 by Ron Carrocce with one truck &
prospered early on mainly as a result of the construction of one leg of the Interstate highway
system from the company’s home town through the northern half of the state to Sandusky. Later
on in the 60’s, Ron’s venture was fueled by the construction of a General Motors plant in
Lordstown, Ohio, & from that point growth continued until 1979 and the approach of deregulation.
Through much of the 60’s and 70’s much of our success came from hauling construction materials.
But since construction was cyclical we looked for a more stable market. The industrial sector was
attractive because it appeared it could support a good portion of our operation.
The requirements of customers in industrial markets fit well with R & J’s use of company owned equipment. Shippers prefer carriers with primarily company owned equipment because of a heavy reliance on just-in-time deliveries, which is especially true of the ferrous alloy segment. As a result, a significant part of our business was and continues to be generated through the shipment of these products to steel mills across the country.
Just before deregulation took effect, the size of our fleet had grown quite nicely to 33 trucks, which we contracted out to other carriers that had ICC or Ohio PUC authority. But it soon became apparent that we had to acquire our own operating authority or face the possibility of going out of business. The first operating authorities that R & J secured in 1984 were for areas of Ohio that offered a substantial pool of current and prospective business.
In 1986 the company realized we could take the dump carrier business, long dominated by small local operations and owner-operators to a national company truck operation. Shippers would then be able to call one company for movements in various cities. The company also felt they could become the alternative to the railroad.
All that remained after that was to expand the operation further,
which occurred naturally during the economic growth of the 1980’s.
By the late 80’s R & J was back-hauling scrap metals and steel by-products,
as well as moving into the market for Canadian metals and Alloys after being
one of the first U.S. carriers to secure Ontario operating authority after
R & J’s core customer base was also continuing to expand, with the attraction
of new shippers based farther away, we established an over-the-road operation,
which included service to alloy plants in southern Ohio and northern West
Virginia. The initiation of over-the-road service and the growth of our
customer base in and around Marietta, Ohio, also made it feasible to open our second terminal in 1989.
By 1991 R & J continued branching out into related segments of the industrial market, awarded a contract to haul materials to a sinter plant-which produced a substitute for iron ore in the steel making process. These types of relationships permitted the continued expansion of our terminal base to include Toledo, Ohio (1992), Lorain, Ohio (1994), Dayton, Ohio (1995), Shelby, Ohio (1998), Canton, Ohio (2002), Gaston, SC (2014), and Barnesville, Ohio (2017).
In 1995, the Company purchased the assets of John Brown Trucking, Inc. from Portersville, Pa. This 35 truck operation expanded the company into western Pennsylvania. In 1999 the Company expanded into the south with the asset purchase of Southern Haulers, LLC based in Calera, Alabama. This 125 truck operation was a mirror of R & J Trucking, Inc. serving many of the same customers in the south. It also enabled to better interlink to our over-the-road trucking lanes. Since that time new Southern Haulers, LLC terminals have opened in Decatur, AL (2002), Brewton, AL (2006), and Mobile, AL (2016).
In 2002 the Company started hauling plastics in pneumatic trailers throughout the country. We currently have a significant presence based in Marietta, Ohio but have capabilities through any of our terminals.
In the future we look forward to continuing to develop our early goals of branching our network of company owned trucks, providing common and contract service through out the country. Currently we operate over 600 company owned trucks, 1000 trailers, and 150 independent carriers. Our equipment capabilities include dump, roll off and plastic trailers.