Jerry Zilinski

“With RT&T’s help, the lease was easier than I thought”

Jerry came to RT&T with 10 years of driving experience. He saw our ad on Craigslist and thought he would call, to see what we had to offer. He hadn’t leased before and wasn’t looking to lease, but when he called and talked to Shane, he realized he could own his truck at the end of that lease and still make money while doing it. His truck did have some repairs that needed to be done during the first couple years of his lease with RT&T and his maintenance escrow went negative. He thought about throwing in the towel, but Jerry and RT&T worked through those rough times. He was actually able to build up enough money in his escrow to pay the truck off six months early. He thinks he could have probably paid it off a month earlier than that if he hadn’t gotten sick and was down for a little bit.

Jerry runs Regional for RT&T, and gets home weekly. He can’t think of a weekend that he has had to work so far. He and his wife appreciate that he can get home to spend time with his two children. He is looking forward being able to spend a little more money on his family since he no longer has a lease payment.

Jerry said that the approval process went pretty quickly and having taught some of the orientations at the last company he was with, he thinks RT&T’s orientation is a pretty standard course. He did say that the lease paperwork was a little overwhelming but Tiffany was able to walk him through everything. He liked that RT&T made sure that he was running legal and filed paperwork for him. He hadn’t realized everything it took to be an owner operator and really appreciated the help.

When asked about what advice he could give to a driver that is looking to lease, he said the biggest thing was budgeting. You have to realize that when you have a larger than normal paycheck, you want to put some money aside for the weeks that are softer.   He also stressed doing regular maintenance. The money you spend maintaining the truck helps to keep you from breaking down out on the road and having more expensive repair bills. He also recommended using quality parts and products when maintaining your truck. He likes Andy in the shop and said he is very thorough. He also mentioned that Nicole, in the shop, always got back to him with the info he needed, in a timely manner.

Jerry realizes he isn’t always the easiest guy to work with and his fleet manager, Karen, has talked him “off the cliff” a few times, when he was ready to quit. She helped him see the big picture and to see what was at the end of the tunnel. He is glad she is able to keep a cool head when he gets upset.

After completing the lease, Jerry wishes he had tried leasing earlier. He said that with RT&T’s help, the lease was easier than he thought it would be. Even though RT&T doesn’t require him to keep an escrow, now that he is an owner operator, he is still putting money aside to keep up with maintenance and repairs on the truck, since he wants to run the truck as long as he can.

Congratulations Jerry and we wish you continued success at RT&T!