Ryder's No. 1 truck technician keeps his toolbox in Aberdeen



Michael Caylor

Diesel truck technician

Ryder System Inc., Aberdeen

Age: 41

Years in business: 18

Salary: $48,000 a year, plus overtime. The hourly pay for a technician of Caylor's level at Ryder is between $20.53 and $25.67 per hour.

How he got started: Caylor said he always liked working with his hands and began working on cars out of high school. A friend told him diesel mechanics made good money, so he attended the Diesel Institute of America (then in Baltimore) and went to work for Ryder.

Typical day: Caylor, who begins his day at 7 a.m., repairs and maintains diesel trucks of all sizes for Ryder System Inc., best known for leasing and renting trucks. Caylor is one of about 11 technicians who work on a fleet of 374 trucks in Aberdeen. "You go to work never knowing exactly what your day is going to be. I could start the day changing oil and end the day welding or something."

Technology: It "has changed so rapidly. You really have to stay on top of things." He routinely attends training sessions to stay current.

The job: It can get dirty and physical. "As long as you stay in pretty good shape, the aches and pains go away."

The good: "Being a part of a great team of guys." He said he also likes staying on top of the latest truck technology and enjoys the job security.

The bad: "Anything that keeps me from completing my job." Also, having to service a truck outside in the winter.

Top Tech: In October, Caylor was named Ryder's top technician. The national competition included a timed skills test against six other Ryder technicians, each representing one of the company's business regions in the United States. His reward for winning the regional competition was a $7,000 toolbox. He won a cruise from Miami for the national competition. He and his wife, Beth, will plan it as soon as hurricane season is over.

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