James L. Salentine was born into the towing industry with Ray’s Garage in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1936. The business was started in 1931 by Jim’s father, Ray Salentine. Jim’s dedication and love for the towing industry was definitely influenced by the honor and passion instilled through his father who Jim feels made him the man he is today.
At the tender age of 14, Jim began operating tow trucks. He took over Ray’s Garage in 1956 and helped incorporate the company in 1968. He became President and Owner of Ray’s Garage, Inc. in 1972. With his new position and walking in his father’s footsteps, Jim began designing tow trucks for his company.
Jim helped found the Wisconsin Towing Association in 1967 and was a Charter Member of both the Interstate Towing Association and TRAA.
Jim was found to be a tremendous help to the fire departments back in the early days prior to proper extricating equipment by using his equipment to remove obstructions that might be pinning a victim within the tangled accident. He has also been known to rescue an occasional farm animal that has managed to get stuck in a mud hole.
Jim expanded his business to be one of the first towing operations to incorporate hydraulic, self-loading flatbed trailers in the early 1970’s. The flatbed trailers became a major part of Jim’s business.
In October of 1980, Jim sold the towing side of Ray’s to his oldest son and then later sold the transportation part of the business in 1986.
Jim is currently driving for a local crane service and will be the first one to tell you that he doesn’t plan on retiring anytime soon.