Instructor Ray Shively Retires After Impactful CDL Teaching Career

Veteran instructor Ray Shively just hung up his keys after 9 years teaching CDL driving at Southwest Truck Driver Training’s Phoenix campus.


Enjoy your retirement!

Ray Shively

Ray Shively

Retired after 9 years of service teaching CDL students at Southwest Truck Driver Training


Ray’s impact during his tenure has been immeasurable, both for the institution and the students who have learned the ropes under his guidance and have gone on to successful careers in transportation.

Here’s how he will remember his time at Southwest Truck Driver Training—and how we’ll remember his time at Southwest.


What is your favorite memory of teaching at SWTDT?

The students. I enjoyed helping them change their lives by assisting them in obtaining their CDL.


Do you have a story about teaching a memorable student?

About 5 years ago, I had a student who was good at everything I taught him, even though he was a nervous wreck most of the time. This gentleman was easy to teach and one of my best students. Surprisingly, on test day, he hit the first curb coming out of the yard.

This was one of my funniest and memorable moments as an instructor because he admitted his nerves got the best of him.


What will you miss most about Southwest Truck Driver Training?

My Southwest Truck Driver Training family, especially the instructors, had our share of ups and downs, but we had them together and walked away with a laugh most of the time.

I liked making them all laugh during training, especially during the brutal summer months. Laughs have kept us going.


What are you most looking forward to as you head into your retirement?

Spending more time with my wife.



I met Ray when I first came on board at Southwest Truck Driver Training as campus director. Ray was one of the first people to introduce himself to me.

We quickly found out that we both had lived in Indianapolis and had a love of racing, but no one—and I mean no one—is into it as much as Ray.

As time went on, I got to know more about Ray personally, but I was even more impressed at the way he went about interacting with his students. Over the years, Ray has changed the lives of hundreds of people by helping them achieve a career in truck driving. They came away a lot better in life for having attended Southwest Truck Driver Training and being trained by Ray.

I always called him “Big Play Ray,” and that wasn’t just to be funny. It was a testament to what Ray has meant to Southwest Truck Driver Training and to his former graduates.  He will be missed.

– Steve Strong, Vice President, Administration



It’s been an honor working with Ray. It’s hard to imagine this team without him. He always went the extra mile to help everyone.

Congrats on reaching your incredible milestone of retirement.

– Darlene Weisenburger, Training Department Manager



What can a guy say about Ray Shively? Day in and day out, year after year, he helped people change their lives. With his experience, knowledge, patience, and calm demeanor, he overcame student challenges class after class. In his nearly decade with Southwest Truck Driver Training, he trained close to 1,000 people who went on to be professional drivers.

In addition, he consistently thought about people besides himself. He routinely asked about coworkers’ families and tried to stay connected with Southwest Truck Driver Training staff throughout the company.

Ray sure loves racing, but no one would ever accuse him of being fast. However, when I think about great instructors who have made a difference, Ray races to the top of my mind.

– Sean Williams, President