RJ Rope Manufacturing has grown in many ways since Turlock resident Rick Jones started the business 40 years ago, evolving from an equine products-only operation at its inception to now providing a variety of much-needed products for the everyday customer — and some high-profile clients.
The idea to start his own rope manufacturing business came to Rick in 1980 while working for his father at Turlock Saddlery. Through his employment at the saddle and tack shop, Rick realized that the rope and rope products available for customers at the time weren’t well-suited for customers. Thus, RJ Rope Manufacturing was born and is now a family endeavor.
“We have grown in several different aspects. We started with one old dinosaur of a machine — circa 1910 — and as time went on our need for more and more machines grew,” said Tevin Jones, Rick’s son who manages the facility. “Also, we have grown in the types of products we create. Primarily we started with equine products, but now we have many different types and needs we can provide, such as pet, rigging, marine, fitness and military.”
For those who aren’t quite sure how the process works, there are three stages which turn yarn into rope. First, the necessary colors and amounts of yarn are gathered and then run through a twisting machine to create the desired product. This not only helps the multiple ends become one strand, but also increases abrasion resistance. The next stage is bobbin winding, which sees the twisted yarn wound onto bobbins, or small spindles. Then, the rope is braided by using high-speed machines before it is placed on a spool and packed for sale.
Pet enthusiasts in search of a quality-made harness or leash can find plenty to choose from on the RJ Rope Manufacturing website, while gym owners can purchase a battle rope or two to ensure their clients can challenge themselves when it comes to upper body work. The U.S. military is a frequent customer of the business, and RJ Rope Manufacturing was even commissioned by the San Francisco 49ers to produce the rope for the field goal nets at Levi’s Stadium.
The company has also branched out to making boating products, and Turlockers can proudly sport an RJ Rope Manufacturing hat if they please. All of the progress is indicative of the business’ success, Tevin said, which is quite the accomplishment given the “economic hills and valleys of starting and owning a business in California.”
There are only a few rope manufacturing companies in California, he added, and just a handful on the entire west coast. Tevin believes RJ Rope Manufacturing sets itself apart by providing quality assurance and countless color customization options.
“Generally, if you were to buy rope at a big box store, it would be undersized and made with a loose braid,” Tevin said. “We make sure ours is true to diameter and made with a tight braid to make it stronger and last longer.”
There are many rewards that come with offering an in-demand product to a variety of different sectors, but there’s one thing that stands out the most for the Jones family: “The satisfaction of making a quality product that our customers enjoy and need.”
1201 S. Blaker Rd., Turlock
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
Equine and rigging products