Road Scholar Transport has been a reliable source for LTL and Truckload shipping in the Mid-Atlantic/New England regions since 1988 but its company philosophy goes well beyond that of a typical trucking company. Here is a look at some of the things you may not know about our company.
Oct. 2007-Awareness Campaign
It was a Saturday morning back in October 2007. Jim Barrett’s wife and daughters were prepared to take part in a breast cancer walk. Barrett, however, could not attend due to work. Frustration set in with his wife and daughters, who suggested that he could take one hour off to participate in the walk.
While they were gone, Barrett pondered and decided to one up them. That morning, he walked across the street to a company who sells tractor trailers and told one of their employees that he wanted to buy a brand new trailer but under one condition…that they paint it pink.
He then went to a decal place and told the people there that he wanted an eight foot tall oval ribbon with a white background. Viola! Barrett now had himself a pink breast cancer awareness truck.
He said to his wife, “Anyone could put on a pink shirt or a pink band around their wrist. Go try an 80,000 pound tractor trailer all pinked up for breast cancer awareness.” His goal was accomplished, he one upped his wife.
Road Scholar’s awareness campaign has grown since to over 4 dozen different awareness trucks today. See them all at https://roadscholar.com/awareness-campaign.
July 2009-RST Helps Transport a Couple and Their Dogs to Florida
It was during July of 2009 that Burlington, Vermont couple Frank and Terrie Knight left their home to pursue a better life in Tallahassee, Florida, where Frank hoped to get a job as an orange picker. With no means of transportation and little money, the couple refused to sign up for welfare and, as Frank explained, “live off the taxpayer,” so they decided to embark on the 1400 mile journey by foot.
But they were not traveling alone. Terrie was three months pregnant and they surely could not leave without their two dogs, Maya and Sweetie, who traveled alongside them.
After walking for two weeks, the couple decided to rest at the Silver Valley Campsite in Brodheadsville, PA for some much needed rest. While there, the news of the couple’s journey spread and soon the Knights began receiving donations (including pet food, groceries, bandaids, money, and more) from local individuals. But one very important thing was still missing…transportation. The couple still had another 1100 miles to go before reaching their destination.
Back in Dunmore, PA, about an hour from where the Knights were camping, Road Scholar Transport was already working on a way to get the couple to Florida. But this situation was a little more complicated than it appeared.
The obvious solution was to load the family on board one of the company’s tractor trailers, but unfortunately, there was not enough room in the cab to fit the two and their dogs and it is illegal to transport people in a trailer. Handing the couple a bus pass or plane ticket was out as well due to the dogs.
However, Jim Barrett built his company around being a ‘transportation solutions provider’ and was not about to fail now. So he handed the keys to his Suburban to his son Matt Barrett and Road Scholar driver Mike Duffy, who drove to the campsite to pick up the couple and then drive them down to Florida in Jim’s vehicle, making only quick stops along the way. Once at their destination, Matt and Mike dropped the couple off and gave them some money. “It was a once in a lifetime experience,” Mike said.
April 2011-World Trade Center Artifact to MA
In April 2011, Road Scholar Transport volunteered to transport a large piece of steel, once part of the World Trade Center which was destroyed due the events on September 11th, 2001, to Dracut Fire Department in MA.
The steel, which weighed 1,143 lbs and was 84 inches long, was picked up at the JFK Airport in NY by Road Scholar in our Flight 93 awareness trailer and was escorted from the Cross Point Towers in Lowell, MA by Lowell Police and Fire Departments to the Dracut High School for an appearance. Afterwards, the procession continued to their final stop at the Dracut Fire Station.
The steel became part of Dracut’s 9/11 Memorial Project, in honor of those who lost their lives on 9/11. Among them, Captain John Ogonowski, the pilot of the first plane that hit the World Trade Center and whose farm is located across from the fire hall.
Father Zimmerman blessed the steel, which was then set in a mold at the new firehouse so people can touch it along with other 9/11 artifacts, as well as a stone dedicated to all who lost their lives as a result of the events.
September 2011-World Trade Center Artifact to TN
Road Scholar’s 9/11 Rolling Memorial, debuted days shy of the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by transferring a 778 lb piece of steel from the World Trade Center from Shanksville, PA to Tennessee, stopping at two locations.
The first stop was Downtown Savannah, TN for Darryl Worley’s Tennessee River Run, where the WTC artifact was be displayed.
Road Scholar then transported the artifact to Pickwick Landing State Park for another concert. Among those to perform was Darryl Worley, whose song title “Have You Forgotten” is written across Road Scholar’s tractor.
November 2012-Hurricane Sandy
Hurricane Sandy blew its way through 10 states back in 2012, sending forceful winds and rain whose damaging effects killed over 110 people. Among those most devastated were New York (48 fatalities), New Jersey (24 fatalities) and Pennsylvania (14 fatalities). Some people lost everything, winding up homeless, as family, friends, and shelters took them in.
In desperate need of the little things we take for granted everyday-electricity, water, pajamas, food-people across the nation joined together to help in the relief effort. Road Scholar Transport was one of them.
Supplies that included flashlights, batteries, games, blankets, cleaning supplies, towels, T-shirts, and more, were loaded onto Road Scholar’s trucks, which will then be sorted and delivered during the week to New York and New Jersey churches and community drop off points.
Road Scholar Transport transported over 80,000 lbs. of supplies, with one of Road Scholar’s trucks taking part in the effort being our Red Cross Awareness Truck, which picked up one of these truckloads at Allied Heinz Rehab Hospital and delivered it into Staten Island.
May 2013-The HALO Foundation and Hurricane Sandy
The HALO Foundation of Akron, OH, whose mission is to “offer HOPE to the afflicted through the generosity of Service & Charity, involving intergenerational support from seniors to children,” conducted a drive to help aid those afflicted by Hurricane Sandy, collecting over 500 18-gallon totes of donations which included pet supplies, hygiene products, office supplies, clothing, and food, along with letters of encouragement written by local students and senior citizens.
Volunteers ranged from all ages, from local senior facilities that knitted and crocheted blankets and other materials as well as made cards for the drive, to students, including a young girl whose overwhelming generosity asked that for her 10th birthday party people bring items for the drive rather than presents.
Working with JW Didado, Jersey Central Power and Light, and Rubber City Radio, the HALO Foundation was able to sort and pack the items which were then distributed to the Barrier Islands in NJ in Road Scholar Transport’s Flight 93 awareness truck, which was greeted by families of Flight 93 victims, the chief of police, Mayor, and local businesses and schools, along with students who helped unload the truck.
July 2013-The Wall Street Journal
Road Scholar Transport’s president, Jim Barrett, was quoted in the Wall Street Journal in an article titled, Daddy, What Was a Truck Driver? The article can be viewed here.
September 2017-Transporting John Oliver’s Train Set to WNEP
The city of Scranton gained nationwide media attention on John Oliver’s show “Last Week Tonight,” bringing attention to WNEP 16’s backyard train.
Oliver told his audience, “One of our recent ‘And Now’ segments concerns Scranton, Pennsylvania’s WNEP, more specifically their backyard train that runs behind their weather forecasters all year round. It’s a charming feature of that news cast.”
Loving how “passionate” the people of NEPA are for the train, Oliver explained that his “only criticism of your train set is I think you deserve a better one….a bigger one.” Oliver then revealed an 18-feet wide and 16-feet tall train set that spins around and “contains every Scranton landmark that you can find on Google,” including a running waterfall and fireworks! Scranton residents will notice the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel, the Penn Paper building from the show The Office, radio tower, and more.
Oliver ended the segment by telling WNEP to “come and get it.”
The train was broken down into several pieces and stored in a New Jersey warehouse but the problem remained on how to get it to NEPA.
Road Scholar Transport became the official transporter of the set, arranging to pick up the train in our Scranton Trolley awareness truck.