Celebrating Barr-Nunn Transportation’s 40th Anniversary

October 19, 1982. The Beginning

A driver himself, Robert Sturgeon purchased Manning Truck Lines and rebranded it as Sturgeon Truck Lines, Inc. With safety and on-time delivery as the company’s core values, and his 13-truck inventory, he was promptly contracted by Rail Flite to haul piggyback freight from Iowa to Omaha and Kansas City rail lines.

In March of 1985, Sturgeon went on to purchase Barr-Nunn’s authority and became licensed to haul freight throughout the United States.

Now branded as Barr-Nunn, the company collectively consisted of 97 drivers, 25 support staff, 85 tractors, and 152 trailers. Amazingly, Barr-Nunn amassed $9.7 million in sales in just 3 years.

In April of 1985, Barr-Nunn launched its first east coast freight lane for Strayer Seed Company. Shortly thereafter, the fleet was outfitted with 30 brand-new ‘85 and ‘86 Kenworth Tractors.

Further securing its foothold in the trucking industry, by January 1989, the workforce had expanded to 112 drivers and 53 support staff. Barr-Nunn’s annual revenue ballooned to $12 million.

Barr-Nunn’s arsenal grew in 1994, adding a 20,000 sq. ft. maintenance facility in Granger, Iowa. It also houses offices, training rooms, and drivers’ lounges. Moreover, the fleet grew to 225 tractors.

In January 1999, Barr-Nunn’s sales topped $77 million, and the fleet continued to flourish. It had expanded to 570 tractors and 1,400 trailers. The support staff grew to 130 Iowa-based maintenance and office personnel.

In early 2000, Barr-Nunn broke ground and launched the construction of a new corporate office in Granger, Iowa.

In the summer of 2003, Robert Sturgeon bolstered Barr-Nunn’s reach by opening a terminal in Washington Courthouse, Ohio. This facility served as the company’s first outlying driver support and orientation facility. This Ohio terminal would remain functional until early 2010.

In January 2007, Barr-Nunn further expanded its footprint by opening a terminal in the “Queen City” Charlotte, North Carolina. Driver support functions, orientation, and maintenance were conducted in this modest facility.

Only four months later in June 2007, Barr-Nunn opened a terminal in Manchester, Pennsylvania. Here, support staff conducted orientation, training, and tractor/trailer maintenance to support Barr-Nunn’s transiting driving professionals to the present day.

In January 2010, the Ohio terminal was relocated to Columbus. Here, support staff continued to conduct orientation and training as integral parts of the company’s culture.

Barr-Nunn was acquired by Knight Transportation in 2014 and the Sturgeons retired after 32 years. In addition to maintaining all jobs, company leadership, and brand independence, Barr-Nunn remains committed to providing our drivers with recognized “Top Pay” compensation, industry-leading safety performance, and award-winning customer service.

From 2018 through February 2019, Charlotte’s terminal received a much-appreciated complete brand-new remodel.

In 2019 and throughout the peak of the pandemic, Barr-Nunn’s driving professionals and support staff remained secure, reliable, agile, and safe—we sustained the nation during an unprecedented time in America’s history…

Over the course of our 40 years in business, we continue to maintain our fierce dedication to a “safety first and always” operation with unrivaled on-time service and the accolades from our customers to prove it.

Here’s to the next 40 years!