The Rode Rigs are a mini tractor trailer unit and are very unique.
The Rode Rigs of Pittsburgh was chartered on January 20, 2002 by then Illustrious Sir Robert M. Flood, Potentate. Our unit has been parading and volunteering for sixteen years. We have three main goals the first is to have fun, the second is to support our Shriners Hospitals for Children and the third is to support our Shrine Center.
We are the only mini tractor trailer unit in all of Shrinedom in the state of Pennsylvania. In fact, one of three in the Mid-Atlantic Shrine Association which consist of all the states in the Mid-Atlantic region. The tractors are copies of a Freightliner approximately 1/6 actual size. Each rig tractor and trailer are approximately 16 feet long. They are powered by 6.5 horsepower electric start engines with working lights, air horns and disk brakes. They are royal blue with gold accent scheme and the trailers come in all types Flat bed, Dump, Box, Tanker and Step Down to name a few.
Each member purchases and maintains their own mini rig and trailer for transporting and storing their rig in. We have also added new mini Jeeps to our fleet of vehicles to act as escort vehicles that can fit in the bed of a pick-up truck.
Our regular monthly meetings are held on the second Monday of every month starting at 7pm in the Rode Rigs unit room at the Shrine Center.
2018 Officers are:
President John Handshue
Vice President William Beaver
Secretary/Treasurer Dennis Conrad
Parade Captain Mike Blankenship
Rode Rigs activities include participating in local community and Shrine parades all around the Western Pennsylvania area and Western Ohio. Supporting the Erie Shriners Hospitals for Children and our Shrine Centers transportation unit by participating in various fundraising events and donating money we collect for parading.
We annually participate and support the Shrine Circus, Children’s Christmas Party & Easter Party and other Temple activities. Annually we travel to Virginia Beach for the Mid Atlantic Shrine Association Convention and compete in the Obstacle Course and Precision Drill and Parade competitions.
We have taken six consecutive first place trophies since 2012 in the parade competition and numerous First Place trophies in the Obstacle Course competitions. In 2017 we not only won the parade competition, but also won the obstacle and took a second-place precision drill competition. We also won Total Overall High Point for the competitions.
The Rode Rigs have appeared in the television show The Outsiders and other televised Christmas parades. We are one of the most popular and requested units in our Shrine Center by local communities to participate in their events. We average between 30 and 35 parades a year, so we are very active in and around the Pittsburgh area.
When we are not parading we have different social actives for our members and wives.
If you’re looking to join a motorized Unit that has loads of fun whether on the parade route or just
kicking back at one of our social events, then give one of the officers a call for more information.
Contact President John Handshue at 412-877-4263 or jjhpm(at)aol.com
Secretary /Treasurer Dennis Conrad 412-956-2245 or denmel238(at)yahoo.com