About Us

J. Marlin Ernst & Sons, Inc.


John Marlin Ernst was born in lieu of Marlin Ernst in the year 1924 to a family who lived in Deer Lake, PA. His ancestors originally came from Germany. Marlin worked at his father’s service station along with his brother William. Growing up tending to the gas pumps and working on vehicles Marlin believed that they were more ways to earn a living. As a senior in Auburn High School in Pennsylvania Marlin purchased two used 1936 Ford dump trucks and then hired two drivers’ to drive those trucks. That started the founding of J. Marlin Ernst Trucking in 1942. Why “J. Marlin” you might ask. His father’s name was John, so not to cause confusion, Marlin begin to use J. Marlin. That name still exists to be used to this day. Upon graduation Marlin was called to serve his county during wartime in the United States Army. While serving his duty, Marlin’s father and brother William continued to manage in lieu of Marlin’s father and uncle continued to manage the two Ford dump trucks for Marlin.

Upon returning from Army service Marlin knew that the trucking business was what he wanted to do and started to add to this fleet of trucks with International “K” and KB” series of tractors. When Marlin’s father passed away in 1962 at the age of 62, the John J. Ernst garage was closed and became the home of J. Marlin’s trucking business. Marlin devoted all of his time to expanding his trucking company business by both adding new customers and equipment. The “Old Garage” still stands on Route 61. In 1964, Marlin decided to build a new facility on a section of the Ernst homestead in Deer Lake, PA. This facility was a 60’ x 120’ repair garage, truck storage with office space. The new building was purchased and transported from Pittsburgh, PA. Marlin and his employees erected the building and began to run the trucking business from that location. In the late 1960’s both of Marlins sons, Keith and Terry, began learning the business just as their father did during his younger years. Both sons, while in high school, worked at various jobs along with obtaining their high school diploma and enjoying sport activities. Upon graduation from High School and College. Keith and Terry worked as mechanics, drove truck and worked in the office. With this on the job training both brothers moved into the management of J. Marlin Ernst & Sons.

In the 1981 J. Marlin Ernst was incorporated to its present name J. Marlin Ernst & Sons, Inc. In 1984 because of the increase in business, Marlin and his sons built an additional 60’ x 254’ truck storage and main office facility on the same property. On March 28, 1990, Marlin unexpectedly passed away and both his sons assumed the management of the company. In 2009 when the improvement of Route 61 became final, the office and garage that stood on the Ernst homestead property since 1964 had to be closed, demolished and rebuilt. At that time, Keith decided it was time to retire and turn over control of the companies operation to Terry. Terry’s son, Bret, working all phases in the company just as his grandfather Marlin, his Uncle Keith and his father Terry, has now become an important management member of the everyday operations.

Today there is a fleet of 20 Peterbuilt tractors and six Peterbuilt tri axles. All of these vehicles are serviced on site by company employed mechanics.