RCC Alumni Damarius Pollard Receives Patent for Trailer Floor Protector
The elders in Damarius Pollard’s life saw a young man with immense potential, who only needed some mentoring and guidance to get him moving ahead. His grandfather, Thomas Pollard, knew that neighbor and family friend Frances Kenyear would lead Damarius in the right direction at Rappahannock Community College. Ms. Kenyear, a long-time RCC recruiter, recalls, “Damarius’ grandfather knew RCC offers many different classes and opportunities and that I could help him enroll in ones that were best for his grandson.”
In true fashion, Ms. Kenyear took Damarius under her wing and helped him enroll in RCC’s welding program. Damarius had a real skill and passion for welding and successfully passed SMAW, GMAW, FCAW, GTAW, and earned credentials in SMAW at RCC. He says, “These classes helped me refine my skills and focus on how I could use them outside of the classroom.”
Damarius was only 28 years old when he took over his grandfather’s business, Pollard Earthmoving, and soon expanded his clientele, fleet of hauling trucks, and services. “As a tractor-trailer driver I noticed some truckers earn more money carrying riprap rock and pulling demolition trailers. This inspired me to develop a means to cover and protect the floor of my aluminum-body trailer.”
Using the knowledge gained in RCC’s welding program, Damarius devised an ingenious temperature resistant, shock absorbing and portable cargo liner that can be used in cargo trailers and vehicles of varying sizes. The cargo liner protects the truck beds from damage and expensive repairs, increases hauling capabilities, extends the life of the trailer or vehicle, and enables drivers to haul asphalt. Damarius knew his invention could help other truck hauling companies and hired a patent attorney to get his cargo liner patented and manufactured.
Patent Number 11396169 was approved on July 26, 2022, and inventor Damarius Pollard’s cargo liner has already gotten the attention of three manufacturers who will be producing the product. Mentor Frances Kenyear and RCC President Shannon Kennedy could not be prouder of Damarius and his accomplishments. “This is what RCC is all about” remarked Kennedy. “Our faculty and staff like Ms. Kenyear are passionate mentors to our students. I see so much home-grown talent in our region and am thrilled about this invention and that Damarius is growing his Essex County-based business.”
Now 33 years old, Damarius Pollard has years ahead of him to develop other inventions, expand his company, and contribute even more to the local workforce. His advice to other young entrepreneurs, “Give yourself time to make mistakes and improve.”
At a recent photo shoot at RCC, Damarius took the hand of his mentor Frances Kenyear and together they walked into the Warsaw campus building after sharing this incredible story with faculty and staff.
Photo- front row from left: Frances Kenyear, Damarius Pollard, RCC Pres. Shannon Kennedy. Back row from left: Chris Lomax, Dir. of Professional & Tech. Programs; Amanda Lloyd, Assoc. VP of Instruction; Eric Barna, VP of Instruction; Miles McCrimmon, Dean of Strategic Enrollment Management.