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‘Truly an exciting time at Mickey’

Tom Arland

HIGH POINT, NC — FEBRUARY 20, 2020 – Mickey Truck Bodies recognized 81 teammates with 15 or more years of service at its annual Holiday Luncheon in High Point in December. Included on the list were Mickey’s four 40-plus year celebrants Rocky Barham and Mike Rabon Sr. (42 years), Mike Johnston (41 years) and Greg “Spanky” Spainhour (40 years).

Dean Sink (red sweater) with 40-year folks (from left): Rocky Barham, Mike Rabon Sr., Mike Johnston, Greg “Spanky” Spainhour.

In his end-of-year address to the Mickey team, company President Tom Arland said: “Each and every one of you, no matter what your position is within the company, is a key contributor. Contributor to the success of our company; contributor to the success of our customers – new and existing; and contributor to each other. I am very impressed with the team support between our product lines. It is your team spirit and can-do attitude that enables us to consistently deliver on our promises to the customer. They want to work with us because of you, because of our great products, and because of our aftermarket support and service. 2019 was a great year, and I am looking forward to continuing our adventure in 2020 and beyond. This is truly an exciting time at Mickey Truck Bodies.”
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Hard seltzers an easy sell for wholesalers

Mickey’s Steve Mason (left) chats up industry trends with a couple wholesalers at the MBWA conference in St. Paul.

The growth in hard seltzer beverage brands and the shortage of qualified CDL drivers were two of the central topics discussed on the floor of the 2020 Minnesota Beer Wholesalers Association (MBWA) annual conference last month in Saint Paul. In light of those two trendlines, another common conversation heard around the hall was the rising popularity of non-CDL bodies, like Mickey’s 8.5-bay unit, a smaller sideload (total weight of less than 8,000 lbs) that many wholesalers are using to deliver their hard seltzers into tight urban markets.

“Many of the customers at our booth wanted to talk about the emergence of hard seltzers and what that new segment has done for their bottom lines,” says Steve Mason, Mickey’s Midwest Regional Sales Manager. “One of our customers in the upper Midwest just took delivery on his third 8.5-bay Mickey body under CDL. And we’ve probably refurbished 70% of his fleet in the last four years, many with new graphics depicting his hard seltzer brand. The under CDL chassis are so popular because of a lack of qualified CDL drivers, and they’re also much easier to deliver in city markets.” It’s not just the smaller units that are capturing the attention of hard seltzer wholesalers, adds Steve. “One of my major Miller/Coors customers said the new hard seltzer market has increased his business to the point where he will be ordering additional Mickey 18-bay trailers this year.”
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Ed Sears is Mickey’s new Controller

Ed Sears

Ed Sears has joined the Mickey Truck Bodies team as Controller responsible for all accounting and financial planning functions. He reports directly to Tom Arland, Mickey President.

Most recently Ed was Chief Financial and Operations Officer for LeMond Companies LLC, a carbon fiber manufacturing company in Oak Ridge, TN. Before that Ed, held various finance and operations roles (Divisional CFO and Head of Operations, Divisional Head of Audit, Supplier Compliance Director) at Reynolds American Inc. in Winston-Salem, NC. He also worked with RF Micro Devices (now Qorvo) as Finance Manager, Sara Lee Corporation (now Hanesbrands) as Sales Forecasting Manager, Keebler Company as Retail Sales Finance Manager, and Arthur Andersen & Co. as Senior Auditor.

Ed earned a bachelor’s degree in Accountancy from the University of Cincinnati, an MBA from Miami (OH) University, is a Certified Public Accountant and is certified in GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) by the Center for Professional Innovation and Education.
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Engineer has eye for automation innovation

Trung Nguyen has joined Mickey Truck Bodies as Automation Engineer responsible for researching, implementing and managing new and innovative automation technologies and processes. He reports to Martin Skurka, Vice President of Operations. In this newly created role, Trung also oversees all equipment certification on the production floor.

Trung Nguyen

Most recently Trung was Automation Project/R&D Engineer with Asheboro, NC-based CPP Global, a plastics manufacturer for a variety of industries, including personal care, fragrance, food and beverage. At CPP he was responsible for the design of custom machinery and assembly equipment, as well as new product development and project processes. Prior to CPP he was Engineering Project Manager for Gilbarco Veeder Root in Greensboro, NC, a leading manufacturer of fueling and convenience store equipment and technology.

“Trung has over 20 years’ experience in project engineering, process controls and equipment implementation within highly automated manufacturing environments,” says Martin. “At Mickey we are continuously improving our manufacturing productivity and product quality through automation, and Trung will play a key role in developing and leveraging that automation.”

Trung earned degrees in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro.

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Mickey team stands ‘united’ … again

For the second straight year, Mickey Truck Bodies and the entire Mickey team has been honored with the United Way’s Spirit of North Carolina Award for Campaign Excellence, recording “the best United Way Campaign in the State of North Carolina” for 2019. The company and its team members raised $145,000 for the United Way of Greater High Point last year.

Mickey’s Melanie Weber and Matt Sink accept Spirit of North Carolina Award.

From 2013 to 2019 Mickey Truck Bodies contributed over $865,000 to United Way. During each of those years there was a 100% participation rate among the Mickey team in High Point. Mickey Truck Bodies is the only manufacturing company in the 90-year history of the United Way of Greater High Point has accomplished a 100% employee participation rate for 8 straight years, according to Joe Barnes, Campaign Division Director, United Way of Greater High Point.

“Mickey Truck Bodies has been a strong supporter of the United Way for many years because we believe in what it stands for and what it does within our community,” says Melanie Weber, Mickey’s HR Director. “We take pride knowing we make a difference in people’s lives. Our support comes from the top down – our corporate contribution has increased every year for the past 10 years. You feel good about working for a company that really cares.”

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A ‘fresh’ new look

Before Mickey Fleet Services …                         … After Mickey Fleet Services

Mickey Truck Bodies’ Midwest Fleet Services Center (Bloomington, IL) recently refurbed a Reinhart Foodservice, L.L.C. truck to make it look like appetizingly fresh! Here’s the before and after. For more details: Mike Parker, Midwest Fleet Services General Manager 309-827-8227.

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In-Sink 2.0: Learning all the time

By Matt Sink, CEO

Matt Sink

I’m about four months into my new role as Mickey Truck Bodies CEO and I am still learning. I’m learning from people like Tom Arland, our new President, who has more customer-facing experience in the body and trailer business than anyone out there. He knows all there is to know about building truck bodies and, just as importantly, about building relationships. And from people like Martin Skurka, our VP of Operations, who is convinced there is always room to improve a process and a product in ways that can benefit our teammates, our customer and our company.

My grandfather, Carl Mickey, Sr., taught us all that it’s not necessary to be the biggest, only the best. Customers like Enterprise, Nestle, AEV, Canteen, Pepsi, Coke, DS Waters, AmeriGas – our customers, to name but a few – don’t care about buying from the biggest. They want to work with the best.

My father, Dean Sink – our Executive Chairman – taught us perhaps the most important lesson of all – the value of teamwork.

At Mickey we don’t work in departments or divisions; we work on teams. And our teams work together. We work as a single team by combining all our individual knowledge and skills to engineer, design, build and service the best products in our industry.

At Mickey Truck Bodies we all learn from one another because we don’t work in silos. When we share ideas, we benefit as a team, as a company, and it becomes a continuous improvement process. As a team we hold each other accountable to ensure that happens so that we will always be the best.

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The formula works

HIGH POINT, NC – DECEMBER 9, 2019 – Mickey Truck Bodies is sticking with the formula that made it the nation’s most prolific supplier of sideload-style units and modular ambulances: productivity.

The company is currently delivering 5,000 dry freight van bodies a year in 75,000 square feet of space with a team of less than 100 employees at its main manufacturing complex in High Point, NC.

Of course, it helps that Mickey has invested millions of dollars in technology and plant upgrades over the past several years and is committed to a team culture of continuous improvement – the company is moving towards 100% automation, where it makes sense, in its van body plant. The Mickey teammates working on the dry freight bodies are professionally trained, highly skilled and generously rewarded based on safety, quality and productivity. The Mickey quality credo is: “Get it right the first time.”

Two fully automated robotic cells were installed at the Mickey complex in High Point in the past year.

“I was mentored by Mr. Mickey, who I considered to be a mechanical genius. He always believed we could do more with less if we worked smart, not hard,” says Dean Sink, Mickey Chairman. (“Mr. Mickey” is the late Carl F. Mickey, Sr.). “I also studied the manufacturing techniques of Toyota in Japan, at the time the gold standard in manufacturing efficiency. I was always impressed with how Toyota could build a car in Japan, ship it to the U.S., and still offer superior quality and less cost than our own domestic auto makers. Today, we are delivering dry freight van bodies in half the time it took us two years ago, and the quality has improved. We will be delivering them in half the time again two years from now with continuous improvement in team efficiency and manufacturing automation. We are making major improvements every year in our assembly process, continuously redesigning the workflow. When we are sure that automation will improve any part of the process, we invest in that automation. But we can’t leverage automation without highly trained and motivated employees.”

To illustrate his point, Dean takes a visitor on a tour of the Mickey van plant in High Point. He points out that the production line has been set up so that workers “do minimal walking – they should never have to walk more than 10 feet within their workspace. They waste no time looking for tools or parts. They never have to turn around when they’re working on a task – they’re always facing their work. We’ve been practicing Six Sigma here for 35 years – we just call it ‘The Mickey Way.’”

One of the keys to the company’s high productivity is its Employee Feedback Program, especially ideas on how to work more efficiently. “Nobody knows a job better than the person doing that job,” says Dean. “In 2019 we have an on-time delivery rate over 98% in our fleet business out of our High Point complex because our team works safe and smart. Our warranty rate is one-tenth of one percent. Every Mickey employee understands that the customers – not the company – pay their salaries.”

In his 40-plus years at Mickey, Dean has hosted hundreds of customers on plant tours. “They all make the same observations,” he explains. “They’re surprised at the large variety of units we manufacture here and how big our complex is. They always comment on the high energy of our employees. And to a person they say we have the cleanest and most organized truck body and trailer manufacturing facility in the country.

“What that says to me is that the formula works.”

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Everybody wins when employees come first

One of the most common business principles throughout the ages has been “customers first.” It’s hard to argue with that model for building and sustaining a financially successful company. Customers generate revenue; revenue pays the bills, supports investment, and drives growth.

“Our employees have always been the top priority at Mickey Truck Bodies,” says Tom Arland, Mickey President. “We provide them with a safe and collaborative work environment, proper training, and the tools they need to do a good job. They are proud of the Mickey brand and are committed to delivering the highest quality products and services to our customers. Our high rates of employee and customer retention is proof of the pudding. Happy employees make for happy customers.”

“Our mission is to be a great advocate for the Mickey team,” says Melanie Weber, Director of Human Resources. “When we engage and empower the entire Mickey team, everybody wins together – the company, the employees and, certainly, our customers.”

Since joining Mickey earlier this year, Melanie, a U.S. Navy veteran, and her teammates – HR Generalists Tekia Scales in High Point, and Crystal Arndt at the company’s Berwick, PA plant – have focused on reinforcing four key pillars of the HR strategy.

1 Follow up. “We have made it a point to follow up personally with team members on issues, comments, ideas and questions,” says Melanie. “Face to face is still the best form of communications. That’s how we build trusting relationships.”
2 Building morale. “We are getting to know every Mickey team member on a personal level so they will embrace HR as advocates, get them to open up to us and start meaningful discussions without any concern of reprisals or repercussions,” Melanie explains. “We all want the same thing – to generate and act upon ideas that keep our company moving in a positive direction. Mickey has an open-door policy, and that means every door is open to every team member.”
3 Community involvement. “Mickey employees have always stepped up when it comes to contributing to the well-being of our community. It not only speaks to our collective compassion and generosity, it also fosters great team spirit,” says Melanie. “Going forward, we’re going to come up with ways to make our participation in these events more fun, more competitive. That will take our team spirit to a new level. Competition is fun.”
4 Employee recognition. “We have outstanding team incentive programs for safety, quality, productivity,” says Melanie. “We’re all about teams, but great teams can have standout players. We want to celebrate our individual achievements as well as our team milestones.”

One of the most popular phrases in American industry is: “Our people are our greatest asset.” According to Melanie, “The key is to turn those words into a culture. That’s what we’re doing here at Mickey through our actions.”

Meet the Mickey HR team
Melanie Weber, Director of Human Resources
Experience: Director of Human Resources, CPP Global
Sr. Manager, Human Resources, CV Products Consolidated; U.S. NAVY, 2001 – 2008; Six Sigma Certified; Master’s Degree, Human Resource Management

Tekia Scales, HR Generalist
Experience: HR Coordinator, CPP Global; HR Generalist/Recruiter, Bradley Personnel; Bachelor of Science, Business Administration

Crystal Arndt, HR Generalist
Experience: Relations Manager/HR Administrator, Reading and Northern Railroad/Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway; RAMP Certified; SHRM Member; Member MAEA (Northeast Manufacturers of America Association)

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Mickey Engineered Vehicles

Contact Us

Tom Arland, President


Steve Mason, Midwest Sales


Gary Remley, Northeast Sales


Dane Meyer, Southwest, West Sales


Todd Holm, Southeast Sales


Drew Aloisi, National Accounts Sales


Forrest Howard, Vans/Vending Sales


Rocky Barham, Parts


Kyle McLaughlin, Mid-Atlantic Fleet Services


Steve McLaughlin, Northeast Fleet Services


Robert Badely, Southeast Fleet Services


Mike Parker, Midwest Fleet Services


Larry Jacobs, High Point Customer Support


Tim Davis, High Point Media Relations


Kevin Turpin, Berwick, PA Plant Manager


Melanie Weber, High Point Human Resources