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Mickey answers c-store call with smaller units, innovative features

Beverage companies are looking to smaller units, such as 6-bay sideloaders and van bodies with liftgates, for more efficient deliveries to c-stores.

HIGH POINT, NC  – AUGUST 2020 – For the fifth consecutive week ending August 1, off-premise dollar sales growth of beer, FMBs (flavored malt beverages) and cider in convenience stores outpaced sales in larger channels, such as supermarkets, according to Nielsen. The most recent data marks a reversal of early COVID-19 trends when consumers, fearing shortages, stocked up on their favorite from large-format stores.

“The bounce back of the c-store, which of course is beer’s most important channel, is another sign that consumers have settled into a ‘next’ normal,” Danelle Kosmal, Nielsen VP of Beverage Alcohol Practice, told The Daily Brew, NBWA’s online daily newsletter.

“Many of our customers are requesting smaller sideload units, like 6.5- and 8.5-bay bodies, for better maneuverability in convenience store parking areas,” says Tom Arland, Mickey President. “In addition, some customers, including Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, and Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP), are using different types of van bodies, or straight trucks, with liftgates for c-store deliveries. Not only do these smaller units improve delivery efficiency to small store formats, the fact that they do not require a CDL license helps address the issue of driver shortages.”

Besides the Covid-19 restrictions imposed on restaurants and bars, the continued popularity of categories such as energy drinks and hard seltzers is also driving deliveries to c-stores. “We’re selling a lot of non-CDL 6-bay mini bodies for the energy/secondary brands,” says Todd Holm, Mickey’s Southeast Regional Sales Manager. “They are very easy to maneuver in city locations where space is tight. “Energy brands like Bang, Monster and Red Bull continue to sell well. So are the hard seltzers like Truly and White Claw. And now Coca-Cola jumping in with coffee-flavored sodas.”

“For any type of delivery, innovation will drive the beverage truck market for the foreseeable future, and Mickey will continue to pave the way,” notes Dane Meyer, Mickey’s Southwest/West Sales Manager. “KDP is actually reducing its conventional tractor and trailer fleet in favor of sideload and bulk trailers, and converting to 26-foot non-CDL van bodies with liftgates. Wholesalers are looking at non-CDL straight trucks with liftgates, on-board charging systems for electric delivery carts, roof-mounted solar charge systems for gates and electric pallet delivery devices. Efficiency, productivity and profitability will be the top priorities for companies delivering beverages.”

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Just like new …

This Bulkmatic bulk tank (below) was reconditioned from the ground up by Mickey Truck Bodies’ Northeast Fleet Services Center in Freehold, NJ. The overhaul included suspension, axles, airlines, electrical system, paint and graphics. Bulkmatic Transport is the largest dry bulk carrier in North America.

Contact Rob Piotrowski, General Manager of Mickey’s Northeast Fleet Service Center, for more information, or click HERE to download our brochure and see how we can recondition, repair, upfit or overhaul any vehicle for any type of service … and make it look like new!

Mickey employees are practicing all health and safety guidelines regarding safe “social distancing” and personal hygiene during the coronavirus outbreak. Our facilities and equipment are cleansed and sanitized daily, and all incoming and outgoing vehicles are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected for the safety of our employees and your drivers.

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Two retire, two celebrate milestones

Mike Parker, General Manager of Mickey’s Midwest Fleet Services Center in Bloomington, IL, will celebrate his 20-year anniversary with the company on August 28. Mike has held that position since joining the company in 2000.

Mike Parker and Lori Lynk

Lori Lynk, Sales Associate, hit the 15-year Mickey mark on August 1.

Two long-time Mickey teammates recently retired from the company. Arnold Berry, a welder on the Emergency Vehicles line, retired in August after 28 years with Mickey. Jimmy Giles, who most recently worked on the Beverage Logistics team, called it quits after 23 years with Mickey.

Eighteen percent of Mickey’s full-time teammates have been with the company for at least 20 years. Thirty percent of the entire Mickey team has been with the company for 10 years or more.

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In-Sink 2.0: 12 keys to success

By Matt Sink, CEO
Mickey Truck Bodies has been privately owned by the Mickey family since it was founded in 1904, and is now in its fourth generation of family ownership and day-to-day operation. Like all great and enduring companies, throughout our history we have shifted our business strategies and operational practices countless times. Certainly this year, with all the changes and restrictions brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been anything but “business as usual” as we strive to keep our employees safe and our customers happy. We are working differently.

However, while we have changed our strategies, our products, and our services over the years to meet and exceed market demands and customer needs, we have always preserved our company’s core values and corporate culture. We never have, and never will, waver from the principles that make us a successful enterprise. In this strange and unpredictable year, we sat down and thought through the past, present and future keys to our success. Here’s the list:

Mickey Truck Bodies’ 12 Keys to Success

1.EARN TRUST … of your teammates, your customers, and your business partners by listening … and then doing what you say you are going to do

2. CUSTOMER FOCUS … be solution oriented. Build relationships that offer value.

3. COMMIT … to getting the job done right the first time. (See Key #1)

4. OWNERSHIP … accept responsibility for your work and your performance

5. GOALS … drive the business forward and create a common purpose for the organization.

6. RESULTS … measured against your goals. I.E. safety, quality, productivity, customer satisfaction.

7. FRUGALITY … spend wisely. Resourcefulness saves money.

8. TAKE ACTION … Indecision leads to stagnation. Be agile.

9. WORK SMARTER, NOT HARDER … keep it simple. Stay organized.

10. POWER OF HABIT … be consistent. Be disciplined in maintaining good behaviors.

11. INNOVATION … improve something every day. Don’t settle for ‘the way it’s always been done.’

12. TEAMS … we all win together. Never say ‘that’s not my job.’

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Mike Tucker – 1964 – 2020

It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of Mike Tucker, our friend and former President and CEO of Mickey Truck Bodies. Mike, 56, died on June 7 at his home in Greenville, NC, after a courageous battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Heidi Flanigan Tucker; daughters Emma Corinne Tucker of Washington, D.C., and Claire Johnston Tucker of Durham; father Dr. Donald H. Tucker of Greenville; brother Donald H. Tucker, Jr.; and sister Susan Tucker Weaver of Raleigh.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Mike Tucker

I competed with Mike for over 25 years while he ran Hackney. While he was always a fierce competitor, he was also an outstanding professional and a true gentleman. As the saying goes, “He was tough but fair.” I was elated when Mike agreed to join Mickey in 2018, and in 2019 it was with great pride and confidence that I named him the President and CEO of Mickey Truck Bodies, the first ever non-Mickey family member to hold that title.

From the moment Mike came on board in High Point, he began earning the respect and support of all his Mickey teammates with his thirst for business, his decisive decision-making his intellectual curiosity. He embodied the Mickey 3 D’s – desire, dedication, and determination – long before he ever joined our company. The only times he left his office early were the nights he traveled to Durham to watch his beloved Duke Blue Devils play basketball at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mike graduated magna cum laude from Duke in 1985.

Mike’s time at Mickey was cut way too short. But he left an enduring legacy of integrity, humility and sincere warmth and consideration for his colleagues.




Dean Sink
Executive Chairman
Mickey Truck Bodies

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Unsung heroes help keep front line heroes rolling along

From left: Mickey’s Kevin Grayson and Mark Milam and AEV’s Michelle Kirk.

HIGH POINT and JEFFERSON, NC — JUNE 2020 –  Under normal circumstances, it’s essential for most people to get up every day and go to work to provide for their families – to pay the mortgage, put food on the table, heat and cool their homes, and pay the bills in general. But these are anything but normal circumstances. Many of these same people who go to jobs every day are not only essential to their families, but also to the safety and well-being of the entire country. They have a different sense of purpose.

“We are supporting the medical field, so our work is always important,” says Kevin Grayson, Beverage/EV Production Manager for Mickey Truck Bodies, which supplies Jefferson, NC-based American Emergency Vehicles (AEV)/REV Group with the aluminum bodies that are upfitted into full-service ambulances. “But we’re putting a little more heart into these days. We make sure we hit our schedule and put out a high quality body so that when AEV gets it, they can turn it into an ambulance and get it to the front lines. Our manufacturing goal is to always ‘get it right the first time’ to avoid rework. That’s more important than ever.”

“People want to serve a greater purpose,” says Michelle Kirk, Delivery Coordinator for AEV. “We know what we are coming in here to do. Patients need to get to the hospitals, and we want to help. It’s human nature. We take pride in the work we are doing.”

“I still come to work today like I did 6 months ago, only now it’s not just about feeding my family,” says Mark Milam, a Mickey welder and 25-year company veteran. “We’re in a pandemic, we are working to save lives. I’ve always been proud of what I do. Now, when my kids see an ambulance on the road, and ask, ‘Daddy, did you help build that ambulance?’, I feel even better when I tell them I did. I can always tell a Mickey body.”

In a long, long line, American Emergency Vehicles, part of REV Ambulance Group, make their way to New York City from North Carolina as part of an 81-vehicle emergency order.

Both AEV and Mickey have always taken an “employee first” approach to their businesses, and they are taking all steps necessary to keep their teammates safe during the Covid-19 medical crisis by complying with federal, national and local safety guidelines.

To help mitigate against the spread of coronavirus in the workplace, Mickey has reduced its hours by giving plant employees 3 days off per week. At the same time, the company has trained additional employees to work on ambulance bodies in order to keep pace with AEV’s production. “A smart move,” says Kevin. “It boosts morale by giving us more time at home with our families and allows us to come back to work rested and able to focus on doing quality work. While we’re here we’re very conscientious about keeping ourselves and our teammates safe. We’re taking all the precautions because we want to come to work to do our part to heal the country.” Production of ambulance bodies has not slipped a bit under the revised work week.

“I’m a germaphobe to begin with,” says Mark. “I keep my time card in my wallet now instead of at the clock. I wipe down my computer [keyboard] before and after I use it. I don’t drink from water coolers. My head is in a welding helmet 80% of the day. I know I’m safe when I’m at work, so my focus is on the job. Coming to work doesn’t bother me. Not coming to work, especially in these times, is what would really bother me.”

“I am very proud of the work that the team at American Emergency Vehicles (AEV) does every day, particularly as we all manage through the complexities of the Covid-19 crisis,” said Randy Hanson, Vice President & General Manager of AEV/REV Group. “We recently fulfilled an order for 43 ambulances for New York City, and our strong relationship with Mickey Truck Bodies was part of the reason we could respond quickly and confidently to support those on the front lines.”

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Mickey names GM for NJ Fleet Services Center

Rob Piotrowski

JUNE 2020 – Rob Piotrowski has joined Mickey Truck Bodies as General Manager of its Northeast Fleet Services Center in Freehold, NJ, reporting to Tom Arland, Mickey President. He succeeds Steve McLaughlin, a pioneer in the trailer and body reconditioning field who retired from Mickey after a 32-year career.

Most recently Rob was Service Manager at Penske, North Bergen, NJ, where he was responsible for all fleet maintenance of 1,300 units across 4 locations and a team of 50 employees. He joined Penske in 2014 and before that was Fleet Manager & Operations Analyst at GAF in Bridgewater, NJ. GAF is one of North America’s leading roofing manufacturers. Rob also spent 13 years with Village Farms International, one of the largest vertically integrated greenhouse growers in North America, where he served as Transportation Manager.

From 1997 to 2001, Rob was Logistics Operation Control Manager with the United States Marine Corps in Washington, D.C. During that time he support several high profile military organizations and civilian agencies, obtaining a U.S. government Department of Defense secret security clearance.

“Steve was instrumental in the start up of Mickey’s reconditioning business,” says Dean Sink, Executive Chairman. “He saw the value to fleet owners in extending the life of their vehicles by offering quality reconditioning and repair services. To this day we are the only body and trailer manufacturer to operate a network of company-owned and operated Fleet Services Centers. We are fortunate to have someone with Rob Piotrowski’s experience and expertise take over for Steve in the Northeast.”

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8 celebrate major milestones

Clockwise from top left: Anselmo Huizar, Mark Milam, Steve Martin, Michael Rabon, Carroll French, Jeffas Lloyd, Billy Burton, John Loftis

JUNE 2020 – Anselmo Huizar, a wiring technician on the beverage line, will mark his 30-year anniversary with Mickey Truck Bodies on June 18. He joined the company in 1990.

Mark Milam, a welder on the Emergency Vehicles team, will celebrate his 25-year Mickey milestone on June 19.

Two Mickey teammates hit their 20-year Mickey marks recently – Steve Martin, an Engineer, on May 8; and Michael Rabon, Parts Team, on June 12.

Commemorating their 15-year Mickey anniversaries are John Loftis, a welder on the MidAtlantic Fleet Services Team, May 5; Billy Burton, Machine Operator, May 31; Jeffas Lloyd, Beverage, May 24; and Carroll French, Quality, June 13.

Eighteen percent of Mickey’s full-time teammates have been with the company for at least 20 years. Thirty percent of the entire Mickey team has been with the company for 10 years or more.

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Call him ‘super impressed’

After 10 years on Canadian roads, condition of Mickey Interstate body is “amazing.”

JUNE 2020 – Kelly Leechee, owner of Moffett & Flatbed Delivery Services, Inc. in Manitoba, Canada, recently purchased a 2010 Interstate Battery truck with a 10-year-old Mickey sideload body. Before he repurposed the unit for his particular business needs, Kelly, a seasoned trucker, commented on its condition.

“After 10 years of harsh Canadian winters, with minus 40-degree temperatures and all the salt, this body is in incredible condition,” he said. “It has some usual wear and tear, but I’m super impressed with the doors, the alignment, and the overall condition. Man, what a well-built tool.”

Kelly purchased the truck from the Interstate Battery dealer in Manitoba and noted that the excellent shape of the body “speaks volumes about the dedication and pride they take in their fleet. After 10 years, it’s amazing.”

“[Mickey] is also a proud company and it shows,” Kelly said. “You make a superior product.”

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Mickey Engineered Vehicles

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Tom Arland, President


Steve Mason, Midwest Sales


Gary Remley, Northeast Sales


Dane Meyer, Southwest, West Sales


Todd Holm, Southeast Sales


Forrest Howard, Vans/Vending Sales


Rocky Barham, Parts


Kyle McLaughlin, Mid-Atlantic Fleet Services


Rob Piotrowski, 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