Industry News & New Products

Meet an Expert: Randy Gilbert

by Nate Kuennen | Jan 10, 2023

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Seeing the country and meeting great customers makes Randy Gilbert’s job pretty rewarding.

Delivering brand new tow trucks definitely turns a lot of heads going down the road for Randy Gilbert, a part-time driver for Zip’s Truck Equipment and this month’s ‘Meet an Expert’ employee profile. 

The shiny chrome, the extra lights and the fresh paint job offer plenty of eye-catching bling for passing motorists. Whether a rotator or light-duty, the rolling billboard makes for pretty good advertising for the company.

“I’ve always said I bet I could take a new truck down the road and have it sold in two days,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert joined Zip’s as a part-time driver in 2019 following a career with two companies in nearby Charles City and 17 years owning a saleyard north of Floyd in northeast Iowa. He was looking to fill his spare time and was referred to the position by current employees at Zip’s. 

His wife went to high school with company owner Paul Rottinghaus, and his son-in-law and grandson both work in the heavy-duty production shop here.

“I got a call from Zip’s one day, and they were looking for someone to deliver a truck,” Gilbert recalled. “I went over, filled out the application, and before I got halfway home, they called me back and offered me the job.”

Besides all the attention he gets going down the road, Gilbert said the best part about delivering trucks for Zip’s is the opportunity to see the country. He said he also likes interacting with customers when he shows up at their doorstep with a new addition for their fleet.

“Everyone’s great, and I’ve had several requests to deliver their next truck,” Gilbert said. “I usually stick around after the delivery and shoot the breeze a little bit before I leave. They are usually happiest as can be. I’ve pretty much been a people person all my life.”

Gilbert said he normally delivers one to two trucks each week and primarily focuses on heavy-duty trucks. Lately, with the demand for car carriers, he’s been delivering more rollbacks for Zip’s. “That’s what’s been selling,” he noted.

Last year, Gilbert delivered a new wrecker to customers in every continental state except Maine. He typically goes wherever he’s needed and has been to the same customers multiple times. He said he appreciates the flexible scheduling, and driving gets him back to his roots.

At his sale yard, he would deliver farm equipment with a small fleet of flatbed trailers, and hailing from a family of house movers, he worked for his father and grandfather in his younger days. “I drove a truck before I drove a car,” he joked.