Industry News & New Products

Meet an Expert: Mike Bucknell

by Cameron Hanson | May 14, 2024

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Mike Bucknell knows a thing or two about wreckers. A 30-year Zip’s employee, he started working on them in 1994, and since 2001, he has served as a technical assistant in the parts department here, fielding calls from customers, diagnosing problems and recommending the right fix and part.

A mechanic by trade, Mike is this month’s Meet an Expert profile at Zip’s. During his time here, he’s seen a lot of changes in the towing industry. Offering a wealth of knowledge, he said he likes to solve problems and finds great satisfaction in helping others, whether it’s customers outside of work or fellow employees in the shop.

“I enjoy being a problem solver,” Mike said. “I like helping customers and fellow employees with what might seem to be a difficult task or complicated problem. I like trying to figure out parts or problems with limited information provided by the customers”

Mike describes his role at Zip’s as “fast paced.” His phone never stops ringing, and to be good at his job, he said he needs to be able to multi-task, juggling issues and finding solutions that may not always be obvious or readily available in a handbook or owner’s manual.

“I get calls one right after another,” he said, describing a typical day from his office on Zip’s main campus in New Hampton, IA. “You must be able to work on multiple projects at once. You need to figure out multiple options for the same thing that aren’t always listed on the parts breakdown.”

Besides the changes and improvements in towing equipment and accessories, Mike said he is amazed by the growth of Zip’s during his three decades with the company. When he started, he was one of 30. Now the number has grown to more than 200.

“We offer so many different product lines now,” he noted. “Everything used to be in one building. Now there are several buildings in multiple cities for warehousing, production and assembly. We’re so much busier now, but even on the most hectic days, there’s still time to laugh.”

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