The following story appears in the statewide magazine of the
Independent Business Association of Wisconsin (www.IBAW)
New Member Spotlight: Milwaukee Truck Service
By Mary Stark, Waddell & Reed
ON THE ROAD AGAIN…
Those four words are the best news that Tom Helmers of Milwaukee Truck Service delivers to his customers. Priority number one for Tom and his eight full time employees is to get your truck or car out of the shop and on the road again, where it is making money for YOUR business and servicing YOUR clients. And they have the experience to deliver on this commitment…
Tom ventured into the entrepreneurial world and opened Milwaukee Truck Service in New Berlin this fall. His October Grand Opening Celebration had over 200 guests in attendance and the event raised $500 in donations for the Wounded Warrior Project. Although this is his first venture into ownership, he is certainly not a novice in the truck servicing world. Tom was the General Manager of Richfield Truck Service for 19 years. After the West Allis business known as August Schmidt closed in 2014, Mitsubishi, who is the largest truck manufacturer worldwide, asked the owners of Richfield Service to pick up the large truck sales that August Schmidt did for many years. When the owners of Richfield Service declined the opportunity, Tom surprised himself by quickly accepting the challenge and making a move that he had not previously anticipated. And he is delighted that he took the plunge!
Tom has top talent to help him grow the operation. The service portion of the business is already humming along as he and his team await delivery of the large and small Mitsubishi trucks that will soon be in the showroom for sale. Several of the employees worked with Tom at Richfield Service, and his Service Manager, Frank Kohlmann, brings 23 valuable years of experience with him from Hartland Service.
Amidst the typical truck mechanics you would expect to see in this shop, there is an unexpected gem in the operation: Tom’s 24 year old daughter, Brittiny. She adeptly wears many hats and her typical day could include time spent in sales, service, and parts. And don’t for a minute think that Brittiny is only there because her dad owns the business. This tiny blond with a friendly smile has a resume of experience rising out of years of hands on mechanical work on her own personal race car! Brittiny worked with her dad at Richfield Service as a teenager; she caught the racing bug when she saw a photo of Tom racing in a demolition derby and wanted to try it herself. She funded her own race car and learned how to work on it with hands on experience and without any formal training classes. Her passion for racing that began in her teen years translates into valuable technical knowledge for the benefit of the Milwaukee Truck Service customers today.
Tom is pleased that he has had the opportunity to get involved with the IBAW as he began his new business venture. He values the information he receives and the opportunity to meet other business leaders. He feels that it is important to discuss business challenges with others who are likely to be experiencing and solving similar challenges and concerns.
Tom humbly describes himself as a person for whom a handshake is a solid commitment and a person’s word should be as good as gold. As the son of a World War II veteran, Tom questions why the government makes it harder to start a business, when they should be there to make it easier. He appreciates the tremendous support and assistance that he received instead from his own center of influence, including banking and legal experts. He is grateful he took a plunge into the deep end of a new business venture, and even more grateful for the great people who took a leap of faith with him. Call him if you need to get back on the road again… you won’t be disappointed!
Left to right: Brittiny Helmers,
Frank Kohlmann, Tom Helmers.