Budget Truck and Auto is marking its 50th anniversary this year. The Janesville, Wisconsin, business has come a long way since Herb Polzin started it as a body shop in 1973.
His son, Mark Polzin, expanded the business to serve heavy trucks and motorcoaches. Seeing the potential for quickly wrapping vehicles with vinyl graphics, he added that division, which serves many businesses in the motorcoach industry.
Last week, the company celebrated the milestone at the 2023 UMA Motorcoach EXPO in Orlando.
“We wanted to celebrate our 50th year with everyone that we’ve been able to work with over the years with operators, vendors, customers and manufacturers. It was really exciting for us,” said Aaron Polzin, Mark’s son and the company’s General Manager.
“Getting involved at EXPO and other shows has become integral to what we do to build relationships in the industry,” he said.
Celebrating at EXPO
The company held several raffles during UMA EXPO with prizes that included $5,000 off a vinyl wrap through the company.
“We’ve been doing vinyl graphics for probably 15 years or so, at least,” said Aaron. “We really expanded the last two years into serving the industry nationally. We’ve exploded in growth over the last year, increasing that side of the business, just by focusing on motorcoach fleets.”
After high school, when Aaron went to the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire to study information systems, he didn’t see a future for himself in the family business.
“I went off to school, and I was never coming back to my hometown, and I would never be involved in any family business. And it was true for five years after college, when I worked as a product manager in IT at Kohl’s. But then I wanted to play a bigger role in a smaller business,” Aaron said.
A fresh perspective
As the third-generation Polzin to join Budget Truck and Auto, he brings his comfort with technology and a fresh perspective on modernizing the business.
“I had to focus on updating a lot of technology systems to allow us to continue to grow,” said Aaron.
While Aaron has been going to EXPO only since 2019, his dad has been a familiar face at EXPO for years.
Mark Polzin was responsible for showing off the first bus at an EXPO with a complete graphics wrap.
Last year, the company was hired to wrap the new Temsa models that were unveiled in a dramatic fashion. Because the models arrived later than expected at the Long Beach, California, convention center, Budget Truck and Auto had to work all night to get the job done.
“What was really cool was we were able to show off our capabilities,” said Aaron Polzin. “That is what we’re known for. Truly taking care of the customer, no matter the situation.”