WE THOUGHT YOU WOULD FIND THIS STORY, WHICH WAS FEATURED IN THE JANESVILLE
GAZETTE, INTERESTING. IT GIVES YOU INSIGHT INTO OUR COMPANY AND THE PEOPLE BEHIND IT.
Budget Truck and Auto
started small, but it is now The Budget Truck and Auto facility takes up more than 45,000 square feet, sprawl-
ing over 16 acres just off Avalon Road in Janesville. The business is one of the
parked in a large stall largest of its kind in North America. Photo courtesy Aerial View
By Jim Leute, Gazette Staff Budget repairs, Polzin said. "We have the facility here,
renovates and custom- and in talking with some people, we
Ruth Polzin wanted her garage back. izes vehicles that Herb realized that it probably wasn't getting
For too long in the late 1960s and Polzin said many other marketed the right way.
early 1970s, her husband's fledgling auto body shops won't "That why we've gone to outside
body repair business had taken over touch. It specializes in experts to help us reach the people who
every nook and cranny of the family's autos, buses, tractor- see the need for our type of business."
garage on West Avalon Road in Janesville. trailers, motor But make no mistake, Budget is still
Herb Polzin coaches, construction very much a family-owned, family-
sprung into action, equipment and large trucks. operated business.
and with the help of And in doing so, quality and cus- Even when Herb and Ruth winter in
friends, neighbors and tomer service are the driving factors, Arizona, which they've done now for
local contractors, put Herb said. 22 years.
up a 2,000-square-foot "If you're going to do something, "My family runs the business, and I
building that opened quality has to be a have absolutely no concerns when I'm
in January 1973 as part of it," he said. gone," Herb said. "I'm always confident
Budget Truck and "People are people, that they're doing what they're supposed
Herb Polzin Auto. and if you treat them to be doing with the business."
Today, Ruth Polzin has plenty of well, they'll treat you A lot of that he attributes to the strict
room to park a car. The sprawling well." division of responsibilities among Russ
45,000-square-foot business that sits on In several Dahlke, Mark Polzin and Jamie Dahlke.
16 acres off Avalon Road is one of the buildings, Budget "Each answers to the others about
largest of its kind in North America. Mark Polzin
does about 30 percent what's going on in his area," he said. "It
"I really never thought it would get of its work on locally eliminates the friction and keeps us friends.
to this point," Herb Polzin said. "We've wrecked cars and about 70 percent on the "We've been very fortunate as a
kind of grown by the seat of our pants." bigger rigs that come to Janesville from family. Most of it has run pretty smoothly."
As a trainer at around the country. And everyone's got a place to park.
Janesville's GM plant, Over the years, Budget has added a
Polzin mixed his days variety of paint and sandblasting booths,
with long hours on detail areas and office space. Employ-
both shifts at the plant, ment has grown to about 40, which
followed by long includes a second shift that stretches
nights with his young Budget's hours from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.
business. He hooked "That's kind of unique for a body
up with Russ Dahlke, shop," said Herb, who retired from GM
Russ Dahlke who was working for in 1982. "But we want to get people back
another shop, to launch Budget in its on the road quickly. Truckers can't afford
new building on a couple of acres of land a lot of down time."
bought from Dahlke's mother. The company has worked hard to
"I thought that if we could do this, increase its truck business.
Russ would have a better job," Polzin "We knew there was a lot of that
said. "I already had a job that was paying kind of work out of state," Herb said. "If
well. I thought this was something we the Janesville economy ever failed, we
could do that would be big enough for knew we needed to be out of state."
both of us." To that end, Budget has hired outside
And ever since that first facility went sales representatives who travel the
up, the business has grown-building by Midwest. A Milwaukee firm has come on
building-to support three generations of board to boost Budget's regional pres-
the Polzin family. ence with marketing campaigns to
Dahlke married the Polzins' daugh- complement the company's already
ter, Kathy, and both are involved in the positive word-of-mouth advertising.
business. So too are the Polzins' young- "We know that we need to bring
est son, Mark, and his wife, Julie. The more business to Janesville," Mark
Dahlkes' son, Jamie, is also a partner in
the business with Herb Polzin, Russ www.budgettruckandauto.com
Dahlke and Mark Polzin.
As Seen in the Janesville Gazette - Monday, June 20, 2005