During her 20 years working for TruckCountry, Carol Burkart was allowed to choose the color scheme for a new truck once, and just once.
“It was the color of the Pink Panther,” recalled Carol.
Soon thereafter, Carol thought the decision, which was made during her first years with the company, would mark the end of her time with Truck Country.
Working in cahoots with others at the Dubuque dealership, Mark Johannsen, who is now general manager in Dubuque, approached Carol at her second-floor desk, which overlooked the garage.
“Mark Johannsen come up and said, ‘Carol, you have to see this,” Carol smiled. “I looked into the garage and Mike McCoy was standing in the garage shaking his head (while looking at the pink truck). I can still hear Mark say, ‘Carol, what were you thinking when you ordered the truck?’”
Not yet aware of the prank, Carol thought her dismissal was forthcoming. However, she ended up having the last laugh.
The truck was eventually put in the lot at the Dubuque dealership and 48 hours later it was sold, Carol recalled.
“It was a damn good thing for me it did,” she chuckled. The prank is just one of many fond memories with which Carol will take with her when she retires from the company at the end of the year.
Starting at Truck Country in March 1994 when she took the newly created position of New Trucks Sales Coordinator, Carol has continued on in the role during the duration of her career with company.
Shortly before starting with the company, Carol returned to her native Dubuque after spending the previous 30 years in Chicago.
Carol knew little about the trucking industry upon starting with the company.
A quick study, Carol credits Dawn McCoy and Dennis LeGrand with teaching her and helping her learn the ins and outs of the industry.
Over the past two decades, Carol has watched as the company has grown while her job evolved.
“It started out with truck sales on an 8 1/2 -by 11-inch piece of paper,” she said, noting the sheet featured around 20 trucks.
However, as a focus grew on having a larger inventory of stock trucks, the “green bar,” as truck printout sheets used to be called, grew to nine or 10 pages.
Meanwhile, Carol said other aspects of the position have “streamlined a lot” over the years, including the implementation of software to order and track orders.
“The needs of business are a lot different then they once were,” she said.
As she prepares for retirement, Carol will miss working with the many different fleet customers she has dealt with over the years.
“It has been a joy to work with the people from Wal-Mart and Lessors,” she said.