Articles & Updates
Consumers National Bank Customer Success Story: Lloyd’s Towing & Service
An Interview with Mike King, Owner of Lloyd's Towing & Service, and Consumers National Bank
Three generations of hardworking family members lie at the heart of Lloyd's Towing & Service, based in Medina, OH. Learn how Mike King turned a summer job at his grandpa’s garage into a fast-growing towing company that survived the pandemic with grace and a little help from Consumers National Bank.
The Consumers National Bank team sat down with Lloyd’s Towing, which got its name from Mike’s grandfather. Learn more about what they’ve learned along the way.
Consumers National Bank: What’s the history of your business and how have you grown it over the years?
Mike King: The business was started in 1950 by my grandfather, Lloyd. It started out as a service station that grandpa owned and operated until 1990. Then, my uncle bought it and I also started working there that same year while I was still in high school.
When my uncle became ill in 2006, I bought the company from him. We had three employees and three tow trucks. In the past 16 years, I have grown the business to include 30 employees and 20 trucks.
Our drivers handle towing for just about everything except towing semi-trucks. However, we do have one truck capable of towing box trucks and medium-duty trucks such as sprinter vans, like UPS trucks. In August 2021, AAA, our main client, asked us to take over a significant part of their business in Summit County, primarily the Akron area. Previously, we operated exclusively out of Medina County. Well, this was a huge ask and required us to take our business to the next level, which involved a significant investment in new equipment. So, we turned to our trusted advisors at Consumers National Bank and they came through.
We would not be where we are at all without the help of Consumers National Bank.
Consumers National Bank: “Mike makes it sound like things are no big deal. But it's a big deal. One of his main vendors asked him to take on a major slice of their business in Summit County... The company more than doubled its gross sales.”
Mike King: We were worried about the expansion and not being able to financially support this move, but the lenders at Consumers made a call and said, “We are behind you; we support you.” And they took the jump with us. Years ago, whenever we added a truck, I was nervous about whether we could get enough work to cover it. Somehow, it always seemed to work out. Now, we're buying a dozen trucks to expand the business and it’s largely due to dealing with a local bank. Consumers knows how we do business and believes in us. We wouldn't be where we're at today without someone that knew what we could do and gave us the chance to do it.
Consumers National Bank: Tell us more about the role you currently play.
Mike King: People are shocked that I still get in the truck and take care of customers when needed. Frankly, the Medina office doesn’t need me on a day-to-day basis. However, it's been hard to find employees to enable the Akron expansion. There are many days when I am in the truck out on the road. That's especially true during the winter. My main client, AAA, would give me more business if I had the employees and trucks to take it on. So, when they need me, I get behind the steering wheel every day. One day I took a call from a lady who was very happy with the service. She was shocked to find out the owner was towing her car.
I think people are shocked at times that I’m actually on the road, doing everything that I ask my drivers to do.
Mike King worked his way up from pumping gas at his grandfather’s gas station. So, he doesn't shy away from hard work. Besides, he feels it helps him relate to his staff and gain their respect. Lloyd’s Towing handles 95% of all the AAA calls in Medina County. Additionally, more than 90% of their business in Akron comes from AAA.
Mike King: They know we do it well and, as long as we continue that service, they will continue to give us calls. We average about 16,000 calls a year in Medina County. AAA receives 60,000 calls a year in Summit County and they want us to do 60% of that. So, you're looking at around 37,000 calls a year.
Consumers National Bank: What was it that initially got you banking with Consumers National Bank?
Mike King: It started over lunch after a game of golf, when Mike had lunch with Scott Dodds, Senior Lender at Consumers National Bank.
A few months later, we needed a new truck and Scott put me in touch with the Lending Team at Consumers. We then got a second truck…then the pandemic hit.
Consumers National Bank: How did Consumers help you after the pandemic hit?
Mike King: The team at Consumers got us a PPP loan in a matter of weeks during the pandemic. I remember texting the Bank about it and they said don't worry we have your back. Because of that, I was able to keep paying my employees even when there was no business.
When we applied for the PPP loan, my lender stepped up and took care of us. I will remember that forever.
Consumers National Bank: How else did your lender help your business succeed?
Mike King: Lloyd’s Towing would not be where it is now without Consumers, being there to help with the expansion efforts and growth plans. With a bigger bank, at Consumers, you have to go through a web of people. At Consumers, you deal with a team that can stand up for you and take care of your business. And they did! At Consumers, the RELATIONSHIP matters. Scott was the first point of contact, and I met Ralph Lober, the president. That’s not how my experience went with larger banks.
Consumers National Bank has grown from half a billion to a billion dollars in the last five years. Yet, the president of the bank and the Senior Lender still know most of our commercial customers. We work hard to make sure that connectivity doesn’t change.
Consumers National Bank: What are some of the challenges your business has faced over the years, and how have they been overcome?
Mike King: The main challenges facing Lloyd's towing include:
- Recovering from the pandemic
- Gas prices
- Finding and keeping good employees
- Maintaining funds to buy more trucks to grow the business
Mike King: With the PPP money, I used it the right way, to take care of my employees. I didn't lay anybody off during the pandemic and I paid them what they were making before [the pandemic].
The challenge now is working to get the right employees in Akron and keeping them. This job isn't for everyone, and we need people who treat customers and their vehicles right. Also, fuel prices are a huge deal. We had to raise our per mile rate for the first time in 16 years. We now charge $4 per mile when towing cars compared to $3 per mile. In addition, we spend a lot of money on fuel, especially since 18 of our 20 trucks run on diesel.
Consumers National Bank: Anything else you would like to share?
Mike King: Our relationship with Consumers has proven that it’s important to deal with a local bank. We have found this out and even translated it to different aspects of the business. We also try to be local partners to our clients.
I used to get nervous about new business. Now, I just get excited at the possibilities!
Consumers National Bank: If someone would like to learn more about your business, how can they do so?
Mike King: Here is our contact information!