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TowTimes.com - Audio Article: Women of Towing-Michelle Sukow


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0822-WOT25.jpgWoman of Towing

from the August 2022 Issue of Tow Times Magazine

There’s a saying that goes, “You can’t keep a good woman down,” meaning that a determined person will succeed or a competent person will always recover from setbacks.

That pretty much describes Michelle Sukow, owner of HDM Towing & Truck Center, Lake Mills, WI, who has been in the towing business for over 20 years, through thick and thin, in one form or another.

“I feel like the only reason I’m in the position I’m in is because I’ve been through really tough times and pushed through and learned some valuable lessons,” says Sukow. The position Sukow is in today is on top of the world. Following a divorce, she hit the reset button and is now sole owner of HDM Towing (formerly Topel Truck Center). Now, she’s on a roll, and notes that 2021 was her best year ever. She owns a quick lube business as well as a laundromat. Sukow blogs and has shared a lot about her personal travails, and she also conducts webinars to help others set goals, handle stress, manage careers, and thrive after unsuccessful relationships. Sukow recently launched the industry’s first women in towing podcast titled, “Towtally.”

“I’m super passionate about towing,” says Sukow, who is active in Wisconsin and national towing, and has earned numerous awards, most recently the Women in Trucking organization’s Top Woman-Owned Business of 2021. “I’m very proud of that,” says Sukow, acknowledging that “it’s not easy being a woman-owned business in a maledominated industry.” Luckily, Sukow is surrounded by many supporters, including family members. Her mom Linda handles receivables and payables, her brother Jim is general manager of the vehicle repair business, and her son Keegan is a heavy-duty recovery specialist. Grandson Walter, 2, spends his days at the office as a tow tike in training.

“We are definitely a family business,” Sukow says.“I can do towing all day long because of the people I have on my team. The way we were raised we respect each other. We work really well together,” she says with pride. If all goes as planned, HDM Towing – a heavy-duty commercial towing business with two locations, 19 employees and whose initials stand tongue-in-cheek for Heavy-Duty Mafia – will continue in family hands when Keegan, 29, takes over about a decade from now. “I love that I get to work with my son every single day, and watch him grow and become a leader,” notes Sukow, 52, “I’m working really hard to make sure it’s flawless and seamless for the transition.” The Wisconsin native “I was born here, raised here, and stayed here” – is happy her children, including daughter Kayleigh, 27, an occupational therapist, have grown to become “successful and amazing.” Her own journey of hard knocks and tough decisions is admirable too. “I dealt with all the crap that came my way. I did the time. I made really hard decisions. Whether it’s God or the universe, everything fell into place. I’m happy, so happy.”

Here are Sukow’s three big lessons:

1. Focus on your mission and block out all the noise from

anywhere else. “I have learned that it’s my lane too. Things get

easier and you will get to where you’re going.”

2. Never give up. It may be hard and it may seem

undoable, but in the end you will be rewarded beyond

measure. “Five years ago I would never have seen myself in the

position I’m in today. I didn’t see this at all for my future.”

3. Be a leader and a teammate. Being “the boss” is not

as important. “I don’t take things personally. I just make the



View the full article and more on TowTimes.com

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