Meet Loren Kispert, the shop supervisor at Zumbrota Bearing and Gear (ZBAG). Loren was originally hired to rebuild transmissions back in 2002. He now oversees 16 expert builders who produce a wide variety of rebuilt transmissions and other units every day.
Loren recalls that Merle Hendrickson, a ZBAG builder with many years of experience, showed him the ins and outs of producing a rebuilt transmission. His brother, Lorry, also a builder at that time, gave him some pointers, too. Loren grew up on a farm and continued farming into adulthood, which gave him many opportunities to develop mechanical skills. He worked in an auto repair shop before coming to ZBAG.
“I don’t do any rebuilding anymore,” Loren comments. Since he became shop supervisor, he receives work orders to rebuild transfer cases, differentials, and transmissions, assigns them to one of the 16 builders, and inspects each unit when it is completed. He can give assistance, such as locating the correct core needed to produce the make and model rebuilt transmission the customer ordered, or obtaining a needed part that is out of stock or not previously stocked.
When Loren finds any spare time, he devotes it to his mud truck. “My truck is built from the ground up,” he says. “It has a rectangular tube frame chassis.” Here are further details about the truck:
- Engine: 550 HP LS3
- Transmission: Built TH350 with a 3000 Hughes stall converter
- Front differential: Aluminum Currie Rock Jock Dana 60
- Rear differential: GM 14 Bolt
- Transfer Case: Custom aluminum billet using Profab quick change gears
“I use the truck in the mud and on the trail. It also floats on water,” Loren adds.
Loren’s real-life automotive experiences give him the expertise he needs to ensure ZBAG customers are receiving the highest quality rebuilt transmissions the industry has to offer.