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Truck Life is way more fun than your Facebook photos

The Wireless logo The Wireless 23/05/2017

The artistic creations of one Upper Hutt plumber.

Truck Life © Provided by Radio New Zealand Limited Truck Life

Photo: Phil Tuesdale

There are plenty of people on Facebook posting pictures of their brunch and Saturday night’s drinking session. But sometimes a glimmer of hope appears - the hero no one knew they needed.

I can tell you right now -  there’s someone who’s truly contributing to society with his photos. His name is Phil Truesdale, and with the help of his 1992 Mitsubishi L300 (a glistening beacon of hope) a few friends, and his family - he’s created Truck Life.

Tell me how you got a hold of your truck?

The truck is a 1992 Mitsubishi L300. I got it from Victoria University. I think it was used to transport microscopes and things from place to place. I just bought cause it was cheap.

How did Truck Life begin?

My friends and I used to say “Truck life” when we were helping move stuff or you know dropping stuff off at the dump. But it really began when I use to work at Trentham Raceway and they needed me to pick up a fake horse at a hotel in the city.

I tried putting the horse sideways but it looked kind of dead, so I put the horse standing up on the back of the truck. I felt pretty cool driving round with it, and thought the internet needs to see this so I posted a photo of it.

Truck Life horse © Provided by Radio New Zealand Limited Truck Life horse

Photo: Phil Tuesdale

The next day my sister posted a photo of my niece sitting in the driver's seat of the truck and captioned it “Truck Life” and she challenged me to do 30 photos for 30 days of “Truck Life” and from there it evolved into anything weird that we could do on the back on the truck.

Four years later, 120 photos later and I’m still here doing Truck Life.

What sort of stuff have you done on the back of your truck?

I’ve done a golf range, table tennis, a person using a toilet, a few dioramas, towed people on the back of the truck, wrapped the truck in wrapping paper, put a flying fox on it, and a we did a tyre swing on the back of my truck too.

The tyre swing was a lesson for me that I’m a plumber not a builder because it kept breaking. We ended up using scaffolding.

How did you wrap the truck up?

I also wrapped my truck up for a friend who was overseas. It was his birthday and he asked me to do something for him. I used duct tape and a whole lot of $2 shop wrapping paper. It took about 40 minutes. I drove to my friend’s mum’s driveway to get out of the wind so I could wrap it properly.

Truck Life © Provided by Radio New Zealand Limited Truck Life

Photo: Phil Tuesdale

What about the wedding photos?

Two of my friend’s got married at [the registry office] and they didn’t have any wedding photos, I wanted to do Truck Life photos from the word go.

We got all dressed up. I dressed up as a priest using a sheet. We decorated an altar.

While we were taking the photos there was a couple getting wedding shots a 200 metres down the beach, and they left because we were doing it so much better than them.

Truck Life wedding © Provided by Radio New Zealand Limited Truck Life wedding

Photo: Phil Tuesdale

How do you come up with the ideas?

Some of them come to me when I’m driving the truck, some of them people suggest to me and some of them are so easy to do they only take like 20 minutes to plan out.

Then there’s all the tricks, a lot of it is smoke and mirrors. For example, I did a vegetable garden on the back of the truck, and I couldn’t be bothered filling the back of the truck with dirt cause that’s like 3 hours work. So I filled it up with a cardboard, and a layer of dirt.

Truck Life © Provided by Radio New Zealand Limited Truck Life

Photo: Phil Tuesdale

Any failures?

I bought 500 or 600 metres of crepe paper and heaps of streamers, to try and make a Chinese dragon but the wind made it too difficult, I gave up and just attached the streamers and got my friend to drive it and I took a photo.

Is it expensive?

The most expensive Truck Life was a jelly wrestling one. I bought three large bags of strawberry jelly it was about  $80 worth of jelly all up.

We got two ladies to jelly wrestle on the back of it. There was another one where a lady dressed up in scuba gear, and she spent $150 on helium fish balloons to go along with her truck life photo.

Have you had any trips to A&E because of Truck Life?

There was this one time when I had a long boarder on the back of my truck. Everything was planned out as best as we could, I even got a special rope.

We did get quite a few decent runs. He hit the road at 40km/h, which is never nice for anyone. But he was okay, no breaks or dislocated bones. Just a big Ow.

Truck Life garden © Provided by Radio New Zealand Limited Truck Life garden

Photo: Phil Tuesdale

You’re a plumber full time, when do you have the time to do Truck Life?

I don’t have enough time to do it. It’s a February project every year I say I’ll do as many truck life photo’s as I can before February. Every day in February I’m usually doing a Truck Life photo.

When the weekend rolls around I try and get a few up my sleeve.

You’re going to do a coffee table book?

Once I get to 150 photo’s I’ll do a coffee book. I’ve done 120 but no one thinks it’s a good number. If anyone has any cool ideas for Truck Life they can just get in touch with me!

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