NEWS

A good ambush: Guy targeted by "Trick My Truck"

Todd G. Higdon

When Wade Hill, an independent truck driver from Wellfleet, Neb., pulled into Neosho Concrete on Monday to pick up a load of cinder blocks, he was ambushed.

But the ambush was good, as Hill was confronted by Outcast Customs, from the hit CMT TV show “Trick My Truck.”

“I am really excited about this,” said Hill, who has been a truck driver for the past eight years.

The cast, along with a video crew, was on scene to videotape the show, which will air later on in the season. Stay tuned to CMT for further details.

Hill’s truck is a 1979 Peterbuilt 359  model.

“It has more than 2.5 million miles on it,” said Hill. “I bought the truck from a guy about three years ago. I usually haul hay and corn, but in the past, I have hauled some big cinder blocks, but not this small.”

Hill said the truck is all original, including a sleeper compartment.

“It is a pretty rough truck,” said Hill. “But for being all original, it is in pretty good shape.”

During the show, Outcast Customs will take the driver’s truck and in turn, the driver will get a truck to use. Hill has a truck to use for the next two weeks, provided by J.B. Hunt of Lowell, Ark. The crew then outfits the truck and returns it to the driver in about two weeks.

“Today we came down to steal our next victim’s truck,” said “Trick My Truck” Outcast Customs member Rob “Hot Wire” Richardson, who is originally from Webb City. “We are still doing a little bit of the big trucks, but we are still seeing a little bit of variety. Last season, we did an ice cream truck. We are looking for the person that needs our help the most.”

Richardson said they have done some flatbed trucks in the past.

“A lot of the trucks are private trucks, where they can be hauling a box trailer one week and then a flat bed the next week,” added Richardson.

Each member of the show has a certain job. Richardson, for instance, does the truck’s interior.

 “I do the wiring, the audio and the visual,” Richardson said.

Another member of the team is Steve Harrah, lead fabricator.

“I do all of the welding, cutting and all fabrications,” Harrah said.

The truck was taken to the shop, Missouri Customs Trucks, located near Petro near Joplin. There are six cast members and five in the shop.

“We will tear it down, which is what they see on TV, take off all of the stuff on it,” Harrah said. “Then it goes into the painting process, new wheels, tires and all of the interior, including the stereo, deck plates, lights and horns. We will then polish the tanks, basically make it look like a new one.”

“We will do something wild and crazy for him,” Richardson said. “I am still trying to find out what he likes. That is how we form our attack to get busting away on the truck.”

Since the program began about three or four years ago, the crew has remade more than 41 trucks. Hill’s truck makes the seventh for this season. Something different from past seasons is that instead of the ambushes taking place at the Petro Truck Stop, the crew actually goes on-site, places similar to Neosho Concrete.

Richardson said Joplin is a major hub for the trucking industry.

“We were at a truck show a few years back and built a pretty cool truck out there,” said Richardson. “They spotted it and the film crew said whoever built this truck are the ones we are looking for. There are not a lot of shops that build trucks. They had a time putting us together. We were a short list of people. We are as close to the West Coast as we are to the East Coast. Being centrally located definitely helps, plus we are helping the working class people.”

How Richardson got started

“Growing up, my father was a musician,” Richardson said. “I just kind of grew up with that knack. Of course when I was old enough to mess around with vehicles, I went straight into there (audio visual). Everyone thought I was crazy for what I was doing, but I hung in there…and 20 years later, I end up on a television show.”

Richardson also has a shop called Rob’s Audio Solutions.

How is it being on TV?

“The biggest thing is that I get invited out to CMT music awards,” Richardson said. “I have bumped into Rascal Flatts, Big and Rich and they actually know who I am. Whoa,  that is weird.”

In two weeks, Hill will receive his truck back, better, perhaps, than new.