Pimp My Lorry!

by : Luke Humble

When you spend more time in your lorry than you do at home, it's only natural to want to make it into a comfortable living environment. But did you know that some of our country's lorry drivers have installed stylish portable fridges and cookers and even Christmas trees to make their lorries more lovable?

In the US, truck accessories and truck beautification are a major commercial industry, so much so that in February last year a trucking version of the popular MTV show 'Pimp My Ride' was launched on cable channel CMT called 'Trick My Truck'.

In the show, the Trick My Truck team surprise a deserving truck driver and transform their run-down truck. They aim to remodel each truck driver's vehicle by incorporating truck accessories with themes and luxuries associated with their personal lifestyle and needs. The show is so popular that it now has its own spin-off. Named 'Trick My Trucker', it gives the truck drivers themselves makeover - beauty experts shave off unsightly beards, dye their hair and help them get into shape.

In the UK, lorry drivers are now well on the road to catching up with their transatlantic friends. While they may not have as far to travel (at least not all at once), the majority of our lorry drivers are just as keen to soup up their vehicles with cutting edge devices and lorry accessories. One Birmingham lorry driver told me he has recently installed a Christmas tree with fairy lights, because 'it can get lonely out there on the road on your own'.

Meanwhile, gadgetry such as sat navs, laptops and mobiles, often linked together and with specific docks, have become commonplace. CV radios are a must, as are PDAs hooked up to flat screen monitors for easy reading. Some lorry drivers have swanky TVs with integrated DVD and Freeview and specially designed aerials fitted to their cabs. For the outside, there are a number of new must-have lorry accessories including spotlights, air horns and chrome steps.

But the most sought-after lorry accessories are the creature comforts. Fridges, microwaves, toasters and portable cookers with pots, pans and utensils are becoming more popular for fine dining on the road, as well as luxurious sheepskin seat covers and air-conditioned seats.

For that real living room feel, one learned lorry driver I spoke to has installed a set of shelves with books about the best café stops, top truck stops and other essential reading matter for the modern trucker.

When our lorry drivers decide it's high time to show off their works of art, it's off to 'Truckfest'. For 25 years, thousands of visitors have attended each of the six annual Truckfest events, which take place all over the UK. Many exhibit their jaw-dropping show trucks and the event has been called 'an image booster for the road haulage industry'.

So - say goodbye to those horrible hub caps ladies, because our lorry drivers are hauling themselves into the modern age with a host of glamorous new mod cons and plush lorry accessories.