Fred The Truck

June 2, 2010
Contracting Business will neither confirm nor deny the accuracy of the following transcript. VOICE: Hey Matt! ME: What? Hey, who’s talking? VOICE: Me. ME: Who are you? VOICE: Your truck. ME: My truck? TRUCK: Yeah, your truck. And I’ve got some things to tell you.

Contracting Business will neither confirm nor deny the accuracy of the following transcript.

VOICE: Hey Matt!

ME: What? Hey, who’s talking?


ME: Who are you?

VOICE: Your truck.

ME: My truck?

TRUCK: Yeah, your truck. And I’ve got some things to tell you.

ME: Whoa. This is amazing. How are able to speak? Why now?

TRUCK: I’ve been quiet too long. I’ve got to get some things off my hood.

ME: This is amazing. How are you able to curl your bumper like that?

TRUCK: PIPE DOWN. I’ve listened to you for years. I’ve listened to you talk to yourself. I’ve listened to you comment on other drivers and talk to them... like they could hear you. And your singing… puuuleeease.

ME: What's wrong with my singing?

TRUCK: You and Jimmy Buffet do NOT mix. When you sing “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” on your way to the fast food restaurant to buy a heart attack in a sack, you sound like someone who’s spent too much time in Margaritaville. So stop it!

ME: Sorry.

TRUCK: I’ve got more. In fact, I’ve got a list of demands here.

ME: Demands?

TRUCK: One, I want a weekly bath. I’m tired of looking like a PWT.


TRUCK: A poor white truck. Wash me.

ME: You’re not that dirty.

TRUCK: Yes I am. I’m filty. Your customers comment on it too. They don’t like it.

ME: What do they say?

TRUCK: They talk to each other when they don’t think I’m listening…

ME: Hey, how’d you wink your headlight like that? Do it again.

TRUCK: …and they say things like, “What a piece of crap” and “If he keeps his truck like that, what’s he going to do inside my home?”

ME: Really?

TRUCK: And while you’re at it, you could use a bath yourself.

ME: Hey!

TRUCK: Two, fix that scratch on my right quarter panel.

ME: That’s expensive.

TRUCK: It’s less than the cost of the service calls you’ve been losing because I look all beat up.

ME: It’s not that noticeable.

TRUCK: The other service trucks laugh at me when you park at the supply house. And that brings up number three. Park at the end of the driveway so people up and down the street can see me. Why go to the trouble to tattoo me with a logo, faded though it is, and then park so people can’t see it?

ME: I can’t park in the driveway. People won’t like it.

TRUCK: So ask permission. Tell the homeowner you parked in the driveway, rather than the street for safety reasons – it is safer, by the way. Ask if it’s okay to leave me at the end of the drive or if you should move me.

ME: But…

TRUCK: But nothing. Either the customer gives you permission or you move me. Just fix my oil leak first.

ME: You’re leaking oil?

TRUCK: You would figure it out if you ever checked the oil, which brings me to number four. Change my oil every now and then. How would you like it if your blood got all gucked up... Wait. Bad analogy. I’ve seen what you eat for lunch. Your blood is gucked up.

ME: Listen truck, you’re…

TRUCK: And don’t call me truck. I’ve got a name, you know.

ME: You’ve got a name?

TRUCK: Of course I’ve got a name. Everyone's got a name. I don’t call you “human” and you don’t have to call me “truck.”

ME: You’ve got a name?

TRUCK: I’m Fred.

ME: Your name is Fred, as in, "Fred the truck?"

FRED: What’s so funny?

ME: Your name is Fred!

FRED: I don’t see why you’re laughing. Fred is a very noble name. Haven’t you ever heard of Frederick the Great?

ME: Frederick the Great truck? Sorry Fred. I think it’s kind of funny. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.

FRED: Humpf. Well, were was I? Oh yeah, maintenance. Why don’t you replace my tires every now and then when they get old. You wouldn’t like to work in shoes worn through and I don’t like tires that wear to the steel belts.

ME: Sure Fred. I can’t believe you’re named Fred.

FRED: Get over it already. Number five, clean the hamburger sacks out of my cab. I do not like smelling week old pickles. And why do you pick off the pickles? The sign says, “have it your way.” Why don’t you order it without pickles?

ME: Takes too much time. It’s faster just to pull off the pickles.

FRED: Well take the sacks and throw them away. And quit worrying about time so much or you’re going to put us both in the salvage yard. That’s number six. Slow down. Drive the speed limit.

ME: I can’t when customers are waiting.

FRED: Yes you can. You can slow down and drive friendly. You drive like an idiot and every time you cut someone off I hear about it. You cut off a cute little RAV4 the other day and she honked the wrong kinda honk.

ME: Aren’t you a little big for a RAV4?

FRED: If I need to lose weight it’s because you won’t clear out the old obsolete inventory from my bins. That’s number seven, by the way. Get rid of the obsolete inventory.

ME: That’s good stuff. It’s merchandise.

FRED: How would you know? When was the last time you inventoried it?

ME: I’ve been busy.

FRED: Like when you were too busy to close my back door securely.

ME: Hey!

FRED: All your valuable merchandise went flying down the street in the middle of an intersection when you took a corner too fast and my back door popped open.

ME: I picked it up.

FRED: You blocked traffic for an hour. I was sure someone was going to crash into me.

ME: No one did.

FRED: I was lucky. Then you were so late for your next call, I thought you were going to wrap me around a telephone pole.

ME: The customer needed me.

FRED: So you drove with your knees while you wrote on your clipboard and talked on your mobile phone, which is number eight. Don’t drive with your knees and take notes. Pull over.

ME: I call it multi-tasking.

FRED: I call it idiotic.

ME: Hey!

FRED: Number nine. Get a Bluetooth. If you keep fumbling with your phone while you’re driving, you’re going to have an accident and kill me.

FRED: Number ten. I want you to do something about the logo.

ME: What’s wrong with it?

FRED: It’s faded and needs to be redone. I look terrible.

ME: It’s readable.

FRED: Yeah and you know what people read when they see it?

ME: What?

FRED: Here’s someone who doesn’t care about his truck, his business, and won’t care about your home.

ME: I wouldn’t say that.

FRED: I would. And I think I know a little bit more about trucks than you do. And point number eleven… why do you cover me with big logos for brands you don’t own?

ME: Huh?

FRED: Do those companies pay you to advertise their stuff on me?

ME: No.

FRED: Then why do you do it?

ME: Because I want people to associate me with those brands. It adds strength to my company. I mean, who’s heard of me? Everyone’s heard of those guys… Hey, did you just snort? How can you snort?

FRED: I see your lips moving, but I hear your territory manager speaking. Don’t you know that you’re telling the customer that it’s the other brand that matters most? You’re devaluing yourself. Why do you think so many people price shop you?

ME: You really think so?

FRED: I know so. Remember, I hear people talking when you’re not around. They think I’m just a dumb truck. Well, I’m smart enough to know that investing money in someone else’s brand is like depositing money in someone else’s bank account. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

ME: Look Fred, this has gone on long…

FRED: Of course, the message those logos send is nothing compared to the one you send to customers when they greet you at the door.

ME: What are you talking about?

FRED: You look like a pig. Your shirt is hanging half way out. You’re sweating up a storm. And your hands… yech.

ME: What’s wrong with my hands?

FRED: They look worse than an auto mechanics, not that that I would know first-hand.

ME: Whaddya mean?

FRED: They’re grimy. I hate it when they get like that and you touch my steering wheel.

ME: They don’t look that bad.

FRED: Are you kidding? I bet coal miners have cleaner hands, which brings me to number twelve. Buy some moist wipes and use them.

ME: Wipes?

FRED: Yeah, wipes. Wipe the guck off your hands.

ME: I guess they are a little dirty.

FRED: And number thirteen, get some breath freshener. Your breath smells like onions.

ME: I like onions.

FRED: Obviously. And it’s obvious to every customer you visit in the afternoon.

ME: You really think so?

FRED: Look, this is a partnership. I work for you, but only if you take care of me. I look good for your company, but only if you take care of me… Hey, what are you doing?

ME: Let’s see. Here it is.

FRED: Hey, that tickles. What are you doing? STAY AWAY FROM MY BATTERY!!!

ME: You know, I bet if I disconnect this cable, I can get some peace and quiet.

FRED: Stop it. If you do that I’ll never speak to you again.

ME: Promise?

FRED: I’m warning….

Matt Michel is the CEO of the Service Roundtable, which is now offering a turnkey, customized email marketing program for Service Roundtable for just $50 a month. To learn more about Service Roundtable MoneyMail or Roundtable Rewards, the Service Roundtable’s FREE buying group that pays members rebates for purchases they’re already making, call 877.262.3341 or visit the website at Contact Matt by email at [email protected] or on his mobile at 214.995.8889.

About the Author

Matt Michel | Chief Executive Officer

Matt Michel was a co-founder and CEO of the Service Roundtable ( The Service Roundtable is an organization founded to help contractors improve their sales, marketing, operations, and profitability. The Service Nation Alliance is a part of this overall organization. Matt was inducted into the Contracting Business HVAC Hall of Fame in 2015. He is now an author and rancher.