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Troublesome Trucks

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This article is about the characters. You may be looking for the first season episode, the fourth season episode, the song or the Story Library book.
"Troublesome Trucks can play tricks on you, Thomas! It's not the same as in the yard! They'll push you off the rails if you're not careful!"
— Edward to Thomas, The Adventure Begins
"On! On! Faster Faster!"
— The Trucks' usual chant while pushing an engine




7-plank Trucks (Cars)



5-plank Trucks (Cars)




Goods Vans (Box Cars)

The Troublesome Trucks (called Cars in the US narration) are always nicknamed because they can be very troublesome and love to play tricks on the engines, except for Edward, Stepney, Hiro and Salty. The trucks have been the cause of most of the railway's accidents. However, since Douglas smashed the Spiteful Brake Van and Oliver pulled S.C. Ruffey, their leader, apart, they have been frightened of some engines.

There have, however, been some cases where the trucks and engines are on the same side, such as when Diesel was given a third chance on Sodor, but the trucks tricked him into misbehaving and getting sent away again. They also asked Percy to help move them from a ill-mannered and obnoxious barge named Bulstrode, only to end up in his hull and damage him, resulting in him being sent to a beach.


When Thomas and Edward switched jobs back when Thomas was a station pilot, the trucks pushed him down Gordon's Hill all the way to a siding. They then decided to trick James and pushed him into a field. When James was given a second chance after ruining a coach's brake pipe, they tried to discourage him. The tail of the train uncoupled and the rest of the trucks rolled down the hill for James to recover.

Trucks were also a nuisance in the second season, as they refused to let Diesel move them out of a siding. This lead to an accident and as Diesel was forced to clear the mess, they taunted him with a song. Diesel blamed Duck for it and to get Duck back, made the trucks insult the three tender engines using Duck's name. Devastated, Duck went to help Edward with his trucks up a hill, only for them to break away and crash Duck into a barber shop. They also pushed Percy into the sea, tired out James, shoved Percy into a brakevan and pushing James into tar tankers.

They also bumped Thomas into a condemned track after losing their chance to pay James out and pushed Oliver into the turntable well. When Oliver came back from the works, the trucks still laughed at him, but after he pulled S.C. Ruffey into pieces, they became loyal to him to minimise their chances of being ripped apart themselves.

The trucks also pulled Thomas down a hill into Salty and got James covered in melons. They have since been known as "trucks" in both narrations.

The trucks teased James when he smashed them into the snow. When the Pack was building a new bandstand, they refused to move until Percy used his "do-as-I-say" whistle. They have since been good, but they soon decided to put a stop to their good streak by pulling Thomas and Percy down a hill, chasing Stephen into Ulfstead Mine. They have since been troublesome after this incident.

Thomas had once accidentally shunted them too hard and were just as confused as everyone else when Thomas blamed an imaginary engine named Geoffrey. They also laughed at Den when he was working for Mavis.


Every wise engine knows trucks cannot be trusted. Trucks could be considered the rebels and the troublemakers of all rolling stock on the railway, as most of them love to cause mischief and trouble and show no remorse for whatever they do. If an engine is having a bad day, makes a mistake, or is easily played upon, then the trucks begin their wild antics of singing, name calling, holding back, shoving, bumping, giggling and so on. They will play tricks on an engine based on how they treat them. Most accidents caused by the trucks are a form of revenge due to mistreatment and they are not known for considering the consequences of their actions; they will carry out their plans even if they result in derailing, damaging or destroying themselves.

Trucks can also be described as territorial; when they get used to certain engines pulling them, another engine in the yard to take them may cause confusion or anger for the trucks. In Percy's Predicament for example, Toby and Percy switched jobs, making Toby's trucks furious and causing Percy to crash. In Oliver Owns Up, the trucks refused for Oliver to take them and demanded Duck, Donald or Douglas instead.

To the trucks, one engine is as good as another, as on one occasion they took their anger out on Thomas when they could not get back at James for bumping them.

During the thirteenth and sixteenth seasons, they behaved unusually well but were easily annoyed. From King of the Railway onwards, they have gone back to their old personalities, misbehaving and causing accidents.


The Troublesome Trucks are mostly 7 plank and 8 plank end door open wagons. The van variety are mostly BR 12 ton twin ventilated and BR 12 ton single vent vans with corrugated ends.


Trucks are traditionally painted either dark grey, dark green, or brown with black frames, although in recent years, they have also appeared in red, green, blue, pink and many other colours. Privately-owned trucks typically have their own specific livery.


Railway Series

Television series



Trucks are mostly utilised for the transportation of quarry rock and coal. Due to their ubiquitous nature on the railway, they have been employed for carrying a variety of other materials, such as wood, sand, china clay, bricks and even debris after large storms. From the eighth season until the sixteenth season, they have been known to transport specific goods which would be better suited for closed wagons; some of these goods include books, cocoa powder, sugar, presents and raw fish. Since the seventeenth season, they carried these goods such as fish in closed crates.

Voice Actors


  • Trucks are never named; however, those that are privately owned tend to take on the name of their owner, like S.C. Ruffey, Fred PelhayU. L. P.Bennett and Co. and possibly Rickety.
  • From the sixth season onwards in the US, the term "truck" is used more often. In more recent seasons, however, the US has been more consistent in using the term "car", unless referring to the trucks with faces.
  • The audio clip of the trucks laughing heard from the second through seventh seasons is actually a higher-pitched version of Mike O'Donnell and Junior Campbell laughing, as is the clip of the trucks singing "Pop Goes The Diesel".
    • This makes the trucks the first characters to have individual voice actors in English-speaking countries.
  • The Troublesome Trucks have gone through several modifications:
    • Season 2:
      • The Trucks gained face masks to allow a greater variety of facial expressions.
    • Season 12:
      • The Trucks have the same face design.
    • Season 13:
      • The trucks now have slightly different noses from each other (though they retain the same basic face design).
      • The open topped wagons became taller.
      • The black and grey trucks seem to be the only ones that have faces.
    • Season 14:
      • The Trucks' faces disappear, leaving all trucks without faces.
    • Season 16:
      • The grey and black trucks regain their faces.
    • Season 17:
      • All trucks are now grey.
      • The trucks now have identical faces with no distinguishing features, just as they did in the twelfth season.
    • Season 20:
      • The Goods Vans regain their faces.
  • The trucks were to have a larger role in Thomas and the Magic Railroad, but they were cut from the final film.
  • Until King of the Railway, the Troublesome Trucks caused no accidents after the ninth season episode, Emily Knows Best and had no speaking roles after the twelfth season.
  • According to the Railway Series book, Oliver the Western Engine, ballast trucks are considered to be the worst of all.
  • Some face masks of Toad, Bulstrode and the Spiteful Brakevan have been seen on the trucks.
  • Between the eighth and nineteenth seasons, only the open wagons were referred to as "Troublesome Trucks".
  • In both the UK and US narrations of the CGI series, the trucks have American accents, apart from one truck in Tale of the Brave who had an British accent.
  • From the first season to the fifth season, the wagons and Troublesome Trucks used in the television series were made out of vaccuformed plastic Tenmille gauge 1 kits. The company still exists today, but the vaccuformed kits have been replaced with more accurate laser cut wood versions.



Merchandise Gallery

See Also

North Western Railway rolling stock
Annie and ClarabelHenriettaElsieToadIsabel and DulcieAlice and MirabelS. C. RuffeyFred PelhayRicketyU. L. P.VictoriaThomas' Special CoachTroublesome Trucks"The Flying Kipper"The Spiteful BrakevanThe Ballast SpreaderThe Circus TrucksCattle TrucksChina Clay trucksFfarquhar Quarry Co. TrucksFlatbeds, Conflats and WellwagonsUtility WagonsThe Breakdown TrainBrakevans
Old Slow CoachRockyHectorThe Chinese DragonMail CoachesGordon's Snow MachineThe Jet EngineThe Rock CrusherEmily's CoachesJames' TrucksThomas' TrucksToby's Museum CoachGordon's Special CoachesHenry's Lucky TrucksFlora's Tram CoachThe Photographer's DraisineThe CalliopeThe Open-Topped CarriagesStephen's CoachesExpress CoachesThe Royal TrainOld CoachesThe Pump TrolleyMilk WagonsSalt WagonsTar WagonsBranch Line CoachesPlant VansFuel TankersOil TankersThe Fireworks VansCream TankersJam WagonsRaspberry TankersThe Toffee TankerFunfair TrucksHopper TrucksThe TravellerSlip CoachesJerome and Judy
The Elderly BrakevanBennett and Co.The New CoachThe Special Stationmaster's HomeThe Carriage CaféThe Animal Sanctuary CoachThe Naughty Pink TruckThe Posh CoachesAnnie and Clarabel's Old FriendCarols on WheelsThe Old Guard's VanThe Play CoachCircus CoachesThe Station Coach

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