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This article is about 'the fourth season episode'. You may be looking for 'the first season episode, the characters, the Story Library book, the Engine Adventures book or the song'.
“No one understands our feelings, and if you were ill, you couldn't shunt trucks/cars, could you?"
"Good idea! I'll try it!”
―Gordon encourages Sir Handel to be ill

Trucks, retitled Rusty Helps Peter Sam in American releases, is the eighth episode of the fourth season. It first aired in the US in the Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales episode, Wildlife in 1996.


Harold the helicopter, returning from his daily inspection, spots a little diesel coming round the mountain. The diesel is Rusty, who has come to help on the Skarloey Railway and despite his friendliness, Rusty has little time to chat and regards Harold as being cheeky after he said "Well done, cheers, and keep up the good work!" Peter Sam and Sir Handel are glad to see Rusty, but Sir Handel remains his usual grumpy self. The trucks dislike Sir Handel, and repeatedly play tricks on him, making him dislike working with them. One day, Gordon advises Sir Handel, that if he was ill, he could not shunt trucks.

Sir Handel, tired of dealing with trucks, takes the hint from Gordon of feigning an illness, and does so the next day. With no time for examination on Sir Handel, Peter Sam and Rusty are allocating his trucks, but Peter Sam does not mind the extra work. They take the trucks to the slate quarry and the incline, a contraption that winches loaded trucks down a steep hill, the leverage pulling empty ones up, ready to be loaded with slate tiles. Peter Sam waits for his full ones at the bottom of the hill. But the loaded trucks mistake him for Sir Handel (despite the empty trucks' warning) and break their metal chain coupling, zooming down the slope and colliding into Peter Sam. Rusty helps Peter Sam out of his mess, but the damage Peter Sam sustained has cracked his funnel and dented his boiler.

After Sir Handel apologises about the accident, the Fat Controller punishes him for lying and for not warning Peter Sam about how much damage trucks can do, by making him do his and Peter Sam's work at the same time. Sir Handel then wishes to pay Gordon out.

After the wreckage has been cleared away, Rusty heads back home, where he spots Harold again. This time, Rusty mimics Harold from their previous meeting by uses his phrase, "Well done, cheers, and keep up the good work!"




  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, The Little Old Engine.
  • In the original UK VHS release, the heavy impact of the trucks hitting Peter Sam is much louder than the re-released version of the episode.
  • In the early UK release, some lines are indicated that they were later redubbed or moved in later:
    • Rusty saying "Bust my Buffers!" is heard earlier.
    • Rusty saying "Never mind Peter Sam, we'll get you out" is heard earlier.
    • The lines in the last scene of Harold and Rusty meeting each other again were redubbed.
  • On the Thomas' Trackside Tunes and other Thomas Adventures VHS/DVD, PBS Kids Sprout airings and the digital download version of the fourth season, this episode is called the UK title, "Trucks," instead of the American title, "Rusty Helps Peter Sam."
  • In the early UK version and US version, much of the music and whistle sounds are omitted.
  • In the US version, Peter Sam's whistle is much higher pitched than usual after the crash.
  • In the early UK version, Peter Sam's whistle sound is omitted after the crash.
  • When the coupling snaps in the US version, there is a springing sound. In both UK versions, it is omitted.
  • This episode marks Harold's only appearance in the fourth season.


  • When Harold speaks to Rusty, his battery latch is visible underneath him.
  • When Sir Handel shunts trucks, the audio is noticeably out of sync.
  • As Peter Sam puffs away with the trucks and coaches, he has Skarloey's whistle sound.
  • When the rope is connected to the empty trucks, it becomes taut like it is being pulled, but in the next scene, the trucks at the top of the slope are stationary.
  • The trucks' faces are missing when they crash into Peter Sam.
  • During the crash, the truck that breaks the water canal can be seen fading out of the shot.
  • When Sir Handel says, "I didn't think," his left eye sticks and drops back into his head.
  • Before Peter Sam leaves the yard with his coaches and trucks, a small piece of hair can be seen by his wheels.
  • Before Peter Sam is pulled out of the wreckage (which is not shown), his funnel is not cracked like it is later.
  • When the narrator says, "Not long now had encouraged the driver," the top of Rusty's engine is offscreen when it should be in-front of the cylinder above Rusty's number, and thus should have been onscreen.
  • When the narrator says, "He did so next morning," Percy quickly passes the little engines. In the next shot however, he is passing them again.
  • In a few rare pictures, Harold's spinning rotors are a transparent disk, unlike in the actual episode.
  • In the UK and international versions, Sir Handel has Rheneas' whistle sound and Rheneas has Duke's.
  • When Peter Sam backs his coaches onto Sir Handel's trucks, his front coach has a face, but when he leaves his coaches at the station, its face disappears.

Home Media Releases

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DVD Packs



DVD Boxsets


  • Rock 'n' Roll and other Stories (Direct-to-Home Video)
  • The Complete Fourth Series

DVD Packs


  • Rock 'n' Roll and other Stories




DVD Boxsets