When my son, Pierce, was about 2 years old, he suddenly became very interested in trucks – all kinds of trucks, from Pickups to Dump Trucks. As we would drive around town, Pierce would call out the names of the trucks he would see, “Hey, Daddy, there’s a Car Carrier!” Soon his twin sister, Kassidy, joined in and the two of them made it a competition to see who could spot and name trucks the fastest.
Since Pierce enjoyed this game so much, I decided to see if I could find any good DVDs about trucks. I did some research on the Internet, then identified and ordered a couple of videos that seemed to be very popular. One was distributed by a major studio. So I was excited to see how Kassidy and Pierce would react when the videos arrived.
As expected, they were thrilled when I had them open up the package. Pierce was especially happy, pointing out the Fire Engine and Garbage Truck on the cover. He was eager to watch the show, so we immediately put the DVD in our player.
To my surprise, both Pierce and Kassidy quickly lost interest. Before we even got halfway through the show, they asked me if they could turn it off and watch something else. Apparently, from their point of view at the time (they were only two), the production focused too much on people and not enough on trucks.
This gave me an idea. My first job out of college was at a video production company. Later I had started a computer training and publishing business where I produced a series of computer training videos. So I had experience with video production. I also had some first-hand knowledge of trucks. When I was growing up, my grandfather owned a lumber yard, and my dad was a General Contractor. I learned to drive stick on a small Dump Truck when I was sixteen and worked on job sites driving a small tractor. (Once, when we were building our own house, I almost knocked down the front wall. I let down the loader bucket too fast and it crashed down on top of the block wall.) My next door neighbor when I was a teenager owned a sand and gravel business. So I had some connections to people who could give me access to trucks.
Based on these considerations, I decided to create a video specifically designed for young kids, that would feature real trucks at work. Since Kassidy and Pierce and their friends all enjoyed naming and counting things so much, I decided to call the show “Twenty Trucks”. Pierce and Kassidy helped me make my list of potential trucks and then we set out to get the video.
As it turns out, getting all of the video clips for Twenty Trucks was more difficult than I had initially envisioned. It was a lot of work. However, with help from all kinds of people, I was able to get some great footage. The people who own Big Foot, the Monster Trucks, sent me a professional tape of several of their trucks doing donuts, wheelies, and some spectacular jumps, just like they do at the Monster Truck Jams. The City of Scottsdale, AZ, coordinated with me to shoot video of their Street Sweepers, Bucket Trucks and Garbage Trucks. Allstate Towing invited me to their shop and an employee even volunteered to have his classic red Ford Mustang towed on a Flatbed. Glacier National Park sent me some very cool footage of Snow Blowers and Snow Plows. AAAdvantage Auto Transport worked with me so I could shoot video of a Car Carrier being loaded up and then heading out on the road. Many others helped out, providing video clips or allowing us to photograph their trucks at work.
Once I had all the footage I needed, I asked my brother Rob, who is a composer, to write a song for Twenty Trucks. “Can You Name Twenty Trucks?” briefly introduces the trucks. Then the video spends 2-3 minutes explaining more about each truck and showing them at work. The song repeats again to end the show, reinforcing the numbers from 1 to 20 and the truck names.
With the success of “Twenty Trucks”, we began getting emails from moms, dads, grandparents and more asking for us to produce a sequel. One mom sent us a list her son had made suggesting more than twenty more trucks he would like to see in our next video.
Because of these requests, and because we enjoyed making Twenty Trucks so much, we followed it up a fun “sequel” called Truck Tunes. It features 10 cool songs about 10 more trucks. Everyone loves dancing and singing along as they watch more live truck action. Truck Tunes includes the following songs: Excavator, Front End Loader, Scraper, Bulldozer, Grader, Impact Hammer, Backhoe, Forklift, Feller Buncher and Delimber.
TRUCK TUNES 2
As it turns out, because kids love the songs so much, Truck Tunes became even more popular than Twenty Trucks. So we decided to begin the process of returning to the trucks that were featured in Twenty Trucks to write and produce a song for each of these trucks too. Once we had completed ten new songs, we released Truck Tunes 2, which includes the following songs: Dump Truck, Monster Truck, Tractor Trailer, Garbage Truck, Vacuum Truck, Fire Engine, Truck Crane, Pickup Truck, Street Sweeper and Cement Mixer.
TRUCK TUNES 3
The requests for even more truck songs continued to come in to us from email, YouTube and Facebook, so we released a third volume, Truck Tunes 3. This collection includes the following truck songs: Bucket Truck, Logging Truck, Bus, Water Truck, Car Carrier, Food Truck, Beach Cleaner, Ambulance, Snow Plow, Ice Resurfacer (Zamboni) and a bonus song, “I Love Trucks!”
(Because the Truck Tunes videos have become so popular, we have “retired” the Twenty Trucks DVD. You can still find it as a digital download on Amazon.)
TRUCK TUNES 4
The requests for new songs, and ideas for more “trucks” continued, so we produced 10 more songs and released a fourth volume, Truck Tunes 4. Songs include: Snow Cat, Road Roller, Concrete Boom Pump, Skidsteer, Landfill Compactor, Police Vehicles, Amphibious Transport, Tow Truck, Flatbed and Paver.
TRUCK TUNES 5
Songs include: Deicer, Off-Road Racing Truck, Rock Crawler, Off-Road Racing Kart, Sidewalk Tractor, Mobile Drilling Rig, Ice Cream Truck, Crawler Transporter, Hi-Rail Backhoe and Bucket Wheel Excavator.
Now, even after producing more than 50 songs about trucks, we have more songs in the works. Stay tuned for updates!
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