Features, Second generation, Truck driver, Truckie Profiles

Just like daddy’s truck

Knowing how much his two-year-old little girl loves his truck, second-generation truckie Nathan Pearce, 43, made Riley a miniature version of her own.

The son of a truck driver, Pearce says he grew up in and around trucks. Now he’s passing that same passion onto his young daughter, who is “absolutely truck mad.”

A young truckie in the making. Image: Nathan Pearce

As Pearce revealed, “She loves my truck, every time she sees it, she’s more excited to see the truck than she is to see me!” And that’s how he came up with an idea for the perfect Christmas gift for Riley.

Based in Townsville, but originally from Gympie on the Sunshine Coast, Pearce has been driving trucks for over 20 years. He’s been with Followmont’s Townsville team for about 18 months, carrying refrigerated goods from Innisfail to Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne from behind the wheel of a 2023 model Kenworth K200 – and Riley’s quite the fan.

“When I go away with the truck, my partner and Riley will drop me off at the depot so I don’t need to leave my car there and Riley will come into the yard to take a little ride in the truck – or if I take it home to give it a wash, she’s up in the cabin straight away,” said Pearce.

Teaching her young.

“Dad was a truck driver for as long as I can remember. I’ve grown up around trucks my entire life. But I wanted to do truck driving off my own bat, so at 19 I went and got my truck licence. I’ve done a bit of everything: side tippers, float work, general freight, oversize, pipeline stuff, water tankers. The only thing I haven’t done really is livestock.”

Last Christmas, Pearce planned to spend Christmas day with family at his parents house in Gympie, so Followmont gave him a load down to Brisbane, so they could all be together.

He picked up Riley’s jazzed up little truck from the depot and headed over to surprise her. The toy truck was actually a blue remote-controlled Mercedes-Benz Actros ride-on, which Pearce’s mother had found on Facebook Marketplace. “I painted it all up to look like mine and put the stickers on it, and made the unit number the same as mine too,” Pearce said. “When I brought the little truck home, on the way down, I had so many people calling me on the UHF saying how good it looked. I wasn’t expecting the hype it’s got. I just knew how much she loved mine so wanted to make her a copy of daddy’s truck.

“When I got a phone call from the office saying Big Rigs wants to interview me about my famous little truck, I couldn’t believe it,” laughed Pearce.

“When I made it, all I wanted to do was make a little truck for my little girl.

“The truck didn’t have the remote with it when I bought it because it was lost, so when I found out you could buy them, I got one for her because she’s still too little to drive it on her own with the pedals.”

When Pearce arrived at his parents, it took a minute for Riley to realise she had a new ride. “She saw my truck and was so excited. All she could see was my truck at that point, so she made a bee line to it – and then I asked, ‘Well if this is daddy’s truck, whose is this truck?’ Straight away she said, ‘Riley’s truck!’

The ride-on truck before its makeover. Image: Nathan Pearce

“She was chasing it around the yard and didn’t want to get into it at first, but then once she was in, we couldn’t get her out of it.

“Every time someone came to mum and dad’s place over the Christmas break while we there, she took them straight out to see her truck. She absolutely loves it.”

Now that Riley’s little truck is complete, Pearce is planning on making it even better. “You can actually get little trailers for it too – they’re out of stock at the moment, so I’m waiting for them to come in. It’s a little flat top trailer, but I’ll make it into a fridge van so it looks just like mine.”

Riley, pictured at just 18 months old, helping to polish up the truck. Image: Nathan Pearce

While Pearce’s older daughters, aged 24 and 22, didn’t follow him into trucking, he reckons there’s a good chance Riley could. “My middle daughter could name every type of truck configuration when she was five or six, but as she got older, she got away from it. I’d like to think Riley might stick with it,” he said.

Being an interstate truck driver, the nights away from his little girl can be tough, but as Pearce revealed, “Knowing you’re coming home to that definitely makes the long nights away more bearable.”


  1. that’s too cute. she’ll make the neighbourhood boys jealous.

    actually i’m a little jealous my self i wish i had one at that age too.

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