An old friend of mine, Dave, wants me to join him on the very important mission of buying a ute service body in Melbourne tomorrow. A ute what now? That was my response, too. But he’s so pumped about it that I agreed to go and have a look. Dave then proceeded to explain what this thing is. It’s basically an aluminium structure that sits over the tray of a ute, forming a mobile workstation that’s also a secure storage area for tools and equipment. 

I can understand why Dave wants to buy such a thing, even though he’s not a tradesperson (tradies, from what I can tell, are the main market for them). He’s big on camping, you see. I mean, really big. He’s also well-organised to a fault. In his view, one does not simply chuck one’s gear in the boot. As it stands, his ute tray is currently filled with a mosaic of painstakingly labelled boxes, each dedicated to storing a particular item.

With the addition of an aluminium canopy over the tray, Dave will be able to store twice as much gear. And with the plethora of shelves, drawers and racks that service bodies can come equipped with, he can organise himself to high heaven and back. Whether or not this is a standard use for a ute canopy, I don’t know, and he certainly doesn’t care. He’s got a list of a few different places that build them, and he’s going to drag me around to each of them until he’s tracked down the perfect design.

In particular, Dave’s on the hunt for a company that makes high-quality aluminium accessories for service bodies – specifically, he’s after an under body box to go with the main unit. An under body box, in case you were wondering, is a storage box that’s fitted under the body of the vehicle, not something to cop a nap on… which is very likely what I’ll want to be doing before tomorrow’s through.

Just joking. I actually fully support him in this mission. What are friends for?