HOLTZHIEMER, Thora (Toots)

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2000.

There is perhaps no other woman in Australia better known for her truck driving skills than Toots.  With husband Ron they drove their trucks on the Cape York track.

The road stretched 1000 miles over some of the most treacherous and isolated country in Australia and Toots averaged fifty trips a year for twenty five years.  She did all her own loading and unloading and was more than capable of changing tyres, springs and axles by the roadside.

Toots and her ageing 25.280 MAN truck more than held their own on the road.  She dug herself out of bogs and crossed swollen crocodile infested swamps in the wet and battled bulldust and corrugations in the dry.  When the others stopped she kept going.  Other truckies soon learnt to wait until Toots made her decision before making a move themselves.

Renowned for her colourful language, Toots was a bit of a rough diamond but she never failed to give a hand when needed.  Toots was always surprised at the attention the media gave her truck driving ability.  To her it was just a job and one she was bloody grateful to have.

Toots was accidently killed in 1992 when she was crushed by a load of pipes at the wharf in Weipa while loading.  It was an untimely death to an Aussie icon.