Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2011.Those of you who aren’t lucky enough to have met Bob Oehms (or “Omsey,” as he is better known), have missed out on being educated by this long standing truck driver. Omsey is always willing to share his old school knowledge and stories with anyone who will listen. Love for trucks and the open road began over 55 years ago. He started driving at the tender age of 16 for Carrol Removers in Albert Park, Victoria. Passion and determination saw Omsey stick to the job. So began the adventure.
First to Queensland, and with some “trucking knowledge” he secured a job with Sydney Rockhampton Freighters owned by Charlie Bushell and Jack McDermott. Then it was back to Melbourne, to Collier Garland General Freight Transport which, at the time was managed by Clarry Skinner and later Wally Shuffalof. All semi-trailers were sold to buy 4 tonne Thames Traders to avoid paying the road tax. The company was renamed Kwik-as-Air Freightliners. Losing trucks due to overloading and poor maintenance forced Omsey to change companies.
Omsey went on to work for the likes of Les Grace, Alf Marsden in Clayton. Jimmy Poultan, Tommy Grayson and eventually Bob Wettenhall, all in Huntingdale. Finding his place at Wettenhalls he stayed for 23 years. Allan Condon, Australian Pipeline and Southern Plant Hire were all places at which he spent time working. He has driven everything from low-loaders to jinkers to farm trucks either locally or interstate. Currently Omsey is employed by Clair Transport, formerly M&V Brown. He has been there for 10 years and still counting.
Omsey had 4 children with his wife, and has mentored 2 of his sons who become drivers themselves. One is still driving. Omsey offered advice, support and a clip across the ear for doing something silly.
Omsey is one of a dying breed of Old School drivers who keeps Australia moving. He deserves to be in the Trucker's Hall of Fame.