Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2012.Jaci Prideaux grew up in the Mt. Gambier area among the vast pine plantations and was driving trucks before she was even eligible for her car driver’s licence. When she moved to Victoria she often helped her boyfriend, now her husband, deliver building materials to new housing estates, driving the truck forward for him as he unloaded at each house.
After they were married, and while raising a family, the opportunity arose to buy a truck and contract to deliver LP gas to homes and farms in the Wimmera area. Jaci jokes she got her “diploma in truck washing” through cleaning the tanker at weekends. Keen to play a more active part in the business Jaci also got her heavy rigid and dangerous goods licences.
After they sold the business, Jaci’s husband started driving interstate. While at home raising her family and in her spare time Jaci became a freelance journalist. She wrote articles for caravan magazines trying to get across the truck driver’s point of view and wrote to women’s magazines discussing the loneliness of being the wife of a linehaul truck driver.
After her children had grown up Jaci got her B-Double licence and joined her husband driving ‘two-up’ for Wettenhalls Interstate. Her work ethic and professionalism on the road ensured she soon gained the respect and admiration of her male counterparts on the highways. She was always ready to do her shift regardless of the road or weather conditions.
When the need arose Jaci would also drive the B-Double by herself with her hubby following in another truck. On one occasion, whilst descending the notorious Cunninghams Gap, the truck in front of her lost its brakes, ploughed into an embankment and rolled on its side. Jaci called a warning to other drivers on the UHF, then crawled into the overturned truck, assisted the driver to get out and stayed with him until the ambulance arrived. To her, its just part of the job to look after your fellow drivers on the road.
Jaci loves driving trucks and says she has diesel in her veins. Her latest adventure is driving a roadtrain throughout regional NSW carrying cotton bales.
Jaci still loves driving and says she has diesel in her veins.