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Year: 2015

Robert Coutts was born in Donnybrook Western Australia in 1941. He left school at 13 to support his family. He was known as Bobby in his early trucking life but as he had a long plait and is tall he soon became known as Willie Nelson. Willie got his MC licence in 1960 and purchased his first truck, an International AA 160 in 1965.he then started his own business known as Emerald Haulage carting for Bellway, TNT, NQX, Toll, QAL, Sims Metal and many more.

He purchased a White Road Commander in 1976 and built a fleet of five Road Bosses over the years. Willie had a contract with TNT lasting 30 years carting general freight from bananas and camels to scrap metal all across Australia. He carted a CAT 14G grader across the dirt of the Great Central Highway.

Willie spent time with the 1979 Razorback blockade then going to control the Red Hill blockade in Perth. He was commandeered to remain in Darwin in December 1974 after Cyclone Tracey. He had a close encounter with the Pilliga Princess, a near with the Nullarbor Nymph, shared many coffees with Toots in North Queensland, repaired Slim Dusty's car on Nullarbor and had a camp fire brew with Lang Hancock on the Paraburdoo Road.

In the 1990s Willie settled in Darwin carting for various companies being the first and last truck regularly servicing aboriginal communities when weather permitted. He loved the challenge of the wet season roads, unloading barges on the crocodile infested Roper River and crossing the Cahille's Crossing with water over the headlights of the Road Boss. He amazed everyone by backing triple trailers.

Willie remarried to Anne in Darwin in 2003. He was proud to working alongside his son Daryl Coutts who is the Quarry manager at DAC Enterprises doing contract driving.

Willie continued to work driving triples along the Arnhem Highway until he was 73, retiring in 2015after being in the work force for 60 years. He will continue his love of restoring his beloved Fords and enjoying his granddaughter Sophie Anne-Lynette Coutts.

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