Driving trucks is in the blood of 32-year-old Luke Bishop whose great aunt was legendary Cape York female road transport identity Toots Holzheimer.
Luke’s father Glenn Bishop, his uncle Rodney and his grandmother Lorraine are the owners and operators of Cairns company Bell’s Carrying & Crane Hire.
Big Rigs caught up with Bishop as he delivered to the Mobil Roadhouse and Service Station at Mourilyan in north Queensland.
He was driving an Isuzu NNR 45-150 Vanpack for Reward Hospitality of Cairns, delivering hospitality equipment, kitchen goods and housekeeping supplies – toilet paper, tissues and chemicals etc.
“It has been very busy at this time of the year and toilet paper is in high demand,” Bishop said.
Bishop has been a driver for seven years and with this employer for the past two.
“Yes, trucking is in my blood, my dad Glenn is also a driver, my grandfather Alwyn Chauncey Bishop was also a truck driver and also Alwyn’s sister who is my great aunt Toots Holzheimer, who you would have heard of. A lot of people don’t believe me when I tell them I am a relative of the late Toots. I was very young when she passed away.”
We sure have and Big Rigs has published many stories on Toots who was a female pioneer of the road transport industry around Cape York in the far north.
Bishop travels as far away as south to Tully along the Bruce Highway and 70km north of Cairns to Mossman via the scenic Captain Cook Highway.
Quietly spoken Bishop said he saw some younger drivers on his travels but reckons there should be more who want to make it a career.
The enthusiastic young driver enjoys stopping at the Mirriwinni Roadhouse north of Innisfail.
“They serve up a good feed and the staff there are friendly,” he said.
Outside work, Bishop enjoys playing video games and music and was once a guitarist and drummer with a local band named August Redemption.
“We had been around for about seven years but now I enjoy strumming my guitar whilst at home. My favourite band is Pink Floyd and I like how they perform Shine On Your Crazy Diamond,” he said.
Bishop rates the worst road he travels on as the Ellis Beach to Wangetti Beach section of the Captain Cook Highway.
“It is very bumpy and you have to be very careful. I travel the Captain Cook Highway twice a week,” he said.
Bishop hopes to be a truck driver for the rest of his working life and has an aim to upgrade to an MC licence in the not too distant future.
“I want to drive B-doubles and road trains,” he said.
Having been told so much about Toots, Bishop also is keen to travel up to Cape York soon to check out where she operated.
“I haven’t been to Cooktown for about seven years and that was when I worked for another company and delivered kitchen goods. The fishing is good there as well,” he said.