09-02-2022

60 years of Vroom: 1969 – 1975

This year, Vroom will have been in existence for 60 years. We will reveal our rich history here regularly, using images from back then illustrated with, not least, facts, figures and anecdotes from our past.

Once Sjors (George) jr. had completed his military service, he entered into a partnership with his brother Klaas, and the company name changed to “v.o.f. K.C. and S. Vroom”. The volume of work increased so they acquired more piling rigs to meet demand. The workforce also grew. It is a time of hard work, and good times outside work, not least thanks to the creation of an active staff association. It was during this time that Vroom acquired a Rapier, a Hoover MH20 and a Bavaria GH3300 with pneumatic tyres. Each year, two to three Priestman Tiger rigs were added. In 1972 Meindert Vroom joined the management team and the company name accordingly changed to Gebr. Vroom (Vroom Bros.). This is when the pre-cast concrete pile started to be used. All the machine operators had to ‘go back to school’ and, after four years, each one of them had met the required standard. In 1975, Vroom became a member of the Nederlandse Vereniging van Aannemers Funderingstechnieken (NVAF, Dutch Association of Foundation Contractors).

Growth abounds

On purchase, almost all the machinery had dragline attachments and Sjors Vroom worked with the people in Materials Management to convert the machines for use as piling rigs. For instance, he increased the winching speed and gave them guided equipment. He used adapters to extend the jibs on the machines, and the first such rigs still had a gooseneck.

At the start of the 1970s, the company was growing rapidly and spreading its wings ever further. As a result, one-to-one contact began to diminish. Together with the management, we put our heads together and founded a staff association. The first committee was made up of Wim Schouten, Jaap Laan, Dirk de Boer and Wim Schoenmaker. No matter whether the occasion was a well catered for Sinterklaas afternoon for the little ones, with several evenings in advance dedicated to buying the presents, or an evening card games session, everything was geared to making it a success. And on more than one occasion we went fishing on the North Sea and Wadden Sea. Afterwards, when everyone was tired but satisfied, we’d eat sole at Zomerdijk in Den Oever and, of course, washed away the salty ocean taste with something alcoholic.

For the construction pit in the Amsterdam red-light district (a tight fit), we first built a platform ourselves by leaving the piles higher than they needed to be and placing a few dragline mats over them so that the rearmost piles could be reached. Nothing was too great a challenge.

From 1965 until early 1970 Jan Fleur, director of the Zaanse Heionderneming, was a major client. Vroom was given a lot of piling work to do, including at the NDSM, for the Poelenburg, in the Peperstraat and round and about the Cocoa factory on the Zaan. The Zaanse Heionderneming generally organised the large-scale piling and hydraulic works itself, providing two of its own piling rigs and a so-called piling pontoon. Smaller-scale piling work and the projects in which accessibility was limited were outsourced to Vroom. We would use the O&K on the Reo Truck and, later, the Priestman Tiger, the Bavaria GH3300 and a Rapier.

60 years of Vroom: 1969 – 1975
60 years of Vroom: 1969 – 1975
60 years of Vroom: 1969 – 1975
60 years of Vroom: 1969 – 1975

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