On the road with..... Roelof Dijk

On the road with..... Roelof Dijk

The morning sun at the Wagenborg terminal in Eemshaven isn’t very warm yet. Roelof and his colleague Jacob Hollander go over the transport plan. Jacob will soon be driving the mobile crane, Roelof the semi low loader. They are going to lift a cable reel of no less than 20 tonnes from a ship and place it on the low loader. They will then transport the colossus (340 cm wide and 590 cm high) to the high-voltage location. A matter of ‘staying focused’ and careful manoeuvring.


It’s business as usual for Roelof. For a long time he worked in the construction materials and machines rental sector, for various companies. At the beginning of 2019, he joined Wagenborg Nedlift. 


Roelof and another five drivers are responsible for the transport of Wagenborg Nedlift’s own equipment. That often involves special transport. “We constantly have different jobs. One day you transport road plates, the next day parts of ships. Last year I delivered the Christmas tree for the Grote Markt in Groningen. It was twenty metres high. That was a nice job.”


“This job involves a lot of technology”, says Roelof. There are hardly any standard jobs. “Sometimes I spend a whole day assisting with the crane. That’s fine by me too. I’m not a long-distance traveller, I don’t need to go to the south of Spain. To each his own."

Family man

Roelof works full-time and is often away from home for days at a time. “My weekends are sacred”, he says. “Those are for my wife Anja and our four sons: Simon, Sieko, Rudmer and Sjoerd. I don’t really have any hobbies. I like to walk our Frisian Stabyhoun. And I have a few model trucks. But I especially enjoy being with my family. It gives me peace. At home, we do everything together. It’s always busy in our household, there is always something going on. Well, that’s what happens when there are six of us.” 

High-voltage lines

Transport to the high-voltage location continues at a slow pace. On the way, Roelof has to pass under high-voltage lines twice. Including the load, his combination is now 6.30 metres high. The risk of an electrostatic reaction is small. But the maxim is: do not stop under the high-voltage lines. Roelof overcomes this ‘hurdle’ at walking pace. Subsequent unloading goes according to plan. At the end of the morning, Roelof drives back to the terminal, onto the next job. 


This article has been published earler in magazine TON, the magazine for people working in transport and logistics. 

Pictures: Chris Pennarts

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