11-04-2022

60 years of Vroom: 1982 – 1988

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.

Klaas Vroom predicted in the staff magazine that 1982 would be a year of reduced spending, cuts and moderation. But he emphasised that the new year would also be one in which there might be room for new and fresh ideas.

The task facing Gebr. Vroom was to change tack in order to turn the tide. The foundation market trade association, NVAF, predicted that for every ten piling rigs in the country, three would have used their jibs for the last time. However, Vroom managed to keep all its machinery running and to avoid forced redundancies.

The company made the right decisions in difficult times. Klaas focused on new foundation technologies. The expectations in relation to cast-in-situ piles, in particular, looked promising, as his Christmas wishes in 1982 revealed: “We have tried not to restrict foundations technology to just pile driving, but to embrace cast-in-situ piles, too. This new technology could well be the key to us getting through 1983.”
As the recession dragged on longer than expected, turnover from traditional foundations technology continued to fall. At the same time, the introduction of new technologies demanded greater investment. At that time Vroom was installing an average of 40,000 wooden piles and was aware that the market was increasingly turning to pre-cast concrete piles. The first successes with screw piles in urban regeneration projects had been registered and the use of other soil-displacement piles was on the rise, too.

Turning the tide with fresh ideas

Back then, no-one batted an eyelid if the building site had to be made accessible with a cutting torch. The pile foundation just had to be installed. Sjors Vroom would say, “We’ll worry about welding that roof together later.” And so it came to pass that Sjaak Pronk could manoeuvre his crane through the dance school and into the courtyard to install the piles.

The back of the yard in Middelie was always a hive of activity. Wooden piles, tubular piles, H beams. Bart ten Hage was always first on the scene with his grab to transport them.
Dirk Beets on the Hitachi producing concrete screw piles. The screw pile was introduced in 1981 by the HBF operating company. The production process has improved considerably in the intervening years and is now to a certain extent part of Vroom Zuid Nederland.
Driving pre-cast piles with a diesel ram in Purmer-Zuid, adjacent to the Montessori school with, in the background, the aircraft (DC8) in the Leeghwaterpark. This once stood on the site now occupied by the Leeghwater swimming pool car park.

60 years of Vroom: 1982 – 1988
60 years of Vroom: 1982 – 1988
60 years of Vroom: 1982 – 1988
60 years of Vroom: 1982 – 1988

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