Lex Jutte aan het woord

Scheduling an interview with Lex Jutte, crane operator at Jan van Dam Machine Transport, is no easy task. The logistics specialist from Oudewater is busy. Yet the enthusiastic thirty-something manages to clear a gap between the companies. "You can't develop a routine at this club and that's what I like so much!"

First, tell us about yourself: who is Lex Jutte?

“That’s me! I’m thirty years old and from Wateringen. I have a lovely wife and an eight-month-old son. I've been working at Jan van Dam for over three years now.”

How did you end up at Jan van Dam?

 “At my previous job, I eventually hit a dead end. It was time for something different. I came across a vacancy at Jan van Dam online and initially thought it wasn’t for me. However, my wife and best friend were very enthusiastic and convinced me to apply. What followed is something I’ll never forget: I sent my letter on a Wednesday evening, received a message from Jan on Thursday morning, and by the following Monday, everything was arranged. It turned out to be a perfect match in every way!”

What does an average workday look like for you?

“No two days are the same, let's start with that. What’s consistent is that I usually depart from Wateringen, my hometown. Once on location, I meet my colleagues and we make contact with the client. Where will the whole spectacle take place? Are there any changed circumstances? Then we make a plan together. Sometimes it’s very clear, other times we spend quite a bit of time in consultation. Once everything is clear, we do our thing. We first ensure all auxiliary materials are unloaded, like the forklift and items to get the machine in place. Then we position the crane. The colleague driving the machine gets smaller items into place with the forklift and makes sure the machine can go inside. Meanwhile, I ensure the crane is properly positioned and all necessary materials are in place. When it’s time for the machine, we drive the trailer right next to the crane. The machine is then hoisted and placed on wheels – on tank rollers or a robot-mover – so it can go inside. Finally, we position the machine in the right spot.”

“The fun part of my job is actually the crane work, because I handle the special tasks. Machines often don’t have their center of gravity exactly in the middle, and that’s a challenge.”

The truck you drive is quite special; a Volvo FM with a 200Tm loader crane that can operate fully electrically. Did you have any input in its design?

“During my application, I already knew a new truck was coming. The timeline was just not clear yet. But indeed, at one point I talked to Jan at the office. He said, ‘We’re looking into a new truck, and we have this idea. What do you think?’. After a conversation with the crane suppliers, the drawings were on the table. It was great to be involved in the plans. ‘What do you think?’ asked Jan. I immediately thought: cool! We brainstormed a bit, and I pointed out some things that seemed handy to me. I’ve been driving the new truck for a year now and I’m completely used to it. Now it’s fun to see how I can get the best out of the equipment; the truck and the crane. When you’re working on that, you challenge yourself to keep learning.”

In which industries, or at what types of clients, do you typically work?

“We most often work at metalworking companies because increasingly larger and heavier metalworking machines need to be moved there. I drive the second heaviest crane – a 200Tm crane – and we currently have a lot of work in that area. We also work occasionally for the food industry, but those machines require much less capacity. However, sometimes my truck and crane are used because I have a low Volvo FM with a fully air-sprung chassis and a low-mounted crane. Recently, I was at a fries factory where I had to go under a 3.40-meter-high door. Only my truck can handle that kind of work. In such cases, the truck is chosen for its build, not the crane’s capacity.”

What’s the best part of your job? And working at Jan van Dam?

“The best part of my job is actually the crane work, because I handle the special tasks. Machines often don’t have their center of gravity exactly in the middle, and that’s a challenge. Working at Jan van Dam is very interesting because new challenges keep coming at me. When you think you’ve seen it all, the next challenge is already in front of you. You can't develop a routine with this company, and that's what I like so much! A nice advantage is that I mostly drive in the Netherlands and Belgium, so after a long day at work, I can enjoy dinner with my family.”

What qualities do you need to do your job?

“You need to be able to handle the variation. That’s why I’m really in the right place because I love dynamism. In fact, I’d go crazy if I had to do the same job three days in a row. Personal development is also highly encouraged. Do you have ideas on how to make the work easier or safer? They’d love to hear them.”

“The team spirit is also great. We work well together and support each other. Even if it’s an impossible day or late at night; we’ll get it done together.”

What is it like to work for a family business?

“Very nice, because you feel the involvement. If you discuss something with a family member – whether it’s nice or not – someone else will follow up later in the week. They really want to know how you’re doing.”

Work is one thing, but what activities are organized outside of work that make you happy?

“There’s a very nice atmosphere in this company. Of course, we are dealing with the coronavirus now, but before, a lot was organized. By the employee association, or by Jan himself. It provides the necessary relaxation. A barbecue, or going out to eat together. This good atmosphere in the team makes us work well together and support each other. Even if it’s an impossible day or late at night; we’ll get it done together.”

What story do you always tell at a party?

“Not too long ago, we had to place tanks for a water management company in a protected dune area in Katwijk. They extract water from the dunes there, and these tanks had to go inside. It was calculated to the millimeter in the office because once inside, the tanks, weighing 7.5 tons, couldn’t be placed on the old floor anymore. But they had to go sixteen meters inside and two meters underground. Quite a challenge, but it should fit precisely with my crane. The project manager was nervously measuring, hoping the opening was large enough. Well, it fit perfectly! Aside from the job’s tension, there was another peculiarity. While we were placing the first tank, a few cars stopped next to the building. It turned out to be Princess Beatrix, who was taking a ride through the dunes on her horse. We talked about that for a while afterward!”

Jan van Dam Group

The Jan van Dam Group is represented in two companies:

Services 

Assembly/disassembly and anchoring

Relocating and installing machines

Machine storage

Industrial relocation

National and international road transport

Equipment

Truck-mounted cranes

Tractors and trucks

Forklifts and aerial platforms

Lifting portals 

Contact

Head Office

Wilgenweg 20
3421 TV Oudewater
The Netherlands

Warehouse Maasvlakte

Dolfijnweg 4
3199 MD Rotterdam
The Netherlands

Warehouse Bergen op Zoom

Ringersweg 19
4612 PR Bergen op Zoom
The Netherlands