THE WORD ‘LEGEND’ IS OVER-USED BY THE POPULAR PRESS FOR THOSE OFTEN UNWORTHY OF THE TITLE. BUT, AS RICHARD TEW EXPLAINS, THIS PROFILE IS ABOUT A MAN WHO REALLY DOES DESERVE TO BE CALLED A LEGEND
He is Dutchman Jan van Wees, who is well known in heavy haulage and heavy lifting operations. And not just in his native Holland – but in many different countries throughout the world because of his long and varied career. Despite having semi-retired, his knowledge and enthusiasm for the industry shows no signs of abating. He is still involved with various facets of the business and events – not least the Mack and Special Transport Show featured in the last issue of HeavyTorque (Issue Five) – where he knew virtually every driver and operator onsite. Plus most of the enthusiasts present.
When van Wees left school, he had no inkling of the career that would come to dominate his working life become a life long passion. The family farmed land rented from the city of Amsterdam; van Wees joined in and worked happily on the farm for the next 10 years. But all that changed one Friday in the late sixties.
Part of the farm was needed to create a motorway link between the A1 and A2. On that fateful Friday, Van Seumeren delivered some plant and van Wees met van Seumeren Senior – who offered him a job with his crane rental company. Much family discussion followed on the Saturday and Sunday, and the decision was made to finish farming. Early Monday (after milking) cattle lorries took away all the cows: on Tuesday morning, van Wees reported to the house/office of Van Seumeren in De Meern.