The company: Epe-based Grondverzetbedrijf Lokhorst B.V. has existed for more than half a century and has eighteen employees. In the high season, however, that number can sometimes rise to fifty. Activities consist mainly of groundwork, especially within road construction. The company has many regular customers with whom short lines are kept. ''It's better to call ten times too many than once too few,'' says owner Peter.
Peter's grandfather once started small loading wood in the woods. Peter's father just wasn't into timber and decided to make a U-turn into the "excavator business. For Peter himself, it was a given that he would end up there, too. ''I can't remember other than that I always went along to look around and occasionally take a turn. Back then it was just possible, it's different nowadays.''
For three generations, the company has been in the same location. With a residential house right next door. From there, mother Gerrie used to arrange everything behind the scenes, while father Gijs sat on the machine. Both still feel very involved in the company. Whether Peter's children will follow in his footsteps, he does not yet know. ''It shouldn't be an obligation. If you don't have a passion for it, you shouldn't start doing it.''
Lokhorst's machine park contains a bit of everything; midi-excavators, trucks, mobile excavators, crawler excavators and also a brand new DX140W-7 mobile excavator, with Jurgen as the regular operator. So every machine has a regular operator who can think along with Peter. During the purchase, he considers all kinds of options, such as GPS and a rotary attachment. ''We try to get a machine complete. It's a calling card.''
Lokhorst's clientele consists predominantly of contractors in the infrastructure sector and other contractors around it. Many works are carried out in the Flevopolder. The DX140W-7 mobile excavator is currently running in Zeewolde, where the entire sewer system of an industrial area is being replaced. In Almere, Lokhorst is working on the Floriade, a world construction exhibition that takes place once every ten years in the Netherlands. Here, the DX225LC-5 crawler excavator is being used to realize the theme of 'Growing Green Cities'.
Peter values maintaining contact with customers. Their satisfaction he considers very important. ''Taking care of things, that's what we stand for. That we fix something if it's not right.'' He is happy with how that is going now and doesn't need to grow too much, so he can continue to do the transportation of the machines and keep an overview.
Fuel prices went up tremendously last year. Moreover, because of corona, everyone has to drive separately from each other. ''You can't always pass something like that on to the clients, but eventually we will have to.'' At the same time, much is expected of the company in terms of sustainability. Therefore, Lokhorst's machines run on HVO biodiesel on demand and they have purchased their first electric mini-excavator.
Peter finds the biggest challenge within sustainability to be electric charging. ''You really have to have a job that fits that. If you send an electric excavator out into the polder, you have to get to a power point after a few hours or have the ability to change your battery.'' The machine operators also have to make the switch. ''Fortunately, they are aware that things are going to change.''
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