17 March 2021
We visit Wil Huijbregts, who has been the owner of W. Huijbregts Loon- en Grondverzetsbedrijf W. Huijbregts in Zundert for about thirty years. Wil is a driven entrepreneur who radiates passion for the profession. The new building was opened in 2018. "We are now in our old bedroom, Wil laughs." It is an impressive site where there is still enough room for the growth of the company. Together with his wife Ingrid, he worked hard to make the company what it is today. With a staff of thirty plus the same number as a flexible shell, it is a sizeable organization. That is perhaps the biggest challenge for Wil. ''It may sound strange, but I don't find buying a new machine that exciting or difficult. Keeping all my employees happy, that everyone is comfortable in their own skin and that I don't interfere too much with everything, that's the hardest thing about my work, says Wil." he's working on right now.
Wil's machinery is something to write home about. They now have eight Doosan wheeled excavators , four Doosan crawler excavators , 26 tractors, a few more mini and midi excavators, loaders and trucks. It just keeps growing. At the time we were there he had rented 27 units in addition to his own machines because they are so busy. In recent years, however, he has noticed an increasing shift from contract work to earthmoving. The contract work continues, but earthmoving is becoming an increasingly larger branch. For example, he has now not only picked up a project manager, but also one of his truck drivers from the truck to help with the planning. For Wil it is important to arrange everything properly so that good people are in the right place so that he can retain more of the helicopter view.
Wil's son, Stef, already works in the company and the intention is that Stef can grow in the coming years so that in a few years he can take over the company from his father. “Stef has already mentioned good points that we have improved in the company, he already said: Dad, we have to do some things differently. In two weeks I will be 54 years old and then I would like to be able to let go of my employees more, that everyone takes responsibility and that I do not interfere with everything. That's really an art for me. You see so many things and want to tackle everything as an entrepreneur, but if I trust my employees more, you also get more peace of mind. Stef makes all the drawings and puts everything out and I'm on the track a bit more. For the coming period, growth is not the ambition, but to remain as stable as we are now and do our thing. That is also nice for my son that it will soon be arranged and he also has the space to grow in it himself. If he is really going to take over then I'm going to let it go completely so he can do it his own way. I've always done it with my wife Ingrid and we went all out together. It has really been our way of life.” The passion and ambition for the profession are evident.
Bustle of jewels
It quickly becomes about the projects Wil is currently working on. The projects range from infrastructure to residential construction. One of the projects they are working on is the N638, the road from Zundert to Rucphen in collaboration with the BAM. There, the Doosans all run on HV100 to limit emissions. Because they wrote the plan in this way, they scored many points in the field of sustainability, so that they were eventually awarded the work. They remove the old asphalt from this road completely, the foundation layer is removed, the sand under it is removed and then the road is reconstructed. They are also working on a project near the Hazeldonk border crossing, where they are doing the infrastructure for a business park of 63 hectares and they have also accepted a building from Vrolijk. This will be a hall of 70,000 square meters. In addition, they are working in Breda at the Drie Hoefijzers to excavate a cellar. This is just a handful of the projects he is working on.
We visit a tree nursery ourselves where the Doosan DX235LCR-5 is running together with the Doosan DX140W-3 . Here they ensure that the trees are no longer standing on a bump, so that they receive little water. They do this by removing and disposing of the white sand underneath. ''It is not the perfect time now because of course it was so cold not so long ago, in the summer the weather is nice and dry, but now it is also doable. We immediately process the soil that we remove for another project. So that's very useful. When we have removed all the sand that we don't need, we smooth it out again and level it.” This way the trees will look nice again next season with wet feet instead of dry ones.
''I am certainly satisfied with Doosan and yes sometimes there is something wrong, but then Ad always comes. It's great that we know which mechanic will come from you and he's always super helpful. He also knows our own mechanic and he knows the way, so that always goes without saying, says Wil."