07 January 2020
Gebr. Van den Maagdenberg does not leave his customers - literally and figuratively - out in the cold. The company, located in Hoeven in West Brabant, specializes in earthworks for pipelines.
"They know where to find us," says director and owner Wim van den Maagdenberg (42). "We are active as a subcontractor for pipe construction companies and are often asked for projects throughout Europe. In the 80 years that our company has existed, we have has built up a good reputation in this field.” The more than forty employees have gained a lot of knowledge over the years: "They know what to do and if the customer asks something, they can get to work immediately. Explanation is usually not necessary."
From small to large
In addition to the piping work, Van den Maagdenberg, founded in 1939, is active in the field of earthworks, rental of machines and cultural engineering work. The work varies from large complex earthmoving projects to small-scale projects for local authorities, farmers and private individuals. In the 1990s, to make the work easier, the company developed tracked vehicles, vacuum systems and pipe carts for transporting the pipes that are still used today.
Groundwork for pipes is not simple. The drivers have to deal with bends, sinkers and road intersections, and underground water, (high-pressure) gas and electricity pipes, which may or may not be known. While gas pipelines in the Netherlands are gradually making way for alternatives such as electricity and district heating, in Germany plenty of gas pipelines are still being laid, explains Wim. Gebr. van den Maagdenberg can therefore regularly be found at our eastern neighbours.
For a project in Utrecht, Van den Maagdenberg used various Doosan excavators , including a mobile DX140W , a mobile DX170W-5 and a DX140 crawler excavator . “City heating is quite maintenance-sensitive and in Utrecht the route in Lombok needed to be replaced,” says Wim. “It had just snowed when we started the job in January 2019. You could see exactly where the pipes ran; the snow had melted there. That indicates that replacement was absolutely necessary.” Van den Maagdenberg's men excavated and removed the old pipes, as well as the two-metre-wide concrete tanks through which the pipes ran. “You don't do that with a small excavator; you need tough guys for that.” Subsequently, two new pipes with a diameter of 800 mm were laid. In total, more than a kilometer of pipes was replaced and the street work is currently being finalized.
Logistically, the project was quite a challenge. “If you work in the open field, you are done with it in no time, but in a city you have little space. That's why you have to work just-in-time: always immediately clear up everything you've excavated," explains Wim. “By using an inside turner, we had a little more room to manoeuvre.” The engineers encountered a lot underground. For example, there is a sensitive asbestos-cement water pipeline along the busy Vleutenseweg, which had to be taken into account. “If you break such a pipeline, you end up in the newspaper, and that's not the way we want to make the news”, Wim laughs. Using the 3D GPS in the Doosans, the operators could see where they could dig safely.
Wim bought his first Doosan in 2008. “My uncle, who has been working in the company for fifty years, was allowed to test different brands of excavators. We already had several other brands, but he got on the Doosan and wouldn't get off it. That's how it really happened!" Van den Maagdenberg now has eight Doosan mobile and six crawler excavators of the type DX140W , DX170W-5 , DX190W , DX140LC- returner , DX160LC , DX225LC and DX300LC . The latest additions are equipped with engcon tiltrotators with DC2 control. Some of the excavators are equipped with GPS. All excavators have pressurized cabins. “The contact with the dealer – first Buys and now Staad – is good. The machines are neatly built and the service is excellent. Staad is close by, in Bergen op Zoom, which is great if you have to pick up a part. But the most important thing is of course that the machines are good. So we are satisfied.”
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