What once started with ‘a tractor on a barge’ has grown into an internationally renowned enterprise. We are grateful and proud to celebrate 60 years of Van Schie this year! Join us on this page to take a look at the developments since 1962.

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It all started with a tractor on a barge. However, it didn’t stop at just one tractor. Soon, there were three, four, five… and a contracting company was born. Grass cutting, hay hauling, hay baling, spreading fertilizer, dredging ditches, and rolling the fields – all across the entire polder. The fleet of rolling equipment expanded to include manure spreaders, mowing bins, hay loaders, and a small crane. Everything revolved around mechanization and the willingness to invest. Father Wim handled the finances, while Jan van Schie managed the operations.


The company grew to a point where it became impractical to rely solely on ‘family and friends’ for everything. The first official employee was hired on a permanent basis: Jan Verhoef. Many others followed. To accommodate the expanding fleet of machinery, a shed was built, and a workshop was added a few years later.


Jan van Schie believed that they had outgrown the stage of being just a contracting company. He wanted more! Earthmoving was a natural next step. On January 1, 1969, the official establishment of Jan van Schie BV took place: Contractor for Earthworks, Pile Driving, and Dredging, also providing Equipment Rental services. Atlas cranes were acquired, along with a backhoe, a shovel, and the first batch of dragline mats.


The territory expanded. Projects were taken on in Utrecht, Rotterdam, Varik, and Zoeterwoude. Gerard van Schie had by then become a skilled crane operator and worked for two years on a major sand extraction project between Almere and Lelystad, contributing to the construction of the A6 highway.


After a visit to Kuiken company in Emmeloord, Jan and Gerard purchased the first two Volvo dump trucks. This was soon followed by an additional four, and in no time, the Geerkade was brimming with draglines, P&H pile drivers, a Volvo low-loader, and an array of Atlas machines: 1602, 1302 crawler, 1302 mobile, 1302C with a demolition hammer, and many more. In short, the era of significant projects had begun.


Earthmoving surged dramatically. The fleet of dump trucks saw a significant expansion to accommodate the earthworks for the construction of the Bijlmer district and, not to be overlooked, the development of the Gaasperdammerweg. At its peak, a row of 22 dump trucks lined up side by side.

Under the leadership of John Gommers, the technical condition of the vehicle fleet improved by leaps and bounds, partially due to the introduction of two service vans, which significantly reduced downtime.


On January 1st, Gerard van Schie becomes co-director. Up until then, the company’s activities had primarily revolved around earthworks and excavation. The upcoming period was marked by pile driving. In the Netherlands, construction was booming, especially high-rise buildings and numerous office complexes.

This meant heavier foundations, so there was plenty of work to be done. The demand for piles with greater load-bearing capacity increased. Concrete pile driving made its debut, and the demand for wooden piles visibly diminished.


Purchase of the first pontoons for a project in Almere: driving hundreds of hardwood piles in open water. Shortly after, those same pontoons were utilized for the Prinsengracht Concert, commissioned by the AVRO. The broadcaster had to make do with barges for the first few editions.

The TROS television program ‘Te land, ter zee en in de lucht’ was also pleased with these pontoons and with Jan van Schie’s expertise and experience in water-related projects. For years, Van Schie supplied all the pontoons, constructed the soapbox ramp and the bike track, and firmly planted the pole with the bell in the water. This partnership lasted until 2010 when the show came to an end after 25 years.


The demand for pontoons increased. Different and larger pontoons were introduced, for projects on water, festivals, and film shoots. Van Schie became the ‘supplier of choice’ for practically all major events in the Netherlands: Dance Valley, Lowlands, Mysteryland, Floriade, SAIL Amsterdam, and more. The trend of water-based festivities extended to Belgium as well: Gent, Brugge, Dilbeek, Mechelen, and later, Tomorrowland. Even in Germany, Austria, and Italy, Van Schie became active, including events organized by Red Bull.

As the number of awarded projects grew rapidly, the demand for our own mobile cranes became increasingly prominent. An opportunity presented itself when crane company De Vechtstreek from Breukelen went bankrupt. Van Schie acquired their six cranes, repainted them in Van Schie colors, and a new branch was born. Subsequently, with the addition of five more mobile cranes from Van Egmond, Van Schie Kraanverhuur BV blossomed into a mature division within the Van Schie Group.

60 Years Van Schie What once began with “a tractor on a barge” grew into an international company.


Acquisition of MOWI. In Germany, Van Schie collaborated with Mostert & de Winter, a company that installed sound barriers. When the company went bankrupt, Jan van Schie continued the venture in ‘vegetated’ sound barriers. Years later, the ‘Sound Barriers’ division developed into a distinct branch within the Van Schie Group, and the name MOWI was phased out.


The decision was made to give Van Schie a distinct ‘identity’: setting it apart from competitors, ensuring recognition. Uniformity. Consistency in appearance. In other words, establishing a unique corporate identity. While the color yellow with green lettering had already been selected, all the Atlas machines were still orange.

The entire fleet was painted in the RAL1003 color, and everything was adorned with a new logo. In the years prior, a decision had already been made to paint the roofs of the vehicles green, as there were other contractors with yellow-and-green branding on the roads, but nobody had a green roof.


A new logo emerged, along with the introduction of the now famous Van Schie calendar. It was also the year of transitioning to a new millennium, a moment when the entire world held its breath, fearing that all computers might fail and time would come to a halt. Yet, nothing happened. But Van Schie certainly wasn’t standing still!


Acquisition of Janson Bridging. Van Schie decided to acquire the company specializing in temporary steel bridges after both companies had collaborated on several projects. At the time, Janson was located in Aalst. Van Schie soon realized that the existing site near the Afgedamde Maas was not ideal for growth and the development of new products, prompting the search for a better location. Ultimately, the prime spot in Hank, along the Bergse Maas and right next to the A27, was chosen – an excellent hub for transporting lengthy bridge components. Since then, Janson Bridging BV has evolved into a global leader in the realm of temporary bridges, (sea)pontoons, and Roll-on-Roll-off systems.


This year was marked by further modernization. Five new DEMAG mobile cranes were added to the fleet, new Spierings mobile tower cranes arrived, and last but not least: a brand-new 5-axle Scania tractor with a low-loader, a heavy transport combination that was unique in the Netherlands. A five-axle fully air-suspended tractor with a trailing axle, boasting a maximum load capacity of 65 tons. That deserved a spot in the newspaper! And if there’s consistently exciting and significant news to share, you might as well do it yourself. Thus, the first VAN SCHIE Journal was born.


Relocation to Mijdrecht! A new office building, a large workshop for the technical department, spacious hangars for the mobile equipment and accessories, and ample space for storing pontoons and mats. On the same site, another aspiration came to fruition: establishing our own soil bank. A year later, it happened. Just as a new environmental law came into effect, Van Schie was one of the first to receive authorization to establish its own soil bank. Subsequently, the company obtained all the necessary certificates to work with contaminated soil, sand, gravel, and polluted water.


Acquisition of HP Staal. The company based in Wilnis, specializing in the buying and selling of new and used steel products (sheet piles, sand tubes, boxes, and steel plates), faced succession challenges. Jan and Gerard took over the company, as it complemented their own operations seamlessly.


The first cyber centers emerge in the Netherlands (later to be known as data centers). Initially, there are eight of them. Van Schie is involved right from the beginning in the construction and setup of this new industry. This includes groundwork, installing underground oil tanks, horizontal and vertical transportation, and setting up cooling units, switch cabinets, and generators. By 2022, there are over a hundred data centers in the Netherlands. Within Van Schie, a new type of pontoon has been developed, featuring a unique coupling system: the Container Pontoon. This extra-large pontoon is capable of handling substantial loads, making it suitable for large infrastructure projects on water. The dimensions are designed in such a way that the pontoon can be transported over roads without restrictions.



Jan van Schie celebrates its 50th anniversary, a cause for a grand celebration. This milestone also serves as an opportune moment to further modernize the company. New logos are introduced for all branches of the business, and the Van Schie Journal gets a fresh look. The calendar is also revamped. From now on, it’s no longer Jan van Schie BV, but vanschie.com.


HP Staal relocates to Vianen, a superb location at the intersection of the A2 and A27 highways. An excellent spot with room for expansion.


The rental of pontoons reaches its peak, not only for infrastructure projects but also for water-based events such as SAIL Amsterdam, the Grachtenfestival, the Uitmarkt, Gay Pride, and Liberation Day celebrations in the Netherlands. There are also projects abroad, including festivities in Gent, Brugge, Boom, and Mechelen, the boat show in Genoa, and the unveiling of the new Ferrari in Portofino (Italy). For infrastructure projects, heavier pontoons are deployed, such as the Container Pontoon and the Uniflote Pontoon, designed for tasks like waterborne pile driving.


Acquisition of the largest mobile tower crane in the Netherlands up to that point: the Spierings SK 1265-AT6, boasting a lifting height of 35 meters and a maximum reach of 60 meters. The Van Schie Journal undergoes a transformation, and even the calendar undergoes a makeover.


Introduction of a super pontoon: the VSP770, developed in-house. A unique and modular system, fully certified. It features a high deck load capacity, smart dimensions, and an innovative coupling system. In the same year, Van Schie also launches a comprehensive range of steel plates onto the market. A product versatile in application, suitable for earthworks, infrastructure projects, and construction. As the first company in Ronde Venen, Van Schie becomes entirely energy-neutral! This achievement is attributed to 1,580 solar panels, each producing a capacity of 35 kWh. Moreover, the company transitions away from gas usage. Further strides are made in digitalization: the use of GPS surveying tools becomes standard practice, excavators are equipped with GPS machine control, and trucks feature GPS tracking.


Van Schie develops a heavy pontoon bridge with a retractable middle section. The bridge is positioned in Zaandam, spanning the Zaan River. The 110-meter-long bridge is uniquely designed for this location, with a 24-meter-long middle section that must open and close dozens of times a day, all within a matter of minutes due to heavy traffic. The year 2020 also marks numerous applications involving bentonite and the installation of prefab cellars in residential construction. Additionally, Van Schie introduces a mobile sound barrier, a screen suspended from a mobile crane that reduces noise significantly during concrete pile driving, ensuring compliance with established noise regulations.


Fontexx comes under the wing of Van Schie. This crane company specializes in the rental and sale of stationary tower cranes and aerial work platforms. It’s a perfect complement to the activities of Van Schie Kraanverhuur, which is more focused on the rental of mobile cranes and mobile tower cranes.

2022 – Van Schie is 60 years old!

moment to pause with immense pride and reflect with satisfaction on how the company has grown over the years. The entire Van Schie Group stands solid, having evolved into a modern, internationally-oriented enterprise, and is more prepared than ever for the future. This is also due to the fact that the next generation is already stepping up to carry on the legacy. Gratitude extends to the founder of this remarkable company: Jan van Schie.

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