Winner NK Safest Driver talks about his work with passion

Winner NK Safest Driver talks about his work with passion

Our winner Martin Kolff of the Dutch National Championships Safest Driver 2019 feels like a fish in water in tank transport. He writes safety with a capital V. In the prevention special of TVM Actueel July 2021, Martin tells extensively about his work.

From postman to truck driver

Kolff has been driving tank trucks since 2006. First at De Rijke and now for 10 years for Shell via his employer Van Waveren Transport from Amsterdam. He calls his work the best there is. Although that was not to be expected at the start of his driver career. In his early days as a postman, his father advised him to get a lot of driver’s licenses so that he would always have something to fall back on. He did not disregard this advice. After working for several years as a postman, Martin Kolff started a career as a truck driver.

The transition from a profession where you are constantly moving and among people to sitting for hours alone in a cabin was difficult for him. “I delivered mail and chatted with the villagers all the time. I was regularly invited for a cup of coffee and I sat at Jan and everyone’s house for a while. So it was a bit rough on my roof to speak to few people as a truck driver and to have to rely on yourself in the cab. But everything went well. Of course I still love to have a chat at locations where I have to load and/or unload. That’s just in me.”

Challenging work, but above all fun

It is not easy to drive with tens of thousands of liters of flammable liquids such as petrol or diesel. “It is easier to drive with a full tanker than with a half-full tanker. Driving a half-full tanker requires much more concentration. When you brake, the fluid sloshes behind you on all sides. As a result, if you do not brake well enough, you can still gain some momentum. You don’t want that.”

The work has essentially not changed in recent years. However, according to Kolff, it has all become a lot easier. According to him, this mainly has to do with the so-called ‘sniffing system’. This system ensures that it is no longer possible to confuse, for example, diesel and petrol during loading or unloading. The system blocks access when something is not right. In this way, the chance of failure is a lot smaller. “Of course that makes a difference. The work has become a lot more intense in the field of administration and procedures. There is a lot to consider when it comes to safety. Everything is monitored and monitored. We are constantly working on safety, but that is of course a very good thing.”

Read the full article in Dutch from TVM Actueel here

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