Big celebration at Verhoeven International: Wim Smits is 50 years in business!

In August, our colleague, Wim Smits, celebrated 50 years of service with Verhoeven International. A special event, which is less common (these days). Verhoeven decided to celebrate this milestone in a big way. At the head office in Maarheeze, they organised an anniversary day to put Wim in the spotlight and thank him for his loyalty and years of commitment to the company.

Back in time

Wim started his career at Verhoeven in 1973. At the age of 17, he started dating Els. His father-in-law advised him to take a look at the workshop in Leende. ”Because at Verhoeven, they always have work there”. After a tour and a good conversation, he was able to start the following Monday. His first tasks consisted of screwing and pressing track links. Once he had mastered that trick, he was allowed to move on to overhauling travel drives and other work. “Then you’re a few years on and you were allowed to start tinkering with engines and transmissions,” he says. In 1983, Verhoeven started selling Komatsu Earth moving machines and Wim became a service technician. He was constantly on the road, driving throughout the Benelux, even on Saturdays. “During harvest time, I was regularly called up at night – if a part broke down, the whole process was at a standstill,” he says.

Wim Smits

Back then, it was mostly about tinkering. The work was also harder. Since Verhoeven switched from importing Komatsu excavators to Takeuchi mini and midi-excavators, mechanics started working more with electronic equipment and laptops. Yet mechanical tinkering is still in Wim’s heart. . “I repair a Caterpillar transmission with my eyes closed, so to speak,” he says. Within Verhoeven, Wim is known as the mechanic who can solve any mechanical problem. “Can’t” doesn’t exist for him.

On 1 September, Wim officially retired. He was eager to complete 50 years and he succeeded. Saying goodbye does weigh heavily on him. His wife Els remarked that he has to “kick the habit” of working at Verhoeven. But sitting still is nothing for Wim. He said he bought an old 1968 Fendt tractor. He is refurbishing it together with his grandson.

Anniversary day on 15 September


Friday 15 September was the day of Wim’s anniversary. He and his family were picked up at home by a covered wagon with a Fendt in front of it. When they arrived at Verhoeven’s, there was a beautiful honour guard of colleagues to welcome Wim. The mayor was also present and gave a speech for the jubilee.

Wim and his family were then shown around the (recently renovated) building. A fun activity was organised in each department to surprise Wim and his family. The afternoon ended with a delicious lunch in the company of the Verhoeven family and management.

In the evening, the feet went off the floor during the party evening. Wim was congratulated by all his colleagues, friends and family members during the reception. Afterwards, there was time for eating together, drinking and lots of fun.

Wim, thanks for everything! We will definitely see you again at Verhoeven.
Please know that the doors are always open for you.



Feest 50 jarig jubileum Wim  50 jarig jubileum Wim Feest Wim Smits