Tweewieler writes about the development of Van Raam
In October 2020 there was an impressive article about Van Raam on Tweewieler.nl. This article is about the history and development of Van Raam over the years. Tweewieler is a Dutch website for the bike industry and bicycle specialists. Read more about Van Raam and the article of Tweewieler here.
Anniversary year of Tweewieler
This year (2020) Tweewieler celebrates its 100th anniversary. In this anniversary year of Tweewieler they portray special and appealing companies or persons with a beautiful story. Like Van Raam, which also exists for over 100 years. Tweewieler says in the introduction to the article: "Anyone entering the brand new, more than 14,000 square metre building in Varsseveld will not suspect this, however. This story is about how a small metal company from the Achterhoek became a world player".
From Amsterdam to the Achterhoek
The article starts with the history of Van Raam. It does not start in Varsseveld, but on the other side of the Netherlands; in Amsterdam. Mr. Van Raam started a forge in Amsterdam in 1900. In 1933 the first bicycle frames were made. In the 70's the neighbourhood in Amsterdam would be cleaned up and the building would be demolished. Eventually this did not happen; the building is still in Amsterdam and is now a private home.
Van Raam decided to move anyway, the choice fell on Aalten: "Aalten in the Achterhoek. Why move to Aalten? Because Van Raam received a substantial subsidy, paid low prices for land and factory and because Germany was close by".
Read more about the history of Van Raam in the article 'Van Raam manufacturer of adapted bikes throughout the years'.
Manufacturer of special needs bikes
Unfortunately, Van Raam went bankrupt in 1983. In 1984 Van Raam was taken over by Piet Boezel. He started looking for new markets. Henk Kluver explains: "In the years that followed, we started looking for new markets. We made recumbent bicycles and also custom-made racing bicycles. Nice, but there was no real business in these. Then suddenly there came a request for a special bicycle: "An acquaintance of mine had a stroke, but wanted to keep on cycling. Despite the fact that it was difficult for him to keep his balance".
Kluver made a tricycle and from then on Van Raam started to focus on that. Director Ronald Ruesink says: "From the moment Van Raam started to concentrate on something as special as a tricycle, we really focused on that. The ordinary bicycle was not profitable enough.Because we weren't a Gazelle, but just a metal company with about eight men, we had to come up with something else".
From the moment Van Raam started to concentrate on something as special as a tricycle, we really focused on that.
Henk Kluver: oldest employee of the Netherlands
Henk Kluver, who started his career as a 14-year-old boy at Van Raam in Amsterdam and moved with the company Van Raam to the Achterhoek at the age of 50, has held various functions at Van Raam. For example, he had been a piper, a specialist in drawing upright lines on a frame. Henk continued to piping frames until his last years at work. This was in addition to many other activities he carried out for Van Raam. He was a great source of inspiration for Van Raam's staff. Henk Kluver eventually retired in 2018 at the age of 96.
In 2012 Henk Kluver was officially proclaimed the oldest employee in the Netherlands. As the oldest employee of the Netherlands, Henk has appeared in various media. He still regularly visits Van Raam to have a chat with his former colleagues.
Read more about Henk Kluver on the special Henk Kluver page.
Van Raam bicycles all over the world
As in the early years in Amsterdam, Van Raam makes everything in-house. Ronald Ruesink tells Tweewieler: "We weld the frames ourselves and a three-layer powder coating is always applied. But we also modernise. For example, we have a brand-new 3D printer." Read more about Van Raam's production process on the page: 'How we make bicycles'.
Van Raam does not only make bicycles for the Netherlands, but for all over the world. Ronald Ruesink explains: "Here in the Netherlands many potential customers come to try our bikes. We then never deliver directly, but always via a dealer. We are mainly active in Germany, but through the Rehacare fair in Düsseldorf we also came into contact with people in the US and Japan. We would like to work together, but with consideration."
We weld the frames ourselves and a three-layer powder coating is always applied. But we also modernise. For example, we have a brand-new 3D printer.
Van Raam develops and innovates
In 2001, Ronald Ruesink, his brother-in-law Jan-Willem Boezel and sister-in-law Marjolein Boezel took over the company from father (-in-law) Piet Boezel. Van Raam now has 230 employees.
Because Van Raam was getting bigger and bigger, more space was required. Aalten was exchanged for Varsseveld in 2004. After expansion, this building also became too small and at the end of 2018/early 2019 Van Raam moved to a new and sustainable building.
Read more about the new building on the Van Raam construction page.
A virtual tour at Van Raam
More about Van Raam
Would you like to read more about Van Raam? Then take a look at the following articles:
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