Local man, Eddie Folkersma, wins top national award

“Eddie began working for our family business in 1987, when he was just 18 years old. He has poured in the wind, rain, and snow, in heat waves or blizzards, off barges or ferries, and on remote Great Lakes islands,” says Northern Sand & Gravel and VanSloten Enterprises Inc. owner Kathleen VanSloten. “He
works on trucks and equipment when they break down, drives a dump truck when we’re busy and trains new drivers when they arrive. He has been known to climb silos, drive the loader, get into the drum to chip, and even batches his own concrete in a pinch. He’ll jump out of his truck to help a customer screed, rake, or float. We think Eddie should be the NRMCA Driver of the Year!”

The NRMCA Safety, Environmental and Operations Committee judges for the 2021 Driver of the Year entries concurred, factoring employer observations and those of customers like K&K Concrete Construction owner Dane Kuusinen. “Without the hard work and dedication of professional truck drivers like Eddie, my line of work as a concrete contractor would come to a grinding halt,” he affirms. “Operating a large, complex vehicle is hardly an easy task. Ed has the skills and experience needed to handle each job safely and professionally.”

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“Concrete mixer drivers don’t have the luxury of a 9-5 job. That kind of schedule comes with some major sacrifices to make my business and the industry successful,” Kuusinen continues. “Ed’s dedication to his
job, from getting up at the crack of dawn for early morning pours, getting home late, long hours on the road in the hot summer months, or Michigan’s cold, windy, winter months does not go unnoticed.”

Darling Concrete chief Mike Darling shares his K&K Concrete peer’s sentiments about the 2022 NRMCA Ready Mixed Concrete Delivery Professional Driver of the Year: “Ready mix drivers just deliver concrete, right? Not this one. He places concrete to grade every time. Coaches young men on how to place concrete. Has been asked to put concrete trucks where they don’t belong. Has helped screed, rake
and bull float so many times I can’t count. I’ve been in the trade 26 years and poured in many different places. Every time Ed Folkersma shows up I know the project just got easier. If there is a Hall of Fame for mixer drivers, ‘Fast Eddie’ better be in it!”

In talking with Kathleen, she couldn’t express enough just how important this is in the concrete industry. There are many, many drivers across the nation nominated for this award and only one wins it – Eddie Folkersma.

Eddie and his wife Darlene reside in Raber Twp.

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