Chapter 7

Tension in the air

One of the first major contracts secured by DSV involved hauling topsoil from the city of Albertslund to the race track Roskilde Ring, which had been closed in 1968. Roskilde Ring was constructed in a closed-down gravel pit near the centre of the city Roskilde in 1955, and had now become an environmental problem with drag races in the middle of the city. A substantial delivery of topsoil was needed to transform the former race track into a green and recreational area. It was an important and very well-paid transport task. One which the local hauliers had been looking forward to completing for the city gardener in the municipality of Roskilde. They were convinced that they would get the task as the municipality always used local hauliers for local tasks. Now, however, DSV had broken this pattern by making a very good offer that the municipality simply could not refuse. DSV was in a competitive position because they were able to combine this task with another, in which they would be paid to remove topsoil from a gravel pit. This meant that they already made a profit from the soil once. They were then able to deliver the backfilling soil at a much lower price than the hauliers from Roskilde.
The local hauliers' anger of not having been given the task ran deep. They blocked Roskilde Ring by placing 10-15 trucks across the track, so that DSV could not enter and unload the topsoil. They called the DSV hauliers scabs and price dumpers and felt that DSV had stabbed them in the back by undercutting their offer. The hauliers from Roskilde had a spokesman named Jørgen Richard Nielsen who the DSV hauliers had nicknamed "Jørgen røv og nøgler" (Jørgen "ass and keys"!). It was he who organised the opposition against the hauliers from out of town and was known to use hard-hitting methods. Rumour had it that Jørgen Richard Nielsen drove around with a big iron bar in the driver's cab, which he resorted to when verbal arguments proved unsatisfactory. Because of this outrageous story, some DSV hauliers were genuinely afraid of meeting "Jørgen røv og nøgler" alone after nightfall.
When DSV was refused entry intro Roskilde Ring, the DSV haulier Teddy Mikkelsen immediately called Leif Tullberg and told him about the harassment by the hauliers from Roskilde. Tullberg came rushing to the scene in his Mercedes, but little did it help. The hauliers from Roskilde were very angry and could not be reasoned with. The municipality of Roskilde had to step in, however, it too was intimidated by the blockade and felt obliged to renegotiate the deal to include the local hauliers in the haulage. Like DSV, the locals hauliers were given the task of haulaging 4,000 cubic metres of soil to Roskilde Ring.
This incident with the local hauliers from Roskilde would not be the last time that DSV was criticised for undercutting prices and poaching tasks from their rivals. The abbreviation DSV was soon said to stand for "De Satans Vognmænd" (the hauliers from hell), "De Sultne Vognmænd" (the hungry hauliers) and so on. Linguistic creativity was great, and the message was the same each time: DSV were disloyal and price dumpers. The atmosphere was sometimes hostile when DSV hauliers met other hauliers around rest stops and in the gravel pits. Just one negative remark could fill the air with tension. DSV was held in ill-repute...

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