Meet Yamal Bennani

Yamal is 48 years old and has been a very enthusiastic member of the Dockx Movers team in Antwerp for many years.

It’s 3 pm on a sunny Monday afternoon when Yamal returns to the depot after completing a removal. Time for a quick chat with this cheerful colleague.


Yamal, what do you like most about your job as a mover?

I’m still continually learning new things. I started as a mover in 1999, and even after all these years I still enjoy my job every day. It involves going into people’s homes, often at a stressful time, and they can be very nervous. If I’m able to reassure them that they will be well looked after, it’s a great feeling. Having a chat, putting people at ease… that’s very nice. 

What I enjoy most about the job itself is installing ladder lifts. It can be very challenging to position the lift correctly, especially if the window is difficult to reach. If I manage in such circumstances, it’s very rewarding. They even call me ‘Yamal the lift man’.

In fact, everyone in the removal team has their own specialisation.

Yamal, you've been working for Dockx Movers for 22 years. Can you tell us why you've stayed so long?

I like working for a family business, and I’ve always got on well with the Dockx family over the years. Initially this was with Jozef Dockx, the founder, and now with the second generation, Joeri and Sarah Dockx.

The informal and friendly nature of the company appeals to me, there’s always time for a laugh and some banter, things aren’t too formal here. I also get on well with the other movers in our team. We can always count on each other. They often feel more like a bunch of mates than colleagues.

A person moves an average of 7 times in a lifetime. How many times have you already moved?

We moved 3 times when I was little: my dad used his own van at the time, and even then I thought it was fan-tas-tic.

I’ve moved 2 times with my own family. Thanks to my experience as a mover, I’m able to remain very calm on the moving day.

My preference is to do the move myself, and ideally without too many friends so I know things are handled with care. My family and friends also always know where to find me if they have to move, because I know quite a bit more than someone who doesn’t do removals for their job. Moving involves a lot more than just brute force.

Have you noticed any difference in how removals are carried out now compared to 20 years ago?

Things have actually changed a lot.

People used to be much more open-hearted and interested. We were often offered something to drink or given a tip for a drink after a hard day’s work. It really isn’t the same now. I carry on smiling, but it’s obviously more rewarding to work for someone who appreciates what you do. For example, in the summer we might be working long hours on a removal, from 7 in the morning until 7 in the evening, or even longer, and it could be 30 °C or more. It’s not very nice if we’re not offered anything to drink during the whole day in such circumstances.

On the other hand, some people offer us a pastry in the morning, or get sandwiches for us for lunch. That’s really nice, and certainly makes you feel appreciated.

What advice have you got for all the people who move house?

Three things:

  1. Always put small items in boxes. Small items that aren’t boxed up are very difficult to carry in the truck. We want to prevent damage, but it’s difficult with small separate items.
  2. Don’t put everything in front of the window in small rooms. We often follow a certain order, and then we have to shift everything to get to the window with a certain item.
  3. And last but not least, a little thing: it’s always better if you first vacuum under chairs and beds. Otherwise, lots of dust is frequently sent into the air, which isn’t too good for our health if we face the same situation day in day out.