The FERMI FEL facility has begun delivering photons in 2011, becoming in late 2012 the first seeded facility open to external users worldwide. Since then, several tens of experiments have been carried out on the three operative endstations LDM, DiProI, and EIS-TIMEX. Starting from the commissioning phase, the transport and diagnostics system (PADReS) has been continuously developed and upgraded, becoming the indispensable interface between the machine and the experimental chambers. Moreover, PADReS itself has served as an active player for several machine studies as well as for various state-of-the-art experiments. In particular, some elements of PADReS have become key features to perform cutting edge experiments: the online energy spectrometer, the active optics refocusing systems, the split and delay line, and so on. For each of them the peculiar advantages will be described showing the actual implementation in the experiments. The experience gathered so far in fulfilling the needs of both machine and experimental physicists will be discussed, with particular emphasis on the solutions adopted in different scenarios. Recurrent requests and major difficulties will be reported so to give a glimpse about the standard tasks to be solved when preparing new and demanding experiments. Finally, some ideas and near-future improvements will be presented and discussed.