Contractor Kone Lahtinen is working at one of the biggest wood production sites in Finland with a little help from Volvo Construction Equipment.
Bordered by Sweden to the west, Norway to the north, Russia to the east and Estonia to the south, Finland is known for its abundance of forests and beautiful national parks. The timber industry is one of Finland’s oldest with most of its production (60%) going for export, making Finland one of Europe’s biggest producers of lumber.
Kone Lahtinen OY is contracted to work for Koskisen – a wood production company at its Kȁryȍlȁ Jarvela site near Lahti – 80km from Helsinki. Koskisen employs 900 people and has production units in Jarvela, Hirvensalmi and Vierumaki in Finland and Sheksna in Russia. Koskisen needs one million cubic meters of timber every year to meet its contracts and has about 80 machines in total working at the Kȁryȍlȁ site, predominately wheel loaders, and forklifts. A Finnish family run business, Koskisen is known as a reliable and responsible purchaser of wood.
The company manages spruce, pine and birch plantations – but it’s the birch that is most commonly used for making plywood. Some of the birch comes by rail from Russia but the entire process from getting the logs delivered, cut, treated and wrapped for delivery is done at the Finnish site. During the winter months, birch logs first need to be defrosted in a warm water bath (because it’s common for the wood to freeze in temperatures of -30o
The site produces wood used for many applications, including house building, interior design, construction and flooring. The end product, which has been dried and treated for the correct application, is then exported to customers as far afield as Saudi Arabia, Japan, China and Australia.
By the truckload
About 100 trailers of timber are delivered to the site every day, and to keep up with demand, Kone Lahtinen OY operates a fleet of 20 Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) machines. This includes L350F, L180F, L120F and L180G wheel loaders, featuring grab and grapple attachments for quick and easy log handling. The company also has a Volvo EW200 wheeled excavator at work at other sawmills.
The L350F-Series wheel loader has already clocked up an incredible 24,000 hours over five years, with an average fuel consumption of 18.5 liters an hour – and its maintenance has been extremely low during this period.
Operators agree that the L350F is easy and comfortable to operate, leading to fast cycle times and sustained high performance throughout the working day – reducing fatigue levels. A spacious air-conditioned Volvo Care Cab is insulated from noise, dust and vibrations due to viscous cab mounts and a suspended seat.
“About 15 years ago we used just one brand of machinery for all our operations – until we got a taste of a Volvo L90 C-Series wheel loader in 1995,” says Pertti Lahtinen, owner of Kone Lahtinen OY. “The L90 clocked 25,000 hours in 24 hour shifts throughout its lifetime without any problems. We still have different brands of machinery but 90% of the work is now done by our Volvos because of the machines’ superior fuel efficiency and performance. The Volvos are a lot more fuel efficient, which keeps our costs down and allows us to be more profitable.”