– both by truck and by bike
Name: Ville Karhulahti
Position: Log truck driver, Veljekset Nikunen Oy
Education: Vocational school for logistics, the profession has passed from father to son
Annual rings in Junnikkala: More than 10 years
Roots: In Kalajoki. Outside of work, the most important thing is the family.
The most important tool: The truck, Scania and Merc have become familiar
Junnikkala’s best-known product: Logs
Wooden eye: For forest within a radius of about 100 kilometers from the Junnikkala sawmill.
Motivation at work: Challenges and freedom
The journey of wood from the stump to the finished product is an efficient and high-quality chain in Junnikkala. Junnikkala has been using a logistic operation system already for a long time. Through the system, log truck driver Ville Karhulahti receives the information for the planning of the pick up.
This is how it works: First, the harvesting supervisor gives the harvester the information on where to go for felling – the driving order is given. Once the felling has started, the harvester machine gathers the information of the felling, and at the end of the day the numbers of how much wood has been felled into storage are sent out. Based on this information, Karhulahti makes route plans using the program’s map data. But everything can’t be automated and calculated by machines; more detailed information and tips from the harvesting area are exchanged with Ville by purchasing managers or harvester machine drivers over the mobile phone.
When Ville Karhulahti describes his work as a log truck driver, a very interesting picture is drawn of the work. Log truck driver needs to be obviously a skilled driver, but also a safety expert, a meteorologist and a geographer.
“Self-initiative attitude and ability to solve problems as you go are necessary in this work,” Ville sums up.
Experience, practical driving skills and local knowledge are very helpful when transporting a heavy vehicle with a full load on challenging forest roads in ever-changing northern driving conditions.
Ville has been driving logs for Junnikkala for twelve years, so he knows the roads of the area well.
“The forest road network has become so familiar that quite often I could find my way to the felling without a map. The weather and the seasons dictate when it is possible to do the rides,” Ville says.
Forestry equipment and the road network have developed so much that log trucks can now operate all year round. Only the worst of the weather can briefly put a pause on the pick ups.
Ville agrees that Junnikkala is a significant company and operator as a maintainer of vitality of the rural area in northern parts of Finland.
“Junnikkala is a large and important employer and an important partner for forest owners in many ways.”
Junnikkala’s corporate story dates back six decades. Also Ville can be part of the long roots of the Junnikkala story when picking up logs. For example, Ville can remember a case when an older forest owner wanted to go with Ville to collect the logs. During the trip to the harvesting area the forest owner made a video for a memory for his grandchildren of the forest. He wanted to get some footage of himself driving the truck. And so Ville took the video of when “the granpa was behind the wheel of a log truck.”
“There have been several of these situations, when the forest owner tells at the felling area that he was planting the forest as a little boy.”
Ville does not have his own forest, but he says that he could also be interested in forestry as a hobby.
“At the moment, there is no room for extra activities,” says a father of four, the youngest of whom are under two year old twin boys.
When Ville gets into hobbies, mountain biking is his favorite. He heads off with his bike often towards forests and forest roads. Sometimes nice terrain has been spotted while working, and sometimes Ville goes to see the harvesting areas first from the back of the bike.