Four deca­des with Ponsse in the forests of nort­hern Swe­den 

 When Rolf Nyström upgra­ded an older har­ves­ter in the 1980s, he chose a har­ves­ter head from Ponsse. That was his first con­tact with the Fin­nish manu­fac­tu­rer, but it was defi­ni­tely not his last. He now looks back on 40 years with Ponsse. 

Nyström has fol­lowed the deve­lop­ments wit­hin the fore­stry mac­hi­nery  clo­sely  – ini­tially as an emplo­yee and sub­sequently as an ent­repre­neur. He cur­rently has a PONSSE Cobra har­ves­ter and a PONSSE Buf­falo forwar­der. The mac­hi­nes ope­rate in a two-shift sys­tem in rege­ne­ra­tion fel­ling in and around the Jokk­mokk area in nort­hern Swe­den. 

Nyström ope­ra­tes the har­ves­ter. During his early years in the industry, he also drove a two-grip har­ves­ter.  

“There have been fan­tas­tic deve­lop­ments in tech­no­logy. Hydrau­lics, mec­ha­nics, mate­rials, elect­ro­nics, ergo­no­mics and the dri­ver envi­ron­ment, lite­rally eve­ryt­hing. High pro­duc­ti­vity, relia­bi­lity too. These days, we take it for gran­ted that eve­ryt­hing works.”

When Nyström is not in the har­ves­ter or wor­king with com­pany admi­ni­stra­tion he likes to go hun­ting and fis­hing.

His com­pany, Rolfs Skogs­mas­ki­ner AB, pri­ma­rily works for Sveas­kog. The forests are typical for the region, almost exclusi­vely pine trees and with the ave­rage trunk size for nort­hern Swe­den of 0.20 to 0.25 cubic met­res. 

In 2019, the com­pany recei­ved the har­ves­ter PONSSE Cobra, which was the first of the new gene­ra­tion to arrive in Swe­den. The PONSSE Buf­falo fol­lowed in Sep­tem­ber last year. Furt­her back in time, the com­pany also had the pre­vious gene­ra­tion Cobra. 

Well balanced fleet

Nyström is happy with the Cobra and apprecia­tes the all-round qua­li­ties of the Buf­falo. Toget­her, the mac­hi­nes form a fleet that is well sui­ted to the tasks at hand. 

“The har­ves­ter has plenty of hours on the clock, and it will the­re­fore soon be time to replace it”, says Nyström, who is now loo­king into a PONSSE Scor­pion. 

Towards the end of his time at school, Nyström thought about beco­ming a ran­ger, but with a small family mem­ber on the way, he wan­ted to stay clo­ser to home.  

“Fore­stry is a natu­ral part of the count­ry­side here, and I have never regret­ted my choice  to work with fore­stry mac­hi­nes.” 

When Nyström first ente­red the industry, it was com­mon for mac­hi­nes to have a very long lifes­pan. They were repai­red and wel­ded. Engi­nes, gear­boxes, hydrau­lic pumps and other parts, were replaced. In actual fact, it was exactly this kind of repair work that led him to encoun­ter with Ponsse. 

“At the time, I had no idea what kind of com­pany Ponsse was, but I cer­tainly do now”, he says with a smile, deligh­ted to have fol­lowed the Fin­nish manu­fac­tu­rer from the early 1980s onwards. 

Tal­king of the long lifes­pan of these mac­hi­nes: After the devas­ta­tion caused by Storm Gudrun in the south of Swe­den in 2005, Nyström was cal­led on to help in the hard-hit area. With his PONSSE Ergo, he then found him­self quite close to his old har­ves­ter that he had equip­ped with a Ponsse har­ves­ter head many years ear­lier. 

“The new owner was deligh­ted to come in con­tact with me, as we had come up with a num­ber of special solu­tions for the mac­hine during the time I owned it.” 

Ser­vice Agree­ment — The obvious choice 

Sig­ning a PONSSE Active Care Ser­vice Agree­ment was an obvious choice for Nyström. 

“It means you know ser­vices will be done – in the right way and at the right time. Added to which, Ponsse knows the his­tory of every mac­hine, which is use­ful when it is time to replace it.” 

Even though the nea­rest Ponsse works­hop is a good dis­tance away, if any spare parts are nee­ded, they are still deli­ve­red quickly. 

“If we order a part in the mor­ning, it arri­ves by cou­rier that very eve­ning.”  

The gene­rally high relia­bi­lity means a great deal to Nyström, who would rat­her spend time hun­ting and fis­hing than ten­ding to a mac­hine. He sets great value by the free­dom his work affords him and having the forest as his place of work. Sum­mer is his favou­rite time of year, but he also really likes early spring. He would hap­pily live wit­hout period of December–February, howe­ver. 

Skil­led emplo­yees 

Nyström puts great store by his emplo­yees. Lars Olof Eng­man has been dri­ving the Buf­falo for many years. Anders Sten­man, who ope­ra­tes the forwar­der, is a more recent addi­tion. Nyström sha­res the har­ves­ter with his son, Wil­liam Jöns­son, who joi­ned the com­pany in 2008. 

Wil­liam Jöns­son dri­ves both the har­ves­ter and forwar­der.

“Skil­led ope­ra­tors are worth their weight in gold. It is impos­sible for us to com­pete with the mining industry when it comes to pay, but hope­fully the forest offers other com­pen­sa­tions.” 

Nyström feels the com­pany is about the right size. 

“I used to have two mac­hine groups, but the way we are now makes it easier to manage and also means I get to spend a lot of time in the har­ves­ter, which I like.” 

Rolf Nyström and his son Wil­liam Jöns­son like having the forest as their workplace. Here, they are visi­ting Ponsse AB in Swe­den as part of the 30th anni­ver­sary celebra­tions.