In addition to running his own farm, Kari Väisänen also operates a forestry business in Sonkajärvi, right at the heart of Ylä-Savo in Finland. While his farm mostly produces barley and oats, Harvus, Väisänen’s forestry business focuses on felling, thinning, and transporting trees, as well as selling firewood. The different activities of these two businesses are conveniently spread across the year — the farm work is largely done in summer, leaving the winter months for forestry.
Harvus carries out forestry contracting — felling, delimbing, thinning, and transporting trees, as well as selling firewood. Väisänen'sbusiness uses a Kesla-Valtra forestry package in all of his timber forwarding, a Valtra-Nisula package for felling and delimbing, and he produces firewood using a firewood processor. His contract work is mostly done in the neighboring forests, with customers including private land owners and the local Forest Management Association. The firewood he produces is made from trees from his own forest.
Contract work is done in the local area, with customers up to 40 km from the Harvus base of operations. For this reason, Väisänen can often drive his fleet to the site.
KESLA — New name, familiar face from PATU times
Väisänen has been a fan of Kesla’s tractor equipment for a long time and this is now his third generation of KESLA forestry packages. The first of these was the legendary PATU, which was later rebranded as KESLA. The latest package consists of the A Series Valtra N104 Hitech model, the KESLA 124HD forest trailer, and the KESLA 204T loader.
And to ensure there’s enough horsepower whatever the situation demands, there’s the KESLA auxiliary hydraulic pump series, too.
The KESLA 204T’s 6.8 m reach and 42 kNm lifting force perfectly matches Kari’s needs. The loader is equipped with a hydraulic pre-steering Walvoil SD8 to ensure smooth movements when working all day in the forest. The boom’s efficient work lights means work can be done throughout the year and greatly improves productivity.
Väisänen previously used a 92LHD before eventually outgrowing it and upgrading to a newer model with a load capacity of 10 tons. Without drive, he would never make it in the forest — and thanks to the new trailer’s hydraulic ‘Robson’ roller drive, this is never in doubt. The trailer comes fitted with a grapple rack and rear lights as extra features.
- The grapple rack has been especially useful, says Väisänen. - I regret though not also opting for the trailer’s highly-recommended toolbox.
Reliability is the key
Kari Väisänen currently owns his third KESLA forestry package, bought alongside his tractor from the AGCO Finland retailer in Iisalmi. As Väisänen mostly takes care of the repair and maintenance work for his machinery himself, the most important factor he considers when purchasing new machinery is always reliability.
- KESLA machines have proven to be both reliable and high-quality products. I’ve ordered spare parts from AGCO Finland and they’ve always arrived really promptly”, he remarks.
There’s a future in forestry
Kari Väisänen believes in the future of contract forestry work. The number of industrial plants seems to be growing, which further increases the need for wood. Väisänen feels that tractor-driven equipment can manage in the same environments as large harvesters and forwarders.
- The procurement and running costs of the tractor-based equipment are significantly lower. Another bonus is the fact that, according to Väisänen, smaller forestry machinery can be used for a wider range of purposes — I specialize in first thinning operations, and this is where the tractor-based machinery really comes into its own.