Digger Man

Digger Man Blog

by Nick Drew  |  Mon 17 Apr 2017

In search of “Golden Oldies” in Finland

One of the most popular topics on this blog since its inception in 2008 is the discovery of old machines that are lying around in fields or even just abandoned by the roadside around the world. During my recent trip to Finland we came across some more examples which I just had to capture on camera.

In search of “Golden Oldies” in Finland
First up is a less well-known brand from Finland called ARA. This example of what I suspect is a 10 tonne class AK31 wheeled excavator model, would have been manufactured sometime between 1965 to around 1974 when the model was replaced by the AK131. In 1980 another Finnish company called Lokomo bought out the ARA excavator business. The ARA machines were built at a factory in Turku on the south-west coast of Finland possibly in the same area where Sandvik have a factory today. Photo: Courtesy of Olli Paivio.  One of the primary goals of this trip was to take a look at the products of Loimaa based Lannen Tractors Oy, who coincidently are celebrating 60 years in business in 2017. These days the company is more well-known for their articulated backhoe loaders which are truly amazing machines. However back in the 1970’s the company did also produce a range of hydraulic excavators consisting of wheeled and tracked versions. On the drive back from visiting a backhoe loader customer that will be featured in a future edition of Earthmovers Magazine, we came across this Lannen M213C wheeled excavator. Interestingly enough there is a connection with the Finnish ARA and Lokomo companies mentioned earlier, as Lannen had taken over the manufacture of Lokomo excavators in 1985, thus inheriting the ARA heritage too. The M213C was a 14 tonne class machine and was one of a 4 model range topped by the M219C which tipped the scales at 19.1 tonnes. This example we discovered had clearly suffered a problem with its main boom pin but I have no doubt that it is still a runner, just in need of some TLC to get her up and running again. In this shot we see my friend and long term photo journalist for Finnish publication Koneporssi, Olli Paivio (Right) and Lannen MCE Oy Export and Project Sales Manager Petteri Ylinen checking out the old girl. Talking of Lokomo during a walk-around at one of the venues of the Mansen Morinat open house event, we came across this 1970’s model Lokomo AH132 motor grader which was up for sale for an optimistic 9,900 Euros. The Lokomo business has a long history in Finland as a producer of a wide variety of heavy machinery from its production facility in Tampere, which was founded in 1915. The factory is still there to this day and is now under the ownership of Metso who produce mobile crushers and screening equipment. One old machine that was certainly in good shape was the 1966 Caterpillar 988A which was on display at Finnish Caterpillar dealership Witraktor in Tampere. I have not been able to establish who did this restoration but I think you will agree they have done a fantastic job on this iconic Caterpillar model that still features in its upgraded status in the Cat range to this day. I’m still coming down from the highs of this visit to Finland and looking forward to returning again in the future.

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