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Flying High with the Finns

by Nick Drew  |  Wed 20 May 2020

Flying High with the Finns

Thanks again to our International co-operation with leading Finnish publication Konepörssi who were the media partners for the event, I received a very kind invitation from my friend and colleague Olli Paivio who is editor of the magazine, to attend the show and to give support from a social media perspective. As a big admirer of Finland and the Finnish approach to life I am always delighted to return to the country and from a machinery perspective there are always interesting things and ideas to see up there.

Of course, the Finnish language is internationally renowned as the second hardest to learn in the world, so its always reassuring to know that so many Finns speak English as a second language. For this Englishman in Finland there was no better place to start my tour of the show than a visit to Finnish JCB dealer Mateko Oy, where once again I was greeted by another ice hockey playing friend Eetu Tyster, who was keen to tell us about some special machines they were showing.

Looking stunning in the customers corporate orange livery was a brand new JCB Hydradig 110W which has been purchased by JMN-Racing Oy, who coincidentally was one of the first customers in Finland to purchase a Hydradig back in 2016. This machine was a special order with blade at the front and back, but on arrival in Finland the rear blade was replaced by a wheeled loader style quick coupler to be able to utilise more attachments, like forks, bucket etc. The machine is also sporting special tyres in the form of Nokian Ground Kare 650/45-225, these are a very wide and firm 6 bar flotation tyre that are mounted on custom made rims made by Nokians subsidiary company Levypyörä Oy. Of course, being a Nordic region, no machine is complete without a tiltrotator, in this instance an Engcon EC209 with detachable gripper. The machine will work in the Helsinki metropolitan area on utility work, where its compact dimensions make it an ideal solution.

Also sporting custom paintwork, this time direct from the factory, was this blue JCB 413K Nordic Edition compact wheeled loader which has been purchased by Konepalvelu Rauhamäki Oy, having traded in an old 412S model. He is one of the first in Finland to invest in the Snowek Trombia a very high tech sweeper attachment which is waterless and dust free, having attachments such as this means the machine can achieve more utilisation throughout the year, especially during the long winter months and after the snow has gone, when they have to sweep up the grit that has been put down on roads and pavements.

The new 150X HD hydraulic excavator was the first of its kind to be sold in Finland, this model has had substantial forestry modifications installed, including full length track support “skis” with a wear pad on every second track pad, side impact protection, heavy duty under belly guarding and lower front glass protection, these additions were fabricated by MEP Steel who are based in Ylöjärvi next close to Tampere. The machine is also fitted with another Finnish product, the Marttiini mTILT20 tilting hydraulic quick hitch. These Marttiini are highly regarded for the forestry applications with the rams being protected inside the metal structure.

The electric machinery buzz (pun intended) is also happening in Finland and Mateko Oy had a 19C-1 E-TEC on display which has been bought by company called West Express Oy, who also work in the Helsinki area.

Talking all things electric, there was a lot of emphasis on environmentally friendly power sources and solutions at the show especially electric but also Hybrid machines. According to Suomen Rakennuskone Oy the regional Komatsu dealer, the demand for its Hybrid models is steadily on the up.

The dealer had two examples on its stand at Maxpo the UK built 21-tonne class HB215LC was being put through its paces on the demonstration plot while the 36-tone HB365LC was on static display.  

Lännen MCE (Mobile Construction Equipment) Group had an impressive line up of its Multi-Functional backhoe loaders on display at Maxpo, but also chose the event to showcase its new range of Lundberg utility machines. On display was the second largest in the range the 6250 which competes in the 5.5 to 6.5 tonne range. This Nordic region-specific machine is suitable for all year-round use in a variety of applications including grounds maintenance, snow clearance and gritting.

The new machine features a new lightweight fibreglass hood which is easily handled by one person which when slid back reveals a Deutz TCD 3.6 L4 Stage V emissions compliant diesel engine which uses AdBlue and DPF to achieve compliancy. The Deutz engine also has even more green credentials as it can be run on renewable HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) which is now readily available in Finland.

Compact loader manufacturer Avant’s stand was a hive of activity with a number of the distinctive green liveried machines being showcased. The popular 640 model was being demonstrated by one of Avant’s long-standing customers who was thrilling the crowds with his skills using a variety of attachments. On static display was the latest model to join the range, launched earlier this year at Bauma, Avant’s largest ever loader the 800 Series 860 model which was shown with a fully glazed cab.

Long established Finnish screening bucket manufacturer Allu had a large number of their products on static display. The company were also demonstrating its Transformer DN 3-7 screening bucket with 8mm TS screening blades mounted on a Cat 330F excavator. The demonstration showcased the benefits of their patented blade structure which enables three different end product fragments sizes from one Allu Transformer bucket, according to an Allu spokesperson on the stand Allu not only offers the widest range of different sized models, but also with doubling & tripling blades, they now have the widest range of blade variations on the market.

Talking of attachments Epiroc was showing their brand new concrete pulverizer the CC 3100 P Tipping the scales at 3470kgs and designed for excavators ranging from 25 – 40 tonnes, the unit has 700mm jaw depth, a crushing force at the upper blades of 430 tonne and 112 tonnes at the jaws, maximum jaw opening space is 832mm.

Kubota dealer Konesilta Oy had a wide range of the Japanese designed machines on display including the all new KX080-4@ (Alpha) which was sporting steel track pads and in true Nordic fashion was fitted with a shiny chrome light bar on the roof of the cab. There was also Kubota action for the visiting kids too with a fairground style hydraulic excavator and sand pit for the next generation of young Finnish operators to hone their skills.

Honka Trading Oy are the main Takeuchi dealers in Finland and they had virtually all the models from the Japanese manufacturers range of excavators on display including the hugely popular and well received TB2150 R fixed boom model. Honka are also dealers for the Turkish built Hidromek range and had two models on display, an HMK140W rubber duck which has been sold to Rauman Kaivinoy and the new compact radius 15 tonne offering the HMK145LCR which was getting a lot of attention from visitors.

Long term Hitachi dealership Rotator Oy displayed a wide range of the familiar orange machines, including the latest Dash-6 mini excavators that were launched at Bauma earlier this year. Dominating the stand was the Hitachi Zaxis 690LCH which competes in the 70-tonne class sector. The company was also celebrating a milestone anniversary of 40 years as a JLG access platform dealership.

Finnish family-based company Cernos Oy is celebrating 25 years in business. The company produce the Cobra range of screening buckets suitable for excavators ranging from 3.5 tonnes to 40 tonnes. Cernos Oy spokeswoman Pia Hyrkäs said that the buckets, which are designed by her husband and fabricated by themselves in Finland are amongst the best in the business.

The Cobra Next Generation Screening Buckets can be supplied with mounting brackets for both excavators and wheeled loaders and are available in sizes 0.2 – 6.5 m3 as standard. An integrated dust binding system is also available for all Cobra screening buckets. 

Finland’s bitterly cold climate during the winter months means that they all need to work smarter with less input from men and women on the ground, hence, machine attachments for a whole host of applications are the key to surviving the harsh conditions and keeping machines working all year round. As such, you could not walk very far around the showground without encountering an attachment supplier showing kit ranging from snow ploughs and sweeper brushes to skid steer mounted grader units.

The Wacker Neuson stand was an interesting one for me but for different reasons. In the UK recently we have seen the massive impact the company has had with its game changing Dual View site dumper, but here in Finland there was virtually no site dumpers to be seen on the stand, with the exception of a solitary DW15e electric forward tipping dumper. The reason behind this according to my Finnish friends is that site dumpers are rarely used in Finland, with contractors preferring to use compact wheeled loaders or trailers mounted behind excavators for moving materials.

Talking of trailers being drawn by excavators, on the Doosan dealers, Real Machinery stand I came across this nice example of a Doosan DX57W “baby duck” with single axle tipping trailer. This machine is entering the fleet of RealRental a spin off plant hire business the dealer has established.

Hyundai Construction Equipment dealer Suomen Telekone Oy had some stunning examples of excavators in custom paintwork on display, including a 15-tonne class compact radius HX145LCR in black with silver decals. Another machine of note was the HX140HWc (High Walker). This was another example of a machine’s specced up for the busy forestry sector in Finland with heavily strengthened undercarriage and a Marttiini tilting quick coupler. Also on stand was this HX130LCR in stunning white livery.

Following a loud speaker interview featuring myself, I was amazed to receive a message from another English guy Jack Brogan who invited me to visit the Movax stand. Incredibly Jack relocated to Finland just over a year ago having received a job offer from the Finnish specialists in side grip piling solutions. A young man, Jack is already living the Finnish dream and suggests he will be very happy to make it his home for the future. Jack was keen to show us Movax’s latest product the SG-40 N a high frequency pile driver which features fixed eccentric movement.

Jack was also keen to show us the company’s training simulator, thought to be the only one of its kind for piling application training.

Liebherr’s Finnish division featured a wide range of its extensive product range and a couple of machines really caught my eye, firstly the stunning black LH30 material handler sold to long established Helsinki based scrap metal and recycling firm Kannon Romu Oy. And secondly the R 938 the second largest model in Liebherr’s Generation 8 range that was launched at Bauma earlier this year. This machine which has been sold to Purkupiha Oy one of Finland’s largest demolition contractors, was also sporting another famous Finnish manufactured attachment in the form of a Rammer 4099E hydraulic breaker, from its all new Excellence range of hammers.

Volvo Construction Equipment Finland Oy chose Maxpo as the venue for its regional round of the Volvo Operators Club challenge finals, where competitors took part in the competition by using a L35GT wheeled loader and an EC140ELM hydraulic excavator, the latter involving the placing and replacing of basketballs onto various sized cones against the clock.

The top two winners were in first place Antti Huovila and in second place Aleksi Ylitalo, both of whom went on to represent Finland in the European finals which were held in Eskilstuna, Sweden in October.

Helsinki based Metso showcased two of its mobile screening machines at Maxpo. The Lokotrack ST 2.3 was lunched at Bauma in April and is powered by a 55kw Cat C3.6 Stage V emissions compliant engine. This example was the first one to be purchased by a Finnish customer, Hämeenlinna based J. Koskenmäki Oy.

The other larger screener on display was something of a world exclusive preview of the new Lokotrack ST 4.10 which the company said they will be launching at ConExpo in Las Vegas early next year.

In summary, Maxpo was another great Finnish plant and machinery event that had a good friendly family feel to it with every one being welcoming and enthusiastic, it’s a place I can never get enough of and I look forward to returning again real soon.

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