Log Loading Finals 2019: The best timber loader in Finland

Saku Simpanen has qualified for the finals of the Finnish Timber Loading
Championships seven times. In Maxmo year 2019 he finally won first place.

TIMBER LOADING is usually an independent job. You are surrounded by the forest and work at your own pace. The Finnish Timber Loading Championships differ considerably from the contestants’ normal work routines. The audience is watching your performance avidly, but you still have to load quickly and faultlessly.
“I have participated in the fi nals before and always feel excitement and tension, but it has diminished over the years” Saku Simpanen muses.

June, 2019 he won the men’s series of the Finnish Timber Loading Championships held at Alucar’s 35th anniversary party. It took him 5 minutes and 41 seconds to pile up his load.

Every year, Saku Simpanen anticipates the Timber Loading
Championships and meeting up with old friends with pleasure

THE PRIZE was a trip to the Hiab factory in Stargard, Poland. It was awarded to the three best timber loaders in the competition who got to get acquainted with the loader crane factory.
“It was a very rewarding trip. We had great conversations and felt that our opinions on how to develop loader cranes were valued,” Simpanen says.
In his own words, Saku Simpanen has been driving logging trucks for as long as he remembers. He was only 18 the fi rst time he took part in the Finnish Timber Loading Championships.
“The equipment has advanced a great deal, and the crane used in the competition is very different to the one most contestants are used to. Its movements are sharper and it’s a little stiffer than older cranes.”

The atmosphere at the
competition is great. It’s one
of the highlights of my year.

COMPETING IS IMPORTANT to Simpanen. He waits eagerly for the next trial, where he knows he will meet a lot of the same contestants and friends.
“The atmosphere at the competition is great. It’s one of the highlights of my year.” Saku Simpanen’s transport company is located in the village of Säviä in Pielavesi, North Savo. Saku and his wife have owned the family business since 2006. In addition to Saku, there are seven other drivers.
As Simpanen’s company has been an Alucar customer for more than ten years, he was already familiar with the location of the competition in Maxmo. “I go there almost every year to pick up equipment and parts, and for servicing. This time the competition gave me a different reason to visit,” he says happily.