When a passion for timber transport runs in the family

Kuljetus Laurikkala is a family business that has transported wood for four generations. The current entrepreneur, Olli-Matti, visited Alucar together with his father in 1996 to pick up his first timber truck. In the autumn of 2021, it was his turn to make the same trip with his own son Niko. The family business, trucks, Alucar and the whole industry has changed a lot during this time, but the shine of your first own truck never dims.

Kuljetus Laurikkala transports wood in Liminka, located just underneath Oulu. Multiple Laurikkala trucks are on the roads in this region, and the company has a dozen employees as well. The entrepreneur, Olli-Matti Laurikkala, has followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and father, and succeeded in growing the business significantly.

“Our revenue has quadrupled. We have grown mainly because it is what our customers have wanted. Everything has to be so grand and beautiful nowadays,” he smiles.

The success is not that big of a deal to Olli-Matti. However, the continuation of the business in the next generation and the passion his sons, Niko and Roope, have for the industry warms his heart.

“The children have been free to choose of course, but I probably would have been a little somber if they had chosen differently. This is not the easiest and smoothest path, but it has fed the family for decades now,” he says proudly.

“The passion for timber transport is strong when you are young”

When the youngest son’s first truck was ready and Olli-Matti arrived at Alucar’s factory to pick it up, the old memories came flooding back.

“I got my first Volvo in my twenties. I came to Maksamaa to pick it up with my father, and it was a huge moment for a young person.”

According to Olli-Matti, timber transport and timber trucks are of great interest to both of his sons. Niko gets to jump into the driver’s seat of the new Volvo FH16 right after the army. The older brother Roope already works for Kuljetus Laurikkala full-time.

“Timber transport is in their blood. The passion for this business is so strong when you are young that the moment you get your first timber truck is the highlight of your life. I know from experience that as time passes, that passion subsides and timber trucks become just trucks,” he laughs.

Timber trucks and the world are changing 

Olli-Matti designed Niko’s timber truck on behalf of the young man. In the 90’s buying a truck was much simpler.

“Back then all the trucks were almost the same. You bought what was sold. Nowadays every truck is unique and tailored to its owner’s needs. This is a good development. For instance, you can design the axle order in advance. Almost everything has changed in timber trucks, only the name remained the same,” Olli-Matti says.

Kuljetus Laurikkala has been Alucar’s customer for a very long time. When he first came to Maksamaa in the 80’s, Alucar’s factory was maybe five times smaller than it is today. The partners have grown their businesses side by side over the decades.

“Alucar’s products’ usability and durability are on a very high level. I like that the superstructure does not rust but stays in a good condition.” 

The last few years have been challenging in the timber transport industry. According to Olli-Matti, it seems that there is finally going to be a turn for the better at least in Oulu. Kuljetus Laurikkala aims at buying a new timber truck every year depending on the circumstances – there is always work to be done. The lack of drivers is the biggest challenge. 

“If other young people had the same enthusiasm as our sons, there would be nothing to worry about!”