The V-Slider now also transports stilted cargo compartments

The V-Slider, which operates hydraulically and couples to semi-trailers, is developing in to an even more diverse tool. At the beginning of this year, the first V-Sliders first equipped with tailgate lifts and Vähälä Oy’s stilted cargo compartment sliders were produced at VAK.

konttisliderVAK’s closed V-Sliders have already been used at Lauri Vähälä Oy for some time for the transportation of general cargo and groceries. However, since the company’s operations are mainly based on interchangeable cargo compartments, in which case the idea of a V-Slider that could also be used to change a stilted cargo compartment emerged. Thus, there would be access to a tool, which could be used to transport very diverse cargo, both between terminals and directly to customers.

We began to draft a stilted cargo compartment slider, and we showed the draft to Lassi Virtanen. We were already previously aware that VAK has a superior design department and strong production, which is capable of producing complete products in accordance with our needs. It was only a few months after the first design meeting, that we were able to deploy the stilted cargo compartment slider,” says Ari Karjalainen, Vähälä Oy’s Procurement Manager.

The new cargo compartment slider allows for a 76-tonne articulated vehicle, where the weight of the load is evenly distributed throughout the length of the articulated vehicle. Karjalainen estimates that in case of certain transports, such an articulated vehicle produces advantages for its users.

The V-Slider that transports stilted cargo compartments allows us to combine the production of trailer and semi-trailer combinations in a completely new way. The first trailer has now been in use for a few weeks, and we have been very satisfied with it.

Innovators succeed

The structure of the customised stilted cargo compartment slider is an applied version of the standard V-Slider. The chassis runs through VAK’s production with other slider chassis, and even servicing it takes place in a familiar manner. Lassi Virtanen promises a service life of more than ten years for the V-Slider, if it is serviced well.

VAK Huoltopalvelut Oy’s nationwide network is previously familiar to Lauri Vähälä Oy’s drivers.

We operate as part of the Schenker network throughout Finland. Our own terminals are located in Jyväskylä, Oulu, Ylivieska, Rovaniemi and Kemi. Thus, we operate on Finland’s longest consecutive connection routes, and for this reason a branded maintenance network is an important service for us,” states Ari Karjalainen.

As a family business, Vähälä-Yhtiöt prefer to recommend other domestic family businesses, such as VAK. Vähälä-Yhtiöt is celebrating their anniversary: the company shall be 80 years this year. Family businesses are aware that only innovators and unprejudiced developers within the industry will make it in the highly-competitive logistics industry, where customers’ needs constantly change.

Competition advantage must be sought in even the slightest differences. Therefore, we seek and develop tools and innovations that are even more customised for the work duties, which best serve our business operations. In this work, VAK is an excellent partner, because customisation and customer-specific products are VAK’s speciality,” praises Ari Karjalainen, Vähälä Oy’s Procurement Manager.


Reliable domestic operator

When work is carried out in forests, far from terminals and workshops, it is of utmost importance that tools operate reliably.

VAK’s hooklift will not get stuck in the forest with its tip in an upright position, even if there is no electricity,” says Mika Eerola, Hakevelhot Oy’s entrepreneur.

Hakevelhot-koukku-VAKHakevelhot Oy is a company located in Hauho, which produces bioenergy and chipping services, and usually carries out its operations in challenging conditions at the end of long forest roads, where maintenance is far away. Therefore, the most important requirement of tools is that they function - even in extreme frost conditions and sleet weather conditions.

From the beginning of August, Hakevelhot has been using the company’s first VAK LK26 hooklift, and a 5-axle interchangeable trailer.

I selected VAK’s hook, because it is stable to tip and hook, as well as it seems robust, but above all because it is reliable. Even in case of a power cut, the hook can continue to be used manually, so it will not get stuck in the forest with the tip up,” states Mika Eerola.

Alongside reliability, Eerola values that it is a domestic product. When it began to be topical to acquire a new hooklift, Eerola came across an advertisement, where another logistics company used VAK’s hooklift.

The company was of course familiar - everyone knows VAK - but I didn't know that hooklifts were being produced at Vahto again. When the product and workmanship seemed to be of high quality, it was clear that our new hook would be acquired from VAK,” says the entrepreneur.

The procurement process at VAK was close to perfect. Jarmo Laine is extremely familiar with the device, and was able to share all the facts. When the hook was being installed, we were also allowed to tour the plant to see, how the hooklifts and trailers are manufactured. That was also a great experience.

Eerola has already recommended VAK’s hooklift to his colleagues and is definitely going to acquire his next hooklift from Vahto.


Competition advantage and savings with the correct equipment

Kippaava_yhdistelmäProducts that have been customised for your own transport operations provide a competition advantage as well as savings. A unique combination was designed and produced for us at VAK, which is exactly how we wanted it,” says Matti Törmänen, a logistics entrepreneur from Rusko.

Logistics company Törmänen transports light plastic granules that are used as raw material in the plastic industry, from ports to production plants, and special locker feeders and compressor blowers are needed for unloading them. The same equipment is also used for loading, in which tips are needed, and tank containers are transported.

“The new B link, which has two tipping trailers to the product feeder, is able to transport all our freight. When there are two tipping trailers in a row, we save on mileage. It was a big investment, but savings reach tens of percent, i.e. the new combination provides us with a significant competition advantage,” estimates Matti Törmänen.

When the procurement of a new articulated vehicle became topical, Matti Törmänen, who lives close to Vahto in Rusko, did not even ask for quotes elsewhere than from VAK.

Not all transport equipment manufacturers will even customise trailers, but they rather offer their own standard products. At VAK, customers’ ideas are not pushed aside, but instead they are further developed in to functioning products. From a customer’s perspective, it is nice that someone truly wants to find a solution to problems,” concludes the logistics entrepreneur. Törmänen says that cooperation took place seamlessly. The entrepreneur, who lives close to the production plant, even visited with a driver to see the progress of design on a computer. In this way, desired changes could be implemented in time.

After a few months of use, Matti Törmänen says he is very satisfied with the articulated tipping vehicle. The end result was just as it should be, and the articulated vehicle has proven to be fully functional.


VAK equipment from father to son

Kuljetus KeisalaGood products and good service create long-term customer accounts. Kuljetus Keisala, from Alahärmä, is a customer at VAK already in the second generation: Father Heikki concluded his first purchase at Vahto in 1993, and in 2008 after a generational change, procurements at VAK have been carried out by son Pasi.

My father’s opinion continues to have a strong impact, because he has such a long experience in the industry. However, the most decisive aspect is the overall entity: such products that we truly need, flexible service and a functioning maintenance service,” says Pasi Keisala.

Over the years, the Keisalas have also made procurements from competitors, but have always returned to VAK. The company’s most recent procurement is a semi-trailer that has been customised for the distribution of cold products. The previous similar trailer was also VAK’s equipment, and it has been in use for 12 years, during which time it has accumulated a mileage reading of 2.5 million kilometres.

The new trailer is a well-implemented entity - I wouldn't change anything about it. It has bogie lifts on axles 1 and 3, which is why it is so agile, and can reach anywhere that the tractor can reach. The partitioning wall solution, where both the cold and freezer compartments can be accessed from their own doors, is good, as are the refrigeration unit’s rear control units and cargo bars at three tiers,” says Pasi Keisala as he lists the features that have facilitated everyday work.

He also separately mentions the interior lighting, which has been implemented with LED lights. The difference with the old one is tremendous. As the cargo compartment is also equipped with speakers, it is nice to work there.

The driver, who operates in Pohjanmaa, is also happy with VAK’s good maintenance service in Seinäjoki. Due to the quickly operating maintenance service, the equipment does not need to be left idle for long periods.

Whatever the issue, they will manage to sort it out,” Pasi Keisala praises.

Keisala also gives a good grade to VAK’s Jarmo Laine, who he has traded with for more than 20 years.

Similarily to other occassions, Jarmo suggested some new details, which have turned out to be functional. The experience and expertise of the salesperson end up being beneficial for the customer,” says the logistics entrepreneur.


Ease and safety

AutomaattipeiteJuha Anttila, who has worked as a logistics entrepreneur for 30 years, is able to value features in the equipment that facilitate work and increase safety. Therefore, Kuljetus Juha Anttila Ky’s new 5-axle tipping trailer is equipped, for example, with an automatic cover: the roof of the trailer opens for loading at the press of a button.

The automatically opening cover makes life a lot easier, and at the same time it is a question of safety. When you get old enough, you begin to appreciate not having to climb and manually wind the cover open,” says Juha Anttila.

“Investing in safety is also financially worthwhile, because even one injury can become more expensive than the automatic cover,” his son, Juuso Anttila, points out. Juuso Anttila also praises the ease of using the automatics: there are clear instructions in the control unit, which any driver can use without any specific training. The tipping trailer for the business in Taivassalo was a first of its kind for VAK. The pilot project was implemented in close and good cooperation with the entrepreneur, and the result pleased the user a lot.

The trailer that has been specifically designed for the transportation of grain, feed and other mixed goods, has proven in use to be just what it was meant to be.

The new trailer and all its features function well and look good. It features, for example, structures that are even safer for the driver, and a more slippery body floor, which makes it easier to unload. Hydraulics are saved, since the trailer does not need to be tipped right up when emptying it,” explains Juuso Anttila as he lists the advantages of the new trailer.

The trailer has only been in use for a few weeks, so we don’t have very much experience with it, but so far we have been very satisfied. The price was also reasonable,” Juha Anttila adds.


New cost-effective slider

Kuljetus JalonenLogistics entrepreneur Juha Jalonen says that he has received easy and uncomplicated service at VAK. The transportation of sea containers is now also easy and uncomplicated, since a new V-Slider combination designed in cooperation with VAK is in use, where trailers can be changed with each other in either order.

The weight of the load is always evenly distributed, when the containers can be reordered as you wish. They can also be unloaded and loaded in a smarter manner, i.e. there is no need no go to the port in between to swap the containers. Time and mileage are saved,” the entrepreneur rejoices.

The new slider was developed at the logistics entrepreneur’s own initiative. Jalonen who transports sea containers from Rauma’s port to all around Finland got fed up with managing containers that had to be delivered to different locations. A truck that was transporting containers may often have had to drive an extra trip via the port in order to load and unload in the desired order.

“I thought about, how work could be made more efficient and how to make the transportation of containers flow better. In case of a traditional slider, the shorter container is always in front and the longer one at the back, which in turn determines the order in which the goods can be unloaded. This sometimes causes a lot of extra kilometres,” says Jalonen as he describes the problem.

In May, the entrepreneur and his partner convened with VAK to come up with ideas on the changes that needed to be made to the traditional slider. Three months later, Juha Jalonen already had the new slider in use.

The diversity of the new trailer has been a joy and benefit almost every day. This is really useful, and I can warmly recommend it to everyone, who transports containers!


Expertise under control


Kuljetus Petri Nurminen’s newest hooklift vehicle is not any old truck. Due to the integrated remote-control system, the vehicle can be operated from outside the vehicle - a feature that Nurminen uses, when transporting asphalt to Lemminkäinen. There is no need to shovel the asphalt mass, as it is drained from the vehicle along a pipe directly to the site that needs filling. “The system saves a lot of work, when the filling can be carried out directly from the vehicle,” Petri Nurminen explains.

During the winter, when there is a break from asphalt work, the special vehicle is used for transporting grains and wood chips.

There used to be five remote control equipped trucks in Finland, but in February a sixth vehicle was manufactured. Kuljetus Petri Nurminen already has one remote-controlled vehicle, which was manufactured in Sweden.

I was very happy when I heard that the skills and readiness to manufacture these types of vehicles can also be found in Vahto. The remote-control unit and the “sprider mask” used for spreading asphalt were installed in this vehicle in Sweden, but cooperation between different operators has worked very well,” Nurminen says.

A colleague of mine had already recommended VAK, so it was easy for me to begin to trade with the company located in Vahto.

The logistics entrepreneur that mainly operates in the region of Turku appreciates both the expertise in manufacturing transport equipment as well as VAK’s maintenance services. It is a real advantage to drive a vehicle in for service, where the technology is familiar to them to the very last detail.

VAK’s standard work includes the manufacturing of very standard cold cargo wagons, but alongside that, expertise that is less frequently needed is treasured and developed.


VAK's V-slider is the most workable and reliable solution

VAK ReferenssitWhen transport entrepreneur Mikko Jaakkola needed a new trailer for the sea container transport, he soon decided that it would be VAK's hydraulic V-slider. Jaakkola is convinced that the V-Slider is the most workable and reliable solution for transporting sea containers.

"For the driver this combination is easy to work with and reliable. The hydraulic sliding body makes it very easy to move the container", says the entrepreneur.
Jaakkola thinks that with V-Slider he has got everything in one package. Other alternatives would have requiered building additional structures on the chassis to make it easier to move the container.

"When I make big investments, I study the product and different alternatives very carefully. VAK*s V-Slider has it all", says Jaakkola, owner of two trucks.

The driver Sami Pohjolainen and the entrepreneur Mikko Jaakkola are satisfied with the new V-slider which makes it easy to transport and move sea containers.


The right equipment saves time, effort, and money

VAK long trailerThe Swedish Skogströms Åkeri uses VAK's special trailers to deliver foodstuff all over Sweden because these extra long trailers save time, effort, and money. For the Swedish market VAK manufactures 19,6 metres long trailers – the whole vehicle being 23 metres in total. This super long trailer has two sets of steering axels which makes it easier to guide it through the crossroads and roundabouts.

"Our drivers have been really satisfied with the long trailers. They carry as much cargo as a conventional vehicle combination but loading and unloading is much faster as you don't have to release the trailer during the process. As a transport company we also save money by purchasing only one refrigeration unit instead of two", says Steen Skogström, the entrepreneur.


special trailer for car transportation

Vak erikoistuotteet

VAK is recognized for its special expertise. When you need insight in design and quality in manufacturing, VAK is the right partner for you. That is why for example the Uusikaupunki car factory's A-series Mercedes Benz -cars travel safely from the plant to the harbour in their tailor made VAK trailer.