When the municipal enterprise Oulun Infra, owned by the City of Oulu, procured a new Lundberg environmental management machine at the beginning of 2021, great expectations were already in place for the machine. At the municipal level, the replacement interval for machinery is considerably long, which is why a machine has to not only be efficient, environmentally friendly, and have multiple uses but also be highly durable.
The municipal enterprise Oulun Infra carries out daily, year-round work that keeps the city comfortable and functional, taking care of the environment, traffic, and public areas in the city of Oulu. Oulun Infra also offers earthworks, municipal engineering, land surveys, and geotechnical investigations services.
Its role is primarily what the public has become used to seeing “City employees” do on the streets over the decades. But the times are also changing in this industry, and today things are done differently in many respects.
In the work carried out by the City, emphasis is increasingly on efficiency, environmental friendliness, and, to some extent, cost savings. On the one hand, this means savings for taxpayers, but on the other hand, it also means that the appropriations allocated to machinery are under closer scrutiny.
This is visible in things such as the fact that machines are required to have a long service life and be durable – and, of course, to remain efficient throughout this long service life. When Oulun Infra conducted a tender process for the procurement of environmental management machines focusing on these needs, among other things, it ended up choosing Lundberg for the second time.
When the municipal enterprise Oulun Infra procured a new Lundberg environmental management machine at the beginning of 2021, great expectations were already in place for the machine. At the municipal level, the replacement interval for machinery is considerably long, which is why a machine has to not only be efficient, environmentally friendly, and have multiple uses but also be highly durable.
Around the city center throughout the year
Fleet Manager Kimmo Leskinen from Oulun Infra says that the area managed by the municipal enterprise has decreased in size considerably in recent years, and the operations currently focus on the city center and its outskirts.
This has also been visible in the number of equipment. During the busiest time, i.e. the winter season, roughly a dozen machines are in use, and a large proportion of them are rented to meet the need for snow removal.
Oulun Infra does have machines of its own, of course. In their case, versatility has played a major role. A machine not only has to be operational in every season, but its features and size also have to make it suitable for loading snow onto a truck, precise work in cramped places, and quick relocations from site to site, for example.
The Lundberg 6240 purchased in 2017 met this description, and it was quickly deemed to be excellently suited for Oulun Infra’s operations. When it came time to purchase a new machine in late 2020, a tender procedure led to a deal being struck over a lightly used display machine that represents the latest generation of Lundberg machines.
The machine in question is a Lundberg 6250, which has largely served as the personal machine of Maintenance Worker Petteri Airaksinen since January 2021.
In the picture with the Lundberg multipurpose machine, Oulun Infra's Fleet Manager Kimmo Leskinen and Maintenance Worker Petteri Airaksinen, who thinks that the machine has all the right features.
Occupational well-being improved in one go
Airaksinen, who previously operated a machine from a different brand, appears to be clearly satisfied with the new Lundberg after using it for roughly half a year.
- I have reason to be satisfied, it’s a good machine to work with, and all the features are just right, Petteri comments.
- Great and diverse hydraulic adjustments, quiet to operate, good visibility, and a spacious cabin, and you also don’t slow down traffic because this machine can drive at a speed of 50 kilometers an hour, says Airaksinen, listing the main features.
- The lifting height is also excellent, letting you dump snow onto a truck, he adds.
This is everyday life in the center of Oulu in the winter since in practice there is no space for snow blowing or stacking in the area.
The machine, which was able to show off its abilities in winter work right off the bat, also proved to be an excellent tool for the winter season in other respects.
- If you compare it to larger wheel loaders, those are often too large and not sensitive. This machine also worked efficiently in more cramped places downtown, and it was often sent to the most challenging locations last winter, Airaksinen recounts.
”Great and diverse hydraulic adjustments, quiet to operate, good visibility and a spacious cabin, and you also don’t slow down traffic because this machine can drive at a speed of 50 kilometres an hour. The lifting height is also excellent, letting you dump snow onto a truck.”
In addition to ploughing and loading snow, the machine also has a snow spreader bucket and a brush device that is used when there is no snow on the ground. Airaksinen says that the hydraulic power is excellent.
- It can best be noticed from the fact that I’ve never once had to think about it. The power has always been sufficient, he declares.
Because he works amidst busy traffic and in cramped spaces in the city, the machine operator also praises the good visibility, which has been further improved with a camera. But that is not all.
- A simple and old invention though it may be, the wide mirror found on the machine’s sun visor is still even better than the camera. You only need to glance at it from the corner of your eye while working to immediately notice any movement behind you, Petteri points out.
Kimmo Leskinen thinks along the same lines.
- Although cameras are a great addition, an actual line of sight with the naked eye is always the best and most reliable method. In this machine, this aspect is at a good level.
Because the driver works amidst busy traffic and in cramped spaces in the city, the machine operator also praises the good visibility, which has been further improved with a camera.
A machine for decades to come
But what about reliability and the future? What types of concrete wishes have been expressed regarding the machine’s service life?
- No exact number of hours or years has been specified as the replacement interval, and in practice, the machine will be replaced once the repair and maintenance costs start getting too high or a significant mechanical breakdown occurs, Kimmo Leskinen says.
- But rather than years, we now usually talk about decades.
It is a large number, but that is the goal that Oulun Infra has set out to pursue with both the previous and this newer Lundberg.
- The machine has a five-year maintenance agreement, which will get us far. It will also help us anticipate costs well, and everything related to these machines has gone well, from the purchase to everything afterward, Leskinen remarks.
- The appropriations are small nowadays. We need to get a good and reliable machine for them, he concludes.
The story was written in the summer of 2021.
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