Eero Raina, Finland

"The customer is demanding. Therefore, the firewood vendor must invest in quality and punctuality of delivery."

The operation of Klapukauppa began in a slightly candid manner in 2003, when I was still employed as a mechanic by Terästakomo, and the new model, the Palax 70, was introduced. As I was keen to experiment with various gadgetry, more firewood started to heap up than I was able to burn in my own fireplace.

So, I started selling the firewood. I soon bought a Palax 70 of my own, accompanied by a light log deck. My customer base increased from year to year, and my private forests were no longer sufficient for the supply, and I had to start purchasing raw wood from the market.

I then ran out of time and, consequently, decided to leave my day job. As the amount of wood to be processed increased, I found it slightly difficult to store and dry the firewood in the open air, mainly because of the shortness of the summer in Finland. In retrospect, my decision to invest in a vacuum dryer facility and storage of nearly 2,000 cubic metres was just right.

I have still had the privilege to test the new machines, as well as the improvements to the existing ones, orchestrated by the active product development department of Palax. Not all of these machines ever entered the manufacturing process, but despite that, I have bought some of the "ripest" fruit of this development work for myself.

My present fleet comprises the fast Palax 70s, accompanied by the Palax Midi deck and screen cleaner. The machinery is renewed according to needs. Today, the production volume has been consolidated on a level corresponding to the yearly throughput of the dryer facility. Increasing the production would require expanding the drying capacity and considerable extra effort in marketing, and most likely, increasing the marketing area.