Palax’s cooperation with the Finnish reseller Hankkija has been seamless for 15 years: from year to year, Palax has remained the number one choice for firewood producers in the domestic market. During the annual training days, the novelties of the Palax collection were reviewed in the light of the X-Aim accessory.
At the center of the training days was the new accessory for firewood processors, the X-Aim, an automatic height adjustment of the splitting wedge that allows the user to always get consistent quality firewood. “The X-Aim is like switching from a manual transmission to an automatic transmission: you get used to the ease and there’s no going back,” describes Timo Talvitie, the host of the Palax training days. In practice, the user of the firewood processor focuses only on feeding wood and sawing: the pulse sensor reads the thickness of the wood in the log clamp and sends the data to the electronic control unit (ECU) which adjusts the wood in the middle of the splitting wedge with the help of a hydraulic valve. Logs less than 10 cm in diameter are automatically split in half.
In addition, the X-Aim’s touch screen details a lot of useful productivity data for the user: for example, operating hours and total production which can be used to take the right measures such as bearing lubrication or blade maintenance. For circular saw machines, information on the speed of the cutting blade and the speed of the tractor PTO shaft is useful in order to avoid the most common problems of rotating the blade too rapidly or too slowly. In order to get the right values, the only parameter that needs to be set is the length of the firewood.
“Novelties such as X-Aim are happily welcomed. X-Aim brings ease to work which customers will definitely appreciate, especially those who make firewood for their profession”, says Jarkko Virkkunen who works for Hankkija in Eastern Finland (Kuopio). He sees that in the next autumn, many may be interested in replacing their old machine with the new machine compatible with X-Aim: the accessory will not be retrofitted but only installed for the new machines. The novelty value is increased by the fact that so far the feature is the only one available in the size range of Palax firewood processors: C900.2, C750.2 and D410.
C750 and D360 are popular in Finland
Jouni Uusi-Rauva, an expert at Hankkija in Western and Inner Finland region (Tampere), chooses C750 as his favorite in the Palax range: a fast circular saw firewood processor that is easy to use with joystick control. “Palax machines are robust, functional and keep their reputation and price. Hydraulic conveyors are also sturdy and good.”
Kari Rahikainen from South-Eastern Finland’s (Mikkeli) Hankkija delivers a third of the firewood processors to professionals and the rest goes to the consumers which also includes joint machines shared by clubs and neighborhoods. The C750 and D360 have been the favorites. “Customers have been satisfied. Palax machines are perceived to be reliable and easy to use.”
Jarkko Virkkunen also raises operational reliability as a number one feature of Palax machines. According to him, customers also value domesticity. “It is grateful to sell Palax. The support from the factory has been great and the cooperation has always gone very well”, he says. The most popular machine of Palax’s range in his area has been the C750.
Old machines make room for new ones
During the training days, it became clear that production of the C700 Combi will end at the factory as its type approval expires: the new safety criteria require a safety distance of at least 80 cm between the blade and the user.
The discontinuation of the hand-fed circular saw blade classic is a bit sad for some of Hankkija’s experts, as the machine’s popularity in the domestic market has managed to hold its ground from one decade to another. However, the required upgrades would increase the machine’s manufacturing costs out of hand and therefore would not be profitable.
However, dealers can sell the C700 Combi as long as it is in their stock. In the future, modern firewood processors with in-feed conveyors will be better and easier to use than the Combi.
In the past, Palax’s familiar hydraulic splitters X1000 and X600 have also experienced the same fate with safety requirements and are no longer in production. Introduced at the training days, the new large-sized X1100 attracted a lot of positive interest with its 10 tonnes of splitting force. X1100 is a robust log splitter meeting the latest safety regulations and including a hydraulic log lifter and a hydraulic height adjustment of the splitting wedge.
Inspirational conversations and good team spirit are the best in the training
The best thing about the training is that Hankkija’s experts working in various machine centers and stores across the country get to meet each other and the suppliers on the spot: conversations are vibrant and sharp questions can be asked directly from the representatives of different factories on site. This time, the training days were hosted by Junkkari Oy which had conscientiously taken into account the Coronavirus safety recommendations and guided participants in small groups from one training session to the next.
Palax thanks both the participants and the event organizers for the successful training days!
The X-Aim equipped Palax C900.2 next to Jouni Uusi-Rauva has been tested by professionals both in Estonia and Finland.
Timo Talvitie (on the right) shows Kari Rahikainen that the splitting wedge of the X-Aim machine has special notches from which the ECU reads the height.
Jarkko Virkkunen (on the left) tries out how the control of the Palax X1100 hydraulic splitter feels like.