Giant Trucks Enable Timber Transport That is Kinder to the Climate

Metsähallitus’ giant truck trial expanded in the autumn of 2016, when two 84-tonne timber trucks known as the Little Giants began transporting timber in northern and eastern Finland. P&A Trans uses the Little Giants to transport timber from Metsähallitus’ multiple-use forests in Lapland to the Rovaniemi railway terminal. The transport company Kuljetusliike O. Malinen Oy’s Little Giant transports timber from forests in Kainuu to wood processing plants in Kuhmo, Uimaharju in Joensuu, Oulu, Lieksa and Kuopio.

In addition to the Little Giants, a large 104-tonne giant truck transports timber from Upper Lapland to Rovaniemi for Metsähallitus. Deployed by Ketosen Kuljetus Oy a couple of years ago, the truck is the largest vehicle combination in Europe, aside from oversize transports subject to special permits.

The giant trucks form part of the Finnish Transport Safety Agency Trafi’s High Capacity Transport truck experiment. The higher transport capacity of timber trucks has a wide range of benefits. If 20 percent of the annual transport volume of Metsähallitus Forestry Ltd were transported by 100-tonne giant trucks and 80 percent by 84-tonne Little Giants instead of the current 76-tonne fleet, the number of loads would be reduced by over ten thousand a year. This would involve a reduction in the annual mileage of three million kilometres and save more than a million litres of fuel. The amount of carbon dioxide emissions, which are harmful to the climate, would fall by around three million kilos.

Giant trucks currently handle around two percent of Metsähallitus’s timber transports. We are working towards increasing that proportion in the coming years.

Photo: Juri Laurila