Nisula Forest Oy

Nisula Forest Oy, located in Jämsä Halli, Finland, is a company that specialises in the design, product development and manufacturing of thinning harvesters, harvester heads, energy wood heads and other forestry machinery and equipment.

Nisula Forest Oy was established in 1978 with mechanical timber harvesting as its field of business. The company started as a contractor and operated with ten machines. Gradually, the main focus shifted to the manufacturing of forestry machinery.

Our products are the result of decades of experience in both practical harvesting work and product development and design. We have developed forestry machines and accessories since the very beginning. The first forwarder was made for the Company’s own use in 1978, a tail processor in 1981, and a grapple processor in 1984. Collaboration with other machine manufacturers started in 1986, when Nisula designed the HN125 motorised crane for Ponsse. A few years later, Nisula designed and made the prototypes for Ponsse’s H53 and H73 harvester heads.

At the turn of the millennium, Nisula started collaboration with Partek Forest. The multi-purpose harvester heads designed by Nisula and the company’s strong experience in combi machines provided a good basis for collaboration. As the result, Nisula manufactured harvester heads and multi-purpose heads for Valmet forestry machines for several years.

In 2005, Nisula started to build a retail network of its own.

History

1978

Custom made forwareder and the makers, Seppo and Ali Nisula

The self-made forwarder without name and Seppo & Ali Nisula

On Nisula’s farm was a Valmet 702 that the brothers believed to be quite suitable for the base of the forwarder. At Valmet’s factory in Suolahti, then a new excavator base was built based on the 702, in practice, the blank had a motor, gearbox, and stern. A cabin that had been there in the noise measurements was purchased from the cab factory in Kuorevesi. Valmet’s portal wheels were turned to point forward, making the nose of the machine shorter by 44 centimetres. Auxiliary frames, armors, cabin sub frame were made to reinforce the front of the machine. The articulated joint and the rear frame were also made from scratch, and the found unused Valmet CK’s tipping bunk was used as a load compartment, from which ultimately only the pivot parts were used. The bogie was made from the mid-lift centre axle of the MAN truck, and so there was a ground clearance of about 50 cm at the back of the machine. A Granab 4010 loader was deployed as the crane.

1981

The first Nisula processor

Thinking about a harvester

“After the harvesting of the storm damage, there were logs in the surroundings of the Kuorevesi commune, but there was also a shortage of harvesting equipment and foresters. In addition to the occasional extraction job, Seppo and I cut the wood with a chainsaw and then hauled the pieces to the side of the road. But it did not make sense to spend couple of weeks chopping, while the machine was waiting. Later trees were driven into a storage spot in a single day” Ali Nisula remembers.

In 1981, the common solution was to buy a harvester. The problem was similar to when planning to purchase the forwarder. Since there was already some extent of experience and skill of machine building, the brothers decided to make the harvester themselves. Those days it was still an era of processing, i.e., the foresters fell the trees, and the processor part just delimbed and cut the trunks. For making the processor, they went to check out the existing equipment at work. Solutions regarding hydraulics were inquired from the Aliranta brothers, but their schematics seemed too complicated.

The Nisula brothers decided to make the tail forwarder as simple as possible. They bought a Valmet 870CK, whose bogie and bunk had been removed. Next they made a sub frame to which a Granab 5010 crane was mounted. Then the processor part was made as an extension of the sub frame. After that only the delimbing knives, feed rollers and cutting saw were needed to create – or at least so they thought, based on their visit to see the factory-made forwarders at work. There were, however, more challenges involved due the brothers did not have any experience of similar mechanic constructions. In the processor section, wheels of a crane truck with diameter of 1.3 m were used as feeders and Sisu’s 2.8-liter crank motors were used as their feeding motors. So without a doubt, there was delimbing power quite enough.

Right from the beginning, there was a lenght measuring device integrated into the machine, which was truly precise. Thanks to this, the Nisulas were able to provide fixed-size logs for sawmills in the neighbourhood. The measuring device was created by a young, self-taught electronics wizard Matti Pietilä, who also built some automated functions into it in order to speed up the work.

1984

FIRST GRAPPLE PROCESSOR

The will to eat grew by eating

The brothers wished also to gain access for the markets of thinning forestry work. The tail processor on the CK was too big for thinning, so a grapple processor was designed at the Nisula workshop in 1984. Now, in the brothers’ logging sites, there were two operational processors and a forwarder, all of which were self-made. During the next year, the grapple processor was also converted into a tipping model, but the structure of the processor model was not ideal to act as a harvester felling the trees, so brothers started thinking about a new harvester head.

1987

The brothers started thinking about a new harvester head

Cooperation with Ponsse start

The Ponsse S20 machine was designed to be the chassis machine of the harvester, and so they went to look for one in Vieremä. During the same visit, it came out that at Ponsse, the staff was working on a harvester head that included a lot of the same ideas we had. For harvesting, we had figured to use a new type of crane suitable for cutting work, of which we had a draft on the paper, but at the first visit, we did not dare to show it. During our second visit at Vieremä, we introduced our idea to Einari Vidgrén. Einari looked at the drawing for five minutes without saying anything and finally said, “Well boys, let’s do that,” Ali Nisula remembers.

This was also a decisive step for the machine sales, and the first Ponsse S15 built on a shortened frame, built actually as a forwarder, arrived to Nisula in early 1987 – initially with a standard crane, but soon replaced by the first HN125 harvester crane.
In the spring of ‘88, updates were made to the harvester crane. At that time brothers asked whether the structure of the machine could be changed in order to improve visibility in the work area by moving the cabin upwards and backwards and by placing the hydraulic and fuel tanks between the engine and the cabin as well as by making some hydraulic changes. This agenda got Einari’s immediate acceptance: “Just go ahead boys and do whatever is best.” Thus, the first prototype of HS15 was built in a few weeks at Ponsse’s factory hall.

1990

ONLY PICTURE OF SELF MADE “MÖYKKY” HARVESTER

Möykky and new harvester head models

In 1990 brothers made a small four-wheeled thinning machine nicknamed “Möykky.” The axle assembly and the frame were still from the Valmet CK. The crane was modified from a truck crane, and the other parts were scraped together from wherever they were available with a good price. According to Ali Nisula, the machine made good financial revenue, even though its appearance was not much to talk about. The model of the harvester head was Nisula “40” and during the year 1992 the head was updated to model “50”.
Although contracting began to be extremely big, dense cooperation with manufacturers of forestry machinery and equipment continued. Testing and design work were carried out for different companies, and even some prototypes were manufactured.

1994

PONSSE 53 “ELMIA WOOD” VERSION FROM 1995

H53 and H73 harvester heads

At the end of 1994, Ali Nisula retired completely from day-to-day logging work and started to work full-time in the workshop. Seppo Nisula managed the contracting side of the company.

In Nisula they were pondering making a suitable thinning head for their own use. In the early spring of 1995, a preliminary deal was made on a four-wheeled Logman base machine. However, the deal got cancelled due Harri Suutari from Ponsse arrived to see the H53 prototype in the cutting work. After watching the scene, Harri announced that they needed such a grapple. He asked if it could be slightly modified and be ready for a demonstrated in early summer at Elmia trade fair in Sweden.

There were quite some difficulties in the work due a really tight schedule. For example, the hydraulic block of the grapple, manufactured with special arrangements on a public holiday and cutting into the production queue, was a dud. It simply didn’t work, and it was impossible to get a new one quickly. The block was disassembled, drilled and plugged in, and eventually, they got it to work. Team had to hurry in assembling and testing a grapple, and the last repainting for it was done on a transporting trailer only some minutes before leaving for Sweden. However, everything got finished, and the demonstration at Elmia was very successful. During the same trip, manufacturing contract of a bigger H73 model was agreed on. For it, a prototype series of three units – for testing purposes by Nisula and by Ponsse – was made during the following winter.

1998

FIRST PROTO OF COMBI MACHINE

Cooperation around Combi start

Just before the turn of the millennium, brothers began to sketch the first combi grapple. The very first version did not succeed. The grapple operated quite well but was too heavy. Development work and testing were naturally continued. The combi machine got popular. The combi machine that we assembled on a second-hand Valmet 838, catched an eye at Valmet, owned by Partek Group at that time. Thus, in 1999, a deal was signed on manufacturing the combi machines based on our prototype, and in 2001 the Valmet 801 Combi was put into serial production.

2001

THE RED HEADS CAME TO MARKET

Partek cooperation

The cooperation started well with Partek, but froze down as the result of organizational re-arrangements in the company after Partek got chopped apart. “Despite that, Nisula continued to manufacture one grapple model for Partek and Komatsu for several years”, Ali Nisula explains.

Manufacturing of the machines and equipment got bigger all the time, and in 2002 the workshop had to be expanded. At the same time, a CNC machine and other metal work units were acquired. With new production facilities, brothers started to consider the possibility of producing new products as well. In the early 2000s, the 400 series was sold under the Valtra brand and the head for Valmet harvesters was model 330.

2011

Strong internationalization begins

New products, new market areas

At the end of 2011, the export network was started to build step by step. The new strategy for coming years was introduced and factory facilities expanded to face the
future needs. Nowadays Nisula has 24 export countries and more than half of the turnover will come from export.

Nisula Forest has long experience in converting forwarders for combi work, tractors to forest work and excavators to logging use. Also the development around N5 thinning harvester is running stronger than ever. Nowadays the range of the harvester heads is from 285kg to 1400kg. We want to offer our customers cost-effective, superb alternatives for thinnings and special projects in which it is difficult to keep the bottom line in the black by using mainstream machinery

Nisula today

Today, Nisula is a strong industrial enterprise. Its main products are energy wood heads, harvester heads, multi-purpose harvester heads and parallel cranes. Nisula’s cost-effective N5 harvester head was launched in 2013. Fitting forwarders for multi-purpose use and tractors and crawler excavators for forestry work are also part of Nisula’s core business. We want to offer our customers cost-effective, superb alternatives for thinning and special projects in which it is difficult to keep the bottom line in the black by using mainstream machinery.

The modern production facilities in Halli, Jämsä provide a good setting for developing the business in the years to come. The future strategy of the company includes the development of increasingly cost-effective products for thinning and new alternatives that help the company’s customers succeed in their operations. Productivity, functionality and low operating costs guarantee the result in thinning operations – not horsepower or oversized pumps. We know this from experience.

The modern production facilities in Halli, Jämsä provide a good setting for developing the business in the years to come. The future strategy of the company includes the development of increasingly cost-effective products for thinning and new alternatives that help the company’s customers succeed in their operations. Productivity, functionality and low operating costs guarantee the result in thinning operations – not horsepower or oversized pumps. We know this from experience.

Values

Responsibility to customers and employees

For its customers and employees, Nisula Forest is a reliable partner that recognises its responsibility to them. We ensure that our employees are happy with their work and develop themselves as members of the Nisula team. As a Nisula employee, each worker is responsible for ensuring that the customers get value for their money.

Human-oriented collaboration

Customers are our most important partners, and understanding their needs is our most important goal. Flexible collaboration, common sense and human-oriented decision-making are important to us.

Self-motivated work community in which people work as a team

Happy and open atmosphere makes a work community in which every employee feels happy and comfortable. In the Nisula team, each employee plays an equally important role in ensuring that the end result is the best possible for the customer. We win as a team, and we lose as a team.

True enthusiasm in everything we do

Nisula Forest is a forerunner in the manufacture of high-quality, innovative and cost-effective forestry machinery and equipment for thinning operations. Our customers’ success is important to us. Our high-quality products are the result of practical experience, enthusiasm and close collaboration with customers.

Nisula’s personnel

Experience and confidence based on practical experience combined with youthful enthusiasm and development mindedness are the words that best describe the Nisula team. The careful work of each employee in each work phase ensures that you have a high-quality Nisula product at your disposal.

Partners

Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

FROM CENTRAL FINLAND TO THE WORLD TOGETHER.
– Cooperation between Nisula Forest and Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT will continue in 2020

Nisula Forest has been involved with Tommi Mäkisen’s Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT since its inception. During the 2016 and 2017 season, Nisula cooperated with Juho Hännisen and when Juho moved on to test driving at the end of the 2017 season, Nisula and Toyota Gazoo Racing signed a cooperation agreement.
“During 2019, we were able to offer dealers, customers and partners unique experiences from the rally world in close cooperation with the TGR team. Cooperation with the team led by Tommi was very smooth. Nisula also took clear steps forward as a brand, says Kalle Mattsson from Nisula.
“If you want to go further in the business world, besides quality products, you have to take care of building the brand. The continuation of the cooperation agreement for the 2020 period with Toyota’s factory team gives us a great opportunity to again take new steps forward. The best professional rally team in the world is also the best example of what it means to achieve goals in practice. It is great to show this success story to your own partners. There will definitely be new ideas for your daily work,” says Mattsson.

Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

FROM CENTRAL FINLAND TO THE WORLD TOGETHER.
– Cooperation between Nisula Forest and Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT will continue in 2020

Nisula Forest has been involved with Tommi Mäkisen’s Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT since its inception. During the 2016 and 2017 season, Nisula cooperated with Juho Hännisen and when Juho moved on to test driving at the end of the 2017 season, Nisula and Toyota Gazoo Racing signed a cooperation agreement.
“During 2019, we were able to offer dealers, customers and partners unique experiences from the rally world in close cooperation with the TGR team. Cooperation with the team led by Tommi was very smooth. Nisula also took clear steps forward as a brand, says Kalle Mattsson from Nisula.
“If you want to go further in the business world, besides quality products, you have to take care of building the brand. The continuation of the cooperation agreement for the 2020 period with Toyota’s factory team gives us a great opportunity to again take new steps forward. The best professional rally team in the world is also the best example of what it means to achieve goals in practice. It is great to show this success story to your own partners. There will definitely be new ideas for your daily work,” says Mattsson.

Satu Tuomisto

Satu looks after our customers at Trade Fairs and Exhibitions and makes sure the visitors receive the best possible service at the info desk. She is also an active player in Nisula’s dealer events and Collection shootings.

Satu Tuomisto

Satu looks after our customers at Trade Fairs and Exhibitions and makes sure the visitors receive the best possible service at the info desk. She is also an active player in Nisula’s dealer events and Collection shootings.