In action in the far north

Water, cold, salt – Norway's weather presents a particular challenge for the forklift trucks deployed in the fishing industry. But STILL has the right solutions on hand. Having acquired a Norwegian dealer in autumn 2016, the KION brand company is now better positioned in Scandinavia and can cater more specifically to customer requirements.

The thermometer is showing just below zero, but the wind is icy cold and blowing the snow around. By early January, the Polar nights in the Norwegian Arctic Circle are reaching an end; there are now three hours of twilight in the middle of the day. Although it is only four in the afternoon, it already feels like late evening. All is quiet in the port of Andenes until the seagulls' cries announce the return of the fishing boats laden with clinidae, cod and haddock from the North Sea. At the Andenes Fiskemottak fishery, a dozen employees and seven STILL trucks are ready and waiting as the first cutter, the Havbrått, is unloaded. "We have to be able to depend on our trucks at all times; they are used late into the night in harsh conditions," says Leif Kvivesen. The fishery's managing director is of average height with a winning smile, and his sparkling blue eyes show that he is ready for action.

Everything has to move very fast from now on. A crane lifts around five tonnes of cod packed into large boxes from both the Havbrått and Ole Elvan fishing boats. Forklift trucks pick up the valuable cargo and make their way along the slippery ice-covered quay to the hall for further processing. A third fishing boat is just arriving: the 50 metre long Genesis is more than twice as big as the first two and is carrying around twelve tonnes of fish. The creatures have already been gutted on board and, once in the hall, will be cleaned on conveyor belts, packed into styrofoam boxes full of ice, stacked onto pallets and prepared for transport to Italy.

"We have to be able to depend on our trucks at all times; they are used late into the night in harsh conditions."

Leif Kvivesen

Managing Director at the Andenes Fiskemottak fishery.

Being splashed with water is a challenge for any truck. Within minutes, the hall floor is awash with seawater because the trucks tip the boxes of fish along with all the water straight onto the conveyor belts. The workers wear thick boots and bright orange overalls as protection against the wet and cold environment. "But the salt water gnaws at the trucks and causes them to rust very quickly," explains Leif. "They also face constant changes in temperature as they move between the moderate temperatures indoors and the icy cold outside. The STILL trucks can cope." This is because Roar Andersen, sales manager for northern Norway, made sure they have the right specifications. "We used especially rust-resistant paint," he says. "Plastic covers that would break more easily in the cold have been replaced with stainless steel ones, for example for the floor plates. We sealed the seams with silicon by hand, while silicon mats cover the mechanisms of the masts to protect them against the corrosive salt water as far as possible."

STILL strengthens the position in Scandinavia

A trained engineer, Roar knows what demands are placed on the trucks that are used in the port because, as a STILL dealer on the Lofoten archipelago, he has spent 28 years – half his life – building up his customer base in the fishing industry. Instead of a suit and tie, he wears a warm coat and hat. He regularly visits the islands and all his customers. The KION premium brand company acquired his business, Andersen Truck, and founded the new STILL Norge national subsidiary in autumn 2016. In doing so, the company hopes to strengthen its position in the Scandinavian market, which is a very important one for STILL because premium products are very much in demand.

"They also face constant changes in temperature as they move between the moderate temperatures indoors and the icy cold outside. The STILL trucks can cope."

Leif Kvivesen

Managing Director at the Andenes Fiskemottak fishery

Roar Andersen in turn benefits from the structured organisation and the expansion of his team in the areas of sales, servicing, rentals and used trucks. And from STILL's rental trucks. He has been hiring out trucks for ten years. His own fleet contains about 70 vehicles, but he can barely keep up with demand in high season, which runs from mid-January to Easter. He can now expand the fleet, for example with trucks that have been returned after being leased in the south of the country and are being given a new life.

At Andenes Fiskemottak, work carries on into the night as there are 20 tonnes of fish to be processed and packed. High season, when the large schools of fish reach Lofoten, will start in just a few days. "Last year wasn't so good; we caught 500 tonnes. But this year, we are reckoning on 600 tonnes of fish," says Leif Kvivesen hopefully. He would know because he grew up with this fishery. His employees and 50 migrant workers from Lithuania will operate in three shifts; up to 60 trucks rented from STILL Norge will be deployed in his Fiskemottak alone. Then the days will start to become longer and lighter again.



A hands-on approach is positively encouraged

"We don't sell products, we sell solutions"