Forest Machinery

Rottne Industri AB strikes a blow for advanced training – want to see more field service technicians in the forestry industry

Rottne Industri AB strikes a blow for advanced training.

The forestry industry is crying out for more competent field service technicians. Every year, when term starts, there are always several empty places at the Development Centre for Service Technicians in Ljungby, Sweden. Forestry machine company Rottne Industri is now trying to change that and help secure future competence in the profession.

According to the industry association MaskinLeverantörerna, the need for fully trained service technicians is very high throughout the country. The association is one of 18 member companies behind the training provided in Ljungby. Another is Rottne Industri, along with other leading manufacturers of forklifts, construction, forestry and special machinery.

- If there’s no one to service the machine, then no one can harvest or carry logs. This is a really important function for those of us in the industry, says Rolf Nilsson, an instructor and trainer at Rottne Industri who has also taught the students at the school in Ljungby.

- Stoppages are expensive and so it’s important to get help quickly out in the forest. This is a challenging, interesting and rewarding profession that provides the opportunity to work in many different places.

The development centre in Ljungby previously had 35 places; today there are only 20. Even so, a number of these places were left unfilled when the autumn term started, even though graduates have their pick of jobs.

- The employment market is so good now that many companies employ technicians directly from school, but unfortunately they aren’t fully trained. So companies are really hurting themselves by doing this, says Carina Andersson, CEO and training manager at the centre.

Rottne Industri has been involved in the school for many years. Like all member companies, Rottne helps to support the centre financially and also offers placements every year.

- Many skilled service technicians have gone down that route, from training to placement and then employment, says Rolf Nilsson.

- This type of course is a win-win situation. The school provides broader and more qualified training and the forestry machinery operators receive fast and professional service on site.

The development centre is licensed to train technicians until the spring term in 2024. After that, a new licence must be applied for via Myndigheten för yrkeshögskolan, Swedish National Agency for Higher Vocational Education.

- The training plan involves teacher-led lessons three days a week. Each term includes a six-week placement and the summer break is three months. In other words, it’s entirely possible for a company to attract a student who can work on their free days, during the placement and the summer and then hire a well-trained technician after they graduate, says Carina Andersson.

One of the reasons why there is such a shortage of fully trained field service technicians today is because many youngsters now get jobs immediately after school.

- Of course I can understand why many of them want to go straight to work after school, but advanced training can offer you so much more, says Rolf Nilsson.

- I think you feel more satisfied when you are out with a customer and have a broader knowledge bank to rely on.