Text and Photos: Ville Talvenheimo

I had been working since 6:30 am that day in my office at Hämeenlinna works, Life-cycle Support department, where I was working as a Technical Manager back then. The call was taken in at 2.00 pm at our spare part sales. It was our on-site support Team Leader calling and saying that some critical spare parts would be needed to Rovajärvi area for one of the AMV´s. This vehicle would need to be participating in an event the following morning. The support Team Leader had already picked up all the needed spare part numbers from the Spare Part Catalog such, that we took the order in and inspected the stock balance. All the parts could be found directly from the warehouse. The logistics team picked up all the spares from the storage. When the collection was ready and all the spare parts had been packed in pallets, it was 4.30pm. I left home at this time.

At 6:00 pm, my boss at that time called, and said that it was not possible to have transportation for the parts so that they would be at Rovajärvi site at 6.00 am next morning. He asked if I was able to take care of the transportation with a company van. I said yes with no second thoughts and returned to the work site. We loaded the pallets to a Ford Transit van, fixed-up the cargo and the journey was about to start. I refueled the van in Hattula municipality, where I live, and picked-up something to eat and drink (few cans of energy drink) from the store. I also inspected the estimated arrival time to Rovajärvi from the navigator. It was 7:00pm, when I called the Team Leader, and told him that I would be at Rovajärvi roughly 4:30am including 15 minutes refueling break.

The driving was quite straightforward from Hämeenlinna to Oulu, unfortunately the scenery is mostly nothing (meaning boring) between these two locations. From Oulu and upwards, the scenery starts to be quite interesting with all the nice shapes, fjelds etc. It was Wednesday / Thursday night in May, so the sun didn’t go down during the night-time. The following day, Thursday, would be the Ascension Day, which might partly explain the logistic difficulties with the delivery.

Express delivery
Pictured, one of the Patria mechanics finalizing the work with the vehicle.

At 4:00 am I turned towards Kemijärvi and roughly 10 minutes later our on-site support team of four drove in my direction with their MB Sprinter workshop van. I turned the van and followed them towards Rovajärvi military servicing area. The broken vehicle was already parked at our servicing spot. We unpacked the van and the Team Leader gave me his hotel room key and told me to go and have some sleep. It was very bright even 5:30 am, so I could not get any sleep at all. So, I decided to return to the servicing area. When I got there, my friend from the Finnish Defence Forces arrived at the scene with an army pick-up truck. He was quite amazed to see me on site and asked what I was doing over there and when I gave him an answer, he told me that he had been also driving from Hattula to Rovajärvi during the previous evening and night and asked why I didn’t gave him a call and asked to transport the goods. Well, you didn´t tell me you were going to participate in the event as well, was all, I managed to say to him at that time.

Our mechanics had been busy with the work during the late night and the early morning and when the vehicle platform started to be back in working shape, I told the Team Leader that if I started to drive back now, I would be at home during the evening. He suggested a hotel night at Rovaniemi, but I thought it might be better to drive directly to Hämeenlinna so the day after would not go to waste. The Team Leader called me during the return trip and said that the vehicle was in shape to participate in the event and that the customer was happy with our way of taking care of the situation. I was at home roughly 9:30 pm, Ascension Day evening.

Not exactly a normal day at the office.