Vreten log trailers and grapple loaders have been on the market since the early 90’s. Their trail has however been crooked the last few years, with many different owners. After a bankruptcy in 2018, the company Bala Agri took over both the brand and the products. Nowadays the Vreten range is produced in the Bala Agri factory.
Vreten log trailers
The company has a long-term plan and the ambition to build a stable market for this Swedish made log trailer. They are getting there, the first year in the new factory, 2019, some 20 trailers were produced. During 2020, approximately 50 were made and for 2021 another reduplication is planned.
We (the sister-site Skogsforum.se) were invited to have a look and the production, and a chat with the CEO Kristian Jonsson. (Below you will find a film from the visit)
Roots in a village smithy
Vreten is an old brand from a very old company. Already in 1880, the blacksmith Gustaf Larsson manufactured agricultural tools in the smithy at Vreten estate. “Vretens Mekaniska Verkstad” was born. During the 30’s, horse-drawn road scrapers were a success. After that, snow ploughs, stone handling tools and front loaders were manufactured. Around 1990, the production of Vreten log trailers was started. The front loader part was sold to ÅLÖ in 2016.
As mentioned above the company was sold to Bala Agri in 2018. Bala Agri is a major manufacturer of equipment and machines for agriculture and construction.
The log trailer market better than expected
The market for log trailers had its peak a little over 10 years ago. After that, trailer for ATV’s, mini forwarders and less self-employment among forest owners decreased the market for this type of trailers. But, according to Kristian Jonsson, the market has turned upwards again. Last year, 600 – 700 log trailers were sold according to available statistics. For the moment the market is good.
The Vreten factory
In the factory 20 employees work in spacey and modern facilities. Steel comes into the factory, is processed both by robots and by hand, painted and transferred into log trailer and grapple loaders before in leaves the factory again. The production capacity allows contract manufacturing for neighboring companies. Hydraulics, wheels, wheel hubs and some other items are purchased from sub suppliers.
In the facilities there is also room for spare parts storage and offices.
Vreten 900, the most common trailer
The best-selling size for Swedish log trailers is 9 – 10 tons. For Vreten that is their 900 and 1000 trailers. Apart from those, Vreten also offers a 12-ton trailer, the Vreten 1200, with hexagon frame and forwarder bunks. You will find information (in Swedish) on their site here.
Hard steel and fine tuning
When starting the production again after the bankruptcy, Bala Agri has updated many small details in the construction of the trailers. It was mainly about fine tuning details and make the production smother which in the end leads to better quality. Today Strenx-steel from SSAB is used in the cranes and trailer. According to Kristian Jonsson it can handle twice as high load as “normal” steel of the same dimension.
Film and photos
Here is a film from the visit at Vreten:
And here some more photos:
Here you will find a list over manufacturers of log trailers and grapple loaders.
Film and photos (where not otherwise stated): Torbjörn Johnsen