30 Issue One 2010 Mikael Eklund says, they are still the “centrepiece” of his products, even if in the meantime, more, sometimes very special, building blocks have been grouped around them: “But with this special construction characteristic, we have been able to gain a lot of knowledge, and, there- fore, know how to build such vehicles so that they have the necessary stability and strength.” The idea to build fixed bodies combined with generous lateral loading options is due to the particularities of northern Europe: the partially inhospitable North is very thinly populated, large indus- trial enterprises are quite rare. Transporters, therefore, do not often have the luxury of standardised loads. In Norway, for instance, it is not uncommon that on a tour from South to North construction planks are transported and the return trip is with Bacalao, salted codfish, whereby the handling takes place somewhere in the yard. Consequently, Ekeri’s customers need equipment that is flexible in its application. Not a problem for Eklund: “we have everything in our programme – boxtype trucks, semitrailers, tandem trailers and all trailer variants for the 25 metre articulated combinations” , with which the total weight of 60 tons, permitted in Finland and Sweden, is possible. “The more ‘normal’ a vehicle is, the more difficult it is for us to keep up with large series production. Our domain is the ‘special solution’ “, says the Finnish entrepreneur outlining the position of the company within the concert of the coachwork and trailer manufacturers. Just as the semitrailer that is standing in front of the company premises. The Cool technology in the cold north. Ekeri believes in high-quality, multi-use fridge trailers with wide-opening side panels. KRAATZ OY – BPW in Finland n The Finnish Kraatz Oy and BPW are linked by a long common road. Kraatz was founded in 1922 and agreed a deliv- ery contract with the German axle manu- facturer in 1938. Back then Kraatz was a two-man operation managed by Henry Kraatz, the grandfather of the current managing director, Hans-Peter Kraatz, and was active as an agency, de facto, as an import/export company. While they initially operated as a typical agency – just a “transit post” – the business trans- formed due to the changes in the market, increasingly to- wards a service and trading company that maintained its own warehouse, from where orders could be processed at short notice. In 1985, the longstanding, strong business contacts led to the Finnish company being sold to the German partner, and it has been a 100% BPW subsidiary since then. At the Espoo location, in a suburb of Helsinki, items from the BPW inven- tory are not the only things in stock. On the contrary, Kraatz has a broad range of products that covers practically all com- ponents for trucks and trailers, including tyres and rims and axles and axle systems.