The Orgin of The Källefall name
Before some hundred years ago there was a farm in a beautiful Sweden landscape next to the river with a waterfall. Because of the surroundings, the farm was named Källefall. Källefall is a Swedish word that means falling water or waterfall from a spring.
In 1796, the farm got permission to build a copper hammer that used river waterpower for its work. The copper hammer was in working between 1814 and 1860. Copper was used for roofs, for example, the church on Visingsö in lake Vättern has a copper roof from Källefall.
The Källefall copper hammer was closed just when the whole copper mine on the west side of Vättern was empty.
The church in Brahekyrkan, Visingsö (Photo source: www.svenskakyrkan.se, author: Lena Nyström)
The Källefall farm
The story is that Ingrid Thunström mother´s grandfather Mr. Hans Henrik von Essen had 18 children with two wives. Eight of the children were boys. Hans Henrik, who was a rich nobleman, wanted to give all his sons good farms and large houses. His son called Johan got Källefall. Johan was very energetic. He started growing fruit and created a fish farm beside normal farming and forest works.
Ingrid Thunström and Eglė Rakštienė (on the left) 2022.03.22 at Källefall farm
When Johan died in year 1952 the activity on the farm was reduced. Ingrid´s father had to sell of the forest which had belonged to the farm. Instead, he focused on cows. He ran a dairy farm. In year 1990 there was a tax reform in Sweden, which made it difficult have income from various sources of income (You could no longer deduct losses in one area from profit in other areas). At this time, all land was sold to Hushållnings. Now Ingrid only owns one house, which is the largest house on the farm. The fish farm is still alive but operated by someone else.
The family von Essen´s coat of arms was an owl. The owl was during a long-time sign of the Källefall brand. It was visible on all brochures etc.
The creation of the Källefall company
Ingrid who grew up on Källefall farm when it was a dairy farm, started to work on Agriculture consulting company called LRF Konsult. She worked in finance and administration. At the same time, she had 75 cows and two kids to take care of.
Her husband Anders worked at a Swedish forest trailer manufacturer called Vreten. His best friend Kjell Johansson also worked there. At this time at the beginning of the 90s, Vreten had organizational and financial problems. The employees had to lie to customers about expected delivery times and other commitments. Anders and Kjell disliked the situation. They decided to start up another new forest trailer company together with Ingrid. The Källefall company started in August of the year 1993.
Anders became Managing Director and was also the designer. Kjell became Purchase manager and Ingrid worked as Salesman. Later they employed Paula Vanhapiha as an accountant. They all sat in one office room together.
Anders designed Källefall forest trailers and cranes. Some specifics with the Källefall products were that also small forest trailer had frame steering and the winch was located inside the pillar well sheltered. All products were robust. The radio operated winch was very popular for safety reasons.
They understood that they needed to produce their products in a low-cost country to compete with more established brands such as Moheda, Mowi, and Vreten. They got in contact with Lennart Jakobsson at Swedish Embassy in Lithuania. Through him, they got in contact with the father of the current FTG Baltic MD, Eglė Rakštienė. This mans name was Dr. Vygintas Geležiūnas. He was chief engineer at an electronic company in Neris outside Vilnius. There was a good connection between Vygintas, Anders, and Kjell. They decided to work together. Vygintas organized production of steel components which were sent to Tidaholm for assembly. The components were bought at kilo price which did not take into account the amount of machining or welding works.The first trailers were assembled at the farm. Later the assembly shop was relocated to Tidaholm city. There were about six assemblers working, one welder and one who painted. They had a small paint shop from a municipality school. This was incredibly lucky because it is costly and difficult to get a permit to start up a paint shop.
In year 1999, Anders Thunström died from illness, too early. The other owners decided to merge Källefall with the Moheda and Mowi Group, which the entrepreneur Wådell organized. This Group of companies was later renamed to FTG (Forest Technology Group) and sold in the year 2005 to Christer Ericsson’s company Bruks AB within JCE Group. In year 2006 the production company in Lithuania, FTG Baltic UAB, was incorporated into the same Group.
Early sales of Källefall trailers
The main market was Sweden. Källefall niche was smaller forest trailers, which did rarely compete with Moheda and Mowi. The first dealer was in north Sweden. The relationship lasted only for a short time.
The second dealer was Lantmännen Maskin in 1995, which Ingrid met in Jönköping. All Lantmännen sales offices except in Skåne, Kalmar, Värmland and Norrbotten sold Källefall. Revenues increased quickly from 5 to 35 MSEK or approx. 400 trailers per year.
Ingrid Thunström was responsible for sales. She traveled through whole Sweden and abroad and took part on shows and exhibitions. It was not so usual that a woman sold forest equipment. Many customers tried to test her with difficult technical questions. She managed the questions and got respect. Once at Nolia fair in Umeå, an old little man come to her while she was sitting on the central beam of the trailer. He wrote an “U” in the air, which should mean that the central beam could bend of Ingrid weight (Ingrid is a thin person) Both laughed.
There were four trailers until the year 1999.
• Trailer 55 – small trailer 5 ton payload for thinning for small tractor with > 35 hp
• Trailer 65, 6 ton payload with 4.7 meter long crane.
• Trailer 75, 7,5 ton payload with 5.1 meter long crane.
• Trailer 85, 7,5 ton payload with 6.3 meter long crane.