It’s 15 degrees below zero when Pekka Tyllilä hops into his Avant loader to take care of the ice skating rink on the Näsijärvi lake which is located in Tampere, Western Finland. He’s been clearing snow from the ice skating rink of Näsijärvi and maintained it for already seven years. The most important thing in getting a good ice skating surface is the right timing – and that’s why we can say that Pekka does this job from the bottom of his heart.
Pekka runs together with his wife the family company “Hiking Travel Hit” which is focused on wellness and nature tourism. The company wants to offer people open and accessible services which generate good feeling – one of them is the ice skating rink which is maintained during the winter season. The headquarters of the company – shop and rental place – is located in Tampere, Finland.
Long history as an Avant user
The maintenance of the ice skating rink on Näsijärvi was transferred to Pekka’s care in 2010. At that time he was driving with an Avant 220. “In the beginning the snow was removed with a loaned Avant 220 machine for a couple of years. After that we ended up purchasing an Avant 420 for ourselves. Now when the size of the rink has gotten bigger, we would need more speed and that’s why we could purchase a new Avant at some point”, Pekka tells and continues “ for this job Avant is just the right machine – light enough and full of steel. Avant doesn’t get broken!”
In the beginning of the season the rink must be maintained for a short period of time with a lighter machinery, but as soon as the ice is thick enough you can see the Avant on a daily basis smoothing the surface of the ice skating rink on Näsijärvi into shape. For Avant’s dozer blade attachment Pekka has modified a special blade which is suitable for smoothing and easy to change. The maintenance of the rink and getting a good ice skating surface are precise work – right timing and predicting the future are essential. “We are totally under nature’s mercy, which makes this difficult. The condition of the ice skating rink depends on the climate, and from our part we try to keep the rink in as a good shape as possible. We have to be ready to clear and smooth the ice when the last snowflakes are floating to the ground, and we always need to see the future beforehand. Also the machinery must be in order, there can’t be any delays”, Pekka clarifies.
During the season 2016–2017 Tyllilä’s company changed the location in Tampere so that the ice skating rink got considerably more length. “Change of the location has been a good choice: the rink got longer, the amount of the users got bigger and also the attention value of the rink got bigger. The ice skating rink is now in the right place because for many people it’s easy to come there”, Pekka tells. This year the amount of 50 000 users may be achieved, during the weekends the atmosphere is like in big sports events. This season the ice skating rink is also wider so that all the skaters have more space to join.
Even though the winter has been challenging, the ice skating rink is in an excellent shape. “At the moment the situation is good: the rink is in a good shape and the weather for winter outdoor activities is at its best”, Pekka smiles and welcomes everyone to enjoy the beautiful late winter weather!