Innovation is in our DNA

John Deere Forestry brings novel 21st Century solutions to one of humanity’s oldest industries.

Twenty years ago a Finnish company – known then as Timberjack – wowed the world with a walking harvester. The ground-breaking technology, such as automation and stability systems, underwent further development and are still applied in John Deere forest machines. The walking forest machine is now displayed in a place of honor at the Deere & Company Pavilion in Moline, Illinois, as a tribute to the Finnish technology.

Now part of Deere & Company, John Deere Forestry still leads the industry in developing innovative and reliable machines that improve their customers’ productivity. Machines with new innovative solutions are constantly launched, such as the current G-Series.

“The G-Series cut-to-length forest machines respond to our customers’ requirements for reliability, productivity and fuel efficiency. The machines are of high quality, easy to operate and meet the continuously tightening emission regulations,” says Timo Ylänen, Director for John Deere’s cut-to-length forest machines. 

Industry leading innovations

One of John Deere’s recent innovations is a rotating and levelling cabin. The cabin automatically follows the boom movements giving the operator a straight view to the work area. And it automatically stays level, absorbing terrain changes. 

“The rotating and levelling cabin improves operator comfort and productivity especially over a longer period of time. It also helps to attract and to retain the best operators.” Ylänen explains. “When you feel comfortable you will become more productive.” 

They also introduced Intelligent Boom Control, a milestone in forwarder technology and now also in harvester technology. This allows operators to control the boom tip directly instead of controlling independent boom joint movements separately. Boom operation has become faster, easier and more accurate.

Made in Finland

John Deere Forestry is headquartered in Tampere where about 250 people work in engineering, marketing and administration. Another 450 people work at the factory in Joensuu, which also keeps about 1,000 people busy at its local suppliers.

“Close to 90% of our machines are exported,” Ylänen says. “Russia and Sweden are in tight competition to be our number one country for sales.”

Forest machines have been manufactured in Joensuu since 1972. Deere & Company have invested tens of millions of euros into product development and the factory, always introducing the newest and most sophisticated technology to the industry.

“The company’s extensive investments in the Joensuu factory demonstrate long-term commitment to Finnish forest machine competence. Innovation is one of Deere & Company’s core values and it guides the development of equipment and solutions that improve the productivity and profitability of our customers,” Ylänen says.

John Deere Forestry is a long-term main sponsor of the Finnish biathlete Kaisa Mäkäräinen. She has finished on the World Cup podium 70 times and is one of the most popular athletes in Finland.

“Biathlon has become a very popular TV sport. As a highly successful athlete and Joensuu resident Kaisa fits in with our corporate image very well,” says Ylänen. 


John Deere is enjoying its eleventh year in a row on the Most Ethical Companies list. Compiled by the Ethisphere Institute, the list measures companies by a variety of categories such as ethics, corporate citizenship, leadership and innovation.

“John Deere is 180 years old and you don’t survive that long without strong and sustainable company values,” Ylänen says. “For example, integrity is something we live up to every day. We want to maintain a good reputation in the market and to earn the trust of our customers. This is important for our shareholders and employees, too. We want them to be proud of their company.”

Text: David J. Cord

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