Never alone at Ahola
Ricky Strömbäck, didn’t need to think twice about becoming a subcontractor for Ahola Transport. He gets to experience the freedom of self-employment but is never alone. Help is always near at hand; he can contact the company or his colleagues on the road.
Although still under thirty, Strömbäck has experience galore, both behind the wheel and as an entrepreneur in the transport industry.
“I’ve always been interested in driving and seeing the world. That was probably how it started.”
Strömbäck established his own company back in 2010 and in 2013 he became a subcontractor for Ahola Transport.
“First, I was a driver at another company that drove for Ahola Transport but I’d thought about striking out on my own for some time.”
Since his impression of Ahola Transport was positive, he consulted Fleet Trading
Director Nils Ahola about buying his first truck.
“Everything turned out great. All I need to do now is develop and expand my business.”
Help from day one
Growing up, Strömbäck thought he would join his family’s construction company but eventually chose to go his own way. He has no regrets and enjoys being an entrepreneur, driver and subcontractor.
“Co-operating with Ahola Transport has been great. We can talk about anything and we try to constantly improve operations together.”
From day one, Ahola Transport made things easy for him.
“When I started up, I had barely any capital, so I leased a truck to begin with.”
When Strömbäck began to buy his own trucks not long after, Ahola Transport helped him finance them. Strömbäck’s company now owns three trucks, and since starting with Ahola Transport in 2013, he has bought a new truck or a replacement for one
approximately once a year.
“The most recent one arrived in May,” Strömbäck says with pride.
Driving is life
Although the company now has three permanent drivers, Ricky Strömbäck still drives as much as he can.
“Getting behind the wheel is the best thing I know and if I’m on the road but not driving, I take care of the company’s accounts and paperwork.” Almost everything can be taken care of electronically these days.
As an entrepreneur, Strömbäck has very little free time, but he doesn’t complain.
“I still have more freedom because I run the company. I get to work on myself.”
His three trucks drive for Swedish chain stores and industry between Sweden and Finland. Previously his fleet even made longer trips, such as up to northern Norway.
“It’s one of my favourite routes. Driving on the narrow, challenging roads, especially in winter, is always exciting. Getting to drive is important to me.”
Growing with Ahola Transport
While driving is important, Ricky Strömbäck is focussing intently on developing his business, which is registered in Turku.
“Buying more trucks is clearly my vision. I might also like to get into special transports. They’ve always been interesting to me.”
He is also certain that he will remain loyal to Ahola, as he has been since he started out in western Finland. Ahola Transport is the reason that he and the company moved to Turku: to be near international traffic. He intends to stay in Turku and with Ahola.
“It is the only way I can think of to develop my company. It is the perfect solution for me.”
The only bump in the road is finding skilled drivers, a common challenge.
“I think the problem is that people want to work less but for the same pay as before, and driving a truck is not an easy job.”
It is especially difficult to find willing and skilled drivers for international deliveries.
“It’s of course understandable that people with families don’t want to stay away for long periods. Then again, they can take time off for two weeks straight. That’s something I enjoy.”
Sense of community on the road
In addition to running his own company, Ricky Strömbäck talks to young people about joining the industry. If a challenging job, close ties with colleagues and work that allows you to travel to different places sounds interesting, becoming a driver, especially with Ahola Transport, can seem very attractive.
“You get to see new things and, especially at Ahola Transport, the drivers are all very close. We sometimes meet on the road and sit and barbeque, we band together and talk on the ferries and we call each other whenever we need help. We are more friends than colleagues here.”
With Finnish drivers becoming less common in cross-Nordic traffic, Ahola Transport’s Finnish and Swedish speaking drivers stick together.
“You never need to feel alone,” says Strömbäck.
Ricky Strömbäck started out driving for someone else but now has his own company with three trucks and three permanent drivers who also drive for Ahola Transport.