Meet Rikard Karlsson - the new generation of HUDDIG drivers
Owning a HUDDIG has long been a dream for Rikard Karlsson, who lives in Hälsingland, Sweden. The goal was to own a new HUDDIG 1260D before he turned 25 years old. Through hard and dedicated work, he managed in a short space of time to take his business to a level where he had the opportunity to make that dream come true. The day before his 25th birthday, he picked up his new machine from Huddig's retailer Staffare in Hudiksvall. This makes him one of Sweden's youngest HUDDIG 1260D owners, if not the youngest.
Rikard Karlsson grew up on a farm in the village Snaten, outside Vallsta in Hälsingland. He has been interested in machines since his early childhood. At the farm there were forestry, machines, soil planers and agricultural tractors, but there was no excavator.
When it was time to go to college, Rikard chose a three-year engineer training course at Bräcke in Jämtland, Sweden. During the training he had the opportunity to drive a HUDDIG for the first time and was impressed with the machine's performance and efficiency. After graduating he got his first job as a machine driver where he also got the chance to drive a HUDDIG. It was then that he really tested what the machine had to offer.
“As you sit in a machine for 8 to 10 hours a day and sometimes even more it´s important to have a comfortably cab that´s well thought out. Here I think Huddig has done a great job especially with the new chair, touch screen and better view”, says Rikard.
After a few years as an employee, Rikard wanted to try being self-employed. He contacted Jim Höglund at Staffare in Hudiksvall and after some discussions with him, Rikard bought his first machine, a used HUDDIG 1260B-10. Shortly thereafter, in November 2015, he started his own company - Rikards Gräv & Schakt. Since then he has worked hard and had constant work, mostly with fiber laying. In addition to that, there are quite a few house foundation, drainage and sewer jobs. He works for both companies and individuals.
"Since I had a lot of work through the company from the start, I soon began to think about replacing my used machine with a new one", says Rikard. That’s when I set the goal of reaching my dream before turning 25 years old. Although HUDDIG is a stable and reliable backhoe loader, it feels safer to have a new machine. And then it's a lot more fun too!”, says Rikard and laughs.
When you see Rikard's new HUDDIG, you understand why his smile is so big. It's a huge machine at home on the farm. He has purchased Huddig's latest model, the HUDDIG 1260D, CITY version. Instead of retaining the original red color, Rikard has vinyl wrapped the entire machine black, except for the rims which are white. He has equipped the machine with extra lights, bars and he has made his own decals. He has also kitted the excavator with a road grader, an OilQuick quick coupler and an OilQuick tiltrotator.
"The main advantage of a HUDDIG is freedom. I feel very independent and can handle most types of jobs. A HUDDIG is good at most tasks, which means I can do several different things with just one machine. I dig, drive, lay gravel and move easily and quickly between different jobs. A real multi-machine that suits me as a self-employed entrepreneur”, says Rikard.
Even the new backhoe loader was purchased via Staffare. Jim and Rikard have built up a good relationship over the years and trust each other. In addition to suggesting the machine model and equipment, Jim also drafted a financing solution through Huddig Finans that Rikard was pleased with.
Rikard really enjoys working for himself. He likes to keep an eye on all the administration and are doing the invoicing himself. He has work planned for about a year to come and then he hopes that the reputation of his company spreads further and that he gets more work booked in.
"It's all about taking care, doing a good job and being easy to deal with. That’s the key. The dream would be to get involved in a bigger job with fixed driving hours. We'll see how it turns out, I only see opportunities when I think about the future.
Name: Rikard Karlsson
Age: 25 years old
Lives: In a house in Snaten outside Vallsta, Hälsingland
Interests: Meeting friends and driving a snowmobile in his spare time