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Pekka Haapakoski is proud of PJP’s varied equipment: at maximum, it can lift a load of 70 tonnes. The highest altitude reached is 30 meters. Photos: Toni Pallari

Attitude, in addition to skill, needed at the construction site - a Local Entrepreneur PJP Nosto Grows Steadily

Attitude is a word that is frequently repeated in entrepreneur Pekka Haapakoski’s speech, whether he discusses customer service or personnel recruitment.

“This will be a good day” is a motto that could easily be expected to hang on the wall of the brand new office of PJP Nosto Oy in Etelänkylä, Pyhäjoki. Pekka Haapakoski, an entrepreneur in the field of hoisting and transport, says that even on this grey, freezing and windy January morning, he was happy to go to the construction site. In the evening, the balance of experiences will most likely be positive. For him, every day offers a chance to learn something new.

Haapakoski thinks that it is a question of interest and attitude. You give everything you have for something you find interesting.

According to Haapakoski, he learned about his own interest, hoisting and the related transports and installations, nearly without noticing through the family’s business. Five years ago, when his father, Ari Haapakoski, decreased his own workload, Pekka became an independent entrepreneur in hoisting and installations, while his older brother Matti continued with metal processing operations. There have been many entrepreneurs in the Haapakoski family, starting with Pekka’s grandfather.

Starting with one reach truck

Five years ago, Pekka Haapakoski’s PJP Nosto company started its operations with one reach truck. The 33-year old entrepreneur remembers the construction site well: a construction site for balcony access blocks in Kalajoki. It was followed by construction sites at Valio’s factory in Oulu, a plant extension and a number of smaller assignments. The company’s website features pictures from small cottage moves to heavy-duty hoisting and installation. In 2017, the company became a limited liability company.

At Hanhikivi 1 construction site, PJP Nosto has worked, among other things, as a subcontractor for the Estonian Maru Ehitus As, which is the contractor for RAOS Project’s and Titan-2’s site offices.

Haapakoski thinks that the results from earlier contracts played a part in the competition, but additional effort was needed to meet all the criteria. Safety is the number one priority at the construction site, so a lot of attention had to be paid to safety training for workers and the appropriate equipment base. Before the Hanhikivi gates opened after official inspections, there was still Fennovoima’s own site access training waiting. 

After being granted access to the construction site, constant weekly monitoring of the work is a part of the package, as is knowing the site culture with its inspections.

– Patience, Haapakoski says, when asked to name the most important trait of an entrepreneur.

It does not only include absolute precision in hoisting, but also the monitoring of contract offers and the ability to wait during permit processes.
– When you know what you are doing, meet the requirements and are honest, you do not need to fear the process, Haapakoski says, encouraging those who consider working at the Hanhikivi 1 construction site.

He reminds everyone that this is the safest construction site in Finland, which naturally requires more strict background checks than usual.

Steady growth

The company has grown at a pace of one employee per year. Now, PJP Nosto employs four hoisting professionals in addition to the entrepreneur himself. There is also a need for stand-in personnel. The equipment has also become more varied since the time of the original reach truck. According to Haapakoski, the Hanhikivi 1 construction site launched the rapid growth of the company.

Haapakoski sees himself as a service entrepreneur. He wants to listen closely to customers wishes. The same service orientation is also expected of the employees, in addition to working carefully. Keeping the schedules may require long workdays from the entrepreneur, while it is also necessary to know all the relevant legislation. One has to keep up with the development of occupational safety and quality requirements.

Haapakoski speaks about attitude also when recruiting employees. Finding good personnel is a long-term process. Ready-made workers are difficult to find, so willingness to learn new things is important. Another important factor is commitment, as the procedure of approving personnel for working at construction sites takes time.

Haapakoski sees the future PJP Nosto as a company that has grown significantly from the present situation and operates in a range of tasks in the hoisting and transport business. A large part of the business is made of installation work, and the range of services also includes the construction of hall-type buildings through turnkey contracts. Haapakoski believes that the Hanhikivi 1 construction site will provide additional experience to support the growth.