Eeli is interested in the latest technology
Eeli Heimonen studied Metalwork and Machinery at a vocational school. In the Finnish Defence Forces, he was trained as a corporal in a Truck Company. After the army in 2013 he got a job at a local Valtra service workshop in Suolahti, from where he moved to AGCO Finland's own service workshop in Jyväskylä in 2015.
"Digital technology offers new challenges and the opportunity to learn new things. New technology also serves customers and makes farming more efficient. By producing more crops from less land and with less diesel, we are helping to save the world. This is work with a real purpose." - Eeli Heimonen
“In 2019, I applied for an open Diagnostic Trainee position for a four-month period at the Suolahti Service Centre to develop a digital EDT tool for maintenance that I had been using daily as a service technician. I tested the EDT tool, gave development ideas to the developers and made sensor diagnostic guides", recalls Eeli Heimonen.
Eeli returned to tractor maintenance for another month but then returned to Suolahti as a Support Specialist, where he supported dealers with a focus on autopilot, ISOBUS and digitalisation and also carried out NPI checks. An NPI service inspection means that service professionals inspect tractor models under development and give their opinion on their serviceability.
“If Valtra service workshops around the world had problems with the tractor's automatic steering that were so bad that they couldn't solve them themselves or with the help of the country service manager, I helped them. In the spring of 2021, I took responsibility for the tractor's software issues on the service side and at the same time NPI service inspection responsibility was transferred to another person.”
“In 2022 I moved to a global role, providing support all over the world with the automated steering, ISOBUS and terminal of not only Valtras, but also Fendt, Massey Ferguson and other AGCO machines. I am what is known as an L3 level support. L1 level support is the support team in each country, L2 level is the support team in each continent and L3 level support is AGCO's global support. When the issue escalates to me, I no longer ignore it, but start to investigate and find a solution together with many stakeholders such as product development, product managers and equipment manufacturers," Eeli Heimonen says.
Valtra offers career development opportunity
Valtra has given Eeli the opportunity to advance in his career if he does his job well. “I've had a pretty fast-paced career myself, but I've worked hard for things, they don't come for free. You have the opportunity to influence your future career through your own efforts," he says. Following further career development, in mid-2023 Eeli changed his position to Product Manager, Smart Solutions, Valtra Tractors
In the coming years, Eeli’s plans include self-development and learning new technologies. In a few years, he might also be interested in further studies. “For now, let's let life settle down a bit. My girlfriend and I just built a detached house in Äänekoski, so it's been a busy time, even when I'm not working.”
English is Eeli's working language at Valtra
Eeli's work is quite international. He has no direct colleagues in Finland. His working language is English. “At the beginning I had to work quite a lot with English, but I've grown into it. I go abroad maybe 10-15 times a year. One trip a month is a good pace”.
Due to the international nature of his work, Eeli's working day is quite evening-oriented. “The working day starts around 9-11am, because my teammates are global. The first three hours are efficient working time, when only my European colleagues are awake. After 2pm, a brainstorming session starts and questions are answered by email.”
Eeli's transferable skills from his motorsport hobby are valuable
Nowadays, Eeli Heimonen rarely gets to actually tinker with tractors, but his years of practical maintenance experience are invaluable. “As a maintenance man, I qualified as a heavy equipment mechanic. Many people think that heavy machinery maintenance is hard work, but in reality, tractors are maintained in a warm and dry shed. Maybe a couple of times a year I had to repair a tractor outside in bad weather conditions.”
In addition to school and work experience, Eeli has learned a lot from his hobbies. “I raced motocross as a child and teenager, and later ice track. That's where I learned to wreck and repair machines pretty well.”
Eeli believes Valtra is a fair employer.
“All jobs have their pros and cons. Valtra has lived up to expectations. The pay is at the same level as usual in such companies and has always arrived on the agreed date. Even that is not always a certainty in smaller companies.”