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Captivated by wood

Employees need to feel that they can develop in their workplace. That is the words from Gudbrandur Erlingsson who is a foreman at Setra's sawmill in Nyby.

Working with wood is something that has been part of Gudbrandur Erlingsson’s life for many years. He is basically a carpenter, trained in his homeland Iceland. But in the mid-1990s he moved to Sweden and started working at a sawmill in Knivsta before moving on to the sawmill in Nyby a few years later.

“I have always been interested in wood as a material. It started with the design aspects of carpentry. I then became interested in the technical side, for example how timber drying functions and later I went over to the machine side. I don’t know what it is, but I have always been captivated by wood,” he says.

During his time at Setra, Gudbrandur has changed roles and working duties over the years. He started as a truck driver and since then his jobs have included responsibility for the chipping tractor and operating the boilers. For seven years now he has been a foreman for sawlogs and logistics.

“I thoroughly enjoy my job! In my present role I really get a chance to meet the people in the company at all our units and at the same time to work closely with my colleagues here in Nyby. I have worked at Setra for many years and I really feel that my development has been positive.”

Gudbrandur emphasises how Setra’s units now work more together through clearer cooperation and exchange of knowledge and experience. The culture at the company is important in his opinion.

“I find that we have more and more discussions and cooperation between the units which is really great. We get to know each other, make the most of everyone’s expertise and lift and reward individuals. It is important to feel that you can develop as an employee. This really strengthens belief in the future and results in a great attitude.”

Gudbrandur has difficulty in describing a typical working day. He always has many irons in the fire.

“When I started as a foreman I always had plans for how the day would turn out, but I soon had to stop this. There is so much going on and that is what makes this job so enjoyable. Above all when new things and challenges turn up.”

He mentions a cooperation between Setra Nyby and Setra Vimmerby as a highlight.

“We helped them to evaluate a measurement station. A very enjoyable assignment which resulted in them being able to improve efficiency considerably. And this is when we realise that if we help each other and cooperate across units, we can achieve something really, really good.”

Text: Joakim Gerhardsson
Photo: Emil Nordin

Gudbrandur Erlingsson

Title: Foreman at Setra Nyby 
Age: 42 
Lives: Viksta outside Björklinge 
Family: Partner and four children 
Interests: Icelandic horses and carpentry