Robust and sturdy – TANA lives up to its name

TANA compactors

Innovation has kept machine manufacturer TANA ahead of the game in waste management.

It’s often said when you’re onto a good thing, stick with it.

At a time when many companies feel the need to diversify, manufacturer TANA has stayed the course and focused on its core product. Fifty years on, compactors remain the company’s “bread and butter”.

Mirja Yli-Erkkilä, Vice President of Marketing, says it’s what makes TANA stand out from other manufacturers in the waste industry.

“We’ve looked at waste and the treatment of waste since the company’s beginning. Ours is the only purpose-built landfill compactor on the market,” Mirja says. “There was a time when we had no other product, so the compactor was our focus. Knowing we have a concept on the product that nobody else has, clearly makes us different.”

TANA was built on the imagination of a Finnish inventor who, in 1970, developed a landfill compactor based on an ordinary tractor with rubber wheels. Following several modifications, including the installation of two full-width iron drums, the “first” TANA compactor was manufactured for an exhibition in Hanover, Germany in 1971 where it was sold.

TANA expanded to manufacture plastic products and patrol boats, which were delivered to the Iraqi military in the late 1970s. But when current owner Kari Kangas acquired the company, together with two partners, 25 years ago they “stripped everything back” to focus on developing the best tools for landfill customers. All product lines other than landfill compactors were discarded.

Australian connection

The company’s new focus also involved looking at its distributor network. Enter, GCM Enviro. The waste management and recycling equipment supplier remains the sole Australian distributor of TANA products.

Adam Krajewski, GCM Enviro Marketing Manager, says they’ve continued a relationship with TANA because “they’re the best compactor for the landfill market”.

TAMA compactorsAdam says GCM sold its first TANA landfill compactor in 2000. More than 140 landfill compactors have since been delivered to customers in Australia, with TANA being the preferred choice for many councils, landfill managers and operators.

“Many councils keep coming back to buy second and third machines,” he says. “You’re getting at least 10 per cent better landfill compaction as a TANA guarantee.

“From a design standpoint, you’re reducing the number of landfill passes from six to four. Operations are using less fuel therefore you’ve got less time in the cabin, which is saving money. For the lifespan of a landfill that means a lot. When you take those savings over 10 years, it’s a big difference.”

Mirja says “continual improvement and development have been the cornerstones” of TANA’s success. Over the years, the appearance and design of machines has changed and new technology introduced. 

TANA developed digital solutions in the waste industry, including the TANA ProTrack remote monitoring system. In 2006 it also recognised a shift in waste management and introduced a waste shredder.

Anniversary edition

To coincide with the company’s 50th anniversary, TANA launched the H Series landfill compactor during a virtual event in November 2021.

The new H Series has models in the 38-52 tonne range. Smaller model 26-32 tonne units have been available for some time already. While the basic design has not changed, with forward drums, rigid frame and cabins with optimal driver visibility standard, it has been “fine-tuned” based on market feedback.

Maximum operating speed has increased to 10 km/h and air filtering has been improved. The touch-screen control system is “more user-friendly for the operator” and can be tailored for individual operator preferences. The reversing camera has been improved and add-ons are available, such as side and roof cameras, to improve driver visibility.

“There are little improvements here and there based on customer feedback,” Mirja says. “Landfill and compactors are both areas where it is rare for anyone to bring anything new to market. Even though it’s not a new product, it’s a new model and new updates. We wanted to make the market aware of the changes and make a little noise about them.”

That “little noise” was heard more than 14,500 kilometres away in Australia.

Mirja says that strong Australian connection is due to GCM Enviro.

“GCM Enviro is crucial to our success,” she says. “They have always been a support leg for us that we could rely on. They have always performed and exceeded our expectations.

“They’re working remotely, far away from us with limited chances to get support when needed because of time differences, and still they have managed to grow a good customer base of happy, satisfied customers.

“Some years ago, we used to do customer satisfaction surveys. Feedback about customer service and availability of service from GCM Enviro customers was always very good. That’s a very big thing to say in a country like Australia, which is so big.”

At a dealer meeting last year, GCM Enviro was presented a trophy in recognition of its work with TANA over the years. Mirja says it is “extremely satisfying” for TANA to be where it is today, but they’re not done yet.

“The future holds interesting and good things for us all.” 

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