A new robust forwarder, the S 20, is introduced; approximately 50 machines are manufactured in 1980 – 1983.
Manufacturing of the S 20 forwarder ends as a new, lighter model S 15 is introduced to the market. As mechanised harvesting increases in the early 1980s, the treadmarks left in the woods by the heavy machinery become a talking point. The public starts to demand lighter and more eco-friendly machines.
Ponsse becomes a nationwide phenomenon in 1983 with the new S 15 forwarder. This new forwarder is in a class of its own with regard to its cross-terrain performance.
The treadmarks of this lightweight machine are less noticeable than those of its competitors. The machine weighs approximately 10 metric tonnes but has a carrying capacity of 12 tonnes, and its tractive power of 14.1 tonnes is comparable to that of larger machines. It also permits harvesting on soil with poor bearing capacity.
The company launches grapple processors and later on grapple harvesters. Several types of grapple harvesters are put to the test at Einari Vidgrén's logging sites, and since a satisfactory model is not found, Einari states: "We'll make it ourselves."
Manufacturing of the new H 520 model is not completely trouble-free, as problems are encountered with the grapple operation. Ponsse faces great challenges after about 30 grapples are sold to the customers. Due to these problems, flexibility is required from the employees and work is carried out non-stop so as to repair the harvester head malfunctions. Learning from the experience, Ponsse develops a new harvester head, H 60, at the end of the same year.
The harvester grapples need measuring devices and Ponsse acquires these from Kajaani Automatiikka Ky.
The very first machine with a functioning diameter measuring device is delivered to contractor Voitto Muikku in Puolanka. The harvester grapple marks an important step in the expansion of the product family ranging from forwarders to harvesting machines.
On 16 December 1988 Ponsse’s entire share capital is transferred to the industrial company Interpolator Oy, of SKOP Group.
This makes Ponsse part of the Norcar Group along with some earlier company acquisitions. Einari becomes a member of the Board of Directors at Norcar, and Esa Vidgrén is appointed as the Managing Director of Ponsse Plc.