Acorn cracks efficiency savings with Mercedes-Benz Unimog10 September 2019

Redditch-based Acorn Environmental Management Group has taken delivery of its first Mercedes-Benz Unimog, choosing the vehicle for its on-road capability as much as off-road performance.

The landscape maintenance and arboriculture business is using the Unimog on its smart motorway contracts, where the Unimog tows a Finn T75T hydroseeder, which can discharge seed and fertiliser under high pressure along the banks and verges.

Previously, the operator used agricultural tractors to perform this task, but there was a major drawback, as managing director Kevin O’Rourke explains: “Tractors are not permitted to operate on the motorway, so must always remain within the traffic management area. This meant that when we ran out of water we needed bowser wagons to come in and fill us up, which often entailed frustrating delays as well as the obvious additional costs.

“With the Unimog, that’s all behind us,” he says. “The truck is superb on rough ground, of course, but unlike a tractor it’s also capable of achieving on-road speeds of 56mph. As a result, when we need more water for the hydroseeder’s 700-gallon tank we can just exit the traffic management area and travel back to the source at the main depot to refill.”

Supplied by dealer Rygor Commercials, the Unimog U530 has a 7.7-litre engine, which produces 295bhp and 1,200Nm of torque. Its factory-fitted tipping body carries four 1,000-litre intermediate bulk containers of water, while the hydroseeder travels on a tri-axle trailer by Gardiner, of Arbroath.

Acorn Environmental specified Michelin 495/70 R24 agricultural tyres – the largest permissible – as well as optional Central Tyre Inflation (CTI) technology. This system allows the driver to lower tyre pressures without leaving the cab.

“It’s a fantastic machine,” says O’Rourke.

“We’ll be keeping the Unimog busy on our smart motorway contracts for the time being, but its incredible versatility means we can also use it to undertake a wide variety of other tasks.”

Laura Cork

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