McCulloch Rail on track for flexibility with new Mercedes Unimog05 May 2017

Railway maintenance contractor McCulloch Rail has taken delivery of its latest Mercedes-Benz Unimog, this time fitted with special rail wheels to enable operation on train lines as well as on- and off-road.

Supplied by dealer South Cave Tractors, of East Yorkshire, the Ayrshire-based operator’s new addition is a Euro 6 U427 model, with a 272bhp six-cylinder engine driving through a fully synchronised manual transmission with eight forward and eight reverse gears.

In addition to its road wheels, the 13-tonne gvw chassis is fitted with special rail wheels by Zagro, of Germany. These wheels can be lowered to enable the truck to drive along railway tracks, then raised again when not required.

A road-rail vehicle typically requires a level crossing or access point to join the track, but the Unimog’s off-road capability means that it can cross any ground necessary to get to work.

“No other machine does what the Unimog can do,” says Danny McCulloch, co-founder.

“It can be driven on road at 56mph, yet is also capable of handling the roughest cross-country terrain. It can haul a heavy trailer with specialist plant or machinery, and ours can even run on the railway line. It does everything.”

He adds: “We bought our first one in 1993, called it ‘Mary Mog’, and have stuck with them ever since. That first vehicle is still in our shed – we just can’t let it go. One of these days we’re going to restore it to its former glory and it will be a fantastic mascot for our business.”

Laura Cork

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