The multi-talented Unimog deployed to install irrigation systems.
It’s a normal working day in the English county of Wiltshire and the staff at Whatley & Co. are installing water pumps and pipework for a farmer. Their journey to the job begins on the county’s well-made roads but then it starts getting bumpy. The heavy components have to be brought all the way across farmland to the installation site and then raised quite high during the assembly process. Up to a few months ago the team needed three different vehicles to complete these tasks. But that’s all in the past now, as Whatley’s new Unimog U 530 shows that three into one really does go.
Decluttering the truck park.
“These are still early days but the Unimog is already a hit,” says Sam Thompson, Managing Director at Whatley & Co. He runs the business, which is already in its sixth generation of family ownership and has roots that go back to the 1870s. Whatley specialises in water engineering for customers in the agricultural sector, its main area of activity being the installation of irrigation systems, water pumps, tanks and reservoirs. This mission sees Whatley employees deployed on a daily basis to sites in the rural area around the company’s headquarters in the Vale of Pewsey.
The team used to need three vehicles for installations in open farmland: a road-going truck to cover longer distances, a tractor and trailer for off-road transport, plus a 7.5-tonner with a crane for lifting the pipes and pumps.
All three jobs are now performed with equal ease by the multi-tasking Unimog U 530, providing a huge efficiency boost for Whatley & Co. “The special truck’s many different functions mean that we’re turning to it even more often than we expected – its wheels have barely stopped turning,” says Sam Thompson. “We’re even receiving a steady flow of calls from people in a range of similar applications who have seen it out and about, and want to know if it’s available for hire.”
Equally at home on the road and in the fields.
The top model among Unimog implement carriers tows a trailer at a gross train weight of 40 t. With a full load the Unimog U 530 can travel at 80 km/h as the truck is fully compliant with all legislation for road transport.
Permanent all-wheel drive, ample ground clearance and extreme levels of axle articulation are all key to the Unimog’s impressive off-road ability. The all-rounder is equally at home on rough farmland and fields as on loose scree, mud or snow. Once at the job site, the 19-tonne Palfinger crane ably performs all required lifting duties.
Cost-effective, efficient and reliable.
The decision that the new special-purpose vehicle should be a Unimog was reached quickly, according to Managing Director Sam Thompson. “We considered other options but there’s nothing else out there that can match the Unimog for the sheer range of its abilities. It’s not a cheap piece of equipment, of course, but by effectively replacing no fewer than three older vehicles it’s proving to be highly cost-effective.”
This decision by Whatley & Co is a classic example of the persuasiveness of Mercedes-Benz RoadEfficiency: low overall costs, excellent reliability and high vehicle utilisation. The decommissioning of superfluous vehicles and the Unimog’s greater fuel economy compared to a tractor have made the purchase worthwhile. The Special Truck also contributes to the safety of employees and other road users with a large number of features such as the robust, high-tech cab offering a safe working environment with excellent all-round visibility, and anti-lock brakes with automatic load-sensing control (ALB) as standard.
The wheels of our Unimog have barely stopped turning!
Sam Thompson, Managing Director, Whatley & Co
Comprehensive local service.
Sam Thompson also expresses his satisfaction with the service provided by Mercedes-Benz. He was given specialist support from Rygor Commercials when selecting and purchasing the new Unimog U 530. The certified Mercedes-Benz dealership is also delighted with the success of the Unimog at Whatley & Co. As Fleet & Unimog Sales Manager Bill Kingsmill puts it: “The Unimog offers a unique combination of capabilities which make it a very attractive proposition. We are delighted to be able to deliver a vehicle that meets the operator’s precise requirements and to be able to provide continued support with our extensive range of aftersales services.”