A municipal Unimog with watering arm and tanker trailer waters plane trees along Cologne's motorway stretches.
The employees of Banzhaf Gartenbau GmbH in Essen have never experienced such a hot summer since they started tending to the well-being of vegetation in 1987. The 30 employees work in both the commercial and the municipal sectors. And their reliable fleet of Mercedes-Benz vehicles are always on hand: an Arocs and two Sprinter vans serve as platform vehicles. Plus, in April 2020, a Unimog U 430 was also purchased to work as an irrigation vehicle. The services of the orange-coloured gardening aid immediately enjoyed surprisingly high demand.
New Unimog for young trees.
Initially, the Unimog was used to irrigate newly planted young trees for the city of Essen. As part of the planting measures put in place, the 1500 trees need to be watered every week for three years, especially in the summer months. And that's a task which the Unimog with its Ecotech watering arm body and 4000-litre tank can easily cope with.
Extreme summer heat resulted in a special order.
The unusually dry summers of recent years pose special challenges for municipalities with regard to the preservation of flora – just as was the case with this "surprise mission" as Christian Weinert, Managing Director at Banzhaf, describes it. Along the oldest of the German Autobahns, the A 555, which was inaugurated in 1932 by the Lord Mayor of Cologne, Konrad Adenauer, there are numerous plane trees. Despite these trees having deep roots, the drought made things difficult for them and so a quick and efficient solution was needed. Through an arborist who works for Cologne's motorway maintenance unit, contact was established with the horticultural company based in Essen. Christian Weinert sums the job up today with satisfaction: "It was a really tricky task, but we did it with the help of the Unimog."
From a slurry trailer to a plant protector.
The challenge was to provide the 50 trees with life-giving water "in a single shot" where possible, because closing the hard shoulder for any length of time is a cost-intensive affair. With the Unimog's existing 4000-litre tank, that wouldn't have worked because each plane trees requires around 500 litres of water. So the solution was found in a liquid manure trailer from RKF-Bleses GmbH. The Unimog partner provided the horticultural company with this demonstration vehicle free-of-charge and it was re-purposed for this special order.