Tuck-mounted access platform leader Versalift and the team responsible for the legendary Mercedes-Benz Unimog in the UK have joined forces to launch an exciting new model.
The new vehicle made its world debut last and is based on a Unimog U218 implement carrier with nominal 7.5-tonne gross weight. It is designed to provide utilities companies with a compact, fast and reliable off-road package for work on low-voltage power lines in difficult-to-reach areas, at a highly attractive price.
The new vehicle is fitted with an all-steel boom and platform that offers a maximum working height of 15 metres. The equipment is insulated to safeguard operatives working on lines carrying up to 1,000 volts – crucially, should the boom make contact, the chassis is also protected. To maintain its Certified LV integrity, the unit requires an annual dielectric test.
Given the demanding conditions in which the Unimog is likely to be employed, Versalift has opted for the sturdy reliability of traditional, fully hydraulic boom operation. However, in the unlikely event that the team using the truck run out of diesel, a clever electronic override ensures the platform can be brought down safely.
Other features of the design include an exceptionally low centre of gravity, enhancing off-road stability, and very little overhang behind the back axle, which makes for excellent departure angles. The Unimog’s panoramic windscreen is also an aid to drivers negotiating rough terrain.
The U218 variant is powered by an advanced and economical 130 kW (177 hp) four-cylinder engine. The truck’s four-wheel drive system provides ultimate traction when the going gets tough while, provided the 7.5-tonne gross weight is not exceeded, it can also be driven under ‘Grandfather Rights’ by anyone who passed their car test before 1st January 1997.
An official bodybuilding partner of Mercedes-Benz Trucks, Versalift is the world’s largest vehicle-mounted platform manufacturer – its UK operation, which is based in Kettering, Northamptonshire, enjoys a domestic market share of almost 90%.
Bernhard Dolinek, Head of Special Trucks – Unimog at Mercedes-Benz, added: “This compact but highly capable and efficient new product offers utilities sector operators the opportunity to benefit from the design and engineering excellence of two market leaders, at a surprisingly low price.
“We are delighted to be working even more closely with Versalift. Its expert team of field service engineers, and the extensive coverage of the Mercedes-Benz Trucks Dealer Network, mean customers are also assured of the industry’s finest after sales back-up.”