Hayfields Dairy, a cheesemaker based in Audlem, Cheshire, recently purchased a new Mercedes-Benz Unimog U430 4x4 implement carrier that it uses for daily milk collection from farms across Cheshire, Staffordshire, and Shropshire. Supplied by dealer Lloyd Ltd, the vehicle covers as many as 250 miles (402 kilometres) per day.
“The Unimog has cut journey times by as much as three hours, and is also saving us more than 75 litres of fuel on some working days. In financial terms, it’s a no-brainer!” says MD Rob Huntbach.
Powered by a 7.7-litre, 295-horsepower (220-kilowatt) engine, the U430 features an electro-pneumatic transmission that can switch between manual and automatic, an engine power take-off (PTO) for running attachments, and a hydraulic system that Hayfields uses to power pumps in its 16,000-L milk tank trailer. It has a gross vehicle weight of 12.7 tonnes. Hayfields also spec’d its Unimog with the VarioPilot system that lets you move the steering wheel, instrument panel, and pedals across the cabin to enable left- or right-hand driving, a process that Mercedes-Benz says takes less than a minute.
“We tried Lloyd Ltd’s demonstrator before we committed to buy the Unimog, and if I’m honest I wasn’t sure it was going to be up to the job. I couldn’t have been more wrong,” Huntbach says. “Our new Mercedes-Benz is incredibly versatile. When it comes to road work the Unimog has a 56-mph cruising speed which makes it significantly quicker than the tractor we’d been using to pull the tanker. It’s also more nimble, more comfortable, and much more fuel-efficient.
“We have about 250 acres at Hayfields,” Huntbach continues. “I rent all my ground out now, but there are still plenty of jobs to do around the farm, and here, too, the Unimog excels. We’ve also used it with hedge-cutting attachments, and for pulling a silage trailer over the fields—we couldn’t do any of that with a standard truck. It really does offer the best of both worlds.”
More Unimog Details
Mercedes-Benz introduced the Unimog more than 70 years ago. It’s available as a chassis compatible with various truck bodies or as a dedicated implement carrier in long and short variants, with a wheelbase ranging from 2,800 to 3,900 millimetres. The implement carrier version is versatile in its own right as it has connection for attachments on the front, rear, and side. This allows it work in a wide range of industries, including municipal, agriculture and forestry, energy, emergency services, airports, construction, and more.
Engine options for the Unimog range from the 188-hp (140-kW) unit found in the U219 to the 295-hp unit found in the U530 long. The on- and off-roader also has a top speed of 89 km/h. Safety features include anti-lock brakes, precision steering, directional stability, and a three-point seat belt. Combined with a short front end and large windscreen, as well as an optional camera and monitoring system, these features make the Unimog a safe workspace in varied environments.
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