Versalift Unimogs for UK electric grid
By Leila Steed03 December 2020
South Cave Tractors, in the UK, has delivered seven aerial platforms from Versalift mounted on all terrain Mercedes-Benz Unimogs to electrical distribution company Northern Powergrid.
Headquartered near Newcastle Upon Tyne in England, Northern Powergrid manages the region’s electricity network, providing power for 8 million people across 3.9 million homes and businesses.
South Cave provided the U5023 UHE Extreme Off-road Unimog models as part of a £1.75 million (US$2.3 million) fleet investment. The 4x4 truck mounts features a 5.1 litre engine and a Versalift LT-56-NE telescopic boom, equipped with a two-person basket. The hydraulic access equipment has a maximum working height of 20m and a 9m outreach.
Alistair Walton, programme manager of Overhead Lines for Northern Powergrid’s South Yorkshire & North Lincolnshire region, said, “These vehicles are deployed daily across our operations and are used by our teams of overhead linesmen to access wood pole overhead power lines which can carry anything from 240 to 66,000 volts.
“Many of these are in difficult-to-reach locations but the Unimog’s fantastic off-road capability allows us to traverse the most challenging of terrains.”
The standard Unimog model has a central tyre inflation system that lets the driver to both reduce and increase tyre pressure from inside the cab. This increases grip and minimises damage to the ground when working off-road, and also allows the tyres to be reinflated when back on normal hard surfaces. The U5023 also includes a torsionally flexible frame and a torque tube suspension system that allows for extreme levels of axle articulation.
Northern Powergrid said its new vehicles were also equipped with heated lockers and additional working lights for use at night and in bad weather conditions.