AT home on rough and unpaved terrain but taking motorways in its stride: the Unimog U 530 demonstrates reliability and speed both on and off the road. 

Acorn Environmental, a British landscaping and tree care company, recognised this potential and turned it to their own advantage making both their business and the roadsides flourish.

Based in Redditch, a town in Worcestershire, central England, the Acorn Environmental crew specialises in planting embankments along the growing network of UK smart motorways. 

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The company bought its first Unimog from dealer Rygor Commercials. After delivery, the vehicle was put straight to work in the terrain either side of the motorways. The Unimog tows a FINN T75T HydroSeeder, which is designed to discharge gel-protected seeds and fertiliser under high pressure over a distance of up to 27 metres. 

Forestry Journal:

Managing director Kevin O'Rourke said: “The Unimog is known for its off-road capability, but its on-road performance is the key to the efficiency savings we can now achieve."

In the past, Acorn Environmental relied on agricultural tractors to get the job done. However, these could not be used on motorways, which led to delays and bumped up costs. 

Kevin said: "Tractors are not permitted to operate on motorways and must always remain on rural roads. This meant that tankers had to come along whenever we ran out of water. Now we have the Unimog, that’s all in the past." 

Because the Unimog can do almost everything: it is speedy on the road, plants seeds where they are needed and has integrated water tanks. It has a total weight of 13.5 tonnes, meaning it could tow up to a further 18 tonnes. The Special Truck has a standard tip box and carries four 1,000-litre water tanks while the HydroSeeder sits on a three-axle Gardiner trailer.

The Unimog U 530 features a fuel-efficient, 7.7-litre, six-cylinder engine with 299 hp generating 1,200 Nm of torque – enough power to cope with rural areas and country roads . It can reach on-road speeds of up to 55 mph even when towing heavy loads.

Forestry Journal:

With its permanent all-wheel drive and fully synchronised electropneumatic transmission featuring eight forward and six reverse gears, no slope is too steep and no terrain too rough.

Matt Cleave from dealer Rygor Commercials said: "Robust, powerful and surprisingly versatile: every Unimog we deliver is perfectly tailored to the customer’s operational requirements."

It has impressive ground clearance thanks to the portal axles. The all-wheel drive with differential locks offers extremely high levels of articulation and contribute to this truck's unrivalled off-road capability. 

To boost this still further, Acorn Environmental opted for the largest permitted Michelin 495/70 R24 agricultural tyres and the optional TireControl Plus tyre pressure control system. This system can quickly and easily adjust the tyre pressure to achieve even better off-road characteristics while also minimising damage to the ground.

It became crystal clear within only a year that this investment had been very worthwhile as the Unimog has an even wider range of applications. “The Unimog is a fantastic machine," said Kevin. “Its incredible versatility means that we can also use it for a variety of other tasks.”

For the landscaping company, switching to the Unimog was more than just simply buying a new vehicle – it was a strategic decision that has already proven to be money well spent. Kevin is sure that this investment will pay off. Because he knows that you have to sow to reap.