Forestry contractor and tree surgeon Ben Nicholson has been running his Mercedes-Benz Unimog for three months now but admits: “I’m still finding new plus points every week.”
Key to the all-wheel drive truck’s appeal for Surrey-based Ben is its amazing versatility – it offers the go-anywhere capability of a conventional tractor for work deep in the forest, but also allows him to clip along the road at much higher speeds and in a lot more comfort than he could in a tractor.
The Unimog U400 was supplied to Ben Nicholson Tree Services by North Yorkshire dealer AC Price and came fitted with a woodchipper which channels chippings via a spout into a high-sided box body, both of which are demountable. This means Ben can also use the truck as a dropsider, in which configuration it is often fitted with timber bolsters and put to work towing his various trailers.
Throw in the fact that the panoramic cab of his new Mercedes-Benz can seat three in comfort, and benefits from an optional automatic transmission that makes for an easier working day, and it’s easy to see why he is so impressed.
“Previously, whenever I took a tractor to a site I’d have to send a van along as well, to transport a second member of the team and carry my saws and other tools,” he explained. “Now, everything goes on the Unimog.
“The 286hp engine has plenty of power for towing so although I don’t push it when pulling a full load of logs the Unimog has reduced dramatically the amount of time we spend on the road between jobs, which is another big bonus.”
Founded more than 10 years ago, Ben Nicholson Tree Services operates from premises near Cranleigh and provides a comprehensive range of arboricultural services, including site clearance, whole tree chipping and forestry mulching, to commercial and domestic customers throughout Surrey and beyond. The company also operates static and mobile sawmills.