Versatile vehicle ‘leads the field’ for contractor

Agricultural and equestrian contractor Luke Finney is running his first Mercedes-Benz Unimog, after 14 years of trading – and he says it won’t be his last.

Luke bought his Unimog from dealer Arthur Ibbett in St Neots, and it is now undertaking groundworks and building contracts for farms, rural businesses and private individuals.

“Having experienced the vehicle’s amazing range of abilities, I can’t understand why anyone in my line of work would choose anything else,” he says.

The U530 model is powered by a 7.7-litre, six-cylinder engine which produces 220kW (299hp) and 1,200Nm of torque, and drives through a 16-speed electro-pneumatic transmission. Permanent all-wheel drive, impressive ground clearance, and uprated portal axles that have differential locks and over extreme levels of articulation, contribute to its cross-country capability.

Its specification includes the optional Central Tyre Inflation (CTI) system, which allows the driver to quickly and easily lower tyre pressures without leaving the cab, minimising damage to particularly soft ground.

VarioPilot, meanwhile, allows the steering wheel and instrument binnacle to be slid from one side of the cab to the other in minutes.

The vehicle is equipped with front and rear electrical and hydraulic connectors, a front implement plate, roof-mounted beacons and main beam lights, with others covering the rear working area, and cameras at both ends.

The U530’s ability to tow trailers at a gross train weights of up to 36t is another key attribute. Luke’s Unimog is often paired with a tri-axle lowloader by Chieftan, which carries plant including his Takeuchi excavator, or a Broughan dump trailer.

Luke praised the vehicle’s comfort, “great eld of vision” from the driver’s seat, and ease of operation, as well as its capabilities on any off-road terrain. He says the truck is “equally happy” on tarmac at speeds of up to 56mph, where it’s “far-more fuel efficient” than a tractor.

“It can tow any equipment I need to move around, while its own load bed with dropsides is ideal for carrying tools and other gear,” he adds.

Luke says the customer service from Arthur Ibbett was also “excellent” and he received a veyear extended warranty package which was “very reasonably priced”.

“I contacted the dealer initially, because I was looking for a used model. However, when Tim Ibbett told me he had this new vehicle available, with a specification that was perfect for my needs, I jumped at it…

“The Unimog was delivered in perfect condition and I’m absolutely delighted with it.

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