Variety is the spice of life

Image credit: Malcolm McCurrach/HIE

A Mercedes-Benz Unimog that helped keep roads open during extreme weather is now trimming roadside hedges and verges in the same locations for Highland Council.

During last winter’s ‘Beast from the East’, the Unimog was fitted with a snow cutter-blower and demountable gritter body to help clear a way through snow drifts on roads to the Cairngorm Mountain ski centre near Aviemore. The end of the ski season brought a change of roles. Equipped with a front-mounted mower and ditch-cutter attachment, the vehicle is now trimming verges and overhanging branches to improve safety.

Supplied by South Cave Tractors, the long wheelbase Unimog U530 has a platform body which accommodates its large gritter spreader during winter. Highland Council transport and logistics manager James MacDonald said, “We had been relying on a dedicated snow-blowing vehicle, until it reached the end of its life. The Unimog is a far more cost-effective solution, though, because it can be used in a variety of roles all year round.”