Electrifying work.

Up and away on the elevating work platform for maintenance at 20 m above the ground.

Private households, companies, hospitals and entire municipalities: we all need electricity. It’s good that we can rely on UK-based energy company Northern Powergrid – and that they can rely on the Unimog.

Relentless: Unimog.

The energy company manages the electricity grid in the British counties of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire in the country's north. The area covers 8 million customers as well as 3.9 million households and companies. “These days, our customers need us more than ever and we are aware of the pivotal role we play in supply,” Alistair Walton says as the programme manager for overhead lines at Northern Powergrid. For this reason, the team works non-stop, 24 hours a day, 356 days a year. Just as relentlessly as the seven new extreme off-road-capable Unimog U 5023 vehicles the company purchased to support crews.

Off-road gang.

With its 5.1-litre four-cylinder engine rated at 170 kW (230 hp), the Unimog U 5023 is agile, especially off-road. “These vehicles are in use as part of our operations every day and our overhead line installers need them to access wooden mast lines. These are often located in hard-to-reach areas, but the fantastic off-road capability of the Unimog allows us to overcome even the most difficult terrain,” Alistair Walton explains enthusiastically.

The trucks, an investment of £1.75 million for Northern Powergrid, were supplied by South Cave Tractors, a specialist dealer based in Brough, East Yorkshire. Northern Powergrid closely worked with South Cave Tractors and Versalift to define the specifications – an unbeatable off-road gang. Consequently, these Unimog vehicles have been perfectly tailored to their jobs and cope well off road. The all-round vehicle also features outstanding standard equipment.

It includes TireControl Plus, the central tyre pressure control system that enables drivers to lower the tyre pressure from the cab. This not only increases the vehicle's grip, but also protects the environment, as it damages the ground less. The tyres can then be re-inflated once the vehicle has returned to non-yielding ground, improving safety and fuel consumption at regular road speeds.

The stable, yet torsionally flexible, frame and the torque tube suspension system ensure even more grip. In combination, they deliver high degrees of axle articulation.

This means that the wheels of the Unimog U 5023 remain in contact with the ground – despite all the excitement and tension.

The Unimogs are a significant investment for us.

Alistair Walton, Overhead Line Programme Manager, Northern Powergrid

Qualified for line engineering.

“Its off-road capability is legendary. However, the chassis and work platforms' high levels of reliability are no less important – consequently, we can use the Unimog at any time of day or night and in any weather,” Justin Bower, Commercial Manager at Vehicle Lease & Service, says about the extreme off-road-capable Unimog. Northern Powergrid’s sister company rents out the vehicles to the electricity provider.

The vehicles are equipped with hydraulic elevating work platforms from Versalift to ensure that the Unimogs can reliably perform their line engineering work. Northern Powergrid teams use them to repair and replace power lines. Across the network, the overhead lines, carrying between 240 and 66,000 V, are held up by wooden masts.

Thanks to the elevating work platforms' maximum reach of 20 m, they are easy to reach – an electrifying task at high altitudes. “This is a big improvement compared with the 15 m of range we could manage with the former vehicles,” Alistair Walton says proudly.

Strong team of three: Unimog, Northern Powergrid and Versalift

In addition to its impressive maximum height, the Versalift LT-56-NE offers a telescopic boom with a reach of 9 m. In this way, technicians can overcome obstacles to access the overhead lines. Each elevating work platform features a basket that can carry up to 230 kg and is large enough to accommodate two technicians.

A load of extras.

“When considering the equipment, we also asked our teams for their opinion,” Alistair Walton adds. “This resulted in extras, such as heated lockers and additional work lights, which are a great help whenever the team is called out to restore power for our customers at night or in difficult weather conditions.” Northern Powergrid and the Unimog: a relentless team.

Supplying power, even in an emergency.

Programme manager Alistair Walton sums up the situation by saying “the acquisition of the seven Unimogs was a significant investment for us”. “With these trucks, we can be there for our customers and ensure that our teams work safely, quickly and efficiently. All in an effort to maintain the power supply and respond to any electrical emergencies.”

Thanks to their Unimogs with extreme off-road capability, Northern Powergrid teams can deal with any sort of blackout.

Do you want to learn more about the extreme off-road-capable Unimog?


View product information

Unimog Energy.

With the Unimog, you can crank up the power even when fully loaded. And that's exactly where it gets down to business every day in the energy industry: off-road.

The Unimog implement carrier.

Flexible attachment and mounting options, year-round use, cost-effective operation, safe on the road and robust off-road.

The extreme off-road Unimog.

Developed as a reliable powerhouse with one goal: the utmost in indestructibility.

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