New Mercedes-Benz Unimog U530 will work on UK's smart motorways


Landscape maintenance and arboriculture specialist Acorn Environmental Management Group has taken delivery of its first Mercedes-Benz Unimog.

The Rygor Commercials-supplied U530 implement carrier, which tows a US-built FINN T75T HydroSeeder, will be used to discharge gel-protected seed and fertilizers under high pressure over a distance of up to 90 feet.

Redditch-based Acorn Environmental has contracts to seed the banks and verges on Britain’s growing network of smart motorways. It has completed projects on the M1 and M5, and is currently working on the M6 as a sub-contractor to the Balfour Beatty Vinci joint venture.

The operator has previously relied on agricultural tractors to fulfil this role. However, as MD Kevin O’Rourke revealed, there was a significant drawback to doing so.“Tractors are not permitted to operate on the motorway, so must always remain within the traffic management area,” he said. “This meant that when we ran out of water we needed bowser wagons to come in and fill us up, which often entailed frustrating delays as well as the obvious additional costs.

“With the Unimog, that’s all behind us. The truck is superb on rough ground, of course, but unlike a tractor it’s also capable of achieving on-road speeds of 56mph. As a result, when we need more water for the hydroseeder’s 700-gallon tank we can just exit the traffic management area and travel back to the source at the main depot to refill.”

Daimler tests level 4 autonomous trucks on public roads


Daimler Trucks has started testing level 4 autonomous Freightliner trucks on public roads in North America.

The initial routes are on highways in southwest Virginia, where Daimler’s recently acquired autonomous vehicle specialist Torc Robotics is headquartered. The on-road trial, which follows extensive track testing, requires both an engineer and a highly trained safety driver travel in the cabs.

Martin Daum, member of the board of management of Daimler AG, responsible for trucks and buses, said: “Bringing level 4 trucks to the public roads is a major step toward our goal to deliver reliable and safe trucks for the benefits of our customers, our economies and society.”