The Woldgate Honey apiary in Bridlington in the British county of Yorkshire has added three highly mobile all-terrain Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 4023 to its fleet. Bee keepers and the Unimog: an odd match? Anything but, as the Managing Director Mark Evamy explains: “Our work takes us long distances and that is why we need commercial vehicles that are both comfortable and cost-effective.” Woldgate Honey’s beehives are located up to five miles away from roads in remote locations in the North York moors, where the insects feed on the heather. “That is why very good all-terrain capabilities are essential”, emphasizes Evamy. “The Unimog is definitely the only vehicle that fulfills all of our needs.”
The Unimog’s ability to handle even extreme terrain is the product of its robust and flexible vehicle frame together with the special thrust tube technology. This enables diagonal axle articulation and extreme spring travel. In addition, the short overhangs enable the vehicle to handle inclines of up to 45°. The Unimog U 4023 is powered by a 170 kW (231 hp) Euro VI engine and the all-wheel drive can be activated on demand. The Unimog for Woldgate Honey are equipped with features such as galvanized steel platforms on a torsion-free, rotating subframe. This minimizes the torsion effects on the loading surface when driving off-road. The Unimog also feature a tire pressure control system that enables the driver to reduce the tire pressure from the driver’s cabin in order to allow more gentle travel and better traction when off-road.
We have not found another vehicle with the same all-round capabilities.
Woldgate Honey produces more than 60 tons of honey per year, harvested from more than 2,000 beehives. During the high season, a beehive may be home to more than 50,000 bees. During the production season from March until the end of October, the beehives are relocated between the individual sites. These range from agricultural areas in spring to the moors with their heather in autumn. The apiculturists from Woldgate Honey rely on their three sun-yellow Unimog for this job. They are equipped with a loading crane at the rear and are capable of transporting up to 160 beehives.
Evamy explains that he knows bee keepers who use tractors. “These can handle the rough terrain very well but are a lot slower and less efficient on roads. We tried out a few different vehicles before we purchased our first Unimog 12 years ago. Since then, we have not found another vehicle with the same all-round capabilities.” For Mark Evamy, one thing is clear: once Unimog, always Unimog.
Photos: Woldgate Honey