Cour­ses for horses with Un­i­mog

Motor Equipment News - - DIESEL INDUSTRY NEWS -

The grass is al­ways greener on race­courses that fea­ture in Vic­to­ria’s Spring Rac­ing Car­ni­val in Aus­tralia, thanks partly to a bright or­ange Un­i­mog.

Along with am­ple rain and clever groundskeep­ers, the dis­tinc­tive Mercedes-Benz spreader truck helps keep the grass at many of the state’s ma­jor race­courses healthy thanks to a good dose of nu­tri­ents.

The Euro 6 rated ma­chine is the very first version of the new gen­er­a­tion 400 and 500 se­ries Un­i­mogs to land in Aus­tralia and be­longs to Noel Squires, who runs an op­er­a­tion called The Spread­ers out of Wer­ribee, just south of Mel­bourne.

Squires is called on to spread a range of nu­tri­ents onto the track sur­face just be­fore the big races at ma­jor tracks around Vic­to­ria.

“We spread gyp­sum, fertliser, lime and sand on tracks as part of reg­u­lar main­te­nance,” he says.

“About a month out from each cup we are called on to ap­ply fer­tiliser to make sure there is a good track sur­face be­cause no­body wants the track to be av­er­age. They also need to make it nice and bright and green so it looks good at the track and on tele­vi­sion,” Noel says.

His new U430 Un­i­mog uses the lat­est gen­er­a­tion OM936 7.7-litre six-cylin­der turbo diesel en­gine that meets the strin­gent Euro6 emis­sions stan­dard and gen­er­ates 299hp (220kW) and 1,200Nm of torque.

It runs an eight-speed au­to­mated man­ual trans­mis­sion. Noel also or­dered the op­tional EasyDrive hy­dro­static drive sys­tem that can be en­gaged for a smoother drive ex­pe­ri­ence at low speeds to help with spread­ing ac­cu­racy.

The new 400 and 500 se­ries Un­i­mog has been sub­stan­tially up­graded with a new-look in­te­rior that fea­tures a new look dash­board and in­stru­ment clus­ter, a multi-func­tion steer­ing wheel and an up­graded cabin heat­ing and cool­ing sys­tem.

It re­tains the Un­i­mog’s famed of­froad abil­ity thanks to con­stant four­wheel drive, cen­tral tyre in­fla­tion and spe­cial por­tal axles that sit higher than tra­di­tional axles and al­low for greater ground clear­ance.

The U430 is not the only Un­i­mog in the Wer­ribee stable and Noel and his fel­low driver, Gianni Caon, swap be­tween the newly ar­rived truck and U2450 made in 2002. Th­ese are just two of the ten Un­i­mogs Mr Squires has owned since 1982 and has used for work on rac­ing tracks, veg­etable rows, golf cour­ses and crop fields.

Asked why he is so com­mit­ted to the Un­i­mog, which was in­vented for farm work back in 1946, Noel says it was the per­fect tool for his var­i­ous jobs.

“They al­ways do what we need to do across all the ar­eas we work in,” Noel says.

“We have got some­thing that, with­out a big com­pro­mise on any part of our work, can cover ev­ery­thing, rather than hav­ing some­thing that might suit this but doesn’t suit that.”

The Un­i­mog’s ground clear­ance was also a fac­tor be­cause the spread­ers must strad­dle veg­etable row dirt mounds that sit 30cm to 40cm high, Mr Squires says.

“We want ground clear­ance in the hor­ti­cul­tural in­dus­try,” he says.

“If you are work­ing on cul­ti­vated ground or work­ing over plants, you need ground clear­ance and the Un­i­mog has it.”

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