Transport Scotland has expanded its winter fleet for the nation’s trunk roads, adding two Mercedes-Benz Unimog vehicles to help tackle flooding issues.
Hugh Gillies, director of trunk road and bus operations at Transport Scotland, told delegates at Road Expo Scotland that 'in recent years most of the big challenges have been around flooding and high winds'.
He added: 'We are trialling Unimogs this year in terms of their ability to be control vehicles and we will use them for rapid deployment of pumps.'
Transport Scotland procured a new Unimog U5023 to operate as a relief vehicle. It has been custom-fitted with a remote-controlled Palfinger crane and specialist pump to help clear up incidents more efficiently.
A second Unimog all-terrain patrol vehicle is also being trialled this winter on the M80. The Unimog U530 can help access to difficult sites in difficult conditions and can also plough and grit if required, as it has been fitted with a Pronar plough and gritter.
The vehicles have been provided by franchise dealer Lloyd Ltd.
Jason Toogood, Unimog sales specialist at Lloyd Ltd, commented: 'We are excited to be supporting Transport Scotland in this important initiative. Responsiveness and flexibility are essential in keeping road networks safe and accessible, and these two Unimog vehicles are ideally suited to deliver the solutions that Transport Scotland require.
'At home both on- and off-road, with specialist attachments to minimise the impact of events such as flooding or snowfall, the Unimogs will be on hand to do their job quickly and efficiently whenever they are needed.'
Network impacts manager for Transport Scotland, Martin Thomson, said: 'We can’t prevent bad weather from happening but we can strive to mitigate the effects and we will continue to do so to build the resilience of the trunk road network to make it safer for our customers.'
Keeping Scotland moving: (From left to right) Transport Scotland’s Iain McDonald (Network Resilience Manager), Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ Bernhard Dolinek (Head of Special Trucks), Lloyd Ltd’s Jason Toogood (Unimog Sales Specialist), Transport Scotland’s Martin Thomson (Network Impacts Manager, Trunk Road & Bus Operations) and MBTUK’s Dominic Dawes (Northern Sales Manager for Special Trucks) with the two Unimogs at Transport Scotland’s Winter Service launch.