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Will you be my Valetine? Forever, I will…

Posted 17/03/2015 at 12:00:00 by Mandi

AV celebrated their first wedding with Mandi finally saying, 'I Do'. She tied the knot with her partner of 2 years, Jared from sunny Australia (where they met!) in Lancaster on Valentine's Day.

The Ceremony was held at Ashton Memorial in Williamson Park, also known as the 'Taj Mahal' of the North, followed by a reception at The Borough in Dalton Square. The bride arrived in a beautiful white carriage with handsome black horses wearing white plumes.

The bride wore a fusion dress with a combination of the traditional Eastern and Western colours of red and white with exquisite handcrafted embroidery and bead-work. The groom was in a tailored three piece suit in navy blue with a rose and paisley tie to match his bride.

After the ceremony drinks and canapes were enjoyed. Later followed by a reception with 3 course meal, cocktails, merriment and dancing! The AV Team certainly shook the dance floor busting their grooves to a variety of music!

It was a fusion affair where East met West and with family and friends from the world over it brought plenty of colour and culture. The whole day was magical and nothing short of a fairy-tale. Mandi described the day as, "one of the best days of our lives!". And so they lived happily ever after…

NOSTALGIA - Frank's Blog

Posted 17/03/2015 at 10:00:00 by Frank

1979-80 Ski and Sun Holiday…

On one of our trips to Central Africa we stayed the night with friends in South Germany. Next morning at minus 26 we gave up trying to get the trucks going with frozen brakes, waxy diesel and general coldness. My friends then invited us to go skiing near by. Prepared as ever with the latest in ski fashion - old duffel coats & woolly hats - we set off.

I soon realised that on anything without a steering wheel I wasn't much cop (as you can see!) - so fairly quickly retreated indoors. Luckily I didn't have to rely on my skiing abilities to earn a crust?! We finally got the trucks going and joined the queue for Border Control up the Brenner Pass in the bad old days before the EEC.

By contrast later on in the trip we experienced some very hot days in the Sahara. The photos show our favourite camp site (middle of nowhere!) and us resurrecting a ‘Piste Marker’.

These were put up in colonial times to guide travellers and not too many remain so we were doing our bit. There are pictures of our early research into overlanders’ showers – but not really suitable for publication!

New Kid in the CAD!

Posted 17/03/2015 at 09:30:00 by Mandi

Autumn of last year we had a very bright and eager Sam fresh out of college approach us for any sort of work while he decided what career path he would like to venture.

The new kid on the block Sam has settled into working on CAD designs with us for all products existing and new. Sam has an A level in Product Design and tells us he really enjoys creating drawings in the CAD software.

Sam has made great progress here at Atkinson Vos and shown profound skills in design. With our support and gaining first hand experience, Sam has now decided to take up a career in design and has secured a placement on the BA (Hons) Product Design course at De Montford University. Good Luck Sam!

NOSTALGIA - Frank's Blog

Posted 30/01/2015 at 16:33:50 by Frank

My First Camper Conversion…

One summer in the late sixties I found myself on a free camping place by the Black Sea coast in Romania. I converted my 1953 Ariel 500 single into my first mobile home with a prestigious piece of canvas. I fondly remember such kind hospitality from all the Eastern Europeans I met. Somehow that made my adventure behind the Iron Curtain with virtually no communication home not at all scary. The worst event was a giant bee sting in my helmet while riding on a gravel road – didn't manage to stay upright! Luckily I had my protective shorts on so I sped on eventually to Istanbul.

The colour picture was taken a couple of years later in what was then Yugoslavia on my Triumph Bonneville. I took a boat from Bar (in modern day Montenegro) to Bari in Southern Italy – I thought I was going to die of sea sickness during a violent storm & then wobbled my way North. The bike went like hell but vibrated so much that everything I wasn't holding broke and fell off. Still it got me home but I remain confused about people’s nostalgia for British Bikes.

So another step was taken on my journey into the world of travelling, camping and overland vehicles. The bikes were fun in the sun, cheap on the ferries and petrol…. but a bit down on creature comforts! But could I ever go as far as a UNICAT style camper on an 8x8 rocket launcher?

APF Success!

Posted 21/11/2014 at 15:48:06 by Mandi

Wow! This is certainly one word to describe the succession following the APF Exhibition. This is our 6th appearance at the show. We loved meeting new mog lovers and existing mog enthusiasts looking to upgrade or just have a chat. We sold a record eight TP wood chippers including one TP 175 MOBILE, three TP 200 PTOs, two TP 250 PTOs, one TP 270 PTO and one TP 270 K to new and existing customers. The TP 175 mobile was in fact bought off the demo circuit by existing customers, 1st Call Tree Clearance as an addition to their existing collection of TP wood chippers.

Another TP 250 PTO went to Chris McDowell, a tree surgeon in County Down who made a special phone call to tell us how fantastic it is. Chris told us how impressed he is that the chipper allows him to do the same work as before, charge the same rates but complete it in half the time. He wishes he had bought the machine years ago. One of his workmen rated it a 9 out of 10 and when asked why not 10, he said, "because it doesn't feed itself!". Chris's final words to describe it were, 'phenomenal & absolutely amazing!'.

Workshop Puzzle

Posted 21/11/2014 at 15:45:21 by Mandi

The final piece! Although the majority of the workshop extension was completed by the end of 2013, we still had a few final touches; lighting and this crane. Now the swanky new Abus crane has been installed and all lighting fitted, the workshop jigsaw is now complete.


Posted 21/11/2014 at 15:33:49 by Mandi

Earlier in the year we sold this U1200AG to longstanding customer Guy Gregson, a full-time agricultural contractor in the Kent area. After 15 years away from the industry, Guy knew exactly what he needed to do - get a Unimog! As Guy had bought his first ever Unimog (a U1000) from us back in 1991 when he first started agriculture he also knew exactly where he needed to go - Atkinson Vos!

It is now in full-time work and Guy tells us it's exciting times for them now 'Kathy' is with them. Kathy is the name of Guy's new Unimog named after his girlfriend of 15 years - how sweet! Kathy has allowed Guy to begin a new venture in the agri-world and here you can see it hard at work at this year's harvest. Guy told us, "we are very pleased with it and really enjoy using it!! It has proved very useful carting grain this harvest with our 14 ton trailers".

NOSTALGIA - Frank's Blog

Posted 21/11/2014 at 13:22:00 by Frank

Africa Link – the very early years of Atkinson Vos…

Jumping about the years drops me right back in the early eighties. It was impossible to keep up with demand by driving lorries across the Sahara - pity really as that was the best bit! So Africa Link Ltd created Société Africa Link Cameroon - based in the main port of Cameroun steamy Douala.

Pictured bottom right is a typical shipment of trucks crowned with one of the legendary Peugeot 504 ‘African taxis’. Pictured top right is a Mercedes L1113 with local built body - known locally as a ‘Mammy wagon’.

The picture on the left shows our star local employee ‘Livingstone’ - nicknamed because of his splendid plastic Pith helmet. Not really the ideal head gear for inside a shipping container in full sun at 35 centigrade outside and 100% humidity. Around that time a little boy was starting school with a bright future ahead of him………or so he thought!

The world's youngest & cutest Unimog driver!

Posted 31/07/2014 at 14:10:41 by Mandi

Above we have our Emma's daughter Charlotte who is only 2 years old. Charlotte is having a go in a Unimog at the Happy Mount Park in Morecambe where there are plenty of these giant toy Unimogs amongst other vehicles little ones can have fun with.


Posted 31/07/2014 at 14:02:59 by Mandi

Earlier this year this bright and beautiful U1000 left our headquarters after some minor repairs. Upon checking that the Unimog had arrived with it's proud owners safe and sound we also learned that it had arrived just in time for the couple's silver wedding anniversary.

Leonard and his wife Maurene decided to celebrate 25 years of marriage by renewing their vows. The service took place on the Saturday 7th June at the beautiful grade II listed Church St Mary and All Saints in South Kyme, Lincolnshire. It was here that the couple had a special surprise in store for them that had been organised by their daughter Stephanie, son Michael and his girlfriend Katie. They had lovingly arranged for their precious Unimog to arrive at the Church during the service so the happy couple could ride back 2 miles in it to their farm where they all enjoyed afternoon tea with close family and friends. The festivities continued later that evening with more friends and family at the Village Hall in South Kyme.

"Surprising how quickly 25 years go and I'm taking that as a positive so here's to the next 25! Let's see which Unimog we get next although I suspect this one will be with us for a while; it is also 25 years of age and still going strong!" - Leonard Morris

We say, what a beautiful story and the pure coincidence of the age of their marriage and their mog calls for a double celebration! From all of us at Atkinson Vos, "Congratulations Mr & Mrs Morris & Happy Birthday Morris Mog!"

Want to save £13k a year on fuel? Buy a Unimog!

Posted 31/07/2014 at 13:48:56 by Mandi

Usually the Unimog speaks for itself but on this occasion we thought we'd let the customer do all the talking....

"We recently purchased the black U300 from you and first week in its first 1000 miles have been clocked - what a brilliant bit of kit! Despite being 50HP down on our previous machine (Fastrac 3230) it pulls just as well and the fuel consumption is minuscule in comparison; 83 litres vs 120 litres over 120 miles, which is a big saving over the course of a year."

We worked this out at a saving of £51.80 a tank and if he is doing that every day it’s a saving of £259 on a five day week and £13468.00 a year, which means the Unimog will have paid for it self in just three years.

NOSTALGIA - Frank's Blog

Posted 31/07/2014 at 12:54:56 by Frank

I have landed on this picture from 2001. This is a U1250 double cab snapped somewhere in the Kalahari. I did a shamefully basic camper van which contained three sheets of plywood and foam rubber for the kids’ beds. I slept across the front seats and my wife across the back seats.

Cuisine was a gas ring on a bottle with a luxury piece of wire mesh to make a barbeque on 3 stones. We’ll not discuss the other facilities. We shipped to Durban, went from Joburg through Botswana - enjoying Kalahari, Okavango and more.

When heading north through Tchobe I somehow managed to drive inadvertently across the Tchobe river and had to go back through when I realised my mistake. Bow wave part way up the windscreen slightly alarming when alone with kids in the bundu!

We went on through Zambia and through the recently washed out Mana Pools reserve. I had always been a bit sceptical of the obsession with attack and departure angles – but I found myself chiselling dried river bed mud out of the headlights after we crossed back into Zimbabwe. The following year we took the mog up through the Kruger and into Mozambique…

MB Trac Enthusiast!

Posted 30/05/2014 at 11:46:07 by Mandi

This is probably the most loved MB Trac that we have come across!

Owned by a German enthusiast it has some remarkable features. Powered by an OM352 engine with two turbos and two intercoolers the owner was ‘concerned’ about the gearbox. So we supplied him a UG100 gearbox from a U400 we had dismantled. He has shoehorned this into the tractor and now upgraded to an OM362LA engine with a fuel pump from a U2400!
He managed all this in a few weeks of spare time and drove it 450km to the rally at the weekend where the MB Trac towed a 3 axle 32 tonne tipper in a Road Trial - now that is a real enthusiast!


Posted 30/05/2014 at 11:30:23 by Frank

In the late eighties our main business was the export of trucks, machinery and parts to Africa, hence the company name Africa Link Ltd. The export was done from a rented part of a crane hire depot in Morecambe and Unimogs were perhaps 5% of our business.

In 1991 we were lucky enough to buy the old silk mill in High Bentham (where my parents had retired). The mill was derelict and the yard a wasteland of rubbish and scrap. Having all the space now we assembled our proud line up of 4 U900s!

We began to rapidly expand that percentage and by the end of that decade we were so busy with Unimogs we gave up our trucks and African spare parts completely. We changed the company name to ATKINSON VOS LTD as my name had become familiar to many Unimog types. Ultimately we had a yard FULL of Unimogs and parts and bought the field opposite…


Posted 30/05/2014 at 09:30:51 by Mandi

James of JW Morley Transport Services, Warwickshire sent us these pictures of his U4000 that he purchased from us earlier this year. It was a sure contender in this year's Truckfest at Peterborough and boy does it look hot!

AV Apprenticeships

Posted 23/05/2014 at by Mandi

Nine months on and Andy our eldest Apprentice who had a change of heart in his career direction is pleased to tell us, he is still enjoying it here. He has learnt a great deal about Unimogs and particularly enjoys rectifying and restoring parts that don't work, especially engines due to their complexity. Andy likes being part of the team and of course the camaraderie in the workshop. One of Andy's colleagues, Phil commented on how well Andy has improved on fabricating and welding in such a short space of time.

A Visit from Down Under

Posted 16/05/2014 at by Mandi

Pictured above are customers Craig & Wilma who were on a visit for Wilma's niece's wedding in Glasgow, Scotland. They came all the way from Castlecrag in New South Wales, Australia.
They decided to pop through as Craig required some technical advise on his gearbox for his U1300L. Craig was pleased to find the gaskets and seal rings he needed were in stock - another happy customer!

NOSTALGIA - Frank's Blog

Posted 28/03/2014 at 15:00:00 by Frank

As Frank has been away for the past few weeks with his good friend and partner Jaap Vos in the south of France, I'm afraid we don't have him to tell us all a good old story. So this month we have decided to go even further back in time and show you Frank in his very early days!

The picture above was taken back in 1958. Pretty good picture for a time I thought all pictures were black and white!

Can you guess where this picture was taken? But more importantly can you tell which one is Frank?! And no it is not either of the two on the right hand side!

Farewell Little One!

Posted 18/03/2014 at 14:30:00 by Mandi

To the right are customers Peter and Tim collecting the U4000 which we sold to their company last month.

And to the left is driver Peter who got more than he bargained for! Simon allowed our remote controlled Unimog that has been with us for over a decade go to a customer who couldn't believe his luck when he asked. His Cheshire cat grin is just epic and Simon's generosity made it all that more worthwhile.

NOSTALGIA - Frank's Blog

Posted 13/03/2014 at 11:30:00 by Frank

Even more old stuff comes to light…
Above is a picture of my Mum and Dad setting off for Africa in their old Land Rover. No idea who the hairy young git is? Would you buy a second hand anything from him?
I realised after the arithmetic that they were around my current age (64) - it was the late 70s and they were born both sides of the First World War! Mum is now 95 and getting a bit frail - Dad died a few years ago just short of 90 having had a good innings to use his words!

They followed our route through Sicily across to Tunis and then through El Oued to Algeria. A knackered clutch in Ghardaia held them up but they made friends with the locals whilst waiting for the parts we sent over.
They crossed Algeria via Tamanrasset and into Niger and then to Kano in Northern Nigeria. They finally ended up in Ngaoundere, Cameroun and the Land Rover finished its days usefully with a Catholic Mission over there.
They had a great time and Mum was still in touch with various friends they made en route until she lost her eyesight lately.

The moral of the story is it’s never too late to travel - ideally of course..... in an Unimog!


Posted 13/03/2014 at 09:15:00 by Mandi

Happy Customers leaving with their U1200AG after we fitted a 3 point linkage to the front & rear, gave it a complete AV service and had it transformed from orange to silver - and what a beauty it now is!

"Thanks to your team for doing a good job on the machine." - Peter


Posted 13/03/2014 at 08:25:00 by Mandi

Pictured above is John, a new and very happy customer who travelled all the way from Iowa, USA to test drive the U1700AG with his daughter Hannah who currently resides in Germany.

NOSTALGIA - Frank's Blog

Posted 31/01/2014 at 16:00:00 by Frank

Clearing out some old stuff I happened to come across on these two old snaps so Mandi decided I should bore you with a bit of my life history. Not sure of the wisdom of her decision but here goes…

The picture half showing the old MAN 4x4 ex German army being sprayed yellow was the first truck I drove to Central Africa in nineteen seventy something.

This was the beginnings of what became Africa Link Ltd and now is Atkinson Vos Ltd. Jaap Vos is my old friend and business partner who drove a similar truck together with me. His friend Geert drove the third truck - we chopped up the fourth truck in a layby in Germany somewhere and loaded it in the back for spares.
It was superb to drive with all mod cons including a hard driver’s seat and a metre long gearstick. The maximim speed was impressive at 53km/h....yes kilometres. Jaap’s truck would do 54, so he was even luckier!
You can imagine how pleased the German, Austrian and Italian truck drivers were to see us up ahead on the 10 and 20 km stretches of ‘NO OVERTAKING FOR TRUCKS’ bits of the autobahns!

After several months of pleasant motoring across the Sahara and through the jungles of what was then the Central African Empire, we arrived at the capital Bangui. The beer was cool and the company excellent but unfortunately an attempted coup was going on - astonishingly and very sadly just like today.
We counted ourselves extremely lucky to be escorted to the airport lying flat in the back of a pickup and get on a plane back to Paris in one piece. So then we spent the profits and bought the bonneted Mercedes 1624 tractor unit and some others for trip 2 the next winter…


Posted 01/01/2014 at 00:00:00 by AV Team

Thank you to all for a being part of the last year, whether it was your custom or your service we acquired, it was much appreciated.
We look forward to sharing 2014 and see what it brings…

From all the team here at Atkinson Vos, we wish you a very happy and prosperous 2014!


Posted 26/12/2013 at 12:10:00 by Mandi

Can we give a warm welcome to baby Phoebe…

One of our mechanics, Dawid Lesnik, already father to a little boy Michael, is now the proud father of a cute baby girl. The bundle of joy arrived just in time for Christmas on Sunday 15th December at exactly 12:10pm GMT, weighing in at 7.7lbs.

Dawid was very excited to share his good news and assured us both mother and child are healthy and doing well. Dawid says. "I am very looking forward to this Christmas with my new family!". Dawid will also have been joined by his parents who live nearby and his parents-in-law who will have flown all the way from Poland. Congratulations to all the family and all the very best.

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