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NOSTALGIA - Frank's Blog

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

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.

A Christmas Jingle

Posted 25/12/2013 at 12:00:00 by Santa

Jingle bells, the engine smells,
Sounds like it’s on its way...
So we brought it to the AV Team,
Who fixed it right away!

Jingle bells, the engine’s swell,
It may just fly away...
We recommend the AV Team,
Who will sort it right away!


Posted 29/11/2013 at 14:00:00 by Mandi

Our customer from Southern Sudan has learned the risks of night driving on the rain soaked African Highways. Some puddles wet your ankles and some can wet your headlights….some could do more!

Luckily after unloading the ‘slightly’ overloaded mog by hand it came out fairly easily but the consequences could have been much worse. Fortunately the U1300L still had the military system of pressurising the transmission and headlights so there was no water ingress. The mog has done so well that he has just taken delivery of its Big Brother – a U1750 with an extended load deck and canvas cover.

We wish him every success in doing his part to get that part of Africa moving again after all those years of terrible difficulties in the region.


Posted 29/11/2013 at 13:10:00 by Mandi

This month we would like to introduce and welcome our latest addition, Cassia Sadler. She has joined us on a Business Administration apprenticeship programme through Craven College, where she will be attending once a week.

The rest of her time will be spent here with us at Mogville, learning all accounts of the world of business administration and Unimogs.

When asked how she was finding her first full-time job, Cassia told us, "I am enjoying it, everyday is busy and different. And I'm really looking forward to my first pay cheque".


Posted 29/11/2013 at 10:17:00 by Mandi

The U2150L38 came in as the engine was smoking badly on start up. With our experts on hand, we got to the bottom of this problem in a matter of hours.

It has been working hard carrying a heavy drill rig for a number of years and is now ready for a birthday. We carried out a thorough inspection, highlighting a number of defects. Once these have been rectified the trusty Unimog will be ready for action once again.

Has your Unimog being working too hard? Is it ready to be born again? Do not fear, the AV Team is always on hand. With years of experience and expertise, they'll be sure to have your mog running as smooth as a baby's bottom!


Posted 16/04/2013 at 14:50:00 by ESME

We're very pleased to announce we have added a brand new Gallery area to our website which has lots of photos of Unimogs that have been taken here at our premises and elsewhere by our customers. Over the years we have collected hundreds of photos which we think are too good to keep to ourselves.

The idea is to give a good all round idea of what Unimogs are, what equipment they can be fitted with and for which purposes they can be used. It should also help our newer customers or those unfamiliar with mogs to identify what the various bits of equipment look like and people can say 'I want my mog to look like that one!' Of course, we'll be more than happy to oblige such requests!

The Gallery is a work in progress so feel free to send us pictures of your mog if you'd like to be featured. We're particularly keen for awesome action shots - it is you lot out there in the field who can take the best of these kinds of photos so we're relying on you!


Posted 16/04/2013 at 14:49:00 by ESME

Linddana in Denmark have been busy producing a new chipper model to add to their existing range. The TP 320 is a high capacity (320mm/12.5 inch) crane fed PTO machine which can be run from a relatively low horsepower tractor of 130HP. The Mowi P30 crane has a reach of 5.7m and a lift of 450kg at max reach. It is well suited to biomass production and row felling forestry work but the compact crane makes it perfect for working along hedges and roadsides too.

The model is a more user-friendly, affordable version of the largest TP chipper, the TP 400, but it is not just a downsized version of this model as it features a new thicker flywheel design and blade layout where there are 4 knives arranged in pairs to give just two cuts per rotation. This reduces fuel consumption and vibration for more economical chipping. Linddana have managed to reduce fuel consumption to as little as 0.5 litres of diesel per cubic metre of chip produced so over a large scale owners will see earnings significantly improved!

Biomass is something which has not yet taken off in a massive way in the UK but which is big in Europe and is set to become bigger with the increasing onus on environmentally friendly living. We're doing a special introductory offer - buy this chipper and crane complete for just £54,000.


Posted 16/04/2013 at 14:47:00 by ESME

As usual this ex-German army U1300L krankenwagen was in lovely condition so sold pretty quickly, this time to a customer from the Midlands. He is planning on using the Unimogs full potential as an off-road vehicle by trading in the ambulance body for a standard flat bed which he will use as a base to build a brand new camper body for a very exciting trip which will be taken with his son (far left of photo).

The journey will see them travel through Siberia during summertime right the way over to Vladivostok in far eastern Russia where they'll go by boat to Japan. The trip is over 10,000 miles and they're hoping to do it in around 4 months so we wish them all the best. Sounds like a brilliant trip guys!


Posted 16/04/2013 at 14:46:00 by ESME

We recently supplied this impressive looking U1300L mog to our local nuclear power station. It has been uniquely designed to bespoke requirements and will be used for health and safety procedures in case of an emergency. The need has arisen since the 2011 earthquake which caused a tsunami in Japan and devastated the town of Fukushima, seriously endangering its nuclear facilities.

The mog has been fitted with a brand new Fassi F65 marinised 6 ton crane and sub frame and it tows a large heavy duty reel of water hose. The set up has been designed to collect large volumes of water from the nearby sea and we've fitted various bits and pieces to help complete this task. Features include a pump and PTO unit for crane, 1050kg electric hoist with 22m cable for lowering the pump into the sea, a DV15000 electric winch to front, a cradle to fit the winch to crane, framework to secure the cradle to a bollard on the quayside and 3 hitches - two adjustable height towing hitches and one 50mm nato hitch.

We also adapted the standard rear body with special fabrications such as safety rails, steps and access gate. Then we painted the whole thing in fabulous RAL3000 fire engine red and added a flashing beacon and reversing buzzer to complete the safety vehicle package.


Posted 16/04/2013 at 14:45:00 by ESME

Here's a former U1300L fire truck, now a snazzy U1300L camper which came here for work recently. The mog has had a no expense spared makeover and is now ready for a new adventure. We've fitted a soundproofing kit to make it more on-the-road friendly inside, an AV intercooler and overdrive kit to get optimum driving conditions, an extra large aluminium diesel tank to minimise the need for fuel stop offs, a matching aluminium battery box and a full set of brand new Michelin XZLs in the large 395/85R20 size.

We reconditioned the injector pump and injectors to boost engine efficiency, fitted HD rear springs and shock absorbers to balance the weight on the back, fabricated the rear chassis to enable a tow hitch to be fitted and installed a tracking and immobiliser device to make sure the mog is secure on its travels. To finish off the look we did some bodywork repairs, repainted the cab and then had some AV cab and camper body stripes made.


Posted 16/04/2013 at 14:44:00 by ESME

We've finally jumped on the social media bandwagon so you can now find us on Facebook. We've already uploaded various photos to do with AV life and will be keeping the page updated with news and regular goings on so please like our page if you have a Facebook account. We will like you back if you're a company! As well as a source of information, we'd like to use the page to interact with you all so feel free to post things on our wall and tag us in your Unimog photos.

Keep parts enquiries coming through the normal channels though please!


Posted 16/04/2013 at 14:42:00 by ESME

For the second year running, this intrepid husband and wife duo took to the desert in a Unimog and competed in the heavy vehicle branch of the off-road adventure challenge, the trans-African Intercontinental Rally. They took on such a feat as tourists enjoying the sights along the way but it wasn't all fun and games as they were also fundraisers on a mission. This time they raised over £6000 for The Grace Trust which helps the poorest members of the community in Jersey in the Channel Islands.

On the route to Dakar they covered over 7000km, 5000km of this in “Race Mode” although they suffered a few engine problems with the mog for which we supplied parts and advice to help them through. They also met a lovely young man who with all the best intentions tried to fix one of their broken injector pipes with a rusty nail (maybe he knew something they didn’t!) There were lots of the usual African trip experiences - bribing border guards after they were separated from the main group, bartering for spare parts, jump starting the petrol station generator to get fuel and of course dodging camels which run in front of you.

Despite their technical problems they crossed the finish line on the beach by Lac Rose in Senegal, the traditional finish place from the original Paris–Dakar Rally. If you're out and about in your mog and something goes amiss, we're always available for parts!


Posted 16/04/2013 at 14:41:00 by ESME

We supplied this U1500 mog to a University in Wales who are undertaking a research project which will give vital information about the development capabilities of Miscanthus, a C4 grass which is native to Eastern Asia. Scientists at the university have one of the largest Miscanthus collections outside of Asia and the project is underway since DEFRA identified the plant as one of two potential species worth developing for bio energy in the UK.

The mog has been carefully prepared for the task as on the front it has been fitted with a large PTO driven forage harvester which then feeds over the top of the mog into the chip box on the back. The project is important as the world's population is predicted to rise to nine billion by 2050 and food productivity will have to rise by 70% to meet demand. Non-edible plants are an attractive alternative to using food crops for bio energy (a current trend) if they can be grown in a way that does not compete with food. As Miscanthus grows quite happily on uncultivated land, it so far suits the job perfectly.

We're happy to supply a Unimog for such a worthy cause and are confident it will meet all expectations. Good luck with the project guys!


Posted 16/04/2013 at 13:22:00 by ESME

We recently received an order for 7 ex-military U1300Ls and here you can see two which are ready to be shipped. The mogs are going to be used in Somalia in Africa for mining exploration using hi-tech seismic recording equipment to survey the land for coal, oil, gas and minerals etc.

The company is already a good customer of ours, having bought several other Unimogs for this purpose in the past and of course, Unimogs are the ideal tool for this sort of job, being marvellous off-road and extremely hardy machines. It is our job to fully demilitarise these U1300Ls, service them, fit good tyres and repaint them in white to show they aren't military vehicles. This order drained our stocks a bit but we've always got a steady supply of U1300Ls.


Posted 16/04/2013 at 13:20:00 by ESME

We supplied this U900 to a customer from the South of England in 2007 and he's sent us these photos of it beavering away in far West Cornwall with views of the Hayle Estuary in the background.

The mog is used to carry loads of wood chip and he said it is ideal in their dense woodland where the short wheelbase allows access to areas that bigger vehicles can't get to.

The mog is fitted with a 3 way tipper ram for quick unloading, soundproofing mat to keep the noise down inside and a handy roll frame to protect the cab - just in case! After the wet start to the year the ground conditions are very sticky but the excellent Michelin XZL tyres help keep the mog afloat.


Posted 16/04/2013 at 13:18:00 by ESME

Here are some photos from a customer in South Africa who recently spent 4 months travelling across his native land in search of solitude and wilderness. Hearing the Unimogs reputation for reliability and ruggedness he sourced and refurbished this 1997 U1550L and kitted it out fit for purpose.

The left photo is in the extremely wild and undeveloped South Khadoum Game Park in Namibia where there are said to be more elephant than human visitors due to the low level of tourist infrastructure. I believe the tree in the background is a baobab tree - reputed to cure malaria, asthma, measles and dental disorders and impressively they are said to live for up to 3000 years! The right-hand picture is of the Puros Canyon in Kaokoveld, beautiful but not a place to linger for long as it is used as a passage for the huge mammals that travel up and down the river! Elsewhere on their travels they encountered mighty black-mane Kalahari lions who roared through the night - making them grateful for the protection of the Unimog! Later on, they were glad of the mogs size and bulk when a large bull elephant leant casually against the side of the camper as it plucked leaves from a nearby tree!

Passing through a scorched desert in the Khadoum, the Unimog was really put to the test as the sand was very thick, very hot and extended for over 300km! It struggled through at an inflation of 2.5bar although the engine temperature gauge was pushed up to 95 degrees which caused the clutch to send hints of protest. After some careful diagnosis we gave advice and assistance to help see them through the desert and then sent parts once they reached a garage which resulted in satisfied customers who made it home safely. Hurrah AV!


Posted 16/04/2013 at 13:14:00 by ESME

A new customer bought this Ag spec U1200 recently with rear linkage, pick-up hitch and PTO and has since given it a good spruce up as can be seen from the photos! The mog came to us straight out of work and its new owner drove it home to Lincolnshire where he runs a tree surgery, forestry and landscaping business. Contracts include having the sole arborist rights to the historic National Trust English country house estate, Belton House in Grantham.

Our customer fabricated this rear wood chip body himself and then shot blasted and repainted the whole vehicle to match his chippers and it now looks good as new! As well as working with wood chippers the mog is used to tow trailers and other equipment as used by the business which also does site clearance work for the Environment Agency.

All sounds good to me, except he's called it Maureen! I know she's old Will but surely she deserves a prettier name!


Posted 16/04/2013 at 13:13:00 by ESME

One of our local bed and breakfast pubs has got a special offer on at the moment so if you've been mulling over buying a Unimog or making the trip up here, there has never been a better time to visit us in Bentham.

You can spend a night or two in a lovely country pub and drop in at the AV yard to see our range of mogs, check out what is going on in our workshop, meet all the staff and have a test drive in a Unimog if you so desire. You can get 2 nights for the price of one at just £70 per room, or 3 nights for £100.

The offer is on until the end of April so don't hesitate! The bookings will have to be made through us as this is a 'mates rates' sort of offer.

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