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A VERY SPECIAL THANKS FOR OUR CHEZ!

Posted 02/07/2015 at 10:56:00 by Mandi



Fairly new customer Ki Stoddard of Montana, USA was in touch again recently just for some seals, bushings and hand throttle stops for his U900. He was so impressed with the extra mile our Chez went to that he went the extra mile to say thanks!


Mitas Tyres - Fit for Your job!

Posted 04/06/2015 at 10:55:01 by Mandi



This new Case 185 tractor came to us for a whole new set of Mighty Mitas tyres to do the job that the factory fitted Michelin tyres could not. Despite being almost twice the price of the Mitas tyres the Michelin Multibibs did not have sufficient load rating for the heavy mower which was fitted so we replaced them with some Mitas RD03 tyres all round which were fit for the job!
Changing the large tyres was a doddle with our tyre changing machine and experienced fitters.

Need new tyres? Fear not Atkinson Vos not only are dealers in brand NEW Mitas and Continental tyres (which are as good on the pocket as they are on the road), we have a large selection of part worn tyres. Check out our latest stock in Wheels/Tyres under the SPARES tab.


NOSTALGIA - Frank's Blog

Posted 01/06/2015 at 09:09:00 by Frank



The 'Sopwith' - the first of my four wheel campers...

We've jumped forward to early 1973 and scaled up to a four wheeled camping machine. We planned our trip all evening and set off for Morocco the next day with the very latest in well-worn tents and hygienic sleeping bags.

The fuel tank was full, as was the fairy liquid bottle with which we squirted the windscreen (never at more than 100mph). Morocco was lovely with such kind and hospitable people.For an off-road adventure we charged off up the Gorges des Dades into the Atlas mountains. Had we known about the minor blizzards and night time curfew we might have stayed at home.

But the intrepid Renault ploughed its way up some impossible steep hairpins and we eventually got out alive (and considerably wiser). One of the things we learnt (take note Unimog camping people) was that lightweight is good - especially when stuck up to your knees in whatever!


Our Longest Serving Trucker Celebrates 50 Golden Years of Marital Bliss

Posted 28/05/2015 at 13:10:00 by Mandi



Doug Taylor of Bentham is our longest standing haulier. He actually collected our very first Unimog from Hull - back in the eighties!
He is still bringing them to us from pastures new and old! We are truly lucky to have Doug as a supplier and he’s just on our doorstep.

Always a gentleman, with enormous patience and resourcefulness Doug has never let us down. As a David Brown tractor enthusiast he is good with the spanners and has even changed a starter motor on an old Unimog stuck deep in a forest to get it onto his lorry for us.

Someone else who truly appreciates Doug Taylor is Kath, his wife and the brains behind the success. They have been together now for 50 years.
We congratulate them on this auspicious occasion and wish them many more years of joy, love and happiness! Here, Here to a top man and his lady!


15 Unimogs to Africa!

Posted 30/03/2015 at 16:30:00 by Mandi



One of our biggest projects to date! It came from an exploration company whom we have dealt with for more than 20 years. They are one the largest international seismic contractors in the world who provide a range of on and offshore geophysical and geological services to their wide client base.

This particular project consisted of a total 15 Unimogs; 10 U1350Ls, 3 U1300Ls and 2 U1750L38s

Four of the U1350Ls were supplied with standard drop side bodies for general duties. We fitted 4 as personnel carriers with 16 individual seats & belts. One was fitted with a 2500 litre diesel tank and another with a water tank of the same capacity. Two U1300Ls were supplied as standard drop side trucks with DV15 electric winch and the final U1300L as a basic personnel carrier with 4 rows of bench seats. The two U1750L38s were required with 5000 litre fuel tanks.

The base vehicles were sourced from Germany, Belgium and Australia! The project started with the demilitarisation of the Unimogs (removal of military breathers, air dryers and turrets. We then equipped them all with heavy duty radiators, audible warnings for engine overheating, and a set of chocks and brackets. Finally we fitted new rims and tyres, a cab roll frame and soundproofing kit before sending them on to the bodyshop for a complete repaint in the required corporate colours of blue and white.

We set ourselves a deadline of 3 months to do the bulk of the work which kept us busy in the last quarter running up to Christmas. During January we made any final touches and a completed a Pre Delivery Inspection on each vehicle. Now the project is complete we are pleased to say 'Mission Accomplished!' - We have just waved goodbye to the final 6 and now all the Unimogs have been shipped to both Kenya and Ethiopia.


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.


HARVEST TIME!

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.


CONGRATULATIONS Mr & Mrs Morris!

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!


BENTHAM, THE EARLY YEARS, HUMBLE BEGINNINGS - Frank's Blog

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…


TRUCKFEST 2014!

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!


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