Big Tools... Mercedes Unimog Cherry Picker

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overlander
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Big Tools... Mercedes Unimog Cherry Picker

Post by overlander »

Hello everyone.

A few years ago I gave up my day job and went out and about with the tools I already had for taking care of my home, namely a big Transit van, a tractor mower, hedge cutter and chainsaw. People seemed to like my work and the service I offered and I quickly became very much in demand around here and have now progressed into minor building works and decorating as well as gardening.

Yesterday, whilst working on a home makeover job im doing for someone I stopped to ask a local farmer if he'd consider coming over to the house with his Unimog cherry picker to get me up the gable to repair the roof. The good lad said "no problem" ill be over later. He then added, "but its for sale if you want to buy it". :)

At £8000 (including vat) its not mega money for any cherry picker, but I cant justify owning it unless its going to pay for itself. I know absolutely nothing about the regulations, insurance and licenses the either I or the machine may require, but lets say I offered it as a "Man and Cherry Picker" type service. Can someone explain to me what id need to start operating legally? How much will all that accreditation cost and how often would I need to update it?

Looking forward to reading your responses.
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kellys_eye
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Post by kellys_eye »

Public liability insurance springs immediately to mind - which you should really have already anyway - but I doubt there's any specific legislation regarding the use of one other than abiding by the usual H&S regs regarding 'beaconing off' the area, warning signs, safety kit (harness for working at heights etc. Remember that these units can be hired by anyone off the street so I don't expect you'll have any onerous legal hurdles to climb.
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overlander (Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:51 am)
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sent from my laptop using my fingers - because we REALLY need to know where it's come from.....
dewaltdisney
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Post by dewaltdisney »

I can understand why you want it being a sucker for tools myself. The only concern I would have is spares and reliabilty. Unimogs have been around since the 50's and I think the British Army had a load. I knew someone that had one done up as a military vehicle which he took to war reenactment shows and they were always having to do repairs with parts being hard to source and expensive. So I would ascertain the age, check the parts replacements as the hydraulics are probably from another manufacturer and general condition before taking a punt.

From a business point it is getting your availability out there to people who need the service and what charges you can make to decide if it is a viable concern.

Keep us posted as this is interesting :thumbright:

DWD
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overlander
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Post by overlander »

Thanks people, as it happens im pretty good with the spanners so im not too daunted about the running costs of the thing. Its a ex Electricity board "picker" but its based on a lower budget UNIMOG model (U100) which seems to be the model that the accountants built. Therefore the engine is a five pot turbo from a Merc Sprinter and apart from the axles there isnt much else to go wrong on it. Its a 2000 model and being german manufactured that means its still supported as a product for another five years at least.

Advertising it wont be a problem, i wouldnt have thought. Im tempted to just write my phone number on the side of it and park it outside Jewson on the monday, Screwfix on the tuesday, Farm suppliers on the Wednesday and ,,,, well,,,,, you get the idea.... its not as if anyone can miss it! Ive got a high top transit with lifted suspension on it and the windows in the UNIMOG are above to the top of the roof of the van! its huge!!!!

So you really dont think I need any formal legislation other than the basic PLI? which of course I already have. Maybe ive blinded myself with details already but I read something about LOLER inspections and IPAT certificates.... I dont want to sound wreckless but are they a legal requirement or just a guide?
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Post by Chippo1 »

My brother did his national service in the late 50s he’s much older than me , he was in recovery and spent his time in Germany He always said a unimog made anything they had look poo
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adonis
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Post by adonis »

I would think about whether the size of it would limit your customers,
there are smaller cherry pickers that are easier to get in smaller places.

Nice bit of kit to own though :-)
overlander
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Post by overlander »

Great photos. Tough place to work with heavy stuff like that though, British engineering really was stuck in a time warp in the 1950s. No massive difference between what the had then and what they had twenty years earlier, although ive no doubt they had their hands full for some time during that period..... love the beer and handguns photo, always a winning combination.

Good point about the maneuverability. Of the jobs ive been asked to do recently that needed a lift, im confident that this machine would have handled them all with ease. Im in quite a rural area and I tend to work on pretty high value detached properties, and the machine is quite short for what it is. The only other guy I know of that rents his picker out has a huge flat bed 7.5 tonner and he doesnt seem to struggle to find work with........ and he cant go off road :)

One big concern for me is the "dumper" tyres that are on it at the moment. Might have to swap those for something with a less aggressive tread which isnt going to be cheap.
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Post by Bob225 »

I had to look it up as it's a cherry picker its classed as plant equipment so can be driven on a car licence, if it's a flat bet its classed as a CAT C HGV

there is even a government document on it

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... gs/unimogs

another thought as it's classed as plant you can run it on red diesel
overlander
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Post by overlander »

You must have read my mind. I was just looking at the plated weight of the thing and determined that at 6.2 tonnes I wouldnt be able to drive it on my Class B car license (post 1994 3.5kg limit with no extras)

So now im confused. Does what Bob says mean that I could drive a 6.2 tonne Unimog on an bog standard car license?
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Post by dewaltdisney »

Seeing that Antar tractor unit in the photos reminded me of the Dinky model I had of an Antar tank transporter with a Centurion tank on the trailer.

The gun is a Sterling

DWD
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Post by Bob225 »

According to the link yes as it's classed a plant equipment just like a mobile crane
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Post by Chippo1 »

My brother said the best thing they had was a Diamond T wrecker , a left over from the US war effort.
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Post by Job and Knock »

Someone else gave you the impression that anyone can hire a cherry picker. That isn't strictly true - most reputable hire centres now require achieve to show that they hold the appropriate IPAF licence to operate one. In be case of a vehicle mounted picker that's an IPAF 1b. Your insurers will possibly insist on you having that and if you work on a building site, factory, public housing, shopping centre, etc it is mandatory. Takes a day and costs £250 or so (renewed every 5 years,) You will also need the appropriate PPE - working at height hard hat, appropriate harness, tool lanyard, etc and you'll need a rescue plan in case you fall out of the basket (which is why pickers have to be operated by 2 men teams) because if you have an accident and are left dangling too long you can die
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