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ZETOR tractors help their owners with a wide variety of work tasks. They prove their versatility, durability, and reliability not only in agriculture, forestry, or municipal services. For example, the legendary red tractors serve in many hospital complexes, where they help to keep these facilities running as smoothly as possible. Today, we look at the story of the ZETOR tractor that is literally saving lives. Introducing the PROXIMA CL 110 model, which has been in service for more than a year with river rescuers based in the town of Hessle in the East Riding of Yorkshire, just off the UK's east coast.
It all started in the garden
Humber Rescue is an independent charity that supplies fast response search and rescue operations on the Humber Estuary into the North Sea. They cover approximately 1400 square kilometers of several watercourses. The River Humber itself has proven to be one of the most unpredictable stretches of water in the world. Even the most experienced navigators can get caught out by the shifting sandbanks and strong currents in the area.
The river rescue service was established in 1990 when the first lifeboat on the river was launched from the garden of the founder of Humber Rescue, Mr. Paul Beriff. It was a small 3.5-meter rubber dinghy that was assisted by an all-terrain vehicle to launch. However, by 1995 a local boatyard was opened and immediately became the new base for rescuers.
New reinforcement from the Czech Republic
The years passed and the charity grew in numbers, volunteers from a range of backgrounds were stepping up. Equally, the callouts increased. Attending requests that range from the Coastguard to deploy to vessels on fire, and even rescue the crew of a Royal Air Force Tornado that had ditched in the Humber in 2002. This has gone hand in hand with the modernization of response technology and equipment. In October 2021, the Humber Rescue team expanded to include a ZETOR PROXIMA CL 110.
As the rescuers themselves say, "No rescue operation can start without a ZETOR. PROXIMA serves as a launch and recovery tractor. Its hydraulic lift and size allow us to quickly launch any of our rescue boats to the surface, regardless of the tidal condition. As part of our standard procedure, the tractor remains attached to our main barge to enable its rapid deployment into action. However, it can be towed behind any other vessel within minutes."
Tractor robustness, durability, and reliability. These were the main criteria when choosing a new machine. But not only that. Humber Rescue also appreciates PROXIMA's easy handling, good performance, and, above all, the low operating costs that save the budget of this non-profit organization.
The latter is now a vital emergency service for all those living near the Humber River and surrounding waterways. With a total of 3 boats and 27 volunteers, it is the busiest independent water rescue service in the UK. They go out on an average of 110 sorties a year and the ZETOR PROXIMA plays an indispensable role in every one of them. We wish Humber Rescue and their new, red crew member as many successful rescues as possible and many years of perfect cooperation.
The small village of Světnov is located just a few kilometers from Žďár nad Sázavou, surrounded by beautiful nature, typical for the Vysočina region. Even though it has only around 500 inhabitants, there is more than enough work here. That is why the municipality acquired a new reinforcement at the end of 2020. It was ZETOR PROXIMA CL 100. "In the past, local farmers used to help us with some work, but they were not always available and the cost of specialized companies was high. So, we decided to buy our own tractor for the municipality," explains Mr. Pavel Štefan, Mayor of Světnov.
Work of all kinds
So far, the tractor works mainly in winter. "The terrain in Světnov is very hilly. We have about 6 kilometers of roads in the village and they have to be gritted, otherwise, the garbage men won't even take the bins out. Sometimes we shovel snow from 5 am and the afternoon shift ends at 10.30 pm. So, with PROXIMA, it's up to whoever is on hand," says Mr. Štefan about the main job of the tractor. "We also sometimes use the tractor to pull out cars stuck in the snow, because the winter here in Vysočina is hard and there is a lot of snowing," he adds with a smile.
Most often PROXIMA works with an arrow plow (which is highly praised by the locals because it plows snow on both sides) and a spreader in the back.
However, PROXIMA is not only used in winter. In addition to the plow, the municipality has also purchased a container carrier, so that they can now take the containers away themselves, and a sweeper for cleaning the roads and pavements. "This is a really big help for us. The ZETOR also proved its worth last year when we asphalted the road to Stržanov and the PROXIMA helped to remove the cut trees," adds the mayor.
They are very satisfied with the tractor in Světnov. It handles all the work without any problems, is still under warranty, and has had no serious breakdowns. The village wanted the ZETOR from the very beginning. Mainly because of the favorable price and easily accessible service. After all, the company Agrozet Havlíčkův Brod, where they bought the PROXIMA, is only 30 km away and it is easy to get there "on the wheels".
Plans for the future
In Světnov they are already thinking about how to use the potential of the new PROXIMA. The first step will be to add another pair of hydraulic sections forward and backward. In the future, they are considering buying a mowing arm to use in the maintenance of local roads and around Světnov. "We pay for the service now, so we would be self-sufficient in that as well. In addition, we can transport the mown greens to a nearby biogas plant and reduce our costs," says Mr. Štefan. Another possibility would be to use PROXIMA to take out the sludge from the local wastewater treatment plant. So far, they are outsourcing this service, but soon, it could be another way to save some money from the municipal budget.
And we wish the whole Světnov many satisfied motor hours and as much work well done with the ZETOR as possible.