A John Deere 3036E, one of the company's new value line of compact tractors, is more than pulling its weight at Norwich International Airport. The tractor is being used by NHV (Noordzee Helikopters Vlaanderen, which translates as North Sea Helicopters Flanders) to tow its three Eurocopter helicopters in and out of the company's hangars and manoeuvre them around ready for take-off.
Established in Belgium and with other bases in France and Africa, NHV is employed by the owners of gas rigs in the southern North Sea to regularly transport people and equipment up to 200 miles north from its Norwich base. The company also provides helicopters for other offshore operations, such as winching marine pilots onto ships in the English Channel, and for an air ambulance service in France.
"I used another John Deere compact tractor when I worked for a previous aircraft company, which was also bought from the local dealer Ben Burgess in Norwich," says NHV senior engineer Jason White (pictured). "The new 3036E only has to move 5 tonnes going forwards and backwards, and it's ideal for this. It's also very manoeuvrable and compact enough to go under the helicopter blades."
Apart from having the rear linkage removed and some extra strengthening to the chassis, NHV's tractor is a standard 4WD, 36hp 3036E model with a two-range hydro transmission. More typical applications would include smallholdings, orchards, stables and paddocks, or any area of land that needs a quality tractor without the extra cost of a full professional specification.
John Deere Limited
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