The Mercedes Benz Unimog (taken from the original German “Universal-Motorgerät” and roughly translated as “universal motorised implement machine”), is a versatile all-round workhorse particularly prized by local authorities, especially in its U 300/U 400 and U 500 guise. Its spectrum of municipal service ranges from wintertime snow-clearing/salt-spreading to earth-moving, cable-laying and transport tasks to summertime verge-mowing, clear-cutting and marker-post-washing.
One of the most urgent tasks confronting local authorities after a long winter is the repair of frost damage on roads and paths. Studies have shown that one in two roads in Germany has suffered damage to a greater or lesser degree. Not only is this considered unpleasant by road users and responsible parties on the grounds of comfort or visual appearance; it sometimes also represents a safety hazard. Instead of repairing such damage merely on a temporary basis, above all on account of the absence or insufficiency of financial resources, with the problem then reappearing the following winter if not sooner, the Unimog, when equipped with appropriate implements, provides a permanent solution that is also financially attractive to local authorities.
Asphalt cutter implement
The broad range of implements tailored to the U 300- 500 model series includes the ASF500/100 MF asphalt cutter, an implement specially suited for the repair of damaged asphalt surfaces on hardstands, roads and surfaced paths. The basic vehicle simply needs to have been fitted with certain equipment, such as an implement mounting plate front, power take-off shaft or rear mounted auxiliary gear unit – equipment that is already present on the majority of vehicles used by local authorities. The asphalt cutter has a milling drum with 50 individual cutting bits of hard-wearing steel that mills the affected area up to a width of 500 mm and an infinitely adjustable depth of between 0 and 100 mm, with the arising dust being contained by water sprinklers. The milled material is deposited below the vehicle and is usually removed by hand, with the resulting clean asphalt surface then being filled with suitable material and compacted, a task that can be performed by an optionally available compacting roller, which is fitted either at the front (directly on the cutter, if desired) or at the rear.
Depending on the condition of the road surface, the cutter can handle between 120 and max. 500 m per hour, which means that over one kilometre of damaged surface can be processed and restored to roadworthy condition in one working day. In addition to partial asphalt repair, the possible applications of this ingenious Unimog implement include the precision edge-cutting and trimming of ragged road-surface edges as well as the levelling of bulges in the road surface as a result of frost damage or tree root growth. The advantages over previously adopted solutions, such as the use of special-purpose machines, are plain to see: no low loader is required for transporting the special-purpose machine; the existing load-carrying capacity of the Unimog platform is not affected and can be used to transport additional tools, accessories or materials; extra benefits of the system include short set-up times, fast working in flowing traffic as well as low maintenance and long tool life.
Optionally available: verge cutter
An ideal addition to municipal fleets − and also a perfect way to make full use of the vehicles in the period between winter maintenance and summertime mowing, cutting and wood-chipping operations − is the verge cutter implement (BF 1000 S or SW). This allows worn or damaged roadside verges to be cut in a single operation up to a width of 1000 mm. The standard-equipment transverse worm conveyor simultaneously transports the cut material to the verge, where it can be reused. This means that it is no longer necessary for foreign material to be delivered to the site and laid, something which, quite apart from dispensing with the need to use and transport new material, is entirely consistent with the principle of conservation of resources, recycling and environmental protection. The “SW” version of the implement features an integrated compacting roller, by means of which the material that has been deposited at the verge is compacted to a variously adjustable thickness and a tidy, stable verge is restored. The verge cutter has 24 cutting tools which ensure the fast and uniform removal of material. Depending on the previous condition of the surface, working rates of between 4 and 5 kilometres per shift are possible.
The verge cutter is attached to the Unimog’s front plate. In the operating position, the cutting head is extended to the side by up to 800 mm and is thus capable of processing an area up to 1800 mm next to the edge of the road surface. These implements make the universally usable Unimog even more versatile, thereby reducing the burden on public- and private-sector customers, whose work is not always easy.
60 years of the Mercedes-Benz Unimog
It was 60 years ago, on 3 June 1951 to be precise, that the first Mercedes-Benz Unimog rolled off the production line in Gaggenau. With its superb off-road capability thanks to all-wheel drive and its high-speed on-road capability, the Unimog represented a unique vehicle concept. Daimler AG is celebrating this anniversary in 2011 with a number of different events. For example, on Saturday, 4 June, there will be a large gathering of historical and current Unimogs at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Wörth. Details of the event and information on how to attend are available on the Internet at: www.mercedes-benz.com/unimog-60jahre. On Sunday, 5 June, there will be a party at the Unimog Museum in Gaggenau (www.unimog-museum.com).
Source: Daimler AG