With winter approaching, five new Unimogs are helping keep the streets, squares and open spaces of Berlin and the State of Brandenburg free of ice and snow.

Fitted with both gritting and snow-clearing equipment, these vehicles have now been delivered to Klaus-Dieter Tschäpe, owner and general manager of Ruwe GmbH in Berlin. The combined gritting and snow-clearing equipment on the five Unimog U 300 equipment carriers is supplied by Aebi Schmidt, and consists of the Cirron SL 27 snow plough and the Stratos B 20 automatic spreader, giving the Unimog a spreading width of 2.7 metres. The automatic spreader can carry 2 cubic metres of dry product and 880 litres of liquid, which are applied to the roadway through an efficient, finely-tuned mixing system in the spreader disk.

New regulations on gritting and snow clearing in the Federal State of Berlin impose stricter requirements on property owners and service providers. This means that footpaths and squares need to be completely free of snow and ice – just sweeping the surfaces and spreading grit is no longer sufficient. Instead, each layer of ice needs to be removed. In view of this, the Unimog is particularly useful when it comes to clearing parking lots, factory premises, event areas and other open spaces. In addition, as a rule the winter service operations in Berlin are now required to start even while the snow is falling.

Over 80 Unimogs in operation for Ruwe
Operating throughout Berlin and the State of Brandenburg, Ruwe GmbH is a major provider of street-cleaning, snow-clearing and property-maintenance services. The company has 253 full-time employees and up to 1000 part-time and seasonal workers operating over 600 vehicles in total. This includes over 80 Unimogs, chosen for their reliability, making Ruwe’s Unimog fleet the largest in Germany.

More effective snow clearing with the Unimog
The Unimog U 300, U 400 and U 500 equipment carriers are ideally suited for the wintertime tasks of snow clearing and road gritting. The engines can generate 110 kW (150 HP) and 130 kW (177 HP), as well as 175 kW (238 HP) and 210 kW (286 PS), and the transmission has eight forward gears, plus eight crawler gears as an optional extra. The automatic Telligent gearshift system from the truck range makes driving easier, enabling the driver to focus on the task of gritting and snow clearing. The Unimog is subject to the same exacting environmental performance standards as trucks – and naturally it complies with the Euro V emissions standard.

An excellent all-round view from the panoramic cab of the Unimog U 300/U 400/U 500, unimpeded 360 degree visibility thanks to a total of five mirrors, and perfect seat positioning allowing the driver to observe intersections ahead as well as keeping any front-mounted equipment in view – all of these features make the job easier. Driving safety is assured by the 4-channel ABS brake system, as well as an automatic load-dependent brake (ALB) to control the brake force distribution between the front and rear axles. And comfort is no less important: the Unimog vibrations are below legal limits, which is an important aspect of driver comfort. Most front-mounted implements can be carried without taking any additional steps, thanks to the short distance between implement and tractor, and the favourable axle load distribution guarantees the directional stability of the steering, even in poor road conditions. Comfort seats with 3-point safety belts and integrated head restraints ensure that the occupants of the Unimog cab, which is tested to ECE R29, enjoy the same level of safety as is required for trucks.

Good front axle traction, even with a snow plough
The job is made even easier thanks to the snow plough load-relief feature, which enables the snow plough to be relieved of an adjustable proportion of its weight as required. This weight component is transferred to the front axle of the Unimog by means of the vehicle hydraulic system, which gently reduces the load on the plough. As well as increasing the traction and improving the steering characteristics, this also means a longer service life for the wearing edge of the plough, so helping to make the vehicle more cost-effective. The front axle of the Unimog is designed to cope with a heavy load – the type of snow plough used in Berlin, for example, weighs 700 kg.

Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks
The Mercedes-Benz factory in Worth is the biggest truck assembly plant in the world, and with a workforce of around 11,000 it is the second biggest employer in the region. The product line includes a full range of trucks with gross weights from 6.5 to 60 metric tons, with the model series Actros, Axor and Atego, as well as the three Special Truck model series, Econic, Unimog and Zetros. With its Unimog, Econic and Zetros models, the Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks (MBS) product division is the industry specialist for small series production, and with annual sales of around 5000 units it constitutes a business unit in its own right within Mercedes-Benz Trucks. In addition, with the Molsheim plant in France and its conversion partners, MBS is a top conversion specialist for all model series, converting around 10,000 trucks each year. MBS employs around 1500 people in Worth and Molsheim.

Source: Daimler AF