They are now an everyday sight in the Hungarian capital of Budapest: since October 2011, 21 Unimog U 20 models from Mercedes-Benz have been operating in the district of Buda, in the pedestrian zones in the city centre and on the pedestrian pathways along the Danube.
The purchasers from the city cleaning company EKF Zrt. had been most impressed by the qualities of the Unimog U 20. The multiple uses to which the Unimog can be put also played a key role in the procurement decision: in the winter months, the Budapest Unimog vehicles are fitted with Gmeiner automatic road gritters and Kahlbacher snowploughs, and then, when spring begins, with Trilety TK 20 sweeper attachments. This means that each Unimog can be in constant use all year round, offering a high-quality combined service of equipment carriers and implements. They are urgently needed in this world-famous city of 1.7 million inhabitants with its particular and extremely varied road service requirements: the Unimog’s everyday deployment takes it in turn to wide streets and pedestrian promenades along the Danube, narrow alleys in the old town, busy pedestrian precincts, and steep, winding sections of road on the Buda Hills. And it carries out its work in constantly heavy and hectic traffic conditions. The regular weather cycle here is one of cold winters and hot summers – and the Unimog U 20 and its equipment is fully prepared for everything the seasons can throw at it. For example, the grit container on the Unimog U 20 sweeper, with a capacity of three cubic metres, is made entirely from durable stainless steel, and incorporates a separate hydraulic system mounted on the front PTO shaft to handle the equipment’s internal power transmission, resulting in high suction power.
U 20: 100 percent Unimog
All-wheel drive, single tyres at the rear as well as at the front, engageable differential locks, portal axles, helical springs, ample power reserves, power take-offs, auxiliary drives and a powerful hydraulic system, not to mention state-of-the-art truck technology in terms of safety, operation and environmental compatibility, all make the Unimog U 20 a highly versatile implement carrier fully in keeping with the style of the two larger model series. The U 20 differs from the U 300–500 professional implement carriers by virtue of its outstanding manoeuvrability (the turning circle of 12.60 metres is on a par with that of a passenger car), reduced weight and lower price. The U 20 is primarily designed to meet alternating local authority requirements, as opposed to constant high-performance operation. The latter application calls for the equipment carriers U 300 to U 500, and the extreme terrain models, the Unimog U 4000 und U 5000.
The four-cylinder engine in the U 20 from the 904 LA model series (110 kW / 150 hp, and 130 kW / 177 hp), like the full commercial vehicles range from Mercedes-Benz, features the highest standards in exhaust-gas technology. All Unimog vehicles feature BlueTec technology (in which nitrogen oxides are eliminated through the addition of urea), comply with the Euro 5 emissions standard and also guarantee very low particulate matter output levels. The eight-speed transmission allows speeds of between 1.2 and 90 km/h at the rated engine speed.
The U 20 has a permissible gross vehicle weight of between 7.5 and 9.3 tonnes, while the permitted axle load is five tonnes at the front and rear, meaning that there is plenty of scope for mounting implements. Its considerable manoeuvrability stems from the wheelbase length, which is just 2700 mm. Dual-circuit common hydraulics, power-take-off transmission at the front, power take-off from the transmission and the front mounting plate complete the range of equipment options and allow numerous implements to be used.
The Unimog in Hungary
Unimog vehicles have a longstanding tradition in Hungary. Since they were first manufactured in 1951, almost 1000 units have been exported there, and the Budapest City Cleaning Department is today the second-largest customer. It currently includes 40 Unimog vehicles in its municipal fleet of 130 vehicles. Most of the Unimog vehicles operate at the 19 roads departments in the country, but a number are also deployed in the energy sector, at airports and with the Hungary State Railways, MÁV. Over the last 40 years, more than 300 Unimog vehicles have been delivered to Hungary.
More than 380,000 units of the “universally applicable motorised implement” (Unimog) have been built since 1951, including over 10,000 units of the U 300/U 400/U 500 series first introduced in the year 2000. Up until 2002, the Unimog was built at the Gaggenau plant, but production has since been moved to the Wörth truck plant.
Source: Daimler AG