Freightliner Rolls Out The Unimog U500 For Specialized Vocational Applications

One-of-a-Kind Vehicle Offers Versatility, Unique Capabilities for Firefighting, Municipal and Highway Service, Utilities and Construction Jobs

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PORTLAND, OREGON.…Freightliner LLC is introducing the one-of-a-kind Unimog U500 for specialized vocational applications in the U.S. and Canada. The versatile Class 6&7 work vehicle brings its unique history and multiple capabilities to the North American market, where it will be marketed for use in firefighting, utility service, municipal and highway services, construction and rail yard work.

“The Unimog U500 gives specialized North American commercial truck buyers a proven multi-functional vehicle that’s extremely adaptable and capable of excelling in very specific vocational truck applications,” said Bob McTernan, Director of Unimog North America for Freightliner LLC.

The multi-use vocational vehicle will be marketed and sold under the separate and distinct “Unimog” nameplate in North America. Sales and service will be available through selected Freightliner Trucks, Sterling, Western Star and American LaFrance dealers in the U.S. and Canada.

Built as an implement carrier, the Unimog U500 vehicle easily accommodates a wide range of equipment for a variety of work duty applications. The Unimog’s factory-installed hydraulic system and controls provide seamless implement changeovers. Equipment commonly used with the vehicle includes aerial man lifts, tree trimmers, augers, cranes, snow plows, salt spreaders, street sweepers and specialized brush cutting and firefighting equipment.

“Engineered to North American regulations and requirements and supported by a large dealer and service network, the Unimog U500 is a great new option for certain highly specialized vocational vehicle operators,” said McTernan.

Standards and Options

The Unimog will be built at the Mercedes-Benz truck plant in Wörth, Germany to meet North American regulations and imported to the U.S. It will be available in two GVWs – 26,000 and 33,000 pounds – and powered by the Mercedes-Benz MBE900 electronic six-cylinder diesel engine, available in 230 and 280 horsepower ratings. The Mercedes-Benz eight-speed transmission comes standard with the electro-pneumatic Telligent® gearshift system. For heavier applications, an optional 16-speed deep reduction transmission is available.

Standard features include a 132-inch wheelbase and roomy cab. A 154-inch wheelbase is optional. The corrosion-free cab is made of lightweight carbon fiber composite and features an expansive windshield that provides excellent visibility even during the toughest jobs. The VarioPilot® option allows a left-handed steering column to become a right-hand drive in less than two minutes. This feature is ideal for those jobs that require attention to both sides of a highway

Standard four-wheel drive and available axle and interaxle differential locks give the Unimog the ability to get to the most extreme job sites. Dual circuit anti-lock disc brakes are standard at all four wheels.

Implement Versatility

The versatility of the Unimog comes from its ability to accommodate numerous implements and to quickly and easily transform its function by switching implements. For example, the vehicle can be used for snow removal in winter, and with a swift change-out of implements, can be transformed to mow road embankments in the summer.

Relationships have been forged with key implement manufacturers from North America and Europe in order to offer customers specific implement choices.

A Proven History

The first implement carrier in the world, the Unimog was originally introduced in Europe in 1951. A few hundred thousand have been produced and sold worldwide, working successfully in many specialty applications. Previously offered in North America under the Mercedes-Benz nameplate, several thousand Unimogs are currently operating across the U.S. and Canada.

Freightliner will begin deliveries of the Unimog U500 in January 2003.

Freightliner LLC, headquartered in Portland, Oregon is the leading heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America. Freightliner produces and markets Class 3-8 vehicles under the Freightliner, Sterling, Western Star, American LaFrance, and Thomas Built Buses nameplates. Freightliner is a company of DaimlerChrysler, the world’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturer.

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