PORTLAND, OREGON.…Freightliner LLC continues the roll-out of the Unimog U500 for specialized commercial vehicle applications in North America. The company announced that it has delivered new Unimogs to a diverse group of companies which operate commercial vehicles under challenging conditions.
The Unimog U500 is a unique Class 6&7 work vehicle capable of performing a range of commercial truck tasks. In service around the world, Freightliner LLC is now marketing the Unimog in North America under the “Unimog” nameplate.
“Awareness and acceptance of the Unimog in North America continues to grow,” said Bob McTernan, Director of Unimog North America for Freightliner LLC. “This is an exciting vehicle concept and we are very pleased that a wide range of customers are embracing the unique capabilities of the Unimog.”
The Unimog is available in two GVWs – 26,000 and 33,000 pounds – and is 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.
“With its specialized on- and off-highway capabilities and versatility as a summer or winter vehicle, the Unimog is a great asset for utilities, municipalities, construction companies, fire departments and other companies that routinely take on difficult tasks in challenging terrain,” McTernan said.
New Unimog Customers in North America
Among the new customers for the North American Unimog is TJM Oil Field Services, operating in Northern Alberta. Outfitted with a chemical tank, TJM’s Unimog will be put to work servicing oil wells. “We chose the Unimog because it is well built and versatile,” said Tim McNeil, owner of TJM. “With the chemical and pressure tanks, we can service producing oil wells to keep the wax and corrosion from building up at the well heads. During the winter we can clear access along the pipeline leases. With its four-wheel drive and hydraulics, we get double duty out of it.”
Crux Subsurface Inc., another new customer, chose the Unimog U500 primarily because of the vehicle’s ability to handle challenging terrain. Based in Spokane, Wash., Crux provides drilling and testing services to determine subsurface information for construction and maintenance of major structures. The company operates a variety of drill rigs to access any boring location in an efficient, environmentally-sensitive manner.
“When it comes to gathering subsurface data, geotechnical engineers rely on us to get the right data, no matter where it is,” said Nick Salisbury, President of Crux Subsurface.
Salisbury is impressed with the Unimog’s versatility. “We’ve adapted the Unimog as a geotechnical coring rig with drilling components that can be shuttled on or off the unit depending upon the task at hand,” he explained. “The Unimog can either be the drilling rig or the support vehicle. We’ll use it from Alaska to Texas.”
In San Diego County, Calif., another Unimog U500 has been put to work for
Elliott Earthmoving, Inc. as a transport for equipment to job sites and hauling material where other vehicles can’t go. “The Unimog U500 is ideal for off-highway,” said Tony Elliott, President of Elliott Earthmoving.
“Few of the roads up here are paved and other trucks just can’t make
it, especially in the winter.”
Elliott also employs the Unimog as an agricultural vehicle and a fire support vehicle assisting fire departments in the area. “Our company has had a lot of experience with the Unimog in Europe,” Elliott continued, “We owned one in the 1970s and 1980s over there. It’s great now that they’re available in the States.”
Unimog Director McTernan said he expected a wide range of companies to realize the unique capabilities of the Unimog.
“The Unimog U500 is a proven, highly versatile, high quality machine that will excel in specific vocational truck applications in North America,” he said.
The Unimog U500 is now available through selected Freightliner Trucks, Sterling, Western Star and American LaFrance dealers in the U.S. and Canada.
Freightliner LLC, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, is the leading heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America. Freightliner produces and markets Class 3-8 vehicles and is a company of DaimlerChrysler, the world’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer.