Mercedes-Benz Unimog: The Unimog U 20 in the Swiss fire brigade

The Unimog U 20, the most compact of the legendary Unimog range from Mercedes-Benz – which includes a total of three model series – is increasingly attracting the attention of the fire brigade. The unusually high number of 15 Unimog U 20s has now been handed over to the fire brigade in the Swiss Canton of Ticino. They are furnished with a pump water tender body from Rosenbauer, developed in compliance with Swiss standards.

With a turning circle similar to that of a passenger car (12.6 m), a low overall height (2.7 m) and width (2.2 m) as well as a low gross vehicle weight, the Unimog U 20 is predestined for use on steep and narrow streets and lanes. A permanent all-wheel drive, single tyres, engageable differential lock and the portal axles guaranteeing high ground clearance are all hallmark features of the extremely good off-road capability of the Unimog. Abundant power reserves, power take-off shafts, power take-off units and high-performance hydraulics, topped off with the very latest in cutting-edge truck technology in all things safety, operation and environmental compatibility – all this combines to make the Unimog U 20 a high-performance, hard-wearing emergency vehicle in exactly the same style as the two larger model series. The larger series are the implement carriers U 300, U 400, U 500, and the U 4000 and U 5000 models with their superior off-road capability. The four-cylinder in-line engine of the Unimog U 20 generates 130 kW (177 hp), the transmission has eight forward gears and six reverse gears and a maximum speed of 90 km/h. With its comfortable equipment and sophisticated ergonomics, the modern cabin makes work much easier for the three fire crew members. 

A high-performance firefighting unit

As the Swiss Line High End TLF 1600, the Unimog, with its body from Rosenbauer, delivers 1600 litres of water to the place of use. The tank is produced from fibreglass. At the heart of the firefighting unit is the centrifugal pump, with a capacity of 2,000 l/min at 10 bar. It can also be used as a suction pump to obtain water from nearby bodies of water through a ten-metre-long suction line. The extinguishing agent is output by means of two low-pressure reels with a range of 60 m.

The compact subframe makes favourable loading and unloading heights possible for apparatus and equipment, for example the mobile breathing apparatus.

Unimog: a fire brigade tradition since 1951

Use of the Unimog in the fire brigade has a long tradition which dates back to its early years and includes in forest firefighting and fire protection in surface mining, in industrial plants and at airports.

Since 1951, more than 380,000 of the “Universal-Motor-Gerät” (universally applicable motorised implement – Unimog) have been built, including 10,000 examples of the U 300/U 400/U 500 model series introduced in 2000. The Unimogs were produced in Gaggenau until 2002, after which time they began production at the truck plant in Wörth.

Credits: Daimler AG

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