Even safer: The Unimog
For over 60 years the Unimog has been setting standards with its economic efficiency and unique vehicle concept. Especially when doing municipal work, the safety concept of the Mercedes-Benz implement carrier sets a good example of how to avoid accidents and minimise any follow-up effects in advance.
Both during its hard everyday work as well as when being put through demanding tests, the Unimog from product range U 300/U 400/U 500 makes the most of its advantages and numerous safety features such as optimal visibility, track-keeping while driving, controlled braking on roads with uneven surfaces, very good impact protection in case of collision, as well as good ergonomics due to a multitude of other features such as vibration protection for the driver.
ADAC experts have taken a close look at the Unimog U 400 fitted with a snow plough and gritter or mower as being representative of its municipal all-year round use. The results have confirmed the implement carrier’s high safety standards.
Due to its short dimensions of only 3.10 metres in front when working with a mounted Gmeiner snow plough GLS 270, the Unimog remains a whole 0.4 metres under the legal limits and at the same time has optimal visibility making it even safer when working in moving traffic. The extremely well-designed position of the driving seat as well as the large panorama windscreen of the cab provide the driver with the very best view of his working areas as well as of the traffic so that he can recognise potential dangers well in time. Even with the snow plough mounted in front, the driver still has an unlimited field of vision from ten metres on. And that means more safety – both for the driver as well as for all other road users.
Altogether five mirrors on both driver and co-driver sides provide good visibility towards the rear, starting with the heated, electrically adjustable large-surface rear mirror. This means that blind spots and dangerous situations such as zebra crossings are considerably reduced and defused. The rear lighting makes the Unimog clearly visible for following traffic: four rear lights, two blinkers, two reversing lights, two reflectors, one rear fog light and two braking lights. In addition, two side lights and contour and limiting lights make sure that the Unimog can be seen in every situation. At the front, headlights which can be adjusted according to distance provide light in the darkness.
What is also important in a dangerous situation is that the vehicle is under control at all times. The Unimog is fitted with 4-channel ABS as a standard feature which prevents the wheels from locking and makes sure that even during an emergency braking the Unimog is still capable of being steered. The standard safety equipment – including the automatic load-dependent brake (ALB), a pneumatic dual-circuit braking system and the two-stage engine brake – ensure that the Unimog comes to a precise stop with controlled braking even if the grip traction on the road surface varies or it is carrying different kinds of loads on hilly routes.
Due to its almost perfectly balanced axle load distribution of 45 % to 55 % (back) when loaded, a load-carrying Unimog can still be driven safely at 26 km/h when doing a circular turn on a simulated black ice surface. The more well-balanced the axle load distribution is, the better the vehicle keeps to its tracks.
Its fully spring-cushioned chassis, driving cab with 4-point mounting which has been tested according to ECE R 29/2 and air-sprung comfort driving seat situated behind the front axle, enable the operator to be relaxed and concentrated while working long periods on the job. According to the ADAC test, the low vibrations comply with job health and safety regulations and make work for the operator less tiring.
If there should by any chance be a rear-end collision in moving traffic, the impact energy is absorbed by the Unimog vehicle’s sturdy frame construction, its extremely well-positioned ballast weight and the 2.40 metre long platform to the greatest extent possible before it reaches the driving seat. The driver also has the best possible protection with his 3-point seat belt and integrated headrest which comply with truck standards.
Please note: Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks, has produced a DVD with an information booklet dealing with the topic ‘The Unimog and Safety’ which is available online:
Source: Daimler AG
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