Bearing fruits.

Fruit harvest with the Unimog at Agrartransporte Lauber.

Salem in southern Germany is a parish near Lake Constance which is best known as a state-approved health resort. From mid-August to mid-November, it's the peak season here. And that's also the case for the apple harvest.

Stefan Stengele is the Managing Director at Agrartransporte Lauber. And since the company was founded in the 1980s, there's one farm hand which has always been present: the Unimog. It has undergone what can only be described as a long acid test, which the special truck with the three-pointed star clearly passed with flying colours time and time again.

All-round use on the fruit farms.

Everything started with a Unimog U 406. A little later, a Unimog U 1700 and a Unimog U 2150 joined the club. Currently, Stefan Stengele has four of the special trucks in his fleet: two Unimog U 400 and two new Unimog U 430 models. And they're in daily use because the fruit season is pretty much an all-year-round job. Besides apples, the efficient all-rounders also transport pears, berries and plums from the surrounding farmyards and plantations to a range of warehousing locations.

Unimog at Landwirtschaftsbetrieb Fraatz

The farms are often very tight. Frequent manoeuvring and reversing are the order of the day. No problem for the Unimog. With such challenges, the agile special truck with its good all-round visibility can play to its strengths to the full.

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Same payload, but much more load volume.

The Unimog is a reliable all-rounder and that's a key aspect in the company's daily work, as Managing Director Stengele already knows. For the Lauber company, there's only the Unimog which actually comes into question. Compared with a regular tractor unit or truck combination, the special truck has some interesting advantages: it is much more manoeuvrable, can be used with great versatility and masters tough terrain problem-free.

In actual operations, the new Unimog U 430 is used for pulling a dolly axle and semitrailer combination. This trailer combination is permitted to drive at speeds up to 80 km/h and is thus suitable for use on the motorway whilst also offering a comparable payload to a regular tractor unit. The only difference is that the trailers can be loaded higher which means that, despite the identical payload, around 25 percent more usable load capacity is available.

With the Unimog, many more large empty apple crates can be transported. That's why this Unimog and trailer combination has always been used by the company.

Stefan Stengele, Managing Director at Agrartransporte Lauber

Special bodies ensure optimum load securing.

All of the company's Unimog vehicles have special, self-produced bodies which are equipped with hydraulic or pneumatic raising roofs. This achieves both force-locking and form-locking load securing so that the large fruit crates don't need to be secured using additional tensioning straps. Incidentally, the Unimog is always laden with twelve of these large crates, which corresponds to a weight of around 4.5 t. This means that the Unimog with 12 t permissible gross weight is perfectly utilised.

To ensure Lauber have well thought-out equipment on their special trucks and that their fleet remains in tip-top shape, Unimog Partner Knoblauch GmbH from Immendingen is by their side. This collaboration spans several years and continues to bear fruits for both sides.

When it comes to performance and efficiency, the Unimog is unbeatable. The Lauber team wouldn't swap their Unimog for anything, especially in view of its luxurious cab and comfortable automatic transmission. The special truck simply fulfils all of their criteria for a first-class harvesting tool. Time to get back to work... after the season is before the season.

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