Electricity supplier EKT designs a unique Unimog U 5023 for operations in the energy sector.
Can't always get what you want? Sometimes you can! When the Swiss power company EKT put together a specifications catalogue for a new operational vehicle, it was immediately clear that they were looking for a true all-rounder. Towing, cable maintenance, dismantling – the required range of applications in the energy sector is very broad and thus difficult to cover with just one vehicle. However a Unimog configured by the company itself fulfils more than 90 percent of all requirements. And therefore more than any other eligible vehicle. Erwin Meienberger, Head of Network Construction and his team think that the Unimog definitely deserves this victory. The operational experts are well aware: the Unimog leaves nothing to chance.
A winner for Switzerland.
The power company from the Swiss canton of Thurgau has been using Unimog vehicles since the 1980s. Success is inevitable because the combination of economy and impressive off-road capability makes the special truck the ideal base vehicle.
Just as for every new purchase, completion of the legally required tendering process was required for the newest procurement. With an impressive result: "Our specifications catalogue comprised 150 points. The Unimog was the only vehicle to fulfil more than 90 percent of our demands," Roger Oswald, Deputy Head Fitter for Cable Construction tells us. And the competent victor is anything but an eyesore: a snow-white Unimog U 5023 4x4 with customised equipment. As the successor to a Unimog U 1250 and U 1650 L, the all-rounder fulfils every requirement at EKT.
The Unimog was the only vehicle to fulfil more than 90 percent of our demands.
Roger Oswald, Deputy Head Fitter for Cable Construction at EKT
A live wire – every day.
Only a hardened workhorse that is also able to fulfil any number of special requirements is suitable for complex operations in overhead cable construction, and it must also be good at coping with off-road terrain as well as heavy-duty equipment. The whole team was involved in selecting the equipment for the Unimog and thus created the perfect all-rounder for work in the canton.
The white Unimog is equipped with a body for overhead cable maintenance produced by the Swiss bodybuilder MOBAS. It features a loading bridge and an extended crane base as well as four supports for optimum stability. It also has an elevating work basket with a 360-degree swivel range, an earth auger and a cable winch. One particular feature is the TireControl tyre pressure control system – an absolute must for Erwin Meienberger and his team: "With this we don't damage the ground. This is particularly useful in farmed fields and on meadows."
And of course, one thing is particularly important: the uniquely high off-roading capability of the Unimog. The ideal angles of approach and departure, the above-average ground clearance and the off-road ratio for gradeability up to 100 percent provide the cable constructors with the ideal pre-requirements for a diverse range of off-road operations. Regardless of whether operation involves towing emergency power generators, transporting a team or heavy material, maintenance work on cables or dismantling wooden pole cables, everyday work in the Thurgau region without this special truck is unimaginable
Built for intensive operations.
All-wheel drive and extreme torsional flexibility give the robust all-rounder a headstart on impassable terrain, whilst the modern and efficient Mercedes-Benz drive technology and the OM934 four-cylinder inline engine with an output of 170 kW (231 hp) and 900 Nm of torque provide the Unimog U 5023 with the necessary power even for the toughest terrain. The three-stage engine brake, the completely welded frame and the encapsulated drivetrain provide for more safety and a long life cycle.
Setting benchmarks with Mercedes-Benz partners.
The special vehicle was designed together with the Mercedes-Benz partner Larag AG. Roger Oswald is extremely satisfied with the collaboration: "We didn't just involve our staff in the selection process, but we also intensively discussed ideas with Larag. The Unimog in this form is unique the world over and above all tailored precisely to our requirements. A result like this is only possible when everything adds up." The future can come, Erwin Meienberger says: "We have been relying on the Unimog since the mid-80s – and that won't change in the next 30 years."