Lightning from Bern.

Unimog U 427 with crane and winch as a pioneer vehicle for the Bern fire department.

The Bern fire brigade deploys an average of six and a half times a day. But it is only rarely about extinguishing fires: A large part are so-called assistance operations, such as rescuing people and animals or damage from storms and lightning. Therefore, the corps new all-terrain Unimog U 427 is just right.

Unimog and the Bern fire department: a team for a long time.

The fiery red Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 427 replaces a reliable Unimog at the Bern fire department, which was put into operation in 1982. Franz Märki, Firefighter Captain and Head of Communication, is now looking forward to "at least 30 years together" for the newcomer to the vehicle fleet. "We have a lot of plans for the compact and off-road pioneer vehicle, as our youngest fleet is tailor-made to meet a wide range of needs," he explains.

As part of the tasks of its base, the 2.20 m wide Unimog U 427 will increasingly be used in the wider canton area. Division Chief Christian Siegenthaler says: “Wherever the path or alley is narrow or the ground is uneven, even hilly. With its properties, our pioneer vehicle can be used in a variety of ways.” By this he means, for example, the use of wood in wind and weather, the use after water pollution in the construction of an oil dam, vehicle salvage or flooding and large animal rescues. The Unimog U 427 is also ideally suited as a towing vehicle thanks to a possible trailer load of 20 t.

The crew is convinced.

"It is impressive what the Unimog can do," says Christian Siegenthaler. His teammate Thomas Berger, a member of the fire department's procurement group, added: “With his all-wheel drive and automated 8-speed manual transmission, his 272 hp engine output and 3.7 t payload, he is well-equipped. It is perfect for tricky fine maneuvers and should be able to withstand a lot at the same time.”

The Matzelsdorf fire station only has eyes for the Unimog.

The equipment of the Unimog U 427 leaves nothing to be desired: rear-view camera, open-view cab, mechanical-hydraulic cab tilting device, panoramic windshield made of heat-insulating laminated glass, permanent all-wheel drive with lockable longitudinal differential, OM 936 engine (Euro VI, 200 kW, 1,100 Nm), high performance engine brake, bi-halogen headlights, six-chamber tail light with rear fog light, clearance lights and much more.

Particularly practical for firefighters: there is space in the rear box of the Unimog for further equipment. Among other things, protective clothing, chainsaws, tools, life jackets, lamps and safety devices can be stowed there.

Powerful extras: crane and winch.

The Unimog implement carrier receives real added value from the tailor-made body and attachments. The configuration of the new Unimog was created in close cooperation between the fire department's procurement team, the local Mercedes-Benz partner Merbag AG and the bodywork specialist Feumotech.

When it comes to cranes, the fire department experts opted for a Palfinger PK 7001-EH-B with a maximum lifting load of 3,150 kg and an unloading length of up to 9.2 m. The single-drum cable winch KA-195-LS from Kyburz is installed behind the cab to save space at the front. It has a maximum pulling force of 5.5 t with a 12 mm wire rope length of 100 m. It manages up to two meters per second, which saves valuable time in critical operations - for example when setting up an oil barrier in fast-flowing waters. The crane and winch can be practically controlled by remote control.

Franz Märki is enthusiastic about the versatility and agility of the new Unimog: “This is a strong achievement. Overall, the Unimog not only has a lot of technology, but above all the latest technology.”

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