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Ready for extreme situations.

The Unimog is equipped to tackle vegetation fires and other important firefighting operations.

As a result of climate change, the number of vegetation fires is on the rise worldwide. At the same time, floods occur more frequently. And that has changed the daily lives of fire services. Plus, efficient and versatile drive concepts, as well as the health and safety of crews have become even more important topics. In line with these trends, decision-makers, crews and their equipment need to keep up with the increased pace. But that’s no problem at all for the Unimog. Today already, the all-rounder from Mercedes-Benz has some impressive solutions up its sleeve.

Unimog in fire protection: a success story.

In order to be well-equipped for the future, the ability to build on tradition and experience is a major advantage. The well-proven universally applicable motorised device – or Unimog for short – has been used in firefighting since the 1950s and also ticks both of the afore mentioned boxes. With its legendary chassis concept, the off-road professional has spent 75 years providing help wherever it was needed. Even in places which are impossible for other vehicles to reach.

Unimog as a tank fire engine (TLF)

The extreme off-roader’s great suitability for use in firefighting and aid relief operations comes above all from its high payload and the versatile body interfaces. The offset vehicle frame with torque tubes and a transmission with special off-road reduction ensure that the vehicle is perfectly adapted to take on all manner of terrain.

Specialised in vegetation fires.

Persistently dry summers mean that fire services need to specialise in fighting vegetation fires – and to do that, high ground clearance and single tyres are essential. Driving through undergrowth, the Unimog proceeds with ease thanks to its portal axles which enable a ground clearance of up to 420 mm to be achieved. What’s more, the single tyres provide plenty of traction in off-road terrain.

While the high permissible axle load creates plenty of capacity for extinguishing agent and loads, the engine-side and transmission-side power take-offs enable firefighting pumps to be driven.

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Above and beyond this, numerous tactical equipment options are also available for the Unimog. For example, a special self-protection system sprays the tyres and windscreen to keep the vehicle safe in the face of stray flames. An optional item of equipment available ex works is the Heat Protection Package which helps crews keep a cool head when the heat is really on. This is assured by means of a special sheathing around all important lines. All operationally required major assemblies and technical components are also mechanically protected.

Especially practical in pump-and-roll operations is the ability to tackle forest fires directly from within the vehicle through the roof hatch. The centre seat is then able to be used as a standing surface. Plus, the compact vehicle dimensions are also well-adapted to low passages, while the great view from the cab and the impressive fording ability of up to 1.2 m round off the package for firefighting applications.

Help during floods.

Numerous regions in Germany have recently had to experience how violently floods can strike. Communities in the Ahr valley were hit particularly hard. To support the emergency services, Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks handed over two Unimog demonstration vehicles (U 4023 with double cab and U 5023 with single cab) to the Neustadt an der Weinstraße fire brigade. For about six weeks, both Unimogs, equipped with a flatbed and tarpaulin, were on the road around the clock in the Ahr valley to perform logistical tasks. In addition to their high fording capacity, the vehicles benefited from their protected cardan shafts (push tube technology). This meant that invisible debris under water could not harm the Unimog. The roof hatch, through which people could get in and out of the vehicles during floods, also turned out to be an indispensable detail.

Tidal flat rescue on the coast.

Where there is permanent danger from the water, Unimogs are almost obligatory as emergency vehicles. This is the case, for example, with the DLRG Cuxhaven on the coast. The rapid response group has four Unimogs equipped for the challenges on the Wadden Sea. The equipment vehicle "Technik" (GW-W) is a Unimog 1300 L of the 435 series with four-wheel drive and a 5 t front winch. A former ambulance (KRKW) of the German Federal Armed Forces is used by the water rescue service as a diving equipment vehicle (GW-T).

In addition to a Unimog, which serves purely as a flatbed and training vehicle, the multi-purpose tidal flat rescue vehicle forms the heart of the fleet. This is a Unimog 1300 L, which is used for rescue in the mudflats off the west coast of Cuxhaven. The vehicle is designed in such a way that the DLRG can use it to launch rescue boats and a jet ski. Eight additional seats are available on the flatbed to accommodate several people at the same time in case of accidents on the tidal flats. Another person can be transported lying on a basket stretcher in the interior. In this way, for example, a complete crew of waders can be brought safely ashore when surprised by the sudden rise of the tide.

Working together against the tides.

Consumption which is as low as possible.

When it comes to the topic of environmental protection and efficiency, the Unimog is well up to the job thanks to its modern drive technology. Low-emission and innovative engines are gaining ground – and nothing proves this better than the Mercedes-Benz BlueTec 6 vehicle generation.

Unimog at Interschutz 2022: ready for a networked future.

These trends and many other firefighting aspects are at the very heart of Interschutz – the leading international event for firefighting and disaster relief operations. The next event is planned to run from 20 to 25 June 2022 in Hanover. Under the umbrella term "networking", the use of innovative digital solutions and the co-operation between various parties and institutions will be the focal points of the show. Further to this, Interschutz will also address the aspect of extreme weather conditions and the challenges associated with these on the basis of recent examples. And the Unimog will, of course, also be present – both at the show itself and in the real-life operations.

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