Vehicles for worst-case scenarios.

Schlingmann is a pioneer in Unimog TLF fire engines.

It's August 1975. In northern Germany, temperatures have been sitting at 35 degrees Celsius for days now and the atmospheric humidity is just 30 percent. Suddenly, disaster strikes: thick swatches of smoke rise from the forests of the Lüneburg Heath and the Wendlands. It's a major incident, with fire services from neighbouring regions and further afield being called upon to help. The heat and changing winds make things difficult for the emergency services at the scene. The firefighting operations take several days. But the biggest problem of all is the lack of a water supply in the difficult terrain. Especially in view of the sheer size of the area burning:, 8000 hectares of forest and 5000 hectares of moorland and heathland. Seven people were killed in what was the largest fire-related catastrophe to date in the Federal Republic of Germany.

 

Unimog fire trucks - an idea is born:

Time for innovation.

As a result of this drama, it became clear that the State of Lower Saxony drastically lacked off-road fire tenders. This was a historical accident that would serve as a lesson. One of those lessons was the large-scale equipment of fire services with compact, all-terrain fire tenders. This was to be a breakthrough for the Unimog.

Engineer Heinrich Schlingmann was the first person to develop and manufacture the Unimog fire tender. As early as 1971, the district of Friesland placed an order with him for an RW 1 rescue vehicle based on the Unimog U 416. This was the first ever rescue vehicle to use this chassis.

First Schlingmann fire truck based on the Unimog U 416:

Dissen am Teutoburger Wald, is located to the south of Osnabrück, Lower Saxony and this town in the middle of nowhere is home to just under ten thousand inhabitants. It's a place where you can really enjoy countryside life at its best. But in one company premises within the town, everyone is already wide awake. Every day. All 200 employees. Since producing its first models in the 1970s, Schlingmann firefighting vehicles have long become synonymous with reliable firefighting vehicles with extreme off-road capability. No-one builds more Unimog conversions than Schlingmann. And so it is no surprise that in 2015 the company was awarded the prestigious "Mercedes-Benz Unimog ExpertPartner" status.

Schlingmann and Unimog - a success story takes its course:

Passionate expert.

Heinrich Schlingmann, who is enjoying his retirement these days, is still familiar with the market situation: "The vehicle of choice for extreme off-road terrain these days is the Unimog U 5023." This Unimog extreme off-roader is known to be able to get anywhere where other vehicles would have to wave the white flag. For the TLF 2000 and 3000 norms, Schlingmann builds fire engines based on the Unimog implement carrier model series. In particular, the U 218 L and more recently also the U 323 L form an optimum basis for these.

"The U 323 offers higher engine output and axle load figures," explains the company's spokesperson Peter Schallenberg. In his own words, the TLF 2000 on the basis of the Unimog is especially interesting for use on narrow streets and forest tracks. "With a vehicle width of just 2.30 metres, this Unimog is particularly suitable for use in historical town centres".

416 model series, U 1100L, year of manufacture 1976
437.4 model series, U 3000, year of manufacture 2004
416 model series, U 1100L, year of manufacture 1976
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Two series, one mission.

Around 70 percent of all Unimog firefighting vehicles which leave the Schlingmann plant in Dissen are based on the extreme off-roader model series. The remaining Unimog conversions are carried out using the implement carrier model series as their basis. Very much like during its beginnings with the Unimog in the 70s, Schlingmann is again currently enjoying growing demand for firefighting vehicles with great off-roading capabilities. Quite probably as a result of climate change, with rising temperatures and longer periods of hot weather now seemingly commonplace.

Wide range of body solutions - Schlingmann as a Mercedes-Benz Unimog ExpertPartner:

And when a fire brigade comes to see Schlingmann with a special request, the company's engineers are all ears, as was recently the case with Hamburg's fire service. In the Hanseatic town, the service is also responsible for bomb disposal. The service was looking for a GW-KRD vehicle – an equipment vehicle for the bomb disposal service. The team at Schlingmann quickly built a unique vehicle based on the Unimog U 5023 extreme off-roader which they equipped with a Werner front-mounted cable winch (50 kN), an Atlas rear-mounted crane and a bomb-proofed carrying mechanism for unexploded ordnance.

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