Versatility thanks to power take-off shafts.
Markus particularly values the reliability of the Unimog U 427, and also the useful features including snow plough relief, the electro-pneumatic gear shift and the two power take-off shafts. The front PTO is especially useful in winter service use: the Kesslers can even run a snow blower from it to disperse high banks of snow, reducing the piled-up snow at the sides of the road to a reasonable height. “We might not have to attach it again until next winter,” Markus says. Until then, the Unimog will be pulling rather than pushing in Häusern. It will be back to work transporting loads of timber to the company’s customers using a log trailer and loading crane.
Seven generations of Kesslers and their Unimog.
Markus Kessler, who qualified as a car mechanic with Mercedes-Benz in Titisee Neustadt before joining his parents’ timber haulage firm, fell under the Unimog spell at an early age. It runs in the family. His father Helmut recalls: “Our first Unimog was a 411, still with the tarpaulin cover, but it made snow ploughing so much easier. It was only 30 hp, but manoeuvrable, as before that there was only the logging truck with a K5 V-type snow plough. And before that we had to rely on horses and ox-power!”
Kessler is the oldest company in the village of Häusern. The timber haulage firm was founded 200 years ago by Markus Josef Kessler and is now in its seventh generation of Kesslers – appropriately also using its seventh Unimog in a row. For transporting lumber, the company has also been using a Mercedes-Benz Actros with a log transporter body and crane since 2000. It’s used to supply Kessler’s customer base, which covers a radius of around 100 km and includes a large number of sawmills and timber processing companies in the southern Black Forest.
The winter service experts intend to remain loyal to the Unimog. Their enthusiasm for it is undiminished: “The new Unimog U 427 doesn’t just have ingenious features, the ride comfort is excellent as well,” extols Markus Kessler. And with the help of his team it continues to ensure the roads remain snow-free between the Schwarza valley and the Alb reservoir.