A pack of Unimog
for the winter.

The city of Moscow has opted for 150 Unimog vehicles to fight the snow.

White roads, shops closed, nothing is operational. Moscow regularly falls beneath a thick blanket of snow for months on end. For its 12.4 million inhabitants, it means that between October and the snow melting in March, there is often a break in their daily routines, with many cut off from any type of infrastructure. The city has been trying for several years now to master the snow chaos. Enormous amounts of grit are spread every year on the roads and footpaths, and besides being damaging to the soles of shoes, some inhabitants also claim that it causes health problems. And then there are the expensive attempts to reduce the quantity of snow by means of a chemical cloud blocker.

And the winner is...

Moscow's city council opted for the implementation of a new concept in snow clearing which involves directly loading up the truck with the snow which has been removed. With this approach, it should be possible, for example, to effectively clear snow from the 108.9 km stretch of the motorway ring (MKAD) around Moscow with as many as ten lanes in places – and that even at temperatures as low as -20 °C.

In order to find the optimal vehicle for this concept, the city organized a series of trials in 2017. Among the competitors: the Unimog U 423 with a high-performance snow cutter from European production. Initially, the hosts were sceptical, as foreign technology is considered too complicated in Russia. Despite this, the opinion of the decision-makers soon changed: within just a few minutes, the Unimog had cleared the test area of the snow and beat all of the competitors.

1/5

International collaboration.

The extraordinary demonstration paved the way for the purchase negotiations. Finally, in October 2018, the city of Moscow ordered 150 Unimog U 423 vehicles equipped with snow cutters featuring integrated pushing technology and had 300 employees trained in the correct use of the vehicle. This year, Mercedes-Benz and Russian body manufacturer Merkator Holding will work closely with one another. The high-quality snow clearing technology was manufactured by various companies in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

150 times great.

Some of the 150 units experienced their first operations as early as winter 2018/2019 with a maximum speed of 45 km/h and equipped with special tractor approval. With fully equipped municipal hydraulics, hydrostatic drive and practical dual-mode steering, the Unimog demonstrated above all two things in all districts of the city: reliable efficiency and robustness.

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