An all-rounder at home on the quayside.
The Bayernhafen port in Regensburg is a hub for freight transport throughout eastern Bavaria. Its operations demand a multi-talented all-rounder capable of towing, lifting, spreading or cutting to keep clearances free. The Unimog U 423 is just such an all-rounder – with very special technical features.
Smooth starting thanks to torque converter clutch.
The Unimog U 423 sets off smoothly, almost gently despite the heavy rail car hitched to it. It is transporting test weights. They are needed for the annual safety testing of the single-link and double-link gantry cranes on the north quay at Regensburg's western port. The facility handles heavy loads round the clock, and the Unimog U 423 is key to ensuring that everything runs smoothly.
Without its heavy-duty, non-wearing hydrodynamic torque converter clutch, smooth starting when towing such heavy loads would be impossible. The Zagro rail guide bar enabling both road and rail operation is just one special feature of the 231 hp Unimog U 423. But the Unimog has to handle lots of other jobs at the port too.
Much more than just a towing machine.
The team at the Regensburg facility is glad to have the compact implement carrier as a reliable tool for routine maintenance and clearing operations. Covering an area of 175 hectares, and over 30 kilometres of rail track, those are time-consuming jobs, and so efficient equipment is more than welcome.
Bayernhafen Regensburg is a leading river-borne freight handling centre in Bavaria. It is one of six locations alongside Aschaffenburg, Bamberg, Nuremberg, Roth and Passau. Its main benefits are its economically key geographical hub location and its efficient interlinking of water, rail and road transportation. The port handles some nine million tonnes of freight a year. Whereas previously winter clearing and spreading operations in Regensburg could be managed by a Unimog U 90, with a marshalling locomotive handling the rail car movements, for work involving the need for cherry-pickers, keeping clearances free, mowing or mulching, equipment mostly had to be hired or contractors were engaged.
The demands of a port are very diverse, so we need more than just
Bayernhafen engineering director Klaus Hohberger
To be able to carry out the necessary work more efficiently, in 2015 Bayernhafen first gave consideration to acquiring a multi-functional work vehicle based on a Unimog. Some time later, those considerations did indeed result in an acquisition for the Regensburg facility. Bayernhafen engineering director Klaus Hohberger comments: "The demands of a port are very diverse, so we need more than just standard equipment." A brainstorming session produced a wealth of requirement specifications for equipment to cover the wide-ranging applications: spreading and clearing in the winter months, mowing and mulching, but also frequently transporting material. Not least, consideration was given to excavation and earthworking, as the built-on crane and grab made it possible to load and carry cuttings, mulch or gravel.
An unusual idea translated into a standard product.
In line with its wide-ranging applications, the features on the Unimog U 423 include a mechanical front power take-off shaft and the typical Unimog multi-circuit hydraulic unit. The hydrostatic traction drive enables infinitely variable control of the working speed when mowing or cutting clearances by keeping the revs constant. "Daimler's standard portfolio didn't in fact include a combination of torque converter clutch and hydrostatic traction drive," explains Manfred Plodeck, sales advisor with local Unimog agent Beutlhauser. The combination was realised by the Wörth-based specialist team from CTT (Custom Tailored Trucks).
And they did great work. The blue Unimog U 423 has been working at Bayernhafen for over a year now, and since being approved for rail use on-site can now also operate with any of its mounted equipment within the port area. In August, it was additionally fitted with a special front-mounted boom mower with a coordinated mower head, making the Unimog even more valuable for Bayernhafen. For Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks, the outcome was that it had an attractive new combination in its portfolio. "We are delighted to have found partners in Daimler and Unimog agent Beutlhauser who were willing to accept the challenge of designing a vehicle tailored to our specific requirements," says Klaus Hohberger. "With their support, we have acquired a vehicle which is doubtless a ground-breaker in its segment."