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Tough and Trusty.

The U 423 is the latest member of the Unimog family at the landscaping company Feind in Lübben

Landscaping specialist Reinhardt Feind has been operating Unimog vehicles since his company was set up in 1990. He regards his new U 423 with the innovative drive system EasyDrive as a quantum leap.

"That really was long overdue,” says Reinhardt Feind to Bernd Hänsel, his sales consultant at the Unimog General Distributor Endres Bruhns in Berlin. And if Hänsel were not standing two steps away he would probably also be giving him a highly appreciative pat on the back. What puts Feind in such good spirits is the newly developed synergetic drive system EasyDrive in his new Unimog. It’s optionally available in all Unimog implement carriers, in Feind’s U 423 too. “For us, this is the most important innovation,” says Feind. “We can fix the rpm setting of the respective implement and then set the vehicle’s driving speed independently of that figure. This makes life a lot easier for the driver,” explains the landscaping operator, who set up his company in Lübben south of Berlin in 1990. Since then, Feind and his employees have developed a growing affinity to the Unimog that only its users can really understand.

Unimog for business foundation.

“The very first vehicle was an MB Trac, but the first Unimog 1400 came in 1992,” Feind recalls. Both ‘veterans’ are still in service in Feind’s company after more than 20 years. The 1400 was followed by the representatives of what were the respectively latest Unimog generations, so the landscaping company has a complete collection of the Unimog models of the past 24 years at its disposal. And even though he loves all models, the new Unimog U 423 is already the prized possession in his collection: “Thanks to the hydrostatic drive the driver can fully concentrate on working with the respective implement and hardly has to bother any more about the driving. He can set the speed via the column stalk, with the joystick or with the accelerator pedal. In addition, the steering wheel can be repositioned for roadside work. Our drivers therefore can pick the operating position that is the most ergonomic for them,” says Feind. A further feature is also popular with the Feind drivers: with the hydrostatic drive it’s no longer necessary to stop the vehicle to switch from implement operation mode to driving mode.

Mowers for verges, shredders, embankment builders, planting machines and snow ploughs for winter maintenance - there are countless implements standing in depots that are first brought to life by the Unimog. Feind's company is the indispensable helper for road maintenance and road construction companies as well as water management and nature conservation associations all over Germany. "Without the Unimog and its special capabilities I would never have been able to build up my business," says Feind, looking back on the company's success story.

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Custom-built implements no problem!

In cooperation with various implement manufacturers such as Alfred Söder, Mulag and Dücker, the Lübben-based operator has developed numerous special implements. And this is where Bernd Hänsel steps in: as an interface between Unimog and its customers he often enabled Unimog models to be built for Feind that were not previously standard: "In order to make a suitable vehicle available for our root barrier cutter, for example, we put together the first U 400 with a long wheel base and rear axle steering," says Hänsel. Reinhardt Feind thus became the first company in Germany able to put down root barrier membrane on cycle paths and roads. This prevents roots from growing underneath the paths and gradually destroying them.

A vehicle for the next 20 years.

In addition to the special projects, Hänsel made sure that the maintenance work was given competent support. Much to the delight of Reinhardt Feind: "This is important. Some of our vehicles have such specialised application profiles that not everyone immediately knows their way around," says Feind."This is real teamwork," he adds. The ideas of the landscaping operator and his implement manufacturers, the short line of communication via Hänsel to the Mercedes-Benz plant in Wörth and the high level of quality of the Unimog vehicles themselves - the recipe for success with which Feind has maintained its position in the market and will continue to do so in the future is attributable to all of these factors. The 63-year-old is currently handing over the business to his successor Norman Fruth. "If I'd wanted to stop working altogether I certainly wouldn't have ordered a new Unimog. The quality, that's something you can already tell, is at least as good as that of the preceding models. Which means that my U 423 will also be in service in more than 20 years time. You can't build them better than that: just get in, start up and move off."

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