Unimog

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Unimog designates a range of multi-purpose four wheel drive medium trucks produced by Mercedes-Benz, a division of Daimler AG. The name Unimog is pronounced in German and is an acronym for the German "UNIversal-MOtor-Gerat", Gerät being the German word for machine or device. Daimler Benz took over manufacture of the Unimog in 1951 and they are currently built in the Mercedes truck plant in Wörth am Rhein in Germany. The first model was designed shortly after World War II to be used in agriculture as a self-propelled machine providing a power take-off to operate saws in forests or harvesting machines on fields. It was designed with permanent 4WD with equal size wheels in order to be driven on roads at higher speeds than standard farm tractors. With their very high ground clearance and a flexible frame that is essentially a part of the suspension, Unimogs are not designed to carry as much load as regular trucks. Due to their off-road capabilities, Unimogs can be found in jungles, mountains and deserts as military vehicles, fire fighters, expedition campers, and even in competitions like truck trials and Dakar Rally rally raids. In Western Europe, they are commonly used as snowploughs, municipal equipment carriers, agricultural implements, construction equipment and road-rail vehicles. Unimogs have won the truck class of the Dakar several times in the 1980s, often by accident as their main purpose is usually to provide support for cars and motorbikes. High-powered factory-sponsored entries of truck companies aiming for the overall win have since taken the laurels, with Unimogs mainly used for service purposes. Occasionally they can be seen pulling much larger trucks out of quick sand. Unimogs have very high ground clearance — greater than the Humvee — made possible by portal gears that allow the axles and transmission to be higher than the tires' centers. Unimogs also feature a flexible frame that allows the tires a wide range of vertical movement to allow the truck to comfortably drive over extremely uneven terrain, even boulders of 1 metre in height. They are equipped with high visibility driving cabs to enable the operator to see the terrain and more easily manipulate mounted tools. The newest Unimog models can be changed from left-hand drive to right-hand drive in the field to permit operators to work on the more convenient side of the truck. The ability to operate on highways enables the Unimog to be returned to a home garage or yard to thwart vandalism. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





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