Winter is finally coming and many people will go skiing. On the other hand, early spring may bring some floods and other natural hazards so we have to be prepared for everything. Common rescue vehicles cannot cross difficult terrain, so Mercedes-Benz is offering a special Unimog U 4000 for the job.
This particular Unimog U 4000 is loaned to Upper Black Forest mountain rescue service, operating at altitudes of 1493 m in pretty harsh conditions. It means that the truck must be extremely capable off road and carry all the necessary rescue equipment. This one has a seven-seater double cab for the entire team to sit in and a four wheel drive system. Engine is a four-cylinder OM 924 LA Euro V diesel, producing 160 kW/218 hp of power. However, the real value of the truck comes from its chassis – it has an extremely robust frame, huge approach and departure angles (44 degrees at the front, 51 degrees at the rear), and a very low centre of gravity.
All of it shows when it comes to driving through really tough terrain. Unimog U 4000 can ford 1.20 m deep water, climb 45 degree inclines and handle a lateral inclination angle of up to 38 degrees. This means that the truck can reach the site of the accident quickly and reliably. It can, of course, bring the necessary equipment too. All rescue modules are mounted on trolleys and can be loaded to the truck quickly, depending on what will be needed. For example, the avalanche module comprises material for organised probing for and rescue of avalanche victims. All of it helps saving time and energy, which is crucial in difficult rescue missions.
The region, where Unimog U 4000 is being tested, is famous for its skiing locations. The problem is that they are in the wilderness and very difficult to reach. Black Forrest region attracts nine million tourists every years, so it is really no surprise that around 600 accidents happen. Various methods of rescue are used – rescue teams are walking, using cable cars, air transport and off-road vehicles. It means that Unimog U 4000 will certainly come in handy. Managing Director of the Baden-Württemberg mountain rescue service, Lutz Scherer, noted: “We are therefore very grateful that Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks is providing us with this Unimog. The vehicle is absolutely perfect for our specific requirements and it will help us to help victims in a much more appropriate way.”
Unimog U 4000 is an incredible machine, which can pretty much go everywhere. Hopefully, it will prove itself valuable and will help make rescue missions even more efficient and quick.