While other vehicles may advertise that they pull like a locomotive and handle like they’re on rails, the Mercedes-Benz Unimog actually does. As in, literally.
Next month, the German automaker will display its go-anywhere work vehicle at the Innotrans rail transport show in Berlin. In fact it will display three: one for shunting (as a low-speed, short-distance locomotive), another for overhead cable maintenance (useful for electric rail systems), and a third for railway maintenance.
The Unimog, for those unfamiliar, sits somewhere in between the G-Class and Daimler’s bigger trucks as one of the manufacturer’s most versatile platforms. Shorthand for Universal Motor Gerät (device), the Unimog has been in production since shortly after World War II. Today it’s used by the military, fire departments, and expeditionary teams, as snowplows, in agriculture, forestry, construction… you name it. Even railways.
Among the endless options for outfitting a Unimog towards specific work applications, it can be fitted with special wheels for operating on tracks – using the standard wheels for propulsion. It can even be fitted with fire-fighting equipment to meet safety standards for working in tunnels, which only goes to further illustrate just how versatile a vehicle it is.