Snow plow in the front, heavy snow chains on all four wheels and a salt spreader in the back: theUnimog U 500 present in the Mercedes-Benz Museum is an authentic example of the versatility of the small all-German vehicle. The special version exhibited in the museum complex of the Stella a Tre Punte, for example, would be ready to face the harsh winters but its applications are not limited to winter work on the road alone. The 2004 Mercedes Unimog U 500 is a multifunctional, all-wheel drive tool carrier that can be used for daily work, towing trams or performing mowing services. The Universal-Motor-Gerät (universal motor machine, this is the meaning of the abbreviation for Unimog) has always been admired for its versatility thanks to its compatibility with a wide range of accessories that can be mounted and operated from the front, rear and center of the vehicle.
Starting precisely with the winter road cleaning service, which Unimog started from the early years of its production in 1949: initially conceived for agriculture, it was also used for winter maintenance from the 1950s onwards, as a snow plow or support, becoming a real protagonist of the German winters. The special specimen exhibited at the Mercedes Museum boasts high performance in terms of road cleaning thanks to a blow molding machine and a complex hydraulic system that allows the snow that has been removed to be collected and blown on the sides of the road. Equipped with a double engine and a 205 kW system, the Unimog 500s were also used in the high mountains. The one on display in Stuttgart notably boasts two round snow blades that are located on the sides of the cutting drum, delimiting the work area with a clean cut.
Inside they are fixed two spiral-shaped cutting elements with sawtooth cutting edges. These also destroy large amounts of snow and work their way through hardened or frozen layers. The cutting spirals transport the material to be cleared to the center of the attachment according to the Archimedes screw principle. Here, the impeller located behind the cutting drum takes its place in its cylindrical seat. It accelerates the crushed snow and expels it laterally upwards through the chimney. This can be rotated hydraulically up to 275 degrees and its tip can be set at different angles, including hydraulically. In this way, the driver determines exactly where the Unimog throws the cleared snow. A small wonder that has earned a place of honor among the jewels of the Star.
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