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Unimog double-cab is the boss

2009-11-27 08:59

Grant Estman’s Unimog double-cab has so much ground-clearance Tom Cruise could probably walk through underneath from one flank to the other and not have to duck…

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Mercedes-Benz
Model U4000 Unimog
Engine 4.8l, four-cylinder turbodiesel
Power 260kW
Torque 810Nm
Transmission Eight-speed
Fuel Tank 160l
When a man has a big boat and a favourite fishing spot which is generally inaccessible, well, your average 4x4 bakkie just doesn’t cut it.

Fortunately Mercedes-Benz South Africa’s commercial vehicle division does have an order book for the world’s most trusted heavy duty civilian 4x4 – the Unimog.

First U4000 customer order

The first local order for the latest Unimog U4000 was recently delivered to Grant Estman from Vereeniging – a man who takes his fishing way too seriously…

Grant needed something which could ford water and tow plenty, enabling access to his favourite (a euphemism for isolated) fishing spots.

The solution was a double-cab U4000 featuring a drop-side loadbay.

Grant's double-cab (the white one) features a 7t capacity winch and rolls 20-inch wheels.

A proper German double-cab (a what?)

After waiting six months for his Unimog to be built to exacting specification in Germany, Grant is hugely impressed with his purchase.

Peruse the specification list and you can hardly imagine him not being taken up with his Unimog double-cab.

Powered by a 4.8l, turbocharged, in-line four diesel producing 810Nm of peak rotational force, Grant's Unimog can tow 10t with ease.

Drive is apportioned to all-four wheels via an eight-speed electropneumatic shift transmission with pneumatically selectable axle lockers.

Although the transmission is a tri-pedal set-up it does feature an automatic override function for use in heavy traffic - which is jolly clever.

Unimogs enjoy water about as much as Newfoundland hounds. Approach and depature angles of 44° and 51°, and 45° slope climbing ability better than your average 4x4 double-cab.

Getting stuck? Not on the menu, Sir

The Unimog’s off-road conquering hardware is hugely impressive.

Boasting axle lockers front and rear and 1.2m water fording capability (augmented by 500mm solid obstacle clearance) Grant's 'Mog goes where over enthusiastic adventure racers on their mountain bikes and kayaks cannot.

The Unimog's suspension, consisting of torque tubes supported by helical springs, ensures the Unimog gets to wherever Grant needs his boat needs to go – at all times.

Wheel travel is immense, ensuring optimal tyre contact (and traction) in even the most broken terrain.

There are plenty of clever off-road biased features too.

These include the electronic quick reverse system (EQR), which is a pre-selectable synchromesh reverse gear (actuated via a flip switch) which enables one to easily "rock" the Unimog free (alternating between first and reverse) in a quagmire.

For Grant the Unimog’s tyre pressure control pneumatics are his favourite.

"The CTIS (central inflation system), where you can inflate or deflate the tyre pressure to suit the type of surface you are on, by simply pressing a button whilst on the move. A great time-saver!"

So if you’ve reached the saturation point for Dad’s complaining about how his 4x4 double-cab bakkie just doesn’t have enough space, you know what to get him for Christmas.

Just remember to measure the garage first – it needs to be at least 6.2m long, 2.7m high and 2m wide…


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