Unimog, Zetros and Econic – top-performing specialists in the construction business

  • The Unimog – a multi-talent on the construction site
  • The Zetros – a robust long-bonnet truck for special cases
  • The Econic – a specialist in inner-city construction operations

The Unimog is a living legend and a versatile working machine, indispensable in construction. The Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 4023/5023 offers unsurpassed off-road characteristics and extreme ruggedness. This legendary truck can go anywhere, overcoming all obstacles in its path, whether on or off the road. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a highly specialised equipment carrier to master the demanding tasks of construction sites, municipalities, fire brigades, energy suppliers or agricultural specialists, then the all-wheel-drive Unimog models U 216 to U 530 with the large number of finely tuned bodies and implements available ex factory is just right for you.

The exhibited long version of the Unimog U 427 has a wheelbase of 3600 mm and is configured as a versatile expert for roadworks. Its bitumen-spraying device from equipment manufacturer Schäfer Technic seals previously milled road surfaces with bitumen. The powerful engine of the 14-tonne truck delivers 200 kW (272 hp) from the 7.7 l displacement of its inline six-cylinder Mercedes-Benz OM 936 engine. Its spray beam spans the entire width of the vehicle. In addition, this road-building Unimog is equipped with a seam gluing device for sealing adjacent carriageways.

The compact implement carrier: Unimog U 216 to U 530

The Unimog U 216 to U 530 model series are commercial vehicles and work machines in one, dazzling with their sheerly outstanding characteristics. The series is based on a chassis with permanent all-wheel drive. Thanks to portal axles and single tyres, large ground clearance is possible. An additional rear-axle steering system is available; this makes the U 423 to U 530 models extremely manoeuvrable. Plus, it enables three different steering modes: Normal steering via the front wheels, all-wheel steering with the wheels of both axles turning in the opposite direction to one another and "crab steering" for diagonal travel with parallel-positioned wheels. This further reduces the already small turning circle by up to 20 percent.

The driver sits in a composite-fibre cab and has a clear view of the surroundings thanks to the large panoramic glazing. Thanks to the unique VarioPilot dual-mode steering, the Unimog can be changed from left to right-hand drive and vice versa in just a few seconds.

The optional, continuously-variable "EasyDrive" drive system enables a rapid change between the hydrostatic drive and mechanical manual transmission while on the move. This is advantageous if a longer distance has to be covered between multiple work operations. The hydrostatic drive in the Unimog allows driving at speeds of up to 50 km/h without shifting gears; plus, the mechanical eight-speed manual transmission enables efficient and fuel-saving travel at speeds of up to 89 km/h. The optionally available working and crawler gears enables the Unimog to operate at very low speeds down to 100 metres per hour – an indispensable feature when milling asphalt or compacting with a vibratory compactor. Since the Unimog can also be registered throughout the EU as an agricultural vehicle, the equipment carrier has become even more versatile in year-round use.

The "universally applicable motorised machine" lives up to its name in road-building and railway construction applications, not to mention in hydraulic engineering and canal construction, drilling work, the energy industry, as a skip loader, an asphalt paver, a bitumen sprayer or with ramming, earth drilling and cleaning implements mounted. This multi-talent can also be used with a loading body and excavator, with road verge maintenance equipment and a front-mounted loader, with hook lift systems and roll-off tippers, as well as with sweepers, cranes or as a towing vehicle, tanker or pump vehicle, plus many other applications besides.

Off-road legend: the highly-capable off-road Unimog U 4023/U 5023

When extreme off-road capabilities and versatility are demanded at the same time, there is almost no way of getting around the highly-capable off-road Unimog U 4023/U 5023. The uncompromising off-road professionals transport tools, equipment, materials and crew off the beaten track to wherever they may be required. Their special features are the engageable all-wheel drive, asymmetrically positioned differential, torsionally flexible frame, enormous axle articulation, portal axles with coil springs, single tyres, low centre of gravity and outstanding values for ground clearance, angles of approach and departure, hill-climbing capability and fording capability.

The current model series benefits from the new mid-engine concept. It enables power take-off from the engine directly and allows equipment to operate independently of the road speed. Its four-cylinder engine develops 170 kW (231 hp) from its 5.1 l displacement and is both durable and economical. As before, a transmission-driven PTO is also a possibility. It offers up to 16 forwards and 14 reverse gears: in addition to eight forward and six reverse gears, there is an optional off-road group with eight forward and eight reverse gears for particularly slow driving. The modern cab is spacious and user-friendly. The seating position behind the front axle and the cab suspension allow comfortable driving on any surface.

All these characteristics qualify the highly-capable off-road Unimog to be the measure of all things off-road. In addition, it is possible to change the tyre pressure at the touch of a button in the cockpit via the TireControl tyre pressure control system. Pre-configured tyre pressure values for "road", "sand" and "bad road" allow the pressure to be optimally adjusted to the ground even while on the move. The highly-capable off-road Unimog is mainly used for crane operations, pipeline construction, power utilities in power line construction and for service operations in rough terrain.

The Zetros – a robust long-bonnet truck for special cases

The Mercedes-Benz Zetros, a robust truck with all-wheel drive technology is a case for the toughest missions, both on the road and off the beaten track. It combines extreme off-road capability, resilient, robust technology and the load-bearing capacity of a truck. Accordingly, you will encounter it in open-cast mining, oil fields, underground mining or other challenging operations. A typical feature of the Zetros is its design as a cab-behind-engine truck. As a result, the cab has low contours, easy entry and exit, a level and spacious cab, even weight distribution and a high level of driving comfort, especially off-road.

Permanent all-wheel drive, robust planetary axles with high ground clearance and single or twin tyres, differential locks and a two-stage transfer case are the outstanding features of this truck model. Its bonnet concept forms the basis for outstanding off-road capabilities. As with the highly-capable off-road Unimog, the optional tyre pressure control system offers the choice between road, off-road terrain, sand as well as a particularly low air pressure for extreme situations.

There are two engines available for the Zetros. The two and three-axle variants are equipped with the OM 926 LA inline six-cylinder engine featuring 7.2 l displacement and an output of 240 kW (326 hp). The engine can either be combined with a nine-speed manual transmission or with an automatic transmission with torque converter. In addition, the more powerful OM 457 LA with 315 kW (428 hp) is also available for the Zetros three-axle vehicles.

The Stuttgart-based truck manufacturer is showing a Mercedes-Benz Zetros 2743 A with permanent all-wheel drive on the open-air grounds at the Munich trade fair. Nevertheless, this long-nosed truck has the load-bearing capacity of a regular heavy-duty truck. The three-axle truck offers a 27 t permissible gross vehicle weight and serves as a heavy tipper for off-road use.

The Econic – safety through the best-possible visibility conditions

The Mercedes-Benz Econic, a highly specialised truck for distribution transport and municipal use, has embarked on a further career as a construction vehicle. In London, for example, where particularly high safety standards apply, it is also used as a tipper and concrete mixer. It is predestined for this application because of the particularly high level of safety resulting from its design: with its low-positioned "DirectVision" cab it is designed such that the driver is at eye level with pedestrians and cyclists. In combination with the generously glazed driver's cab and the fully-glazed co-driver's folding door, there is always the possibility of eye contact with other road users – a decisive safety feature. The risk of accidents when turning into a different road is thus minimized, also in connection with the optionally available Sideguard Assist function.

The compact and powerful OM 936 in-line six-cylinder engine with a displacement of 7.7 l and three power ratings of 200 kW (272 hp), 220 kW (299 hp) and 260 kW (354 hp) is responsible for propulsion. When particularly low exhaust and noise emissions are at the centre of attention in the heavy traffic of city centres, the Econic NGT with the M 936 natural gas engine of the same displacement is the ideal choice, delivering 222 kW (302 hp) of output. Standard equipment includes a comfortable Allison 6-speed automatic transmission with torque converter. The highly efficient mechanical PowerShift transmission is available as an option.

The Econic is available in a variety of two, three and four-axle versions with 4x2, 6x2/4, 6x4 and 8x4/4 arrangement with electrohydraulic progressively-steered trailing and leading axles in the 18 t, 26 t and 32 t permissible gross vehicle weight ratings. Body possibilities are virtually unlimited: whether as a concrete mixer, three-way tipper or skip lorry, the Econic isn't just a specialist for inner-city and urban traffic, it's also a great all-rounder there too.

The unit on display at the Bauma expo is a Mercedes-Benz Econic 3235 L 8x4 concrete mixer.