First Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 20 as firefighting vehicle


  • Up and down steps and through narrow old-town lanes to the source of the fire
  • Does service in the city of Ŝibenik in Croatia
  • Narrow streets call for a compact and manoeuvrable vehicle
  • The Unimog U 20: compact and manoeuvrable, cross-country capability, flexible operation
Croatia – Firefighting premiere for the Unimog U 20: the first Unimog of the compact model range now has been delivered to the Croatian city of Ŝibenik as TLF 10/25 tank water tender. The U 20’s special talents are its tremendous manoeuvrability (wheelbase 2.7 m, overall height 2.70 m, overall width 2.15 m, turning circle 12.6 m) and its handling qualities in difficult terrain. They are called for especially when the tank water tender has to negotiate steps in the historic old part of town to reach any of the very narrow streets. The large angles of approach and departure, 27 and 30 degrees respectively, and the portal axles, a typical feature of all Unimog model ranges, allow the U 20 to do this. The new firefighting Unimog has differential locks at the front and rear and permanent all-wheel drive – characteristics that make the U 20 with its permissible gross vehicle weight of 9.3 t perfectly suited to fight forest fires too.
The body is built by Albert Ziegler GmbH. Directly behind the standard cab is the 2500 litre water tank; behind the tank is the implement box with its load of firefighting equipment. The centrifugal fire pump (rated capacity 1000 l/min at 10 bar, maximum 1800 l/min at 8 bar; powered by the vehicle’s engine), rapid intervention equipment, and a foam mixing system are the principal components of this debut vehicle’s firefighting equipment.
The short wheelbase of 2700 mm is the basis for outstanding manoeuvrability. The turning circle (12.6 m) is on a par with that of compact vans and medium-sized cars and is smaller than that of any all-wheel-drive truck. With an engine output of 110 kW (150 hp) delivered by the four-cylinder turbodiesel OM 904 LA, displacement 4.25 l, the Unimog U 20 offers ample power reserves.
MOG (2)
All in all, three Unimog model ranges – all also available with firefighting bodies – are offered for sale. Apart from the U 20 – 7.5 t to 9.3 t perm. GVW – these are the model ranges U 300 – U 500 and the extremely competent off-road U 4000/U 5000.
The vehicles of the U 300 – U 500 model range – 110 kW (150 hp) to 210 kW (286 hp), 7.5 t to 16 t perm. GVW – are implement carriers suited for use in all types of terrain. They see service mainly in the public sector, with municipal contractors, in the construction and power industries as well as in internal works transport and in road/rail applications.
Also built in Wörth on the Rhine river, with its outstanding off-road skills the Unimog model range U 4000/U 5000 – 130 – 160 KW/ 8,5 – 14,1 t perm GVW – is predestined for difficult applications in trackless terrain. Its principal fields of use are firefighting – forest firefighting in particular – disaster intervention, expeditions as well as servicing and maintenance jobs in difficult-to-reach places.

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