October 2009 Archives

Unimog 401

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We've known for a while that our work horse '93 Nissan Pathfinder was approaching the end of it's useful life. The exhaust system is wrecked, the brakes leak, and it isn't capable of getting into the gnarlier parts of our property. It was useful for logging out the edges of the forest, but it's both too big and not capable enough to make it into some of the more dense bush on the property. We'd have to invest thousands of dollars in repairs, tires, and a winch to make it useful again. So about a year ago we started researching various vehicles looking for a multi-use vehicle that could help us with logging, plowing our driveway, lowering our wind turbine, and collecting maple sap (yes, we're making maple syrup this spring). We looked at full and mid-size pickups, 4 wheelers, side-by-sides, and then I stumbled upon Unimogs.

One year later we have purchased a 1953 Unimog 401 hard-top. It has a 25hp diesel engine, a 7500/lb winch and a snowplow. The machine is 10' long, 7' wide, and 7' tall without the plow. The plow adds nearly 3' to the length. The gearing on the Unimog is very low, in 1st gear it has a top speed under 5 km/h, 2nd takes you to nearly 10 km/h. Its top speed is about 50 km/h in 6th gear downhill with a tail-wind. With it's big agricultural tires, massive ground clearance and low gearing we've been able to get to parts of the land that were completely inaccessible except by foot.

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