Mercedes-Benz displays new trucks for agricultural market at Agritechnica 2013

The new Unimog and Arocs trucks from Mercedes-Benz feature Euro VI/Tier 4 engines and are designed for use in agricultural applications.

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With the show premiere of the new Unimog at Agritechnica in Hanover November 10 to 16, engines complying with the Euro VI emission standard mandatory for trucks arrived for the agricultural sector. At stand C 05 in Hall 9, for the first time Mercedes-Benz presented a Mercedes-Benz Arocs specifically for use in agricultural logistics. 

The Unimog with its advanced BlueEfficiency Power drive betters the limits set by the European Stage IV/Tier 4 emissions standard for tractors, making it appreciably more environment-friendly.

The host of Agritechnica, the DLG (German Agricultural Society), expected a 10% increase both in the number of exhibitors and visitors. Two years ago, 419,000 visitors, a record figure, came to Agritechnica. The response to the show is in keeping with the importance of agriculture as a global growth industry having the key task for the future of ensuring food supply and producing renewable energy. The exhibition program encompasses agricultural engineering, agricultural equipment and crop management from tilling to harvesting. Some 2,900 exhibitors showed their wares in an area covering over 345,000 square meters of floor space – an ideal platform at the perfect time of the year for the sector.

In Hall 9 visitors could obtain comprehensive information from vehicle manufacturers. The Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks unit presented (on stand C 05) two Unimog models and an agricultural truck based on the Mercedes-Benz Arocs.

More efficiency and economy for the future with BlueEfficiency Power

The Unimog implement carriers introduced in the spring of this year boast advanced engine technology: the BlueEfficiency Power units, three four-cylinder and two six-cylinder engines with outputs ranging from 115 kW (156 hp) to 220 kW (299 hp), are taken from the OM 934 and OM 936 engine series and have displacements of 5.1 L and 7.7 L. The state-of-the-art power plants combine low fuel consumption – the savings are as much as 3% – with extremely clean exhaust gas and ensure that the Unimog operates altogether more efficiently and economically despite the great amount of effort invested in its design to ensure that it complies with Euro VI. The engines impress with more power and torque over the entire operating range.

The Euro VI engine range for the Arocs construction vehicle comprises robust, high-torque, reduced-consumption in-line six-cylinder engines with 16 engine ratings in four displacement categories in all, with impressive outputs from 175 kW (238 hp) to the top-of-the-line engine with 460 kW (625 hp).

The exhibits:

Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 423 with agricultural equipment

From the new-generation Unimog models, the Unimog U 423 with agricultural equipment was shown at the fair for the first time. It is fitted with agricultural tires and the redesigned mechanical rear power take-off. This vehicle accordingly suggests itself for use in transport work on the one hand and, in combination with the rear PTO, for field work on the other. For example, large baling presses, self-loading forage boxes or areal spreaders can be connected to the power take-off. In addition, the exhibited vehicle is also suitable for all classic agricultural purposes such as grassland work, field maintenance or field work. As transport vehicle, registered as an agricultural tractor unit it can be used to pull two trailers with a maximum gross combination weight of 40 t. In this case the combination attains a payload of as much as 24 t. The key to the special aptitude of the Unimog for agricultural duty is the always good driving qualities of the Unimog implement carriers, both in the fields and on the roads – on the road it easily attains 90 km/h. Driving in the fields is facilitated by large-volume, high-traction tires which have minimal impact on the soil. The Unimog with agricultural equipment thus shows in a very concrete way how the Unimog concept and the requirements both of agricultural logistics and field work can be ideally combined and a great many uses found for the Unimog.

Tried-and-tested Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 500 with municipal equipment

This application of the Unimog – here shown in the tried-and-tested version of the U 500 – stands for the requirements of contractors and service providers who handle summer and winter duties for road construction departments and municipalities outside the main farming season. For this purpose the U 500 is equipped at the front with a Dücker boom and branch/hedge cutter as well as a Gmeiner moist-salt spreader with a capacity of four cubic meters. In accordance with the transitional arrangement for agricultural and forestry tractors the established model series can still be registered for use as late as the end of 2015.

Mercedes-Benz Arocs 2042AS agricultural version

The Mercedes-Benz Arocs 2042AS is a customer solution which is thoroughly adapted to the requirements of agricultural logistics. The purpose is to enable the economical transport of large volumes as well as to permit the vehicle to drive across fields for loading, without negative effects. This is especially desirable for the transport of biomass between field, road and silo; the specialized Arocs helps reduce cost in this area significantly. The show vehicle is limited to 60 km/h and thus suitable to be driven by holders of a tractor driving license. In addition, the Arocs is also available for normal road use.

The show vehicle - a solution customized together with system partner Bruhns - is a chassis (wheelbase 3,900 mm) with all-wheel drive. Among other things it has large-volume, high-traction tires which have minimal impact on the soil, plus a tow ball hitch with a diameter of 150 mm, instead of the usual fifth wheel. This increases the torsional flexibility of the tractor/semitrailer combination in field use.

With its engine output of 310 kW (421 hp) and the high gross combination weight of 40 t, the Arocs has the biggest transport capacity to offer in the Mercedes-Benz agricultural vehicle portfolio. Like all other commercial vehicle models series from Mercedes-Benz, the Arocs, as a truck developed mainly for construction work, of course also complies with the Euro VI emission standard.

The new Arocs combines power, robustness and efficiency in an exceptional way to carry on the more than 110-year tradition of Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles. With its extremely rugged high-torque drive configurations the Arocs can dynamically master any driving situation because it reliably brings its high performance to bear also in difficult applications. An assurance of this is the robust, reliable design of its chassis, suspension and frame, which are also distinguished by high load-carrying capacity for applications especially in construction work.

A sound basis for success is the Arocs' high efficiency. Apart from the low consumption of the standard-fit Euro VI engines, the longer service life of many components, low repair and maintenance costs as well as the very good body-mounting ability and a wide range of variants suited for virtually all applications in construction-related transport, for which the Arocs was newly developed, make for especially economical operation.

Unimog and Arocs exactly tailored to the requirements of agricultural logistics

Constantly growing transport performance is becoming increasingly characteristic of the agricultural sector. Annually, agricultural operations in Germany transport 500 million tonnes of goods over increasingly greater distances. This usually takes place under great pressure, because in no other sector does the term "seasonal work" have such great importance. Cereals, beets, maize, potatoes or specialty crops like strawberries are brought from the field to market or for further processing within a very narrow time window. With sugar beet as a load, an average distance of 90 km must be covered; with grain maize, cereals and potatoes, around 20 to 30 km. Also gaining more and more significance is the transport of biomass in the form of maize and grass to centrally located silo works, where the base materials ferment and are converted into "food" for biogas plants. The fermentation substrate finds its way back to the fields as fertilizer. Such transport operations are frequently handled by specialized contractors, since unlike farms they have the proper logistics at their disposal. Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks offers vehicle solutions exactly tailored to these purposes.

New Unimog: panoramic cab featuring an up-to-date design

The panoramic cab of the Unimog implement carriers presents itself in a new, ultramodern design. Here the visual and functional effect of the short bonnet is emphasized even more. Bi-halogen headlamps including daytime running lamps are integrated in the new bumper. To improve visibility, the windscreen wipers have now been fitted above the windscreen. The superb view of both road and implements is improved even more by the new front camera monitor system, which also further simplifies the mounting of implements. A small but fine visual distinguishing feature within the model series: unlike the entry-level models 216 and 218 the Unimog U 318 to U 530 have headlamp surrounds painted the color of the vehicle.

New interior: well-thought-out operating system affords optimum working conditions

A multifunction steering wheel, adjustable steering column and a more powerful heating and climate control system with improved air distribution are a joy to drivers and co-drivers. The controls have been improved so that there is now a steering column lever to operate driving functions such as gear changing or the new premium engine brake. The instrument cluster for driver information is new and has a large, well-lit display. The joystick for operating implements can be removed and held in the hand and boasts functions such as reversing during operation. An unhindered view of the front implements is ensured by the monitor system with front camera – and all this adds up to appreciably less strain on the driver, who often has a very heavy workload to shoulder. Operating the optional "Tirecontrol plus" tire pressure control system is now much easier via the display, as it gives the user the choice between the pre-programmed modes "road," "sand" and "rough road."

The new synergetic traction drive

As a world premiere the Unimog implement carrier brings the infinitely variable traction drive to the road in an innovative form. The combination of hydrostatic drive and manual transmission (synergetic traction drive) now enables changing systems on the fly and so produces a synergy effect. Up until now it was necessary to stop briefly to change systems. The comfortable new Drive-Work mode proves to be a great help during work; for example, once a section is completed with the areal spreader, the changeover to the manual transmission is activated simply. The new hydrostatic drive in the Unimog now allows speeds of up to 50 km/h, and the hydrostatic performance has been increased by 20%. Whereas infinitely variable driving and working reduces the wear on the clutch and increases work performance, driving with the manual transmission saves fuel because of its increased efficiency. The driver makes the changeover by pressing the clutch; in conjunction with the optionally available automated gearshift (EAS), the changeover is then completed fully automatically. This new synergetic system is conveniently operated by means of the steering column switch, hydraulic joystick, or alternatively the accelerator.

New working hydraulics – more sensitive than ever

The new working hydraulics set about their work precisely and without jerky movements – despite a 30% increase in hydraulic performance. As a result, implements are controlled more sensitively than ever before. The working hydraulics operate with fully proportional control and allow two adjusting movements to be performed at the same time with the joystick. The display and the multifunction keys on the steering wheel permit, for example, limiting the flow rates for the implement drive. The hydraulics work with two circuits, with Circuit I providing 200 bar system pressure with a hydraulic fluid flow of 32 L/min; together with Circuit II an additional 55 L/min with up to 240 bar are available. Load-sensing hydraulics offering 110 L/min and 200 bar pressure are also available as optional equipment. By means of the universal hydraulic interfaces at the front and rear of the Unimog, implement functions or power lifts at the front and rear of the vehicle can be directly actuated. Moreover, the implement drive has been improved even further as the front power take-off now transmits outputs of up to 160 kW.

New power hydraulics replace power take-off pumps and auxiliary engines

VarioPower power hydraulics – for a long time this has been the name behind the especially powerful implement drive in the Unimog, as an alternative to the working hydraulics. Now the power hydraulics are even more efficient: two circuits, each with a hydraulic flow of 125 L and 280 bar pressure, up to a peak output of 58 kW per circuit, designed mainly to drive permanent consumers. This advanced design can replace pumps attached to the power take-off, for example, for areal spreaders or driven axles in trailers. This saves fuel, space and weight. And if the power hydraulics are not needed, the Unimog can save weight in the vehicle frame: it is a quick-change system and can simply be removed from its installation location to increase the payload. The system is operated using steering wheel buttons, and its data can be read in the display of the new instrument cluster. The power hydraulics are available on Unimog models from U 318 upwards.

Designed for high levels of safety

Directional stability, precise steering and the use of ABS are responsible for the high level of added safety provided by the Unimog. In addition, the full-suspension chassis, optimal axle load distribution and four equally large wheels have a positive effect on the vehicle's handling qualities. And the Unimog sets its very own standards with the panoramic cab: the panoramic windscreen, low-edged side windows and short bonnet provide a very broad view of the driving and working areas. The new front camera monitor system makes things easier for the driver as it shows the area directly in front of the vehicle and facilitates the attachment of implements.

Unimog: high economy and efficiency

Good consumption figures have been certified in independent tests for the proven series of Unimog implement carriers. The new generation now operates even more economically and effectively. The Unimog can easily negotiate fields – an important criterion for agricultural logistics – with its optional tire pressure control system, operation of which is now made even easier with the help of Tirecontrol plus (setting via display). Thanks to the Unimog's classic good off-road capabilities, loading in the field is a breeze.

Due to the relatively low unladen weight of the Unimog, it can accommodate a high payload before reaching the permissible gross vehicle weight of 16.5 t; with two two-axle trailers, it comes in at precisely the legal transport length of 18.75 m. With a gross combination weight of up to 40 t it essentially achieves the load capacity of a semitrailer combination with a payload of up to 24 t.

Exempt from truck toll

Incidentally, tractors and implement carriers serving certain purposes not directly related to goods transport are exempt from the toll charges for trucks in Germany; this includes the trailers they tow. The Unimog also can claim this exemption, along with exemption from the Sunday driving ban on German motorways.

Other Unimog models at Agritechnica

In addition to the two Unimog implement carriers on display on the Mercedes-Benz stand, Unimog vehicles were also on display on the exhibition stands of implement makers:

  • Unimog U 423 on the Dücker stand (front boom)
  • Unimog U 423 on the Mulag stand (Trio mower)
  • Unimog U 423 on the Schmidt stand (salt solution sprayer and plow)
  • Unimog U 423 on the Gmeiner stand (winter service equipment)
  • Unimog U 5000 on the Dammann stand (crop spraying equipment)
  • Unimog U 500 on the MuA Güstrow Kalk stand (fertilizer spreader)