Unimogs come in all shapes and sizes often tailored to fulfill a specific role. Whether for exploration of remote areas, week-end camping trips into the bush or for use in farming or forestry, the Unimog combines legendary off-road ability with the characteristics of a working vehicle able to move swiftly on the highway.

Over the past 40 years, the Unimog has earned its stripes with many military forces throughout the world and has achieved an enviable reputation for reliable operation and agility in the most inhospitable terrain.

By far the most well known model is the Unimog-S 404 of which more than 65,000 were built and which today has become the 'affordable' Unimog to thousands of enthusiasts around the world.

The Unimog-S 404 is generally fitted with either a 'Koffer' radio-box or a drop-side truck body with a canvas hood. Both are built on a special subframe that allows the chassis to flex off-road.

To those contemplating long-distance journeys to remote areas, the Unimog-S 404 with its unequaled cross-country ability and impressive payload of almost 2 tons presents the ideal expedition vehicle especially when fitted with the box-type rear body which is very suitable for camper conversions.


ADVANTAGES OF THE UNIMOG

The overlander is confronted with a choice of vehicles suitable for travelling through remote areas. The Unimog has few serious rivals.

Those venturing far off-the-beaten track require a vehicle that is robust and reliable as well as simple to maintain and repair. This excludes most modern-day vehicles fitted with electronic engine-management systems.

The Unimog differentiates itself from other four-wheel-drive vehicles primarily in the engineering quality, payload capacity and cross-country aptitude.


ENGINEERING QUALITY

Engineered and built by Mercedes-Benz to undeniably high standards, the Unimog offers mechanical reliability unknown to its competitors. Drive train and suspension failures often experienced by similar vehicles are virtually unknown to the Unimog and provided that simple routine maintenance is carried out, the specification of the Unimog encourages safe and reliable daily operation in areas far from civilization.


PAYLOAD CAPACITY

The Unimog-S with the standard suspension has a maximum payload of 1,750 kgs either on- or off-the-road. This allows carrying sufficient fuel, camping equipment and provisions when traversing deserts or jungles without overloading the vehicle. Overloading a vehicle required to travel over rough terrain is often the main reason for mechanical breakdown.


CROSS-COUNTRY APTITUDE

The Unimog possesses unsurpassed cross-country ability due to distinct features provided by a flexible chassis frame, coil-sprung suspension, low-pressure tyres, four-wheel-drive and axle differential locks that can be engaged and disegaged whilst on the move. Portal axles provide ground clearance that other vehicles can only envy. This gives the Unimog a tremendous advantage off-road because all chassis components susceptible to damage in rough terrain are well out of harm's way.


SPARES AVAILABILITY

Replacement parts are readily available and can be shipped if necessary to anywhere in the world.

It is generally recommended to those planning long-distance journeys to purchase a workshop manual and parts illustration booklets in order to learn about routine maintenance operations.

It is always advisable to carry a basic spares kit. Based on our own experience travelling extensively in Africa, we have put together a recommended list of parts for those with long-distance travel plans.


VEHICLE PREPARATION

Very little needs to be done to modify a Unimog mechanically for expedition use. The ex-military Unimog-S is equipped to survive in very similar situations to that encountered on any overland journey.

Due consideration should be given to the tyres chosen. Unimogs are fitted with low pressure tyres available in various sizes and tread patterns according to the terrain to be encountered. Special sand tyres (XS), mud tyres (XCL) and multi-purpose tyres are available.

There are a number of modifications that should be considered for travel in hot climates. These are mentioned in the 'OPTIONS' section.

All Unimogs can be fitted with a front-mounted mechanical self-recovery winch driven off the gearbox PTO.


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