V.I.S.I.T. – Mercedes-Benz Unimog U406

mog 1

The Unimog always was and continues to be the automotive equivalent of the Swiss Army knife. You name it – it’s been mounted on a Unimog chassis. That probably includes some pieces of equipment that I wouldn’t be able to identify even if I had The Interwebs at my disposal. But the version seen here is pretty straightforward, with a small (in proportion to the rest of the truck) cargo bed, and attachment mounts front and back. The attachment mounts are what allows the Unimog to interlock with several other Unimogs to form the SuperMog, which of course battles other large robots in an unconvincing and poorly lit urban diorama populated with scale models of Japanese public housing.

As you’ve probably guessed, the attachment mount on the back of this ‘mog is to accomodate an attachable excavator arm, which then folds up over the pickup bed resting over the cabin. The mount on the front is probably for a plow or a front loader. The excavator arm has obviously been taken off for journeys into town (though one could argue it may be useful for creating parking spots/reshuffling parked cars) but the bar over the roof remains, alongside what looks like a rerouted exhaust pipe.

mog 2

The ‘mog here appears to be a later facelift of the short-wheelbase U406, which were made between 1963 and 1989. Overall, it appeared to be in excellent shape for its age, though it’s probably been repainted at some point. In fact, it wasn’t even all that rusty, which is probably a testament to how much time it spent relaxing in a garage in Connecticut.

mog 3

Bad news first: these don’t quite do highway speeds. That’s probably why one seldom sees these at large German car gatherings stateside, or even truck gatherings. The Unimog is one of those classic vehicles that just doesn’t travel well to regional shows, either on the left coast or the right coast. In that respect it’s very much a useable, practical classic, rather than a show truck. And that is perhaps very fitting, as these were never meant to be waxed to within an inch of their life and doused in Armor All several times throughout the summer.

mog 4

I’m sure we would all agree that this is the perfect truck to have on a farm, whether or not one is actually into any sort of farming or simply owns a large estate. Because let’s face it, everybody has a Kubota, but the difference is that you can’t drive a Kubota into town to pick up a case of pinot noir. Or PBR, whatever your taste. (That’s probably the exact same demographic, now that I think about it).

What grisly/awesome industrial attachments would you employ on your ‘mog?

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25 responses to “V.I.S.I.T. – Mercedes-Benz Unimog U406”

  1. Jeffmac7101 Avatar

    A Prius.

  2. Dean Bigglesworth Avatar
    Dean Bigglesworth

    Do train wheels count as "industrial attachments"?
    [youtube BkCq-am06gE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkCq-am06gE youtube]
    We had a promotional Unimog video in -89 or -90, i loved watching that. Unimogs on rails, Unimogs in mud, Unimog fire-trucks putting out burning silos.. And if i remember correctly, it was narrated by a dry German person and the background music was dramatic 80's electronica. I'm sure the VHS tape is somewhere in my parents garage, i've tried finding it online but no luck.

    1. 35mm Avatar

      The remote control is a pretty cool attachment.

  3. mdharrell Avatar

    "Bad news first: these don’t quite do highway speeds."
    I should imagine one of these would incontestably define "highway speed" for whatever lane(s) its driver chooses to occupy.

    1. BЯдΖǐL-ЯЄРΘЯΤЄЯ Avatar

      From A to B the quickest way is a straight line, so why use a highway when you do have a Mog?

    1. IronBallsMcG Avatar

      I don't know how you embedded it, but when I look at that picture I hear angels sing.

  4. needamog Avatar

    I have a compressed air powered Mogarita blender for mine. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rh1qXT7omQc

  5. Xehpuk Avatar

    Do want. I love this particular body/year style of the Unimog.
    I've absolutely no actual need for one, but I'm sure I could come up with a good excuse to buy one if I had the money.

  6. Slow_Joe_Crow Avatar

    Based on the headache rack and the 3 point hitch it is a restored example of one of the 406s sold by Case in the 70's.
    <img src="http://www.benzworld.org/forums/attachments/unimog/342779d1290116603t-rust-bucket-79-case-sale-unimog-100_0035.jpg"&gt; possible before picture.
    As for accessories, I'm partial to the front forklift and rear backhoe combo plus one of those boom mounted mowers for clearing awkward spots. Depending on climate a rotary snowblower could be useful, along with the usual tractor stuff like plows, harrows, seed drills etc.
    Unfortunately this one probably doesn't have room for a Hiab crane behind the the cab.and a roadrailer kit would interfere with farming.

    1. Jay Avatar

      Thanks for the ID, I had a feeling this was an ex-railroad one from the US market that was restored at one point.

  7. topdeadcentre Avatar

    Most unimogs (except those equipped with very low gearing) can hit 50-60mph. While that's not exactly burning up the Interstate, it's fast enough to be considered highway speed, over the 45mph minimum.

  8. TX_Stig Avatar

    I couldn't find the one I was looking for, but I saw it on ebay a couple of years ago. That Mog had some sort of snowblower assembly on the front, but rather than the usual horizontal auger, it was a pair of counter rotating vertical augers. I immediately thought how great that would be to intimidate jaywalkers with.
    Anyway, here are a couple of other pretty gnarly attachments I would want on a Unimog.
    <img src="http://i.ushipcdn.com/resize.php?path=%2fstatic%2fa6187473-da84-42b8-b.jpg&w=270&h=210&quot; width="500" img>
    <img src="http://media.techeblog.com/images/mig15snowblower.jpg&quot; width="500" img>

    1. dead_elvis Avatar

      What the hell are those things in the second photo? Death rays?

      1. sporty88au Avatar

        Jet engines, my best guess is Rolls Royce Nene or Derwent, or one of the Soviet copies. There's probably a great story behind that photo.
        Edit: Apparently they are Klimov VK-1 engines, an unlicensed Soviet copy of the Rolls Royce Nene. Originally used to power Mig 15 fighters, they are now used to clear snow from airport runways. More info here:

  9. BЯдΖǐL-ЯЄРΘЯΤЄЯ Avatar

    Any equipment for the 3 point hitch I have on my farm.

  10. jeepjunkie Avatar

    I would give up my addictions to CJ2As for ANY Mog…it would be able to carry so much more of my favorite beverage….As for the highway speeds…WHO CARES…And the unlimited attachments would put the fear of Mom in anybody that ventured into it's path….and I always thought it would be cool to be able to move trains at will…and be lifted by helicopters, and plow fields….ah who cares….who wouldn't want one of these at their disposal 24/7…or at least on weekends….

  11. salguod Avatar

    Look at pic 3, that's not a "Unimog" it's a "Uni og".

  12. salguod Avatar

    Not exactly an 'implement', but this Unimog car hauler is super cool:
    <img src="http://bringatrailer.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/1966_Mercedes_Benz_Unimog_Ruthmann_Car_Hauler_Front_1.jpg"&gt;
    From Bring a Trailer.

    1. dead_elvis Avatar

      The Tonka decal is perfect!

    2. needamog Avatar

      This Mog began life as a "Traction Head", from the factory it was a cab with extended frame rails. FWD only.

      1. salguod Avatar

        "Traction Head" is a great name for a rock band.

  13. Bill Avatar

    The green Mog that started this thread was mine, pics taken in Mystic CT. I sold it to a great family in Tennessee. I had a big sheep farm outside town that was perfect for it since the big ground Clarence due to the portal axles allowed me to drive over big rocks and do my work. When I drove it on the highway, I could comfortably stay in the right lane and with all the stares I got, traffic slowed down around me, so I didn't cause any undue trouble! These are really pretty easy to maintain, once you understand the gestalt of them. I hope the new owners are happy with it, I sure was!