One of the abiding images from the most recent series of floods in NSW  was the sight of  the  State Emergency Service (SES) Mercedes-Benz Unimogs wading into deep waters  to help flood victims with evacuations and  the provision of supplies

Daimler Trucks has revealed that SES  has now receive the first three Unimog emergency response vehicles, with the first one already put to work assisting communities during those extreme weather events, with three more units are on the way, which will take the total NSW SES fleet to six.

For those of you who don’t know the Mercedes-Benz Unimog is an extreme off-road truck capable of conquering tough terrain while carrying a heavy load in addition to a driver and five passengers in the cabin.

The SES Unimogs will be used by its volunteers in a wide range of flood operations including flood rescues, evacuations, medical transports and logistic support to isolated communities, as they have already demonstrated over the past few months. The Unimogs can also be used to deliver fodder to isolated livestock and assisting in bush search and rescue operations.

Mercedes-Benz Trucks Australia Pacific director, Andrew Assimo, said it is wonderful to see the Unimog in SES colours.

“The SES does such valuable work for our community that is especially satisfying for them to have chosen the Unimog U4023 for such a critical role,” he said.

“We know the Unimog’s unique capabilities will help the SES crews safely deliver assistance to those of us who are caught up in extreme situations,” Assume added.

Importantly, given the recent flood events, the rugged Unimog features a wading depth of 1.2 metres, while the Unimog U4023 features unique portal axles, which are central to its ability to conquer extreme terrain thanks to the additional clearance beneath the vehicle. Additionally, it features four-wheel drive and has front and rear differential locks that assist when the going really gets tough.

The chunky 365/85 20-inch tyres feature a central inflation system that allows the driver to drop pressure to aid low speed driving in tricky conditions. There are independent coil springs on each corner for extreme articulation over uneven terrain.  Its M100-8 gearbox features a transfer case and optional low-range mode that enables a total of sixteen forward gears and 14 reverse gears ensuring a correct gear for every scenario.

This is an automated system and can be operated in full automatic mode. The driver can also choose to use a special fold-out clutch pedal that assists at low-speed in slippery conditions where minute clutch control is valued.

The Unimog is powered by an OM934 four-cylinder turbo diesel engine that generates 231hp (170kW) and 900Nm of torque while meeting Euro 6 emissions standards.

The SES units are initially being fitted with standard trays in order to get them into service as soon as possible and be used to move people out of dangerous situations or to provide logistic support to isolated communities.

Further upgrades, including fitting a crane and flood rescue module, which includes an inflatable rescue boat carried on top and other features for flood operations work are being planned for these units.

The Unimog U4023 features a factory hydraulic pump with front and rear quick release hydraulic couplings that will be used by NSW SES for cranes and front and rear mounted hydraulic winches.