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No Fights... But here is why I like the Unimog and Oshkosh So Much

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by ConnorExum, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. ConnorExum

    ConnorExum Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    http://www.yourunimog.com/unimog-images.htm


    The second photo is different model the first is a U900 model of the 406series. So here is what I like about the Unimog chassis is the flexibility it offers as you can see in the link you have it mount a huge snow blower and power pack, a dump body, front blade and even front end loader if you want. The next features I really like are the locking differentials and crawler gears for the 20spd transmission. I know that sounds extreme but you know it is good to have low-gears that allow you maximize the torque of the engine. Plus they allow you push snow without using the clutch. The truck also has pretty tight turning radius about 35ft. That isn't super small but, it isn't outrageously awful either. It gets a little better when you take into account the truck is only 13.451 feet long, substantially shorter than say a Chevy 2010 regular cab 2500HD truck. The Chevy is lighter it weights in 9200 pounds alone, where as the GVW of the Unimog is 13200lbs. Which I think it a plus actually since it gives you plenty extra capacity when you're carrying a plow and sander. One drawback is that the Unimog's top speed is about 50mph. So you have to leave some extra time to get to your accounts.

    However, to me what I think the Unimog offers in compact size, power/traction, versatility of equipment packages for a single truck, and load carrying capacity far out weights the slight speed problem. Because really if you leave in a storm you're not going to want to do 60mph if the weather is bad out. It seems counter productive to me race to your location and end up in the ditch on the way there. Now normally these trucks have a 12ft blade on them. That to me is a great asset since you clean really big path in a small residential driveway very rapidly. Further more you if you're doing residential areas that are complexes of houses you can put the snow blower attachment on the truck and clean up the high snowbanks giving greater visibility and or saving space.

    As a commercial property lot cleaner, I sort of see the unimog as truck that fills the role in between that of a 3500 and 4500 series. It has the ability to wield a big plow, it is fast agile, small so it can move around the parked cars during the day. Again you the option of using the snow blower attachment to clean up areas that a plow might find difficult for example you could clean large sidewalks, recessed curbed parking from the road way, even remove snow piles.

    I think given the types of potential clients in my area the Unimog would be very successful in both the residential and commercial markets. Now we all know I'm a bit of an Oshkosh fanatic and yes, I still think it has its place since I think it would do great with all the private roads and other roads within housing complexes we've seen sprout up in the past decade or so.

    So I sort of see a division of labor occurring, where the Oshkosh goes into an area like say a big residential complex that has 1-2 miles of roadway in it plus drives and it does the road way. It moves on to the next complex and completes that same task the Unimogs then go in clean up the short driveways that are like 12 to 20 feet and there is usually about 10-20 of these in any area. Since they are focusing on those smaller areas and all the big road work is done by the Oshkosh, I think if all the principles of the last 100 years of manufacturing hold true that a proper division of labor and specialization of tasks should yield a very high level of productivity.

    Now, in my last thread I asked a question about big-lots. And I honestly did want an answer and I thank all of those that answered my questions. However, I think things got out of hand when people thought I was telling them that they didn't know how to do their jobs, which I wasn't at all attempting to say. Sometimes I write in a terse writing style because I'm oddly enough a very poor speller. So I would like to say I didn't want to ruffle anyone's fathers or imply you are not good at what you do. So I'm sorry if anyone took it way to personally.

    What I really wanted to know is how different can the strategies for pushing snow with a pusher on a front end loader be from say using a truck. Many of the same issues seem to plague any system that pushes snow: wasted travel, snow spilling way from the pushing implement leaving a windrow, repeat plowing in areas that have already been plowed and so on. So what I thought was well if you took a lot like a big rectangle. Well you basically divide it into two halves. You start the top half say on the top and push from the extreme end to the middle leaving a pile, then you are in a downward position so you push that snow to the opposite side putting you in the top of the other side pushing back to the middle. Now every time your truck move basically it pushed snow to either the top or bottom. This would leave you with two rather large piles on the extreme ends of the square area. You than do the other side and now have three piles But you might have one right in the middle of the parking lot. This doesn't seem popular to me so I figured well you could just snow blow it or pick it up with a loader and remove this middle pile from the yard. So basically if you had two really big rectangular sections of parking lot you would have like two piles to possibly move.

    Now on paper this seems great and with mobile snow blower trucks that move as fast as your fleet in theory you can keep up with everything else in your lot as long as the biggest truck always finishes first and moves to the next area. You see I predicated my plan on a limited number of resources doing the most work. Stretching out if you will. But that was basically my reasoning behind my selection of tools. It was based on the fact that if I could get the overhead necessary to start I would still be running with a rag-tag bunch of people so I had to pick tools that could be both versatile in the commercial and residential area while providing the most bang for their buck.

    So that is what really inspired my inquiry to attempt to have no tool exactly perfect but the best compromise of them all and have the best strategy to implement them successfully.

    Thanks...
     
  2. Eddiej

    Eddiej Member
    from UK
    Messages: 39

    Mogs rock!:D

    I'm currently waiting for someone to get back to me about one that I have discovered tucked away and abandoned. The owner has been ill for while, so it's just been left sheeted up. His wife has said that I can have it, but she isn't in any rush to get things moving!:(
    I'm also trying to negotiate a realistic price for a unit exactly as shown in your first photo. Sadly its still overpriced, but I'm sure that the owner will sooner or later decide that he isn't going to get his asking price.
    Really, it is unrealistic to remove the blower from your first mog. It's a pretty much integrated unit, complete with a 6 cylinder donkey engine mounted to the rear body.
    Newer mogs are a different proposition, given PTO and better laid out hydraulics.

    The only negative that I can see with a mog, is the spares prices. You need to take a mortgage out just to buy a workshop manual.:(

    My personal favourite is Aebi

    [​IMG]
     
  3. ConnorExum

    ConnorExum Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    Yeah, I know the Unimog is expensive to repair, but even so the capabilities are awesome. And they totally offset the purchase costs I think. So I really hope you can get the funds for your Unimog... Everyone should have one.

    As for the first truck, well its power-pack in the rear and snow-blower unit should come off in about 30 minutes with no tools the owner tells me. I would leave the motor probably on the unit all the time and just swap out the snow blower for a plow. Remove the shafts under the body of the truck to keep them from being damaged and just plow away. I really see needed at least two maybe three of these trucks. Plus the mighty Oshkosh (or two) for my master plan to work out.
     
  4. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    What is the curb weight of the UniMog?
     
  5. toby4492

    toby4492 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,513

    Hey as long as it is 20 speed, has a turning radius of 35 feet, and can go up to 50MPH.................................................., it should make a fine resi machine IMO.

    I can't wait to see the vids when Connor is grabbing 14th gear at 800 RPM making 90 degree turns getting the plow within a 1/16" of the garage door.

    :popcorn:
     
  6. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    The real question is this? Joystick or FishStik? When you're dealing with 20 gears, two (or three?) transmission levers, twin stick transfer cases, PTO levers, hand throttles over foot throttles, and double clutching.......All while watching your mirrors for the loose pooch, it's going to be fun in there.


    What gear am I in? Crap, gotta start over.....
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2010
  7. ConnorExum

    ConnorExum Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    The Curb Weight is 3,000kg so about 6600lbs roughly.
     
  8. ConnorExum

    ConnorExum Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    Here is the pattern:
    http://www.classicunimogs.com/diag_20-speed.html

    I agree that the learning curve is rather steep. It has two transmission levers, the main box, the range selection box, the aux box (slow and crawl ranges) selection lever, and I'm not sure if the high-low range is on the transmission itself or on the transfer case any more. But yeah it has three sticks for gears and one stick for shuttle shift between forwards and reverse. So that is four-sticks plus the wheel to control differential lockers.

    I think most of the time you could operate the truck in Low range put the Aux box in low and just shift normally like 1-6. I remember doing that with my cousins and we found that to be very easily achieved. In the L1 it was slow enough to push close to things with his bucket and in the upper rangers you still had enough speed to be pretty quick in a area. I think the gearboxes are completely synchronized but don't quote me on it. I don't remember having to double clutch to get it to shift correctly.

    Do I agree that average Automatic is easier. Clearly it is easier. And does this make things harder for me? Yeah it does if I hire people I have to train them how to use the truck. You don't just take any body and put them in the Unimog and expect them to be proficient in the operation of the truck. So I agree what you're are getting at that trucks like the ones I like require a different operator than most other trucks do.

    But do you think that is a big problem? I figure if I can get people with plowing experience that learning how to drive the truck will be much easier than starting off with someone who has no experience.
     
  9. ConnorExum

    ConnorExum Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    You're right I'm the weak link in my plan, I have experience driving the big trucks and machines but not much experience plowing driveways in a commercial sense. And a 12ft Schmidt plow is an awesomely large plow for a residential unit. However, I think I wield it pretty well I use to drive a big train of air-containers around all sorts of obstacles including air-craft and other random things at UPS.

    I think it will be fun to see too.
     
  10. Eddiej

    Eddiej Member
    from UK
    Messages: 39

    This U1200 that Penn Hazle have for sale looks a nice, but expensive bit of kit.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. iceyman

    iceyman 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,546

    how bout you just get your unimog goin instead of just ooooogling over it in a new thread everyday... i wanna see some action vids in a nice parking lot with some islands in the way
     
  12. ConnorExum

    ConnorExum Senior Member
    Messages: 282


    You're absolutely correct... I'm working on the funds as fast as possible. However, my first purchase will be an Oshkosh then a Unimog... I started a new thread and if you read it completely I was trying to exorcise some of the other threads demons.
     
  13. fireball

    fireball PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 536

    I always enjoy looking at mogs and marvel at all their attachments. However one thing bothers me, everytime you see an action shot of them blowing snow, they have chains on the tires.
     
  14. Snowzilla

    Snowzilla Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 397

    Is the red cylinder at the right front control arm a shock or hydraulic cyclinder? Looks like hydraulic cylinder. If so what is its function?
     
  15. ConnorExum

    ConnorExum Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    It might have a system for controlling the ride height of the vehicle like some military trucks do.
     
  16. sno commander

    sno commander PlowSite.com Addict
    from ct
    Messages: 1,061

    unimogs are cool, but good luck with a 12ft blade in resi accounts. plus it would suck driving a 12 ft wide plow from site to site. jmo
     
  17. ConnorExum

    ConnorExum Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    Yeah it is a big blade, but if you angle it so you can get about 9ft width it shouldn't be too bad drive with I hope. I know it is really big, but I was hoping that the extra 3-5feet over most plows could be really productive in the cleaning the driveway. You think too big?
     
  18. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Nah.....

    Just ignore the fact that Blizzard spent millions (or so?) designing a plow that can be reduced from 10 feet to 8 feet for transport purposes.
     
  19. ConnorExum

    ConnorExum Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    I agree that anything shorter in width will be easier to drive around with. I'll have to test out how feasible the plow is to drive around with in all angle positions. You're right I might need to swap out to something like Power-Plow by Blizzard that offers wings that can be controlled by the operator might be something I have to do. I was sort of hoping I could use the equipment the trucks come with but you're right I might have to make alterations. I don't think that sinks the plan just means I've got to tweak it.

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  20. fireball

    fireball PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 536

    think the thing on the Aebi is a cab equalizer. Aebi builds a lot of their equipement to go on hillsides. So when you get on a hill, the cab will tilt giving you the feeling that the cab is level. Actually, the city here has two Aebi tractors with Horest blades on them. They will run circles around any unimog. Blade on the front and blower on the back. They also have several Trackless tractors too.