The Mercedes-Benz UNIMOG is a four-wheel-drive, all-terrain vehicle. Unimogs have very high ground clearance made possible by portal gears that allow the axles and transmission to be higher than the tires’ centers. Unimogs also feature a flexible frame that allows the tires a wide range of vertical movement to allow the truck to comfortably drive over extremely uneven terrain, even boulders of one metre in height. They are equipped with high visibility driving cabs to enable the operator to see the terrain and more easily manipulate mounted tools.
This vehicle is ultimately going to the East Coast with a land mine investigation company! The idea is that this concept build will house their products and services to display to the government at Military Trade Shows. We worked on this build through Couch Off Road Engineering, who specializes in Unimogs and custom mechanical/engine setups. The Metal Surgeon completed the custom design and fabrication of the rear of the body, including the structure, rear doors, floor, roof, and tailgate.
Onto the build: the Unimog body had to be designed and built within 4 months of delivery. We only had an artists impression of the final concept to start with. The criteria we had to work with was: the custom rear body would be 8 feet in length, divided into two 4 foot modules each bolted together, and also bolted to the rear of the cab. The idea is to swap out the modules for different types at an ‘interchange station’. The cab and modules would sit on a platform of four body to chassis mounts in a diamond formation for maximum flexibility.
With the these major criteria in mind, we set to work with a base concept of our build strategy and we honed the finer details as the build progressed.
This first batch of photos show the Unimog before work commences through our ‘datum measuring box’ and Module 2 side structure and panel fabrication. The exterior panels were designed and crafted to continue the styling details of the cab through out the body modules.
Unimog before fabrication begins
The Mercedes Unimog cab as it arrived in our shop.
View from back the of the Unimog cab before we operate.
View of the rear cab panel that will be removed and utilized as a tailgate.
Begin Unimog fabrication: Measuring Box
Beginning our measuring box construction.
Progress on the box. You can see the division of the modules.
Templates are taken off the cab profile and then transferred to the measuring box.
Unimog panel fabrication begins
Module 2 side panel structure in progress. This panel skin was completely created scratch (from a piece of flat sheet metal). The inner structure design was done by The Metal Surgeon.
Two side panels complete for Module 2.
Building of the body structure begins with the aid of our templates and measuring box.
This is the first in a series of posts on this fabrication, please check back for updates on the build! Also, you can join our monthly mailing list for more information.