Reykjavik-based Askja, the Daimler sales intermediary in Iceland, has delivered a Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 4000 to Landsnet. Landsnet is responsible for supplying electricity to the approximately 325,000 inhabitants of Europe's second largest island state on behalf of the National Energy Authority of Iceland.
With its OM 924 LA four-cylinder engine developing 160 kW (218 hp), the extreme all-terrain Unimog U 4000 is able to master even the most challenging terrain of Iceland, which is characterized by a high level of volcanic activity, according to Daimler. Its particular strength lies in its portal axles and its extremely high degree of articulation thanks to its coil springs and a fording depth of up to 1.20 m. A key role in ensuring optimal handling and comfort during off-road operation is played by the three-point mounting of the engine, transmission, and cab as well as by the double three-point mounting of the body.
The long-wheelbase version (3850 mm) with a permissible gross vehicle weight of 8.5 tons has a crew cab and a box body for tools and parts.
"We've tried a whole series of different off-road vehicles, including steel or rubber-tracked models, in order to find the ideal solution that meets our requirements. However, most of these drive concepts and engines either broke down under the strain of our missions, which often last for up to 16 hours, or, in many cases, were not even able to reach the mission site in the first place," said Gudlaugur Sigurgeirsson, operation and maintenance manager at Landsnet.
Sigurgeirsson pointed out that the operating costs of specially modified 4x4 off-roaders were much too high, that the vehicles only had space for two occupants and that the equipment required for the mission had to be stowed on the rear seats. As each maintenance team consists of at least three people who often have to work for up to five days at a time in the barren highlands — a world of volcanic activity, glaciers, numerous lakes and rivers — and often in unpopulated areas, it was essential to find a vehicle capable of ensuring the safety of the Landsnet crews.
It was for these reasons that Landsnet decided to invest in a new fleet of vehicles. "The Mercedes-Benz Unimog is the best choice! All the equipment for a maintenance crew with up to five members has to be able to withstand the extremely tough conditions in the Highlands of Iceland,” said Sigurgeirsson. “And the Unimog is a shining example of how to meet these requirements. It is a vehicle which is able to overcome even extreme situations and conditions and which offers sufficient space for the driver, crew members and the equipment they require. The U 4000 allows us to work efficiently in the Highlands.”