Unimog Truck

Current Force > Unimog

Unimog 1700L  5T Truck (400)

Photo: NZ Army

The Army 'mog is the mainstay of the NZ Logistics Battalions. It was acquired in the early 80s when the Australians (again) were buying 1700 of them. Although the truck is drawing to the end of its service life it embodies the crucial supply chain link between combat units and their supplies.  More often than not the Unimog also acts as a personnel carrier especially in civil defence situations.

Without supplies an army virtually ceases to exist so to a certain extent this is the most important peice of equipment in the NZ Army inventory. It is also crucial for all hazards involved in this study.

This Mercedes truck is well known and regarded throughout the world for its off-road capabilities and fording . It is notable however that Unimog today does not seem to be in the military business to the same extent as other military truck builders. A visit to the manufacturers website certainly suggests that Unimog is now more interested in civilian than military designs.

The main drawback of the Unimog is its height (3.14m). While this assists it to ford it makes it conspicuous (and thus a potential target in tactical situations) and hard to deploy outside of New Zealand. It also makes it reasonably easy to roll and there have been a number of serious and fatal crashes in recent years where young drivers have rolled Unimogs. They certainly do not fit in a C-130.

One must also ask why we need so many military trucks. A military truck differs from a commercial freight truck in that it carries less but can go places a commercial truck can't. That said commercial logging trucks go to some rather out-of-the-way places. Essentially military trucks are for getting from the road to operational area. There is no point employing them for work commercial trucking operators can do (eg along roads).

Information website: NZ Army

Manufacturers website: Mercedes


Value for Money

M1: Pacific Security

: Hard to get into the Pacific. Limited tactical use. Potentially helpful once deployment problem overcome.

M2: International Peacekeeping

D: Limited cargo capacity and soft skin make the Unimog less useful overseas. Getting it there is also a big problem.

M3: Terrorist Seige

not applicable

M4: Device Disposal

not applicable

B1: Biohazard

D: Good for carrying stores and personnel but not NBC safe.

F1: Fisheries Surveillance

not applicable

F2: Fisheries Intervention

not applicable

C1: Civil Emergency

C: Good mobility but limited cargo capacity

C2: Pacific Emergency

E: Hard to deploy in time

C3: Medical Team

E: Hard to deploy in time

R1: Antarctic Research Programme

not applicable

R2: Pacific Hydrographical Research

not applicable