Thank you for your interest in our unique vehicle.
This vehicle is called a “Unimog”. APROE values this vehicle for its ability to carry 6 passengers and 6,000 lbs while being very maneuverable in tight spaces.
Unimogs have been in production since 1948 and are the gold standard for reliability and remote access capabilities. APROE’s business reasons for having the truck are centered mostly around its carrying capacity and size. It’s remote access capabilities cater to our fondness of being surrounded by the wonders of the natural world when not working.
The main feature that makes a Unimog unique is what’s referred to as the “portal axle”. This can be seen from the front or rear of the vehicle and is simply a gearbox in each wheel that raises the drive shaft well above the center of the wheel. This creates a lot of ground clearance under the vehicle. A standard Unimog can easily drive over a 5 gallon bucket without touching it.
The other feature that Unimogs have that adds to their amazing traction is front and rear locking differentials. Check out this video on how differentials work for context. This is an add on to standard 4 wheel drive function that ensures that each wheel of the vehicle turns at the same speed. The differential is the gearbox between the wheels which allows the wheels to travel at different speeds while going around corners and maintaining power to the wheels (the inside wheel in the corner travels a shorter distance than the outside wheel, so they must rotate at different rates through the turn). Unimogs can switch into 4 wheel drive while traveling in a mode that keeps the differentials working (typically snow and ice on hard roads), then can further transition into a mode that removes the functionality of the differentials (“locking” them) so that all wheels turn no matter what, at the same rate. This would obviously be very hard on the drive train if it were done going around a corner on a hard surface as the wheels would not be able to individually navigate the different arc lengths of the corner. This functionality is for very slippery surfaces or situations where traction is very poor, and ensures the vehicle will keep traveling as long as any tire has traction. Locking differentials are a common upgrade to make standard offroad vehicles more capable. Unimogs come standard with them, and this, combined with the portal axles makes for an amazing off-road vehicle in general.
Due to their agricultural roots and Europe’s highway laws for trucks like this, stock unimogs are not set-up to drive US highway speeds. Small engines and low gearing prevent these trucks from exceeding 50 MPH. Most US enthusiasts look for variants that have a higher gear ratio drive train (“fast axles”) and a higher torque engine with a turbo and intercooler (OM366LA vs OM352), which our truck has.
Thanks for your interest in APROE and our truck.