Mercedes-Benz Unimog 5000 carries tourists to the lava field of the Torre del Filosofo

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 26, 2012

The Unimog 5000 is capable of achieving even the most challenging of tasks. From May to October, it is used to carry tourists from the Etna cable car station at 2500 metres up to the Torre del Filosofo. The hiking trail starts at 2935 metres above sea level for tourists who aim to be the nearest they could be to the lava fields.

Over 300,000 tourists are attracted every year to Sicily by the possibility of going up Mount Etna. The Unimog range, which was in production since 2002 at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Wörth, is the best candidate to be used in the difficult conditions on Etna.

Its off-road prowess is applauded as it is the only vehicle concept of its kind. It features a flexible ladder frame, all-wheel drive with differential locks in both axles. These are portal axles and the central tire inflation system Tirecontrol, with each single technical detail playing its part in making sure that the "Universal-Motor-Gerät" or "Universal Motor Device.”

The acronym of this German version is the origin of the Unimog name, which continues to be a reliable partner on the rough tracks and ash fields of the highest active volcano in Europe.

How the Unimog works is that a bus body on the U 5000 offers seats for the tourists, which are carried safely from the cable car station to the steep track. A U1550 L is also in service on Etna.

It has the required attachments for its duty of clearing snow or ash from the tracks. The Unimog’s versatility is also seen in the building of a new cable car to replace one damaged by volcanic eruptions.

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