the extremes.

Unimog U 5023 with auxiliary subframe and crane – a vehicle that can go virtually anywhere.

422 calls to the fire service control centre within 48 hours: the summer of 2022 was exceptionally hot and dry in southwest England. Rescue crews at Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service faced a record number of wildfires. It’s become evident that emergency services will need all the help they can get in the coming years. They have opted for an extreme off-road-capable Unimog U 5023, a move intended to boost the service’s operational capabilities and flexibility as a highly agile emergency services vehicle.

Whether it’s storms surges or drought: the Unimog is always ready.

Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service’s purchase of the new, extreme off-road capable Unimog comes at the right time. This becomes particularly evident from the record number of forest and wildfires last summer. As a true all-rounder, the Unimog is not only able to get away from fires in the event of danger, it can also cope with risks posed by water. This is made possible by the special-purpose equipment provided by Cumnock-based service provider Emergency One.

No other vehicle with a similar load capacity can match the Unimog’s capability to go virtually anywhere.

Mark Salter, Group Leader, Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service

Mark Salter, Group Leader at Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service, is convinced that the latest addition to the fleet will significantly improve rescue crew’s flexibility: “the Mercedes-Benz Unimog was the obvious basis for this new and highly specialised vehicle,” he reports. "Considering the rough terrain here in Cornwall, exceptional off-road performance was an absolute must – and no other vehicle with a similar load capacity can match the Unimog’s capability to go virtually anywhere."

Extreme situations? No problem for an extreme vehicle.

The Unimog U 5023 with a permissible gross vehicle weight of 14.5 t was delivered by retailer South Cave Tractors. An auxiliary subframe and a crane from Palfinger were mounted as units for transporting the four application-specific equipment containers. The ultra-mobile emergency services vehicle thus achieves an exceptional degree of flexibility in application.

The equipment containers, or "pods", are provided by main contractor Emergency One, based in Cumnock, up in Ayrshire – a leading manufacturer of equipment and special vehicles for fire service departments. Said pods cover a wide range, and the fire service can rely on one pod each for forest fire fighting, flood control, water-based rescue operations and disaster relief. The various equipment kits transform the extreme off-road capable Unimog into a multifunctional super tool.

The Unimog is powered by a 5.1-litre, four-cylinder engine with an output of 170 kW (230 hp) and a powerful torque of 900 Nm. The optimal transfer of the engine’s power is safeguarded by the standard manual transmission, which can optionally be automated using EAS. In addition to eight forward and six reverse gears, Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service has opted for the working and crawler gear group option, which, in turn, provides eight forward and reverse gears.

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Thanks to the optional tyre pressure control system, the Unimog U 5023 offers unrivalled traction. Supplemented by a torsionally flexible frame and the exceptional axle articulation, the off-road professional can rely on a level of off-road mobility that is difficult to outperform. As standard, the extreme off-road capable workhorse offers a fording depth of 800 mm, which was increased to 1,200 mm for Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service ex works – consequently, the new emergency services vehicle also reaches flooded areas where no other vehicle could otherwise go.

When you need all hands on deck.

The Unimog U 5023 is the second Unimog at Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service. The first one, a fire engine with crew cab, is based on the U 500 and deployed at Launceston fire station – the vehicle is also an all-rounder that has been doing extremely reliable work since its acquisition in 2007.For worst case scenarios.

With the new extreme off-road capable emergency vehicle, Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service crews are ready to face the challenges of the future. Mark Salter was impressed at the handover of the Unimog: "from the very early stage of specification, this was a complex and challenging project. That’s why the delivery of the finished vehicle is extremely exciting." After having completed staff training programs for crews working with the Unimog, the group leader is sure that the off-road professional will prove its value and significantly increase the service’s capabilities.

Project implemented with:
South Cave Tractors


See the UNImog at Rettmobil FUlda.

10–12 May 2023

As the leading international trade fair for rescue and mobility services, Rettmobil offers its visitors the entire range. Since 2022, the trade fair has been increasingly aimed at an international audience. Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks are being showcased this year.

Get more information about Rettmobil

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