MB-trac celebrates its 50th anniversary.
The MB-trac makes history: In July 1973, the tractor from Daimler rolled off the production line for the first time. As a dependable workhorse on the farm and field, the MB-trac has shaped generations – and is still providing inspiration to this day. The Unimog’s brother with angular contours benefited from the cutting-edge technology that continues today in the modern Unimog implement carriers.
Captivating and uniting.
No question about it: The MB-trac has a cult following. There are countless old promotional films on YouTube, where not only fans of agricultural technology wax lyrical. The comments share memories of the first drive, share their fascination for the technology – and regret the fact that “the best tractor ever” is no longer being built. Dedicated websites and forums have even been created by staunch followers to bring together the wide community of the iconic tractor.
The limited edition MB-trac collection.
Celebrate the anniversary of a true one-off with us – with some great merchandise.
A child of its time.
The MB-trac was Mercedes-Benz’s answer to the growing demand for versatile high-power tractors in the late 1960s. The prototype of the farm tractor was developed in Gaggenau in Baden-Württemberg in 1969. Daimler-Benz then presented the finished product for the first time in 1972 at the annual exhibition of the German Agricultural Society in Hanover. On 1 July 1973, the MB-trac finally entered series production.
The resemblance to the Unimog is no accident: Product director Gustav Krettenauer deliberately used proven components from the U 406 to bring the MB-trac onto the market as a low-cost competitor despite the low production numbers. At the same time, the standardisation of the major assemblies ensured efficiency in repair work and customer support.
This strategy was a great success: over the years, a large number of MB-trac models with different engines and equipment were produced to meet the wide range of requirements. From the MB-trac 65/70, which was used for lighter operations, to the 180 hp MB-trac 1800, which could cope with heavy-duty towing work. Over time, the MB-trac would not only be used in agriculture, but, for example, also in municipal road construction, forestry and winter services.
Character and technology.
The new innovation stood out from the competition not only due to the standard all-wheel drive and the four same-sized wheels that the MB-trac borrowed from its Unimog sibling. Above all, it was the technical details of the tractor that customers found most impressive.
Since the characteristically boxy cab, initially painted gravel grey and later painted light yellow and green, was positioned between the axles, MB-trac owners had three attachment spaces available at the front, on the body and at the rear. This was supplemented by the option to connect front and rear hydraulics, for attachment of ploughs, tedders or straw balers.
The end of an era.
Even though the MB-trac is celebrated as unique in technical circles because of its engine and transmission performance, Daimler discontinued production in 1991 owing to the unfavourable market dynamics. This makes the tractor a coveted collector’s item today – many of the cult tractors are still in use. It is not uncommon for dozens of them to be paraded when the community gathers at meetings in Allgäu, Lower Bavaria, Nordhorn in Lower Saxony or at the Unimog Museum in Gaggenau. The museum is even hosting a exhibition dedicated to the MB-trac in 2023.
This iconic tractor marks the highlight of an impressive part of automotive history that Daimler Truck AG can look back on. With the Bergmann tractor from Gaggenau dating back to 1906, the Unimog Museum not only showcases Germany’s oldest tractor, but also the world’s first tractor diesel engine with the Benz-Sendling engine. The Daimler-Benz OE agricultural tractor from 1928, a further predecessor of the MB-trac, which also forms part of the exhibition, also serves as a testament to Daimler Truck AG’s rich company history.
Sonderausstellung „50 Jahre MB-trac“
From July 2023, the Unimog Museum in Gaggenau will be celebrating this historic tractor with a fascinating exhibition.
The MB-trac lives on in the Unimog implement carrier.
Just as the first MB-trac once inherited essential elements from the Unimog, many essential features of the MB-trac have been adopted in the modern implement carrier. Examples include the high-speed capabilities, the platform behind the cab, or the portal axles, giving the vehicle a high ground clearance.
The Unimog implement carrier is a not just a worthy successor to the iconic MB-trac, but caters for a whole range of services to meet the needs of modern agriculture. By combining high-performance working equipment with a cost-efficient vehicle, the implement carrier brings the concept full circle back to the original, which you could say enjoys even more of a cult status than the MB-trac: the Unimog itself.