A Unimog is helping French cemeteries to recount stories.

Headstone manufacturer Maison Plessis from Normandy in France relies on the Unimog U 530 to ensure that the final resting place is not needlessly disturbed. The multipurpose vehicle not only allows the company to move heavy loads in tight spaces, but also to work without driving along the narrow cemetery rows.

A land steeped in history.

World history has been written in the northern French region of Normandy. From the Vikings through William the Conqueror to the Second World War. The cemeteries in Normandy also recount stories – their very own personal ones. Gilbert Plessis helps to mould these personal stories.    

Gilbert Plessis manages Maison Plessis in Saint-Lô, France, which specialises in the production of granite burial monuments, but also operates funeral directors in the capital of the Manche Department and its surrounding area. For his work, the French service provider relies on a powerful, yet compact and manoeuvrable companion, which can install the heavy stones in a confined space.

We keep our trucks for 30 years.
We look after them. So you have to choose well.

Gilbert Plessis, marble dealer and funeral director, Maison Plessis

Heavyweight with small footprint.

"In our profession, you need the largest crane on the smallest truck," explains the Managing Director. Many cemeteries in Normandy have narrow access lanes, which often cannot be negotiated with a truck. The work undertaken by the 100 employees of Maison Plessis at 15 locations therefore usually has to be carried out from the outside, over high walls and sometimes on very soft ground.

It was not for nothing that they opted for the Unimog. Quality and durability were of paramount importance to Gilbert Plessis: "We keep our trucks for 30 years. We look after them. So you have to choose well," says the seventh generation marble dealer.

Gilbert Plessis, together with Unimog dealer Lemonnier in Isigny-le-Buat, has selected the optimal chassis from the range of universal vehicles to install its tipper – made by the body manufacturer Ledos in Ducey-les-chéris – and the required Palfinger crane, which delivers a huge 35 mt lifting torque, in a unique assembly.

Ultra stable.

To accommodate the "XXL" crane, which can extend up to 27 m and still lift 400 kg, the only option for Gilbert Plessis was a Unimog U 530 as the implement carrier – with a 7.7 l six-cylinder in-line engine, an output of 299 hp and a wheelbase of 3.90 m. Of course, the stabilisation supports were also indispensable.

To give the Unimog the necessary stability, Gilbert Plessis has had four more supports attached to the Unimog U 530 in addition to the two existing ones: two at the front, on the mounting plate, and two at the rear, at the end of the frame. On these six ground bases, the Unimog doesn’t cause any shaking while it works.

Trouble-free manoeuvring.

The head of the masonry company from Normandy is particularly impressed by the narrow width of his new Unimog. Even if Gilbert Plessis and his team have to use one of the narrow access lanes in the cemeteries, they can do so effortlessly thanks to the relatively narrow 2.35 m width and the all-wheel steering of the Unimog U 530.

And if there’s really no other way, Gilbert Plessis can even drive over lawns without causing permanent damage thanks to the Unimog’s low ground pressure. Overall, the company leaves the cemetery almost as they found it. Without disturbing the peaceful rest.

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The Unimog implement carrier.

Flexible attachment and mounting options, year-round use, cost-effective operation, safe on the road and robust off-road.

The extreme off-road Unimog.

Developed as a reliable powerhouse with one goal: the utmost in indestructibility.

Unimog Municipal.

The specialist for municipal tasks can be used to full capacity up to 365 days a year. And thus more than pays for itself.

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