A sensible solution.

The road-rail Unimog U 423 shows its efficiency in Bayer's factory traffic

More powerful, more flexible, more efficient: the advantages of the new road-rail Unimog for internal transport at Bayer Werke Wuppertal are obvious. After rigorous testing, during which the all-rounder scored positively across the board, it now replaces the diesel locomotive that had been in use since 1974. Even though it was not easy for the employees to send the locomotive into its well-deserved retirement, the Unimog has proven that it can support the plant's logistics much better.

Parting hurts.

The farewell was not easy. In 1974, the O&K locomotive MB 200 (200 hp) was put into service at the Bayer Wuppertal Elberfeld plant (around 1,500 employees). Since then, it has reliably chugged up and down the 1.3 kilometres of rail in the plant, shunted the tank wagons, taken over trains arriving from Deutsche Bahn and then handed wagons over to Deutsche Bahn again.

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But as things go when one reaches 40 – a little ache here, a minor ailment there. At the end of the day, those responsible had not choice but to look for a replacement. Production stops due to a broken down shunting vehicle – that is inexcusable. And because Bayer has been successfully using the Unimog for
over 50 years, an intensive test with a road-rail Unimog from ZAGRO was extremely positive, the end for the cherished diesel locomotive was unavoidable.

Grade one with a star.

„We carried out the test in mid-May and put the Unimog through its paces. It rained terribly, and the tracks were covered with pollen, so all in all it was very slippery,“ recalls Ulrich Klemp, Production Engineer in Plant Logistics at Bayer. „However, the Unimog has dealt with these adverse circumstances with ease. We were immediately impressed by the power that the vehicle brought to the track. The Unimog is clearly better Watch the video: than our shunting locomotive. A sensible solution.“ A 1a certification for the new addition to the Elberfeld plant.

We were immediately impressed by the power that the vehicle brought to the track.

Ulrich Klemp, Production Engineer, Bayer

At the Elberfeld plant, Bayer manufactures active ingredients for medications in areas such as oncology and cardiovascular devices, which are sold worldwide. For their production, chemicals are required, which are delivered in 2-axle and 4-axle tank wagons (25 and 65 tonnes payload). From the  Wuppertal freight depot, a Deutsche Bahn track goes directly to the plant. The Bayer team then takes over there. What makes this so special is that the plant has a gradient of 2.5% – a cinch for the road-rail Unimog to master. Even downhill, the return freight, a waste product from production, is safe.

Then and now: Unimog.

Thanks to the new Unimog, in-house logistics has also become more flexible: If the vehicle is not required for shunting operations, it goes onto the road and pulls the 30-cubic GOFA tanker trailer as well as a general cargo trailer, with which solids and drums are transported from A to B in the plant. The „treasure“ is well taken care of: a U 1300 from 1985. The Bayer colleagues don‘t part with it as readily as they do the diesel locomotive.

Project implemented in collaboration with Unimog general distributor:


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