Till the cows come home.

The Unimog Melkexpress is a wonderful tool in agriculture.

The lack of personnel in farming after the Second World War made the industry creative and numerous innovations thus saw the light of day. One such product was the Ahlborn Melkexpress developed jointly by the Eduard Ahlborn AG milking machine works and Eduard Ahlborn AG agricultural machinery division. Presented in 1956 at the DLG exhibition in Hanover, this Unimog U 25 of the 402 model series delivered 25 hp and was equipped with a closed cab and a wheelbase of 2120 mm.

Communal and precise.

The vehicle caused quite a stir because it represented a totally new method for milking cows. With this new development, milk could be obtained directly in the meadows or sheds before being transported straight to the dairy. It was intended to relieve the farmer of the task of milking their cows, leaving them to concentrate on feeding and caring for their livestock. The idea was for the vehicle to be used by dairy farming associations or by dairies directly. It had capacity for 100 to 120 cows during a single milking session.

Its inventors described it as follows: the vehicle, occupied by a milker and a milking assistant, drives up to the shed or the milking stand in the fields. The vacuum pump is connected and the milking system starts milking in the usual way. The milking assistant empties the milk buckets into the collecting receptacle. The quantity of milk is then measured before the liquid is pumped into the chilled tank. Via the probing tap, a small quantity can be removed to determine the average fat content. After milking is complete, the farmer receives a receipt confirming the supplied quantity of milk, before the teat cups and other equipment is disinfected. An insulated 1000-litre, refrigerated milk tank equipped with an agitator is used to collect all the milk. Cooling to around seven or eight degrees Celsius is assured by a refrigerant compressor.

Unimog takes over milk logistics.

A short time later, the chassis used was changed to a Unimog U 30 of the 411 model series, equally with the 2120 mm wheelbase and type B closed cab. Depending on the customer's wishes, various equipment options concerning the positioning and size of the skimmed milk tank were able to be realised.

Today, it's not clear how many Unimog Melkexpress vehicles were produced. It's estimated there were between six and ten, of which two or three were delivered to companies in the former East Germany. Today, the Ahlborn company is one of the 17 Unimog general distributors currently active in Germany.

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