|QUESTION: Unimog or Pinzgauer?
Many people specifically come to T-LO's for the Unimog, the "Ultimate Offroad Vehicle".
But often after first demonstrating the Pinzgauer to them, the most common response is "This is more offroad capability than we will ever need".
Do yourself a favor and get educated on the Unimog's purpose and history. There are many sources on the internet to do research.
The Unimog was designed right after the second world war for the purpose of helping the agricultural economy in Germany.
The requirements were: Four equal size tires and four-wheel-drive; a truck configuration allowing to pull trailers, haul loads and people at road speeds while still being able to do all the slow speed field work a tractor can do.
The Unimog was and is one of the most versatile vehicles which is how it got its name: "Universalmotorgeraet" which translates into "Universal Motor Device".
The point I am getting at is that the Unimog is not a "slow truck" but a "fast tractor". Period. Keep that always in mind when considering a Unimog. It is extremely capable of doing things no other vehicle, including the Pinzgauer, can do. It can go over severe rocks and pull incredible loads. It is relatively small and heavy. It's pulling capacity is amazing (how about a 365 ton Boeing 747). I used a 1.5 ton Unimog to move a 45 ft. semi-trailer loaded with cast iron machinery into small places no semi tractor can get!
Here are things you cannot expect from a Unimog and anybody who claims that the Unimog can do these things is not being straight with you:
1. Highway speeds: A 404S Unimog with the stock 2.2 liter gas engine will do about 50 to 55 mph cruising speed on a level road with no headwinds. The elevation is important too. Guess how much power you have left at 7000 ft. elevation of the whopping 82 HP pulling a 3 ton 404S Unimog? The older diesel Unimogs like the 406 and 416 will do about 45 mph.
2. Gas Mileage: The Unimog 404S gets about 7 to 9 mpg and worst off-road. Anybody (on the internet) stating that the 404S gets "between 11 to 15 miles to the gallon" needs to prove that to me (I dare them!).
The Unimog is not exactly user friendly, does not have much room in the cab, no power steering (on the 404S), is loud and not that easy to shift.
Again: Keep in mind that this is really a tractor which happens to look like a truck.
Now to the Pinzgauer: The only things it really has in common with the Unimog is that it also has portal axles and differential locks. THAT'S IT! Nothing else.
The Pinzgauer is really the enlarged and improved version of it's little father, the Haflinger. It was designed to be a light to medium duty truck, which can haul troops and cargo through tough terrain and still carry the same load at higher speeds of about 50 mph. The Pinzgauer is very light compared to the Unimog due to the use of high quality aluminum drivetrain components rather than all cast iron.
It's aircooled, four cylinder inline engine has proven to perform flawless even in the hottest desert climates. It has even three more HP's compared to the Unimog 404S engine while it is pulling a much lighter vehicle (about 2000 lbs less).
That explains it's higher cruising speed (62 mph with the 4x4 and 55 mph with the 6x6) and much better gas mileage (about 16 mpg with the 4x4 and 12 to 14 mpg with the 6x6).
It is smaller and more user friendly. The seating is more comfortable and the gears shift easier. It drives more like a car (vs. the Unimog) being a real truck.
The offroad performance is very impressive and due to it's small size it can be driven through very narrow places which would not be possible in a Hummer or even a Unimog. It has it's limits on rocks and the heater is not as effective compared to the Unimog with the liquid cooled engine.
The Pinzgauer is the most suitable and ready to use, low-priced vehicle for any kind of tour business. I have yet to find a vehicle, new or used, foreign or domestic, which can do as many things as well as the Pinzgauer does. For general all-purpose use and versatility the Pinzgauer is the answer.
There you have it. The decision is up to you and maybe neither one of these two vehicles is suitable for your needs. Just be honest with yourself and your specific needs when considering a Unimog or Pinzgauer purchase.
Another important factor on either the Unimog or Pinzgauer is that you should consider who you buy the vehicle from. In order to prevent future problems you should consider purchasing your vehicle only from a licensed and bonded dealer who specializes in Pinzgauer and Unimogs. This is safer than going to any unlicensed "backyard dealers" who offer no service and just want to get the quick dollar from you. For details on that topic please refer to the section on our website "Why buy from T-LO's".
Also, keep in mind that there are many different versions of each vehicle and due to their simple design the possibilities of custom accessories and conversions are near endless.
T-LO's Ultimate Offroad can custom build the vehicle for your specific needs as long as the basic design of the Unimog or Pinzgauer is suitable for you.
E-mail Thilo for information
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