Extreme off-road Unimog U 5023 trucks assist expedition team in Chile

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJanuary 27, 2020

For 70 years, the Unimog has been a celebrated vehicle when it comes to scientific expeditions in all places and climates around our earth. And now a 10-strong expedition team led by Matthias Jeschke has climbed the highest volcano in the world, the Ojos de Salado in Chile, with two Unimog U 5023 vehicles.

The team’s task was to install four emergency radio units at various high-altitude camps on the volcanic mountain. The Ojos de Salado measures 6893m and is the tallest active volcano in the world. The volcano is part of the Atacama Desert – one of the driest places on earth and part of the notorious Pacific Ring of Fire.

After the expedition team made it to the Amistad high-altitude camp at 6100m with the two Unimog U 5023 and had completed the installation of the fourth emergency radio unit there, the team set about achieving another milestone: breaking the altitude record for wheeled vehicles. This was achieved by one of the two Unimog trucks at an altitude of 6694m.

The expedition was supported by Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks, which provided two extreme off-road Unimog U 5023 vehicles of the latest generation to carry the expedition team and all of their equipment required to these extreme altitudes. To ensure the vehicles were ready to tackle the challenges of such extreme altitudes, both Unimog trucks were equipped with special tyres, strong winches and special bodies with variable centre of gravity balancing developed by the specialists at the Unimog Museum, Unimog bodybuilder AS Söder and by engineers from the Unimog development team.