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The “Octopus” washer

Road surfaces are relatively easy to keep tidy with sweepers but how

do you clean the sides and roofs of tunnels? The problem is cropping

up more and more these days due to the common practice of “boxing

in” new motorways and highways in order to reduce environmental

noise. Schmidt-MU-

LAG of Bad Peters-tal

in Southern Germany

have come up with

the answer. Mounted

on the front of a

Heavy-duty Unimog

is an articulated

boom with a revolving,


brush at the end. On

account of the weight

and the outreach of

the “Octopus” boom,

it is not only attached

to the quick-change

mounting plate but

also has an extra fixing

adjacent to the Unimog’s front axle. A water tank is carried on

the back of the vehicle together with a water pump driven from the

rear power takeoff, supplying the pressure to scour the dirt off tunnel

walls and roofs. Weighing in at 1200 kg and located towards the rear

of the Unimog chassis, these items of equipment make an effective

counterweight for good balance.

This application illustrates several advantages of the Unimog System:

• The front mounting facility with power takeoff – drives the

hydraulic motor of the brush

• The Unimog’s hydraulic system – supplies the hydraulicallypowered


• Space and capacity for water and cleaning materials on the back

of the vehicle

• The rear power takeoff – drives the water pump

• The high load-carrying capacity of the Unimog for this

type of service.

Out in the field these advantages mean that a Unimog equipped with

a tunnel washer can clean several hundred metres of motorway tunnel

in two days without any serious disruption to traffic. In the past

crews have had to close one lane while working.

The boom’s long outreach enables it to deal with all types of tunnel

profile. From the road surface it can reach to a height of 8.30 m, the

distance to the nearside tunnel wall will normally be 1.94 m and the

full working range is 4.60 m. With the boom of the “Octopus” folded

back along the length of the vehicle, the overall height of the unit is

3.90 m.

Simply indispe

The South Bavarian motorway maintenance

authority has 1900 kilometres of autobahn

to look after – and that means handling a

variety of tasks all year round. Apart from

140 trucks to help them with their job, they

also have eight U 2400 TGs and 45 other

Unimogs, mostly U 1600s.

The fleet of vehicles is based at 21 depots and the Unimog

Journal was invited look round the Holzkirchen Depot on the A8

between Munich and Salzburg.

Four Unimogs take care of the stretch between Munich-Ramersdorf

and Bad Aibling which is very busy the whole year round. It

also includes the famous, or perhaps infamous, Irschenberg, a

particularly hilly section that has to be cleared of snow as quickly

as possible in winter, otherwise it soon becomes impassable. With

their excellent manoeuvrability, the Unimog with their snowploughs

and gritting attachments are in their element, working

their way past vehicles already stuck in the snow. Motorway services

and parking areas also need clearing – more important

winter work for the Unimog.

In sum, the Unimog-plus-tunnel-washer

configuration is

highly manoeuvrable, versatile

and compact. Yet another example

of the exceptional

economy and logistical advantages

of the Unimog System!

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