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Report: Unimog: The master of the Unimog

Unimog oldtimers in action
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Unimog at work

D he farm is located in the middle of lettuce fields - north of Straelen, just a stone's throw from the Dutch border away. A bumpy sandy path meanders through the fresh green to the large driveway, the L-shaped family house and the garage hall. Behind the buildings a dog house, rabbit cages, a sauna house and a small pool. Everything is perfectly tidy. This is Heinrich Brimmers' territory.

He is a salad gardener and has taken over the farm from his father. Heinrich lives here with his wife and three sons. And some Polish workers still live here during the harvest. Heinrich put an extra house for them on the farm. “It's the same people every year,” he says. Heinrich likes it all the time. The 44-year-old is not a big talker, rather taciturn. He sits on his 54cc classic car, laughs and looks extremely modest. Amazing - after all, he supplies large corporations such as McDonald’s, Metro and Bonduelle with his salad. “And they have strict delivery schedules,” says Brimmers. “They are not interested in whether the lettuce does not grow so quickly because of the current weather or whether you are sinking up to your knees in the mud.” That is why Heinrich has a couple of particularly reliable helpers in his service in addition to the guest workers: Unimog. The gardener was born with enthusiasm for the universal power tool.

Even as a child, he and his father had a Unimog drove the vegetables to the collection point and the market in Straelen. At the age of 18 he dared to do restoration work himself for the first time. Since then, he has been fascinated by the Unimog. And so the commercial vehicle fleet continued to grow on the farm. Heinrich mostly bought the devices from local authorities. They often sell well-cared-for specimens with little mileage at low prices. Sometimes, however, with salt damage or as an accident vehicle. The 406 A from 1971 found its way to Straelen in a desperate condition. A community worker and Unimog newbie had underestimated the power of the workhorse. Too much gas caused the relatively light car with the high center of gravity to break out of the rear immediately. The load hit a tree and lay on its side. Fortunately, the driver got away unharmed, but the Unimog was a need for care. Just the thing for Heinrich.

Loading area as ballast weight

He smiles:' The stable side position is a thing of the past with my 406 once and for all. After the repair, we have a one and a half ton steel plate for the car Now it lies like a board on the road, and rust is no longer an issue. ”Brimmers' ready-to-drive fleet now includes seven of the indestructible workhorses, starting with the small, green 401, born in 1954 - which collectors also use at classic car meetings drives - up to the five and a half ton type 437 U2100 from 1993.

He brought all models into top condition himself, painted them blue for daily use. His favorites are the 406s from the seventies Heinrich talks about them, he goes into raptures: 'The gearbox, the engine, the power development - you almost sit on it. You can't feel a machine more directly.' The three and a half tons only do something a 60 HP at 2500 revs, but they are powerful tugs and can easily cope with more than three tons of payload. “Of course, these are not touring limousines. You have to be able to plug it in properly. '

Heinrich wouldn't come to the farm anyway:' The machines are more robust than any other farm tractor, and even less prone to repairs - and absolutely compatible with each other. ' For example, we built the 417 machine into the 406 with the sprayer. And that without any problems. ”And so the extensive restoration work quickly pays for itself in day-to-day gardening operations. 'I have to admit, however, that the purchase is only worthwhile because I drive the car with a green license plate and can do all repair work myself without exception.' For Heinrich, screwing means relaxation and distance from day-to-day business. Despite all the enthusiasm, the center of his life are still his sons and his wife. She is even proud of her husband's hobby. After all, it combines the useful with the fun. In a nursery there is constant transport work, 'I'd rather have one car too many than too little,' says Heinrich. Because the vehicles do not cover thousands of kilometers in the field - the sprayer trolley is only used once a week, for example - their condition is also ensured in the long term. Most of the heavy pulling work is done by the large 2100. It has 160 hp and more than half a meter of ground clearance.


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