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The Swiss Army Knife of Tractors

 
Posts: 44
Location: MO_AR stateline Zone 6b/7a
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This is too cool. It's called a Unimog or Freightliner SEE. Has anyone here played with one? Any reason why they couldn't be used for permaculture earthworks? Talk about stacking functions...geez! Used ones for sale at GovLiquidation.com





 
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It could be an interesting rig to use if you can get one that is in decent shape. (I've yet to meet a military that is well known for going easy on their gear.) The biggest problem I see for most people is whether or not you can get one to your land for a reasonable price. I could see the freight costs on something like that and all of its accessories quickly adding up the to the value of an old used traditional tractor that you could have picked up more locally if you're rather out of the way from the liquidation yard.

My next question is how easily can you adapt it as a platform to other tools? Would you be stuck having to use purposed designed add-ons, or is it going to be easy to adapt the hard points and power points so you can pick up used farm equipment without a massive headache and huge machining costs?

And of course there is the question of spare parts, and whether or not there are many bits and pieces known for having issues, and how easy is it going to be to get them/refab them? Given its nature as a second line/front line piece of equipment I am going to bet that keeping one running isn't going to take a full fledged engineer, but it wouldn't be the first piece of military equipment I've come across with some horribly odd-ball part to cause headaches. (Anyone familiar with a 14 and 5/13th mm pin? Yeah...)

Final worry would be how it compared on fuel usage. I don't expect there to be a huge difference there between it and a common tractor.
 
Josh J.J. Jones
Posts: 44
Location: MO_AR stateline Zone 6b/7a
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I'm guessing that since Unimog is still selling these in Europe, parts should be easy to find... as long as you are using attachments made for it. HERE is a German company selling all kinds of attachments. I'm not sure the U.S. military is still using these, because that video looks 15 years old. But HERE is one with 729 miles on it. For a normal tractor that would seem like a lot, but these are road worthy, so idk. I'm sure Freightliner, Unimog, or Mercedes-Benz could hook you up with parts, for a price.

I really like the fact that you can use hydraulic tools at the same time. A hydraulic chain saw would be bitchin. Or jack hammer... imagine building a swale and you come across a boulder. This thing should be able to bust it up and take it out in a matter of minutes.

The next gen concept Unimog. This is PIMP
 
Posts: 3375
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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There was one on ebay a couple years ago that was like new (seriously, under 40 hours on the engine). I think it went for 30K. Would make a great drive yourself to the job permie machine running on veggie oil. But they are not that good of a digging machine and a front heavy beast driving down the road (can't go much faster than a new tractor). But it would be FUN.
 
Josh J.J. Jones
Posts: 44
Location: MO_AR stateline Zone 6b/7a
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I keep staring at that last image and the Kenny Chesney lyrics keep playing in my head "She thinks my tractor's sexy, it really turns her on. She's always staring at me, as I'm chuggin along."
 
Josh J.J. Jones
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R Scott wrote:There was one on ebay a couple years ago that was like new (seriously, under 40 hours on the engine). I think it went for 30K. Would make a great drive yourself to the job permie machine running on veggie oil. But they are not that good of a digging machine and a front heavy beast driving down the road (can't go much faster than a new tractor). But it would be FUN.



That's a pretty good price. They supposedly can get up to 50mph, according to the infomercial vid. I have no experience with these but I'm guessing that they can dig ok, or the military wouldn't have invested in them. Sure they aren't as efficient as the BIG earthmovers, but I'd look at it just for the different functions you can stack in one machine.
 
Posts: 22
Location: Tidewater Virginia
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Neat tool. All those listed have VERY (<1000mi usually) low mileage, but are 'inoperable' whatever that means. Shame there's not a more specific explanation, but I guess you could ask.
 
Posts: 252
Location: Nevada
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Tools are cool and the bigger they are, and more complicated and useful the better One question that I have....after reading dozens - if not hundreds - of posts on this forum, how many people have enough land to warrant such a large machine? enough flat land? The impression that I get after reading posts here, is that most people - if they are thinking about some kind of mechanical assistance for their land - are trying decide between a two wheel tractor and a 4 wheel garden type tractor. AFAIK, any tractor can be modified for any series of accessories by simply having someone weld the appropriately sized mounting plate to the trailer and possibly changing the pto or hydraulic connectors - assuming that the tractor has enough power.

One more thought - "inoperable" may have to do with the ability to register one of these to use it on public roads. My guess is that they do not have appropriate smog and safety equipment, so you may not be able to register one to use it on the road. More than likely, you can still register it as a farm vehicle and use it, but you need to check that out first.
 
Josh J.J. Jones
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Tom Connolly wrote:Tools are cool and the bigger they are, and more complicated and useful the better One question that I have....after reading dozens - if not hundreds - of posts on this forum, how many people have enough land to warrant such a large machine? enough flat land? The impression that I get after reading posts here, is that most people - if they are thinking about some kind of mechanical assistance for their land - are trying decide between a two wheel tractor and a 4 wheel garden type tractor. AFAIK, any tractor can be modified for any series of accessories by simply having someone weld the appropriately sized mounting plate to the trailer and possibly changing the pto or hydraulic connectors - assuming that the tractor has enough power.

One more thought - "inoperable" may have to do with the ability to register one of these to use it on public roads. My guess is that they do not have appropriate smog and safety equipment, so you may not be able to register one to use it on the road. More than likely, you can still register it as a farm vehicle and use it, but you need to check that out first.



I see your point on land size and big machines. So maybe THIS tractor that can fit in the back of a pickup is more towards your liking. Only $5,428 new.
 
Tom Connolly
Posts: 252
Location: Nevada
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Yes, that is way cool! The right size...the only way to make it better is to lower the price and make it a diesel, so that we can pour bean oil into it, or perhaps convert the gasser to use alcohol. While I don't ever hope to have to grow/raise EVERYTHING I eat and use (though I hope to be able to be self sustaining at a minimum level) because that would rule out a lot of variety in food, my ultimate vision of living off the grid is to be able to power my own vehicles with "homemade" fuel. That is why I have begun looking raising a couple of acres of some product that can be converted to fuel, and at tractors that can facilitate this. There is not only the issue of the size of the tractor on the field, but also the size required to store it, transport it, etc. Still, even though it may fit into the bed of a pickup, I would not want to be the one to have to get it into the bed! One question: with tracks like this has, will this vehicle be able to "tread lightly" on a piece of agricultural land? I have seen some small garden type tractors with rubber tracks instead of steal. I am sure that they are not as durable but what about the effect on the land? In all fairness, the garden tractors that I saw probably only weighed 500 pounds, instead of the 700 that this hefty little helper weights.
 
Josh J.J. Jones
Posts: 44
Location: MO_AR stateline Zone 6b/7a
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Tom Connolly wrote:Yes, that is way cool! The right size...the only way to make it better is to lower the price and make it a diesel, so that we can pour bean oil into it, or perhaps convert the gasser to use alcohol. While I don't ever hope to have to grow/raise EVERYTHING I eat and use (though I hope to be able to be self sustaining at a minimum level) because that would rule out a lot of variety in food, my ultimate vision of living off the grid is to be able to power my own vehicles with "homemade" fuel. That is why I have begun looking raising a couple of acres of some product that can be converted to fuel, and at tractors that can facilitate this. There is not only the issue of the size of the tractor on the field, but also the size required to store it, transport it, etc. Still, even though it may fit into the bed of a pickup, I would not want to be the one to have to get it into the bed! One question: with tracks like this has, will this vehicle be able to "tread lightly" on a piece of agricultural land? I have seen some small garden type tractors with rubber tracks instead of steal. I am sure that they are not as durable but what about the effect on the land? In all fairness, the garden tractors that I saw probably only weighed 500 pounds, instead of the 700 that this hefty little helper weights.



From reading reviews, the lack of a diesel option seems to be a common complaint. Maybe they will make that an option in the future. They do offer a "rubber shoe" attachment HERE that reads "Medium-duty rubber pavement shoes allow "scratch-free" travel on any surface. Gives added penetration and traction. Ideal for snow use on blacktop or concrete. Not for heavy rocky conditions. Factory assembly available"

The problem that I have had with garden tractors is gaining traction when the ground is soft, especially on a slope. The tracks on this one along with the added weight should help eliminate this problem.

HAHAHA just saw on their website that they offer a DIY tractor kit HERE
 
R Scott
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There are direct bolt-in diesels available now, ALMOST. They match the Honda bolt patterns and shaft placement, but not the overall dimensions. You would have to add a hoodscoop
 
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