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The High Velocity Of A Mercedes Unimog’s ‘Tremendous Crawler’ Gear Makes Even A Sloth Look Quick

GIF gif: ExpedImports/YouTube (screengrabs) – Artwork by Jason Torchinsky

Most off-road autos have crawl ratios—additional gearing to extend ahead thrust—between 30 and about 100. However the Mercedes Unimog, with its “Tremendous Crawler” gear, has an absurd crawl ratio over 3000. Meaning two issues: unstoppable crawling energy, and a hilariously low prime pace.

Hop right into a Mercedes Unimog, and the controls will in all probability scare the crap out of you. Simply have a look at all of those levers, which YouTuber ExpedImports walks us by in his video of his 416:

Photograph: ExpedImports/YouTube (screengrab)

The highest lever is the transmission shifter, the underside left prompts four-wheel drive and lockers, the highest left is the facility takeoff lever, the middle lever is for turning on and off the “crawler” gears, the highest proper prompts the 2 crawler gears (the decrease of the 2 being “Tremendous Crawler,” or as they are saying in Germany “Superkriechgang” or “Schneckengang”), and the underside proper is the ahead/reverse lever.


In first gear and in “tremendous crawler” mode, the Unimog 406/416 is claimed to have a crawl ratio of over 4000, and a prime pace of solely about .08 kilometers per hour (or 300 ft per hour). By comparability, a three-toed sloth can stroll 3 times as quick.

Whereas I couldn’t affirm these Unimog 406/416 crawl ratio and top-speed figures with any official Mercedes documentation, I did discover a brochure for the extra trendy Unimog U500. In it, I discovered that the primary gear ratio is 9.570:1, and that the gear can be utilized in “highway gear” or “working gear” mode. Within the latter mode, first gear is multiplied by a ratio of 5.757.


The “crawler” gear ratio—with the 5.575 “working gear” included—is 55.874, the rear axle ratio is 2.182, and the hub ratio (keep in mind, this factor’s obtained portal axles), is 2.714.

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So for those who multiply that every one out—first gear ratio (9.570) occasions crawler gear ratio (55.874—this consists of the working gear) occasions axle ratio (2.182) and at last occasions hub ratio (2.714), you find yourself with a crawl ratio of virtually three,200.

This implies the engine’s torque (700 lb-ft at 1,200 rpm) will get multiplied by that worth, yielding a most of over 2 million lb-ft of grunt on the wheels. And if you wish to see what meaning, simply watch this idling Unimog crawl up a stump effortlessly:

In that brochure, it says the U500 has an electronically restricted prime pace of zero.09 mph, or 475 ft per hour (or about 8ft per minute). And whereas meaning it’s nonetheless a lot slower than a sloth, the Unimog may really be higher at climbing.

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