Unimogs. Are they unstable?

Discussion in 'Multinational HQ' started by Didosdadsdogsdead, Feb 24, 2005.

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  1. http://xtramsn.co.nz/news/0,,11964-4140356,00.html

    Firstly sincere condolences to the families and friends of all involved.

    Having never driven or travelled in a Mog, am interested to hear from people who may have used them, as a Kiwi truckie I have seen a few on the roads and they appear to have a very high centre of gravity which in turn would mean a low rollover threshold. Have pedalled a few RL's and MK's which handled ok within there limitations.

    Dead Soldiers' Names Released
    24/02/2005 12:12 PM
    The names of three soldiers whose Unimog plunged into the Kawerau Gorge between Cromwell and Queenstown have been released.

    Nineteen-year-old Private Ashley Patrick Goodwin, originally from Motueka and based at the Burnham Army camp, has been confirmed dead.

    Twenty-one-year-old Shane Adrian Ohlen, from Wellington and also stationed at Burnham, and 17-year-old David James Partington from Waitara, based at the Linton camp, are also missing, presumed drowned.

    Cromwell Sergeant Steve Ereckson says police are probably looking for bodies. He says there is always hope, but from his knowledge of the difficulties of the area and the river, he is not holding high expectations.

    It is the second fatality in the last six months involving army soldiers and Unimog vehicles.

    Twenty-nine-year-old Private Sean James Dougherty and 22-year-old Private Daniel Kairua died in August last year, when their truck rolled off a road on Banks Peninsula. Another soldier was seriously injured.

    NZ First MP Ron Mark is worried about the lack of experience in the Defence Force, with so many staff leaving. He says that increases the risk of training accidents occurring.
  2. Terrible thing to happen. My sympathies to the families for their loss.

    They use mogs out here for most stuff. As you say not a low centre of gravity, but as much as any vehicle can be in that environment, fairly reliable and stable form of vehicle. Not the most comfortable of things to travel in but they aren't designed to be a cushy ride. Not heard much complaint from mates who have had to use them a lot as either driver or passenger. They take a bit of getting used to as with any big beast for steering points, turn circles etc. Once you get enough practice on them, under a wide range of driving/weather conditions, they are no more difficult to drive than anything else of similar size. The experience factor is crucial however, as is maintenance scheduling. The lack of experience though is what kills any driver when faced with this kind of situation.

    I am presuming lack of experience has been a big factor in both these incidents. I am hoping that the vehicles were properly maintained and not clapped out old beasts...
  3. My condolences.
  4. If they can salvage the vehicle (and at the moment that is looking unlikely) a Fatal Accident Report will be produced by the NZ Police with Land Transport New Zealand carrying out the investigation into the condition of the vehicle. All vehicles over 3500kg GVM are subject to six-monthly Certificate of Fitness inspections, so although the NZ Army's Unimog fleet is getting long in the tooth they will be properly maintained by RNZLR and independently inspected by either Vehicle Testing New Zealand or Vehicle Inspections New Zealand .

    Having some considerable experience in the field of crash investigations and knowledge of the local conditions I think it is likely that this will be the result of the error of an inexperienced driver rather than the condition of the vehicle.

    My sympathies to the families.
  5. Saturday 5th March 2005


  6. I agree.

    Unimogs, like Rovers, Hummers and Pinzgauers, have 'characteristics' that drivers have to be careful with. I drove all of them and I was always lucky enough to have an experienced instructor slapping me in head when I felt frisky behind the wheel.

    SUVs here in the USA have a very bad reputation regarding rollovers. Bad enough to where manufacturers started a marketing campaign and training program to train people how to handle their SUV.