Trucking Milestones: 1978 – balancing act with four NG 2632/6x4

Series: Trucking Milestones

In icy heights.

Mercedes-Benz makes dreams come true for skiers on Crap Sogn Gion in Switzerland in 1978.

Crap Sogn Gion is still a favourite spot of winter sport lovers. When a new cable car system is introduced at the end of the 1970s, Mercedes-Benz gets involved. An unusual convoy of Mercedes-Benz vehicles gathers in the valley of the Swiss canton of Graubünden in 1978. The convoy has loaded the longest circulating cable ever manufactured – 7.400 metres in length and 52 tonnes in weight, with a diameter of 43 millimetres. The destination is the summit station located at an altitude of 2.600 metres. Distributed between four NG 2632/6x4 and a Unimog U 1500 which leads the way, the convoy transports the continuous piece of cable. The group also includes an all-wheel mobile crane from 1924 with a 50-tonne winch, which serves as a safety vehicle, and a Unimog U 1100 with a double cabin as a recovery vehicle.

A balancing act worthy of the circus.

Back to the NG 2632/6x4: together with the cable drum located on the first wagon, the average total weight per vehicle is 28 tonnes. In addition, all of the trucks and the Unimog driving in front are connected to one another by means of tow ropes. And this is with good reason. The convoy goes over narrow, unpaved paths with inclines of up to 30 per cent in places. At the steep hairpin bends, the centre of gravity of the trucks shifts to the rear axle, with the front axle relieved of burden and practically unable to steer, so the convoy has to be pulled by the Unimog driving in front. A balancing act worthy of the circus, which Mercedes-Benz masters perfectly. The cable safely reaches its destination. So, those taking their skis up to Crap Sogn Gion by cable car may well think of Mercedes-Benz and say a little thank you.

Photos: Daimler AG