Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
406 forst
Joined
·
297 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

After coveting a Mog for over 30 years I finally got my hands on a 1973 Unimog 406 with Werner forest equipment on it today! What a magnificent machine! It runs and drives great but I plan to do some rust treatment and body restoration before I take it out in public.

I have no actual experience with Unimog and until now, have had to be content living vicariously through lists like this. I look forward to learning how to drive it in the Sierra foothill forests (I live in Georgetown, several miles from the Rubicon), how to maintain it and how to repair the cab. I ordered an operators manual which should arrive soon. I don't know anyone who has a Unimog.

After learning about it, testing it and repairing some rust and very minor dents I plan to use it to remove brush and small trees from around rural homes for fire protection. If anyone on the list has experience or docs on Werner double winches I could use some advice on how to best operate and maintain them.

I bought the truck off ebay from a fellow near Chicago on and so far it is exactly as described. Looking at the bill of sale, I got a much better deal than he when he bought it over from Germany in Nov 2001.

However, my series of unfortunate shipping events, while comical, may serve as a warning to others.

---
The truck was to be shipped from a rural area near Chicago, IL to my rural home in the Sacramento, CA region. After finding that the recommended ebay shipping service wanted about $3000 to ship the truck I found a broker recommended by someone on a Mog mailing list who would ship the truck for $1100 on a semi-trailer.
Lesson 1: There is a lot of variability in the cost of shipping. Shop around and listen to the community.

The former owner (perhaps wisely) made clear in the offer that he did not want to be involved in shipping. I saw an equipment trailer in the ebay photo and I deluded myself that the truck could be loaded by driving it onto the equipment trailer and from there onto the semi.
Lesson 2: Do not assume that because the owner has equipment available that he is ready, willing and able to help.

This problem was further compounded by the fact that the former owner did not provide a contact phone number to the broker on my first request. Deadlock; the broker couldn't schedule the pickup until I sent the former owner an urgent message begging for his phone number.
Lesson 3: If you sense hesitancy or delay on the part of the seller, get right on it to clear up any misunderstandings.

Lesson 4: Do not assume the person at the other end of the transaction has the same priorities you have.

I immediately assumed the problem could be solved by using a loading dock and eventually found one within a few miles that a plating company owner generously offered as long as it was loaded after working hours. However, when I asked the mog owner if he could drive it, he balked because he was leaving on a vacation. After thrashing about and calling several businesses that seemed to be in the transportation business, I found a farm repair service near the owner (he lives in a fairly remote area) that would move the truck to their location and hold it for loading onto the semi. The farm service loading dock allowed the Mog to be driven onto the 48 inch high semi. $158 added cost.
Lesson 5: You may have to do more than you anticipated to ship your Mog.

Belatedly realizing that loading and unloading can be a big stumbling block and that I have a tendency to assume too much cooperation, I looked around my rural neighborhood for a possible unloading ramp. The local airport next to my home harvested some trees a few years back and left big berms to block motorcycle traffic along some access routes. The best berm was about 3 feet high and about 30 degrees on both sides but that did not seem steep enough to make a smooth transition to the semi. I decided to expand my search. I eventually met a total stranger with a heavy equipment trailer with a 3 foot high bed who volunteered to unload the truck. He is enthusiastic about the Mog and is an expert in forestry.
Lesson 6: Help is out there but it may take all day to find it.

The truck driver called the evening before the delivery and I asked how long his rig was so I could determine the best spot to unload. He told me it was a 70 foot rig. I recalled the road to my place restricted access to about 52 feet and I advised him there could be a problem. He said he thought he could handle it and would arrive at my loacation around midnight and would sleep in the truck till morning and we could unload it then. It didn't feel right but I said nothing. The driver got to the length restricted segment at about 1 in the morning and called me to say he can't make it! The other way to my area is also limited plus it is about 70 additional miles. So how am I going to find a place to unload the Unimog in the before morning? What to do?
Lesson 7: Don't assume the truck driver listens to you or has thought through the route. If you know a possible hazard, make it clear to the broker so they can schedule in the right truck.

I had an old car dragged off last year and I discussed with the owner-operator at the time how the trucks used to haul junk vehicles were getting pretty big. So I called a towing service at 1 AM. I was pleasantly surprised that the service answered and that the owner said he could pick the truck and would arrive at 6AM. Whew, so far, so good but $180 additional cost.

The truck arrived at about 9AM. The rare, hard to find FIBREGLASS CONVERTIBLE TOP and the HOOD are both missing! Gulp. What happened? Who is to blame?

The local truck driver said that they both were missing when he loaded the truck. I called the tractor repair service that loaded the truck in Illinois and they confirmed that both the top and hood were on the truck when shipped. So I call the driver on his cell. He only remembers the hood being on and didn't notice a top. But after pressing him, he said he had to stop after about 30 miles enroute and tape the doors to the roll bar because he saw them flapping in the strong 40mph cross-winds he was experiencing. He said he was running about 80mph so I guess the Mog thought that a 90mph breeze was a little too much for it and shed its top. When asked about insurance, he said it wasn't his responsibility if something fell off my truck. Unknown cost.

Lesson 7: Don't assume anyone will take pains to protect your goods in transit. If you don't make sure they are protected by asking that they be protected in every conceivable way, bad things can and will happen.
---

I let the Transportation Departments in Illinois and Iowa know that if they find my parts along highways 92, 88 and 80 near the state borders I would be most pleased if they would contact me. However, I have little hope of finding my lost parts. I wonder if a reward would help and how much is reasonable to offer. I wouldn't want to offer a reward that is close to the replacement value but I don't yet know what that might be.

In spite of all the extra expense, I am still jazzed about my Mog. But seven lessons is about all I can afford for the time being. I think I will ponder my next moves for a bit.

Oh, and if anyone knows where to get a replacement convertible top and hood for a 406, please let me know.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Unimog_404.113_1970
Joined
·
178 Posts
Hi, and welcome to the forum!

I´m a newbie myself, and this forum seems to one of the more populated ones! More users is nice!

Sorry to hear about your bad experiences with the transport of your Mog ...[:(]
I hope you get your top and hood back!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Ouch! The loss of the top is rough. Sounds like a fine German fiberglass top is in a bunch of little pieces on the side of the road. The hood was obviously not locked shut. Who know with the top. FYI, I have hauled my 406 softtop at 70 with no problems. Everything just has to be secured.
 

·
Registered
1975 Case 406
Joined
·
136 Posts
welcome I am also new , have almost completed my project mog 406, and hope to see many more get started and completed, has been fun for me , and not all that hard one I finilly did start , hope you have fun ,any help I can give you just ask
Kendall McCulloch
Newbe mogger
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Hi and welcome Kool! I found it difficult to read your post because it brought back memories of my nightmarish mog purchase/shipping experience. I paid in the upper parameters for an excellent 406. Booked a shipper ahead of the sale so I knew the cost. Shipper comes 3 weeks late and dispite being told the size and weight says to the seller " I can't put that thing on my trailer, it will break my truck". He drives off and I start over, more money this time. New shipper gets truck and goes 300 miles of the 2000 and calls to let me know that he burned up an axle and that my truck is in an impounding lot. I periodically call over the next 2 months each time hoping that the next excuse will be the last. You know how you can get yourself slipped a little at a time ("the the impossible to get replacement axle came,but wrong size"). I actually suspect he was hoping I would get pissed enough to call in another shipper so he wouldn't have to route back to the mog.

Well eventually it was on its way with the ETA Saturday 6PM, driver calls with delay (blowout) and many calls later it arrives in the middle of the worst road flooding rain storm we have had it years. He says I had to get a bigger trailer and we can't deliver it to your lot so it had to go off on a public street at 3 AM Sunday morning.

I had checked previously with my insurance agent and he said there was no reason to insure it until I took the delivery, this of course is to my property.

So the driver gets his money and is gone. I step up to get into the mog and the handle rips off. I get into this truck never having even seen a Mog before no insurance and no registration no functioning cab light. I reach for the wipers and they go up and down 2 times and seize. I go for the defroster and it starts up screaming. I get it into 1st and check the brakes good, thank you Lord. I press my face close to the windshield and I can see a little. Get back outside and notice that the auxilliary lights are not working and one of the reflectors in the drive lamp is almost gone. So I get back into the truck and my inner voice tells me"you go slow and you will make it". So I start off and not fully understanding the lock out, I can't get it into the drive gears, while I wasn't muscleing the lever I was applying enough force to overcome what could be a sticky shifter, SsnAP!!!! the lever is swinging from my hand and it might seem funny now, but I wasn't laughing. I give up, and go to plan B, call the police and tell them my situation and they will let me get it after the storm passes. Then I will weld a sleeve onto the shaft and get it home. "NO unregistered vehicles on public streets" so I call a 24 hour tower he comes and gets the truck half way up and blows a hose. Get another truck and it is finally home.

I finally get to see the thing in the light and give it and overall evaluation. It was a disapointment to see what was supposed to be an excellent truck in only fair to good condition. It is amazing how good a vehicle can be made to look in photos with a cheap paint job! It even came complete with cracked tires and shot battery!

I called the previous owner and now of course the 2 1/2 month delay became an issue as well as the what the driver may have done to it. So I have what I have and at least the major things seem good.

Well the saga didn't end there, there was a digit in the VIN wrong that took 2 more months to clear. It still isn't on the road.

By the way, I repaired the shift lever and upon inspection it had been stress cracked over a period of time. My guess is that these get shipped and moved and driven by a lot of unfamiliar people and this might be common. So I would inspect the shifter for cracks about 2" up. Might save a break off in the boonies.

Anyway, we will have some great trucks when we get them sorted out!
 

·
Registered
1973 416 Doka, 1978 416 Doka, 1980 416 Doka..... Help me, I can't stop buying them!!!
Joined
·
2,621 Posts
WOW!!![:0] I can't believe the problems you guys had in getting your mogs!! I must have gotten lucky! Mine was in Ohio (only about 300 miles away) After I drove out to look at it and paid cash right there on the spot! I arranged for a flat bed near me to pick it up a few days later. He had no problems loading it up and only charged me $335.00 for everything!!!!!! The driver said it took him all of less than 8 hours total. So I guess I was lucky! Here is a photo of my mog on the flatbed when It got to my house last April.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Kool,
Quite a set of unfortunate events and vexations.
Have often been constantly bemused by the rates some try to apply when shipping specialty vehicles.
Something to be said for just driving the Mogs from source to its new home. In general they're (if a good one) pretty reliable. Plus it makes for a good chance to grow accustomed to blocking traffic, and appreciating the country...as it passes by so very slowly.
Ran my 404s from Colorado to near the Canadian border with no real problems. Just have to watch some areas known for provincial police, a European truck tends to collect untoward attention by some of that contingent.
 

·
Registered
'76 406.145 Doka tug
Joined
·
289 Posts
wow, /shudder at horror stories. The worst for me was waiting for a forien dirt inspection and possible customs-cost pressure washing.
and wow, nice winch [8)]
 

·
Registered
87 300gd, 84 mog 406
Joined
·
57 Posts
I bought a 79 mb4/94 a couple of years back with a rod through the block I bought it for the plow, loader,snowblower and case backhoe. When I arrived to pick it up with a large gooseneck trailer with ramps the truck had the large schmidt pto snowcutter on the front and the case backhoe in the "transport" position on the case deck. Couldn't raise the blower with no motor, so we removed it with a forklift and loaded it on the trailer. The hydraulic lines had been rigid plumbed in so we had to disconnect them and lost pressure in the hydraulic system. Pushed the mog and backhoe up the ramp with a loader and tie it down. Drove home about 400 mls. and decide to pull it backward down the ramp with a winch and use the e-brake to keep things under control. I'm in the drivers seat and I'm starting down the ramp when the backhoe falls backwards out of the stow cradle (which has a locking mechanism that I did not check) hits bottom and flops sidways ( picture fred flintstone at the drive-in ) this is quite a ride we got susspension bouncing every which way and torque tubes sliding down ramps where are those video cameras when you need them. Can't say I really know what all happened, but we made it to terra firma on all four wheels and without damage to me or the truck. The guy operating the winch said it was the damndest thing he ever saw. Anyway the reason it happened is because the hydraulics weren't pressurized and I did not think to check the cradle lock a real newbe mistake. These are big heavy and potentially hazardous machines, I'm glad my wake up call ended so well. Take care , Chris
 

·
Registered
1975 Unimog 406
Joined
·
87 Posts
Hi Everyone,

I got my 406 about 16 months ago and I was very lucky on the picking up and freight. A friend lived near the owner and had good business contacts with custom truck drivers/haulers. It was brought across the Canadian to USA border with no problems and delivered to my shop in unbelievable time. The shipping distance was 1900 miles and all I could do was wait nervously. Unloading was hairy since I used a dirt burm with ramps and rail road ties. I was very fortunate to say the least. Ted
 

Attachments

G

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
I guess I am somewhat new also. I didn’t have too many problems getting my mogs home but I had a hell of a time finding them and looking at them. I got my mogs from my boss who is a millionaire about a 100 times over. In fact he used the mogs for his hunting camp that was underwater for about 4 months out of the year. Oh and if you didn’t know I am from Louisiana so when it rains it floods. Anyway if you look in the background you can see how we got up there. All at no cost to me.

now one of the great things about this location is that I got to give them one hell of a test drive.

and if I got stuck one of the dozers was going to pull me out.


Bring them home was when it got tricky in fact I was delayed about 2 months before I could even get a truck up their to pick them up. Gotta love the rain!!!!! When I did get a truck up there I made sure I was along for the ride. And the pics are as follows. The funny thing was that they sat for so long before I could get the truck up there that the carbs clogged up from the bad fuel. Glad I got a truck with a 40,000lbs winch.




this one is after we ate at Wendy’s

and home safe


only cost me $500 and it was about a 300 miles one way.
Let me know if you want the truckers name he is a great guy to work with.
 

·
Registered
Sold .....1987 U1250 Unimog
Joined
·
1,005 Posts
I guess I am somewhat new also. I didn’t have too many problems getting my mogs home but I had a hell of a time finding them and looking at them. I got my mogs from my boss who is a millionaire about a 100 times over. In fact he used the mogs for his hunting camp that was underwater for about 4 months out of the year. Oh and if you didn’t know I am from Louisiana so when it rains it floods. Anyway if you look in the background you can see how we got up there. All at no cost to me.

now one of the great things about this location is that I got to give them one hell of a test drive.

and if I got stuck one of the dozers was going to pull me out.


Bring them home was when it got tricky in fact I was delayed about 2 months before I could even get a truck up their to pick them up. Gotta love the rain!!!!! When I did get a truck up there I made sure I was along for the ride. And the pics are as follows. The funny thing was that they sat for so long before I could get the truck up there that the carbs clogged up from the bad fuel. Glad I got a truck with a 40,000lbs winch.




this one is after we ate at Wendy’s

and home safe


only cost me $500 and it was about a 300 miles one way.
Let me know if you want the truckers name he is a great guy to work with.
I would love to have the truck drivers info....

daivd Ashley
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top