Log (partial) of Mog's life with us.


Monday, September 19, 2005

Some friends called, and wanted a hand building a small retaining wall in their back yard. They didn't have a truck, but had a pallet of blocks ordered. We obliged with the Dodge pickup, which brought the blocks home nicely. (It hardly even noticed the load.) Unloading, however, looked to be painful. There was no way to get into their back yard with the truck, which would mean carrying a lot of blocks by hand, and further than would be appreciated.

Instead, I drove the truck home (not far) and used the Mog's crane to pick up the entire pallet of blocks and put it into the Mog's bed. Then I drove the Mog to the side of their fenced yard (there's an access path) and craned the whole pallet over the fence and into the yard, fairly near the work site. Cool! (I had done this before for a coworker, so I knew it would work.)

I doubt it was any faster than just hauling blocks by hand, but it was way cooler, and a whole lot less work. It also offered great entertainment value for the kids. (Us, too!)

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

First day of the second set of concrete steps. See here.

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Second day of the second set of concrete steps. See here.

Saturday, October 8, 2005

Third (and final) day of the second set of concrete steps. See here.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Tried to start it using a propane torch instead of my usual heat gun, and ran the battery down. It was too easy, I'll probably need another battery soon. I put the charger on it overnight. (It lives on a battery tender, so that is not the problem.)

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Used the heat gun this time, and it started right up. OK, there's a lesson there. I used the crane to move the 190D parts car up next to where I'm going to do the transmission swap into the 190D. But the crane's control valves had frozen up and I had to use a propane torch to thaw them first. I've obviously got water in the hydraulic system. Great, more work!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Picked up four Jersey barriers (more like retaining wall blocks) with the Unimog crane. Two in my pickup truck, two in the Mog's bed. They're 2.5'×2'×6' each, rather heavy. We calculated something like 4500# each. The neighbor who I got to drive the pickup is a Chevy gasser man, but he was impressed with the Dodge's ability to haul more than ass. The blocks' former owner thought the whole crane process was kind of cool. Hey, it is!

I had to pick up a 3-day trip permit for this as the Mog's license had expired some time ago. $24, but I got the guy with the blocks to give me $20 to make his problem go away. (He was going to split the $80 license fee with me, but that didn't work out 'cause it'd only be good for a couple of weeks if I licensed it right now.)

Unfortunately I noticed that the RF axle is leaking oil down onto the tire. Not good. I hosed it off with brake cleaner before the trip. The LR tire is also looking rather aged. Sigh. The neighbor also reported that the right-side lights weren't working. Earlier this year I'd backed that light into a tree. I found and glued back together most of the lens, and I'd tested the lights at that time, but obviously something's not quite right yet.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

A friend called, and said that he'd scored a used 6 kW UPS from work, and that he'd trade me the 3 kW he'd already gotten from there in exchange for my help with the crane to bring home the new units. (Think small file cabinets, one filled with car batteries.) No problem, says I, if I can get it going! Hard to start in the winter, and the hydraulics have been freezing up. Obviously there's water in the system.

Anyway, I get it all going and go off to meet him at his work (and my former place of employ). The Mog was making weird intermittent crunching noises, for which I couldn't see any cause, and it even started pulling to the side a bit. I'm trepidatious, but had made a commitment and decided to finish the job, though slowly. We got the units loaded (easily, the crane didn't even seem to notice the weight of the battery cabinet). On the way to the guy's house he noticed that my noisy wheel had a camber problem. (Much easier to see when you're watching the thing drive than when just looking at it statically.)

Great, that explains a lot. The oil leak at the axle must be because the wheel bearing is shot and has allowed the axle to chew up the seal. The noise is explained as well. I wonder how long it's been like this, and what it'll cost to repair? I kept the speeds very low on this trip, and it made it home in apparently no worse condition than when it left. But it's grounded now, for sure.

Oh, and the booty? A FerrUPS FE3.1KVA, and a Powerware CAB-N battery cabinet, supposedly filled with 8 8-month-old 75 AH sealed batteries. (I haven't looked.) The new price for this gear is something like $5000, though the big capacitor may be going out on the UPS as its power quality is suspect. Its former owner has saltwater aquaria, and needs reliable backup power. The 6 kW unit (with a 12-battery cabinet) should run his entire house through the night, during the days he can replenish with his 20 kW Ford/Onan genset.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Saw this ad. in Craig's List:
Military dump trailer. Pintle tow, heavy duty. 40's vintage? 6×9 foot bed, 16 inch sidewalls, hydraulics all work but needs a motor. This trailer is full of bricks and dirt and ugly!!!!! No title, not stolen (bought from a family friend). Lights and brakes?? Air in tires and towable is all I can tell you. That's why it's $300.00 o.b.o. and not thousands. Thank you. Call James for questions please. 208-691-3526
Very interesting! I've been wanting a military-style trailer to go on the Mog since I got it, but I'm not willing to pay a lot for something I don't really need. Will mull it over.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The trailer ad. was still there and so I called. Trailer is still for sale. Drove over to see it late in the afternoon. Yes, it's rough. Bought the trailer, $200. It would have been sold already except that it wasn't empty. (More later.) While I was standing there looking it over he dropped the price just to get it out of there. I brought it home on the end of the Chevy pickup with a rented ($6) pintle hitch stinger.

Very heavy, it was full of rocks, bricks, concrete, wet dirt, etc. It wagged the truck pretty good but we drove slowly and there was no real problem until I got to the hill to our house where it started to slip and lose ground going up the hill. I think as the not inconsiderable weight rocked back it tended to lift the rear of the truck off the ground. I grabbed 4wd and no difference. Oh yeah, manual hubs. Forgot about that... Brakes wouldn't hold it, we were rolling on gravel BB's by then.

We shot off the road backwards down a steep incline, the truck stopped with one wheel still on the road. The trailer popped its latch and the bed was straight up in the air. That load of crap was dumped all over the place. Miraculously it seemed that there was no damage to anything, we'd even missed the big trees. A ball hitch would have been ruined, this pintle didn't even notice. My 5yo son and I walked the rest of the way home. Dejected, embarrassed, etc.

After a lot of angst and messing around a neighbor came by and we decided to try to just pull it all straight up and back out. (Now that it was all unloaded.) I chained the Mog to the truck, and we put the Chevy in 4wd low. The neighbor piloted it and I the Mog, which I put in 4wd and locked the differentials. It just walked it right out of there, didn't even slip.

After all that I think I'm going to keep the trailer! Looks like crap, but if it isn't even dented (more) by a trip like this it is just the kind of thing I need.

We were lucky. I just hope that neighbor isn't too upset at the load of rubble I inadvertently dumped there. Sure don't want to pack it out one bucket at a time! Will at least police the worst of the junk, like the broken lawn furniture. But first I have to find a spot to park the trailer so I can return the pintle hitch.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

I looked things over, and nothing seems to be damaged. Wild. Anyway, I knocked off that nasty wooden rack that was hacked into the stake pockets. It immediately started to look better. Then I backed it up to a likely dump site and ran an extension cord to it. I chucked my 1/2" drill on it and let her rip. Nothing. The dump valve has three positions, and the drill has two directions. I eventually found one combination that lifted it. As advertised it went right up, then I released the ratty tailgate and out went the remainder of the rubble. I used a shovel to scrape out the residue, I don't want any dirt trapping moisture for rust to grow. I had a good look while it was up, and while the undercarriage is very rusty the metal is also very thick and I don't think it has even begun to be compromised. The dump mechanism is interesting, and really does look like it might be from the forties, it has that molded look. It has a three-position valve with a linkage on it, and two PTO type square shafts sticking out of it, much like an old gear-driven house jack my grandfather had. One spins faster than the other, the shaft is hooked to the faster one. It's a completely self-contained unit, I see no practical means to hook the Mog's hydraulics to it. I think the PO's idea of hooking a starter motor and battery box to it is a decent one. Anyway, yanking the valve handle brought it right back down. The dump bed dropped right back into proper place, it doesn't look like it was racked any. The rear crossmember is all bent up, but I happen to know it was already that way when I bought it. The (heavy) 'spare', the other wheel from one side's dualie pair, is flat. I could tell that when I dropped it out of the truck. It 'squashed' rather than bouncing. I put it on edge under the trailer so it won't deteriorate any further.

The hydraulic line from the brake drums is cut off up near the tongue and is very rusty. Looks like it's never been part of this particular trailer's gear. I hate to think what I'll find if I opened the drums up! Another project, of course. The trailer has a differential, so it's definitely homebrew of some sort.

I chocked the wheels with some of the rubble, then I got my other winch-based camper jack out (one is on the boat trailer's tongue) and used it to lift the trailer off the pintle hitch. No problem. I drove away and the truck felt normal to me. I parked everything back where it belongs. The trailer is actually pretty well balanced when empty, I can lift the tongue fairly easily by hand. I set the tongue down on a cinder block.

So it cost me an extra $6 to keep the pintle hitch a second day, I think that so far the cost of my stupidity has been pretty low.

For some reason the front metal panel of the bed has been cut away. There was some nasty 2×6 wood and metal strapping in its place. Open like that, as the bed level is well above the tongue, I suppose it's possible to carry some very long material in the bed. The trailer needs some serious love with the welder to be nice again, and a heavy sandblast and painting session. Don't know when/if I will ever get to it, but it's not going to get much worse waiting. It would probably be best if I could put a hinged front panel on it like the tailgate. (Which itself needs some repair.) Someday!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

From the mailing list:
...I saw your military trailer [picture] and just wanted to let you know that what you have is very probably the back end of an old Chevy 1.5 ton dump/cargo truck of the G506 chassis series, in particular the G7106. The beds on those were about 9' by 6'.
I [attached] two pictures. The first truck has 2 extra side angle supports and the second just has the 3 straight supports. Oddly enough the bed at 6×9 feet is the same size as the newer (since some time in the 50's) single axle military 1.5 ton trailers. I have one of those on which I changed the pintle eye to a standard 2" ball surge brake setup. Even with 5,000 lbs of sand in it you can't tell it's back there when braking. I tow it with a Chevy 3/4 ton van with 6.5 diesel engine.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

When I was last at the U-Pull I'd found an interesting homemade winch/capstan thingy in the bed of the truck I took the Chevy windshield from. It was an electric motor hooked by rubber coupler to a worm-drive gearbox, in turn driving (through a U-joint) a reel that looked like it was a car wheel. I thought about it, and if it can be used at all to couple a gas motor to the dump bed mechanism it should be worth the $7 it cost to get.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The LF tire was very low, so I pumped it up. That tire will be ruined before I can get the axle fixed, for sure.

Monday, January 12, 2009

On our belated Christmas visitation run I decided to call on a Unimog Schmidt snowblower that was advertised for sale on craiglist, since we would be in the area with the (sort-of) empty truck. The ad. had been pointed out to me some days before, and I thought we might have some extra time. It was listed on January 3.
Schmidt Snow Blower for Unimog 404, U500 or other models. Good condition, single stage PTO driven. Hydraulic chute controls, used very little, still has paint on the drums. $5,000.00 O.B.O.
I'm not always in cell phone range so leave a message!


It turned out that the guy lived some distance out of Vancouver (where we were at the time), so going to see it today was impractical. But we chatted on the phone about it for awhile, he'd had a couple of other calls from Spokane (where it was also listed, besides locally), but nobody else had come to see it. I made a provisional offer of $3500 on it, based on the pictures and conversations with him and my brother. He accepted, we are to make the transfer tomorrow. I stopped by the bank today to get the funds, because tomorrow would be tight time-wise. This could be cool! Though it lacks the front mounting plate that should be a solvable problem. Even if it doesn't work out (too big, too small, not enough horsepower, not a low enough forward gear, lack of a two-stage clutch, inability to mount correctly, etc.) I should be able to turn it over and not lose anything. Easier in Spokane than in Washougal, anyhow.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

On our way back home out the Gorge we went to see the blower. It's a good thing he met us halfway up the the road and led us back home, it was some six miles more back up in the hills on forestry service roads, etc. Very bumpy and slow, the kind of thing to make one think of Deliverance and/or "To hell with this" halfway up. Also quite picturesque, we saw a bobcat on the driveway. (They see about three a year, so we were fortunate.) They live off-grid in the hills, and had bought a 2003 Unimog and a Schmidt snowblower for it, along with a spare snowblower. (The Mog was on warrantee, but the blowers certainly weren't.) While they did really like the Mog as a truck, it was a lot of money tied up and the blower wasn't working out well for them: it was too big and ungainly to clear their driveway well. (Tight corners and such.) They sold the Mog and its attached blower, and were still stuck with the spare, which had never come off its pallet. He paid about $5000 for it originally, and had it shipped from Penn-Hazle in Pennsylvania. Supposedly it had run when put on its pallet about four years ago, but it's been sitting outside since. It'll need some work now.

Anyway, it looked good (enough) to gamble on, so I bought it. We used his trackhoe to load it into my truck. That took awhile. We'd not come prepared with tiedowns and such, but he threw in a bunch he had so we could secure the blower. It fills the truck bed, so the (disconnected) chute had to be strapped onto the top of the blower. Then we were left with getting all of our crap, which had filled half the bed in the first place, tucked into the corners and/or wedged into the cab. Somehow we managed. There was also an in-cab electrical control box that went with it, he was able to find that. That's good too. No manual, nor even a discernable model number on it.

We left, slowly, and took it easy. The chute shifted once, and we popped a strap, but I stopped after the road got a little better to re-tightened everything and it never moved again the entire trip home. It's actually lighter than the camper, so it wasn't really hard driving. We got a number of interested looks on the trip!

Curious about the availablity of other Mogs to complete my stable, a few days ago I had enquired of Classic Unimogs, the people from whom I'd bought this one:

Hello, A few years ago I purchased the Hiab 950 crane mog from you, the one that needed paint. I've enjoyed it so far, though it is sick right now with a dead front wheel bearing. Or worse. Anyway, if it should turn out to be necessary, are front axles (or whatever would be appropriate if the gear housing/assembly was ruined) available? If so, how much? Would shipping be stupid expensive, or could it ride over in the bed of the next Mog to go to Tacoma? It's been broken awhile now, I could wait longer if I had to.

Other questions: We've had a really bad snow winter this year, and last. Do you get those snowblower Mogs come your way? If so, how much? Ditto on the front loader/backhoe combinations I've seen. My perfect Mog collection, besides having mine, includes these other two. (OK, and maybe a little 411 softtop job...)

I'd better quit before I get too silly here.


The reply to my query came today:
Sorry to hear that your Unimog is sidelined. What exactly is the problem? Maybe we can help there. Honestly, the prices of Unimogs have skyrocketed over the years. The clean ones with low kilometers and hours have become hard to find. Of the "classic" Unimogs there is just a lot of junk left, or you pay premium prices. The ones ones with the back hoe/front loader you can almost forget. Folks like them because they were hardly used in the military (and well maintained). We sold our last one (with the back hoe removed) for 18,000 Euro. We could not get another one at that price. There are probably only a few left in the military and when they are auctioned off, bidding wars drive up the prices. We had 5 or 6 of them over the last few years, but I do not know if we can get any more like it. There are a few around in private hands, and if they were to sell, they will probably cost upwards of 23,000 – 25,000 Euro.

The clean snow blower Unimogs—with the Panorama cabs—are also from the military and the last one we bid on also went sky high. My recommendation would be to fix your Unimog. I cannot remember if yours has hydraulics, but you could temporarily remove the crane and put a plow on the front. There are Schmidt plows in the US.

Best Regards,

Ziggy and Lisa
Classic Unimogs
Internet: www.classicunimogs.com
E-mail: sales@classicunimogs.com

Tel.: +49 6894 9906367
Fax: +49 6894 9906368
Mobil: +49 175 7730731

OK then, fix it it is! (I was going to, certainly.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I measured the throat of the blower, it's 7'4", which should be good enough.

More pictures:

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The large shipping crate (aka 'playhouse') I got from work Thursday was glaring balefully at me from the car trailer, so it was time to unload it. I got the Mog fired up, though it needed jump-starting from the boat-battery-at-large, but that went well. (I had to manually prime it and use the heat gun shooting down the snout, both normal for a winter start. I also had to remove a mouse nest from under the hood, and empty the cab of dead and dormant wasps.) This is the first time it's run since April of last year. Shameful, really. Anyway, it still moves under its own power, at least a little, so I ran it over to the work site and deployed the crane. No problems, though getting the extension loose from the boom was a bit difficult, either due to rust or perhaps ice. Anyway, two tow straps looped around opposite corners of the crate allowed me to lift it up and swing it over to its new home. There was a large rock sticking out of the ground just down the hillside, so I got some other 'one-man' rocks, two cinder blocks, and a piece of 2×4 to make a pier for one end of the crate. The other end rests on the snowy ground. The crate is roughly level. In spring I'll bed it properly so that it's level and sturdy, but for now it should be fine. There are still four boxed microwave antennas (also discards) inside, which should keep Daniel from playing in it too much.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Not one, but two offers today from the Unimog Exchange wanted ad. I placed for a Schmidt mounting system. (We won't count the ludicrous scam attempt that came in immediately.) The one that's surely what I want is $1000 for all.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I ordered new taillight lenses, a thermostat, and two battery box rubber handles from Jim Ince at Eurotech Services. We also chatted about the Schmidt plate kit (he suggested that the $1k was a good price) and my problems in the front end. It could be anything, from king pins to portal gears. A new big portal gear is $600, let's hope that isn't it! They'll fix such things there, but they [in central Oregon] are a bit out of the way.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Schmidt mounting system has been sold, and not to me. I guess I keep looking.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

It's ridiculous, but after nearly four months I finally unloaded the snowblower from the truck today. I got the neighbors to help, it's nice to have an extra set of hands or two to guide the big loads so they don't bang into things. I set the snowblower up top oriented so that I can mount it if/when I ever get the parts I need.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I received a serious (?) offer on my Mog, from England! The man runs a tree service, and wanted my Mog because of the stout (rare) crane. He basically offered $21,000 and I did think about it, for my wife's sake, but I just don't want to be Mog-less. (Though I really need to get that axle fixed.) And besides, then what would I do with that big-ass snowblower?

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