From a Post on Benzworld on 6.24.2010
I did a cursory search and did not find a thread on this. There are some valuable lessons and insights that can be learned from the Denio U500 Engine Rollover on July 10, 2016. The accident report has been released, and I think it can be a good learning tool.
The Accident Report can be viewed here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B74...ew?usp=sharing
(I tried to upload here but the file is 21mb)
Please keep posts respectful as 2 firefighters lost their lives in the accident when their U500 blew a tire and did a barrel roll at high speed.
Some of my takeaways:
#1 - Tire Condition is everything. Old tires at high speed in these vehicles is extremely dangerous. What is interesting to me is the number of discussions I have with customers who will argue this point when comparing costs of new tires against 10-15 year old surplus. Surplus tires have their place, especially trucks that are spending time strictly off-road at low speeds. Putting your set of weather checked 10 year old surplus tires on your truck and going down the freeway at 55-60 MPH should be assessed VERY carefully for numerous reasons.
We are currently giving opinion in litigation with an insurance carrier who holds the policy on a Unimog that was imported as a tractor, that was titled and registered for road use, that had tires 17 years old and was involved in a light/moderate accident. Once it is settled I will update with the specifics, but in todays world this IS becoming an issue. (Whats crazy in this situation is that the tires played little role in the accident.......but an keen adjuster is making the case that the tractor was not street legal based upon the importation type, and things such as the age of the tires.)
#2 - U500's and Rollovers. I would HIGHLY suggest those running a stock U500 with Cargo bed think about the implications here. In the case of the Denio rollover, the cab was the tallest point of the vehicle and the seat belt points in the door pillars were disintegrated by the force of the rollover providing no seat belt protection. (even thought the occupants were wearing them.)
I had some discussion last week with true Unimog experts at the Unimog display at Bad Kissengen. It was pointed out that the U500 does NOT meet European Rollover standards without additional ROPS protection installed. The fire body design in this case would not have been approved for road use in Europe as it did not provide the required ROPS protection. Regardless of the legal minutia I'm not so sure that a Fiber Cab with no rollover protection is a good option at freeway speeds.
Food for thought.