The WF trac is the current version of a tractor originally known as MB trac and developed by Mercedes-Benz which was based on their Unimog platform. It was built by Mercedes-Benz between the years 1973 and 1991. At its time its design and concept was revolutionary, featuring four identical wheels, high road speeds and powerful engines.
Some offshoots have been manufactured since Mercedes-Benz left the agricultural business - several companies incorporated the technology in their own products. Production and development of the whole product continues as WF Trac at Werner Forst- und Industrietechnik (Werner foresting and industrial technology) in Trier, Germany.
The Unimog was quite successful, except as originally intended as an agricultural platform. Daimler-Benz produced a new vehicle in 1972, the MB-trac, to be more oriented to larger scale mechanical farming. The new tractor crossed the Unimog technology of all-wheel drive and a power transmission to four large equal-sized wheels, with the appearance of a tractor: slim hood, behind it an angular, highly rising driver cab. In contrast to conventional tractors, the cab is situated between the axles, similar to large "four wheel drive" wheel loader - however, the steering is realized not by an articulated front and rear, but with a normal steerable front axle.
From the initial MB-trac 65 and MB-trac 70 (later MB-trac 700), a broad platform developed to the heavy duty MB-trac 1500 within a few years, culminating in the MB-trac 1800 intercooler shortly before production ceased. The MB-trac was reasonably successful on the market, though it did not meet the high expectations Mercedes-Benz had set on it. Daimler-Benz later merged the MB-trac with the agricultural machinery activities of Deutz AG. The manufacturing of the MB-trac series ended in 1991, when the production line was taken over by the Werner company. 41,000 vehicles were produced of the original MB-trac, 30,000 of which are still in service today.
Shunting vehicle MB Trac by UCA Belgium
In Belgium, the company UCA had started converting MB-trac and WF-trac machines for rail shunting purposes in 1981.