MAN Truck & Bus has introduced a completely newly developed truck generation for the first time in 20 years, setting what it says are new standards for – among other things – assistance systems, driver orientation and digital networking, as Export & Freight’s Phil Eaglestone reports
This new MAN ‘Simply My Truck’ generation offers everything which customers and drivers have always valued and expected from their MAN vehicles – only even better, focussing on four core topics: the driver in their work place, the vehicle’s efficiency and its reliable usability, as well as the strong and competent partnership for customers.
The new MAN generation, which includes TGX, TGS, TGM and TGL, covers virtually every sector of the industry – from long-haul and construction to distribution and municipal services – with a choice of no fewer than eight different cabs.
Long-haul and heavy-duty transport are still covered by the new MAN TGX models, recognisable by their wide, long and high cabs. As before, the new MAN TGX features a choice of three engine series offering a range of power outputs: the top-of-the-range MAN D38 developing up to 640 hp; the mid-range MAN D26 from 430 hp to 510 hp; or for light long-haul transport the MAN D15 from 330 to 400 hp.
Alongside classic 4×2 and 6×2 semi-trailer tractors and chassis units, the 6×4 and 8×4 variants are also still available for the TGX, as they are a popular choice.
The new MAN TGS is targeted as before on the heavy-duty construction vehicle, distribution and municipal services sectors. This model series is characterised by narrow cabs, because in typical applications both low unladen weight and good visibility are key.
In terms of power units, MAN offers the TGS with the D26 or D15 engine, covering a broad power range from 330 to 510 hp. The wide range of variants also makes the MAN TGS the king among the lions when it comes to drive configurations. Whether the 4×2 and 6×2 as semitrailer tractors or chassis units, the classic 6×4, 8×2 and 8×4 for a wide variety of sectors, or the specialist all-wheel drive rigs for rough terrain configured as 4×4, 6×6, 8×6 or 8×8.
Light and medium tonnage ranges in the new truck generation are again covered by the MAN TGL and MAN TGM. There is a choice of four new narrow cabs: short, long, high with a bed, and the crew cab. The crew cab is used in the construction industry, by municipal service providers, as well as by emergency services.
With its 4-cylinder version of the D08 engine, the new TGL covers a range from 7.5 to 12 tonnes. If that unit’s 160 to 220 hp power range is not sufficient, the TGL can also be equipped with the 6-cylinder 250 hp D08 engine. The tonnage range of the new MAN TGM takes up where the new MAN TGL stops, extending from 12, 15 and 18 tonnes to 26 tonnes gross vehicle weight.
While the MAN TGL is available exclusively in 4×2 versions, the MAN TGM also offers 6×2, 6×4 and 4×4 wheel configurations, which makes it attractive not only for medium-heavy overland distribution transport and urban logistics but also for many applications in construction, municipal services and fire-fighting.
The cockpit design of the new MAN truck generation is now divided into two levels, which makes reading and operating the controls ideal from an ergonomic point of view. At close hand, all of the operating elements that are required when driving are optimally arranged such that they can be reached comfortably from the driving position. The position of each operating element was adjusted. Overall, the operating elements are now turned significantly more towards the driver than in the previous series, yet without restricting the access to the co-driver’s area and bunk area.
All of the displays that show visual information are positioned slightly further away from the driver. This design helps the eye to adjust the level of sharpness when switching between the view over the cockpit close up and the view over the road further away, which helps information to be perceived more quickly.
One element that MAN has completely redeveloped and repositioned is the operation of the MAN TipMatic gearbox with a stalk switch on the right side of the steering wheel. Thus, both the gear and the driving program of the gearbox are within easy reach and can be selected reliably – right behind the rim of the steering wheel. The new stalk switch also features the operation of the continuous brake.
Furthermore, the switch for operating the new electric parking brake is very close at hand; on the right, next to the main display on the instrument panel. It has been dimensioned in a way that enables it to be operated easily, even with gloves. Operating the parking brake when parking the vehicle, as well as releasing the parking brake when driving off, can be performed automatically under certain conditions.
The new MAN truck generation also features a new MAN EfficientCruise system. This GPS-based assistance system, available for the MAN TGX and TGS series, is an enhancement of the FGR cruise control and ACC adaptive cruise control systems. It determines the current position and driving direction of the truck on a continuous basis and links this information to saved road map data and the route planned on the navigation system. This enables the system to establish the topography of the road and to calculate the optimum speed and gear switching strategy for a manner of driving that is particularly fuel-efficient.
Another noteworthy addition is a newly developed ‘turn assist’ which helps to prevent serious accidents in urban traffic, while a lane change assistant also warns the driver of vehicles in the next lanes.
A lot of consideration and thought went into the design of this new generation, according to MAN, who say that the slogan “Simply my Truck” is much more than that; it is a significant foundation for development. To find out how the ideal work place and living space in a truck should be designed first hand, the MAN developers presented over 700 drivers with different prototype solutions. The feedback from the professionals and their personal wishes went directly into the new series.
Additionally, MAN invited 300 customers from a total of 16 countries to Munich, in order to define the most important requirements for a new vehicle with them in workshops. The developers compared this diverse input with the feedback from the driver interviews, and implemented the resulting core ideas into the numerous innovative features of the new MAN truck generation.
Project in numbers
-12,000,000 working hours were spent as part of the project
-4,000,000 test kilometres driven up to market launch
-2,800,000 lines of software code
-167,000 working hours were put into the new vehicle design
-Around 22,000 new item numbers were integrated into all departments
-3,000 cab colours are available as standard
-2,100 MAN employees were directly involved in the project
-8 cab sizes are available for the new MAN truck genera