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MAN at IAA: feast of trucking technology!

September 12, 2018
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MAN has a treat of trucking innovations in store for visitors to the IAA this month. These are in addition to the bus, coach and van innovations that I reviewed in the last Global Focus column (you’ll find it online).

The undisputed superstar of the trucking line-up at the IAA will be the all-electric MAN eTruck. Based on the TGM, this 6×2 is being delivered to nine Austrian companies right now – and it’s a truly spectacular vehicle.

I drove the vehicle in Berlin recently, at MAN’s pre-IAA press conference, and it astonished me – because it’s so dynamic. Luckily someone told me that it was loaded to 20 t; otherwise I would have falsely reported that the truck that I tested was unloaded. It certainly felt that way; we scampered around Berlin quite effortlessly – and quietly, too, of course.

The 26-t vehicle incorporates batteries that can be installed under the cab and on the side of the frame, providing a range of up to 180 km. An electric motor mounted in the centre of the frame supplies 264 kW of power, transmitting the 3 100 Nm of torque to the drive wheels with no gears.

Designed to handle classic city logistics tasks, the vehicle is suitable for a wide variety of different body applications, from dry freight carrying or refrigerated box vans to refuse-collector units.

MAN will also present its TG series (which has been updated) at the IAA. The interior is all-new; I reported on this late last year. The trucks also boast Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with a Stop-and-Go function to prevent driver fatigue as far as possible on congested roads and in sluggish traffic situations. The ACC works hand in hand with the Emergency Brake Assist (EBA 2) and Lane Guard System (LGS) safety systems.

Interestingly, in Berlin I discovered that truck drivers cannot deactivate EBA anymore (MAN is the only company that’s taken this decision) unless a transport operator actually insists on this – and, let’s face it, who would? I think it’s a brilliant move.

Some truck drivers don’t like the feature and so they have switched it off in the past. Now they won’t be able to do this – and I’m thrilled. The roads will be so much safer as a result (assuming, of course, that they’re populated by MANs). No doubt many will still switch off LGS; I have yet to speak to a driver who likes this feature on any brand of truck.

Speaking of technology and safety, MAN is also launching a camera on the right-hand side of its truck cabs at the IAA. It can be retrofitted to the TGL, TGM, TGS and TGX series. This will help drivers to see what’s happening in the blind spot.

Finally, IAA visitors will most certainly be wowed by a magnificent MAN TGX 18.640 show truck – called the Lion. It boasts a silver XXL cab featuring a beautiful roaring lion on both sides. My favourite feature of the truck is the MAN logo that’s projected onto the ground by the courtesy light.

The interior is quite beautiful and it boasts more beige and black leather than a herd of cattle. Naturally, the leather backrests feature an embroidered lion. The footwell’s stitched leather mats, which are illuminated in blue, look almost too elegant to step on!

The truck is powered by a six-cylinder D38 engine, which generates 477 kW (640 hp) of power and
3 000 Nm of torque. It also features the MAN TipMatic PROFI automated 12-speed gearbox.

I predict that this truck will be surrounded by crowds of people at the IAA; get there early if you want to get up close and personal with the Lion!

My friends call me a glomad (a global nomad lest you don’t get it). That’s a particularly apt word, because I am always trawling all corners of the globe, looking for stories. As a result, I have slept in some seriously strange places – on a bed of ice in the Arctic circle, on the floor in a traditional Japanese hotel, on the sand dunes in the Wadi Rum Desert in Jordan … and even on the floor of a Thai cargo ship. Mostly however I tend to sleep on aircraft (if I had a dog, he would bark at me when I eventually come home). I am passionate about trucks, cars, travel, food, wine, people and hugs – so I write about all these things. Except the hugs.

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