MAN of the Match

With backing by the Penske Commercial Vehicle Division, MAN’s new van may well be featuring on your PUD fleet

The Volkswagen Heavy Commercial Vehicle Group, under the leadership of ex-Mercedes-Benz chief Andreas Renschler, is currently flexing its corporate biceps through the purchase of a major share in the US-based Navistar corporation, manufacturers of International Trucks. The benefits offer efficiency gains that arise from opening up a supply chain availability that includes engines, transmissions and technology together with an entry into the high-volume North American market.

With Mr. Renschler having an oversight across the team players in the group that includes MAN Truck and Bus, Scania Truck and Bus and divisions of VW such as the Brazilian operation that produces the Constellation heavy truck range, there’s a strong likelihood that activity will also develop down the light commercial vehicle spectrum to include vans in the mix, and what better place is there to start than with the all-new MAN TGE?

During a recent whistle stop visit to Australia for the launch of the MAN D38 heavy truck range, Delivery Magazine was able to interview Roger Penske who confirmed that the MAN organisation in Australia was actively looking to introduce the TGE, although no date for its launch had yet been confirmed.

So, as the rollout of the new MAN TGE gets the green light for Europe, Delivery has been taking a deep interest in how the Australian public will once again accept a light commercial with the MAN badge on the front grille.

The public debut for the MAN TGE took place at this year’s IAA Show in Hanover, competing in the traditional category of light commercial vehicles with a gross weight rating between 3.0 and 5.5 tonnes.

The TGE will in future be MAN’s primary solution for everyday light transport tasks in the transport and haulage sector, with two wheelbases, three roof heights and three vehicle lengths on offer. Chassis configurations include closed van models, vans with windows as well as open single and crew-cab variants.

Diesel engine options range from 75 to 130 kW in power output, all based on a 2.0-litre four-cylinder using a single turbo for 75 kW, 90 kW or 103 kW and moving to a bi-turbo for the 130 kW version. Transmission options are between a six-speed manual and an eight-speed torque converter automatic, and drive systems vary between front-wheel and rear-wheel-drive plus all-wheel-drive.

The TGE panel van is available with a normal roof, high roof or super-high roof across wheelbases of 3640 mm and 4490 mm offering internal floor to roof height dimensions of 1726 mm, 1961 mm and 2189 mm. With the largest version also available with an extended overhang, overall lengths range from 5986 mm to 7391 mm. A commuter bus version is available in similar configuration but excluding the super-high-roof version.

Similarly, in chassis/cab configuration there’s a wide range of options including single and dual-cab alternatives.

 

From a driver and passenger safety perspective the MAN TGE has all bases covered, offering Emergency Brake Assist, Rear Traffic Assist, Park Steering Assist, Side Wall Protection Assist, Active Lane Assist and Trailer Assist. Although park assist systems are available with passenger cars, Delivery believes this is the first application of such a system in a commercial vehicle.

In addition to its varied range of standard vehicles, MAN also presented three vehicle body solutions for applications in construction and the service sector, working closely in collaboration with MAN-certified body manufacturers.

Parallel to the numerous body solutions on display in Hanover, MAN has also developed the new sales module ‘Vans to Go’ for the van sector. The concept involves bespoke industry vehicles fitted with MAN-certified bodies and attachments available for ‘instant sale’. The underlying idea is that since the vehicle is readily available, the customer can immediately fulfil their original order (48 hours from receipt of the order to delivery of the product). In addition, the customer no longer has to undertake time-consuming configurations for additional options.

These industry vehicles ensure that all the equipment features required for immediate deployment are already built in as standard, meaning that only a small amount of customisation is required by the trader on-site or at the depot.

The ‘Vans to Go’ vehicles will be marketed almost Europe-wide via a dedicated internet platform. Another advantage is that MAN will also be taking over the servicing of the relevant body structures and offering financing facilities for complete vehicles.

Demonstrating the versatility of the MAN TGE, the IAA display included three body types.

Starting things off was a three-way tipper bodied by Scattolini, which had a loading bed and substructure made entirely of high-strength steel (HSS).

The loading bed can either be tipped backwards or to the side by manually adjusting the pivot. The modular construction of the 400 mm high aluminium drop sides features easily replaceable catches and facilitates repairs. In addition, the rear drop side automatically unlatches during tipping.

The sliding components and internal guides made of reinforced Nylon and Teflon are self-lubricating, thus limiting wear and tear and ensuring a longer lifespan. A ladder rack and cab protection with reinforced fastening holes protects and secures long items and heavy loads. A rear ladder rack can also be included as an optional extra.

Maximum resilience to wear and tear as well as weather conditions is guaranteed by the chrome-plated and lapped pistons of the hydraulic system, which is operated using an analogue push-button panel with a spiral cable. PVC toolboxes with a gravity lock system complete the design.

Using a closed delivery van with a short wheelbase and medium high roof, the Swabian bodybuilder, Zusmarshausen, demonstrated how the load securing systems FlexRack and ProSafe allow for an innovative load-securing concept.

The large cargo compartment of the van, which measures approximately 11.3 cubic metres, contains extremely functional cargo fittings – as they are required by traditional courier, express delivery and parcel services, but which are far from being standard in other vehicles.

The left-hand side of the cargo area hold was fitted out by racking and storage experts, Sortimo, with the company’s latest FlexRack range for systematically storing and correctly securing parcels and other transport goods. FlexRack has a high load-bearing capacity of 120 kilograms per unit. If the racks are not in use during transport, they can be folded away and secured.

The right-hand sidewall was fitted with lashing rails, which allow for fast securing of any other bulky cargo using Sortimo ProSafe lashing straps.

The SoboGrip ProSafe floor is equipped with a range of built-in lashing eyes that can be used with both lashing straps and tie rods.

Thanks to the built-in lashing eyes in the floor, cargo can be optimally positioned and secured in accordance with axle load distribution regulations. Four additional square-shaped tie rods ensure that even large deliveries are always kept well in place.

Based on a six-metre-long panel van with windows, a joint project with the storage system provider Bott resulted in a service vehicle that’s ideal for an operator working off-site.

Inside the walk-in interior of the vehicle, a mini workshop has been installed atop an epoxy-resin-coated, anti-slip floor panel made of nine-ply plywood. Including the additional drawer units, under-floor folding compartments, racks and work surfaces, it provides a usable area of roughly 3.4 square metres.

Fitted with a fold-up access ramp with a load-bearing capacity of 450 kilograms and a workbench top with a rotating vice, this vehicle was designed first and foremost with motorcycle racing in mind.

Completing the equipment are carry cases with numerous compartments for small parts, soft-rubber-trimmed storage trays with specialised brackets, and both open and closed floor compartments with a range of load securing systems for tasks such as transporting replacement parts. Complete with five Led lights, this brightly lit workshop unit weighs in at only 320 kg.

All versions of the MAN TGE will be manufactured in a new manufacturing facility built near Poznan in Poland and shared with Volkswagen, which will be producing the new Crafter on the same production line.

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