A good showing by MAN
Witnessing a beautiful, early sunrise was a symbol of things to come at Truck Test 2017 for MAN Truck & Bus South Africa. The whole experience – from sunrise to the especially sunny results of its TGS 26.480 EfficientLine – was one to remember
“One highlight that stands out was experiencing the early sunrise shortly after the start from the comfort of our vehicles. Compared to driving a car, you can really savour such a moment over a cup of coffee at a slower speed and elevated position,” explains Dean Temlett, head of business solutions and training at MAN Truck & Bus SA.
For the MAN team, the whole event was memorable; especially the “butterflies” that come with trying to navigate the infamous Van Reenen’s Pass with a laden vehicle safely.
“It’s also something special to witness and experience the effectiveness of MAN’s auxiliary braking systems, which can safely maintain those descent speeds without the need for the foundation brakes,” Temlett adds, referring specifically to the MAN Pritarder fitted to the TGX 26.540 6×4 BLS XLX Euro 5 and the intarder fitted to the TGS 26.480 6×4 BLS LX EfficientLine.
“The MAN Pritarder has received particularly good feedback from drivers, who can exploit its auxiliary braking power independently of the vehicle speed. The additional torque and power of this model is also reported by drivers to assist them in maintaining more momentum for longer periods on hills with fewer gear changes. This improves trip turnaround times and fuel consumption on topographically challenging routes,” he explains.
MAN’s primary entrant for Truck Test 2017, the TGS 26.480 6×4 BLS LX EfficientLine, was always expected to “come out tops on fuel consumption”.
“We are absolutely delighted with the performance of this model – with a fuel consumption of 46,3 l/
100 km it really did show our prowess on the day. It also exceeded the theoretical simulated result for the unit by 14 percent!” says Dave van Graan, head of special sales projects, with delight.
“Both of the MAN vehicles produced good results, and the 480 proved to be the optimal transport solution on the day. Both units can be selected as the right truck for the job when hauling close to 55-t gross combination mass on an undulating route…It is particularly pleasing to see such great results, despite numerous challenges such as roadworks, slow-moving traffic, inspections by traffic officials and other unplanned interruptions en route,” Temlett adds.
During Truck Test 2017 this was certainly the case. “We knew the TGX would have a faster turnaround time and average speed, while sacrificing some fuel efficiency.” However, a quick look at the results table on page 14 confirms that the TGX performed admirably.
“The TGX may not have been the best performer in this specific test, however it will certainly come into its own on a different long-haul route with potentially tougher overall topographies that demand faster turnaround times and average speeds, as well as during stricter trip-utilisation applications,” Van Graan notes.
The men both praise the route as a “challenging, yet meaningful test for both man and machine”.
“The N3 is notorious the world over. Not only does one experience vastly differing topography, you have significantly differing altitudes. These factors combine with naturally occurring influencers on vehicle performance, such as ambient temperatures and wind,” Temlett says.
Van Graan adds that the MAN team is pleased that the organisers of Truck Test 2017 did everything in their power to rule out as many variables as possible on the day.
“In our opinion, Truck Test 2017 was one of the most well-organised, well-run, well-audited and transparent tests to date. The format was normalised in such a way that the two main variables influencing the results were the vehicle and driver,” he explains.
“Our performance in the test demonstrates the ideal marriage of man and machine when combining our vehicles with the MAN ProfiDrive professional driver training, which optimises the overall performance of our trucks,” Temlett elaborates.
“Truck Test is an opportunity to verify our theoretical simulation calculations and then demonstrate practically how our products stack up in real-world operation. We are happy to confirm that the MAN vehicles can produce in practice what they do in simulated desktop exercises.
“The added bonus is to see how similar vehicles from our competition stack up to our own. We are delighted that the specification enhancements made to the TGS 26.480 6×4 BLS EfficientLine will enable our customers to buy confidently and realise the operational results that this vehicle brings,” says Van Graan.
Regardless of the results, for team MAN, Truck Test 2017 was a resounding success.
“We function in a small, yet vitally important industry with great people who work tirelessly to enhance the experience that our customers have with us as suppliers, and who also try very hard to improve the overall quality of our industry through collective engagement of cross-functional experts.
“We are proud to be part of it all!” Van Graan concludes.