Tailor-made for timber
With specific input from clients in the demanding timber industry, MAN Truck & Bus South Africa has developed an innovative, and quite talented, 8×4 vehicle
MAN is a very well-known manufacturer in traction applications, especially in the transportation of timber. The company has now taken its product offering up a level, with the introduction of a level-two Performance Based Standards (PBS)-accredited 8×4 freight carrier.
Geoff du Plessis, managing director at MAN Truck & Bus SA, says: ”The TGS 41.480 8×4 BB has been developed for traction applications, including: timber haulage, construction (as a tipper), mining support operations, support work during construction (as a brick carrier or crane truck, for example), and municipal operations (as a water tanker or compactor)”. Du Plessis further adds: “The process was quite clear when developing the vehicle. MAN is well positioned in the timber industry and we keep in contact with our customers, so when the need for an 8×4 came about, we got involved with the actual operators and jointly developed the specifications”.
“The next step was to get PBS certification because the industry has moved to 8×4 PBS vehicles (there are examples of successful MAN TGS 6×4 vehicles already operating under PBS). As this is a freight carrier with a drawbar trailer, the entire rig (including the trailer) has to be assessed against the standard for PBS certification. The vehicle met all PBS safety standards which, among others include static rollover threshold, rearward amplification and high-speed transient off tracking. In total, the assessment was done against eleven performance measures and the entire combination is certified for the application.”
The vehicle itself features a host of proven MAN technologies, including a high-fuel efficiency MAN driveline. This begins with the 12.4-litre MAN D26 common-rail diesel engine, which is a high-power output unit with corresponding high torque available across a flat torque curve, so the driver can extract more torque at low engine revolutions.
The engine produces an impressive 353 kW of power (at 1 900 r/min) and 2 300 Nm torque (between 1 000 and 1 400 r/min). It is coupled to a ZF 12AS2331OD AStronic gearbox with the MAN Tipmatic gearshift system, specially designed for both on- and off-road applications.
The chassis configuration is designed to match the arduous operation, with extra ground clearance, achieved through the use of hub-reduction axles, optimising traction during off-road applications. Key mass figures are a gross vehicle mass of 42 000 kg, gross combination mass of 90 000 kg, permissible vehicle mass (V) of 33 330 kg and drawing mass (D/T) of 77 760 kg. The overall length of the PBS Smart truck combination is 22 m, with an operating gross combination mass of 69 000 kg.
“Our involvement in the timber industry has been significant over time, and we continue to work with our customers to optimise their operations. Our involvement in the PBS programme has resulted in solutions providing significant improvements in the Total Cost of Operation as well as payload productivity,” explains Du Plessis.
“This segment is not for everyone,” adds Du Plessis. “It’s a specialist segment that needs specialist vehicles, tailor-made to suit customer requirements. We offer a unique customer value proposition and focus on the total cost of ownership, so we are able to deliver on customer expectations.
“With the previous success we’ve had with the 6x4s, 6x6s and now the 8×4 vehicles in the traction environment, we’re in a strong position to approach other customers to expand the application of this product. We continue to look for niche applications, so we can supply the right product for the right application,” he concludes.