Spe­cial on hy­dro­static front-wheel drive

The Witness - Wheels - - TRANSPORT -

MAN has launched a web-spe­cial on the truck­ing com­pany’s unique front-wheel drive trucks last week.

Called Hy­droDrive, the sys­tem drives the front axles us­ing a hy­dro­static mo­tor on each wheel.

MAN said it was the first “to bridge a gap in the mar­ket for those cus­tomers who drive largely on roads, but in some sit­u­a­tions re­quire ad­di­tional trac­tion from the front axle with­out hav­ing to pur­chase an all-wheel drive truck” when it launched the sys­tem 10 years ago.

These cus­tomers in­clude refuse col­lec­tors, con­struc­tion ve­hi­cles, fire ser­vice ve­hi­cles and fuel tankers.

A hy­draulic pump drive the hy­dro­static mo­tors with pres­sure of up to 420 bar. The drive can be en­gaged by sim­ply turn­ing a ro­tary switch, both while driv­ing and un­der load — the driver can thus master gra­di­ents safely with­out hav­ing to stop.

The ad­di­tional trac­tion is also avail­able in re­verse and when coast­ing. This in­creases the brake out­put of the con­tin­u­ous brak­ing sys­tems and sig­nif­i­cantly im­proves the ve­hi­cle’s ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity on slip­pery sur­faces and there­fore driv­ing safety, be it for 4x4 or 8x6 driv­e­trains.

The sys­tem also scores well on two main ben­e­fits for body man­u­fac­tur­ers in­volved, for ex­am­ple, with set­ting up tip­per bod­ies on the Hy­droDrive chas­sis. No com­po­nents pro­trude be­yond the up­per edge of the frame and a large se­lec­tion of power take-offs are avail­able.

— Wheels Re­porter.

PHOTO: QUICK­PIC

The type of slip­pery and nar­row work ar­eas in which MAN’s Hy­droDrive drives the front wheels to best ef­fect.

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