Nine states in 56 days
MAN fights malaria and shows truck benchmarks below the Sahara
MAN HAS opened its first dealership with full workshop in Maputo as part of a 13 234 km journey through nine African states for 56 days to promote the new Euro 5 MAN TGX 26.540 6x4 truck tractor.
To prove the outstanding long-haul capability of the TGX, celebrity adventurer and explorer Riaan Manser (trained by Profi Drive) and professional MAN long-haul driver Nduna Chari are driving the truck. Chari drives for Manline based in Mkondeni, Pietermaritzburg, and is an expert on the advanced systems with which new MAN trucks are packed out.
Apart from the new dealer in Mozambique, the pair will also help launch MAN’s first workshops in a container in Lusaka, Zambia and — once back in South Africa — they will set the satnav for the shortest route to be on time for the opening of the new MAN head office in Johannesburg.
But first their truck will transport malaria preventative equipment, such as mosquito nets and other malaria prophylactics, to communities along Africa’s eastern seaboard, from Mozambique to Kenya. This initiative is in partnership with Roll Back Malaria.
An experienced television production crew will film the journey in its entirety, documenting on-road experiences and the many events scheduled on the itinerary. Regular video episodes will show every Tuesday and also be posted on the One MAN Kann Facebook page for public participation, while rolling coverage will be posted on Twitter.
Partnering MAN Truck & Bus (SA) on this journey are Castrol Vecton, VW Commercial Vehicles, who supplied the Amarok support vehicles, and Henred Fruehauf/SA Truck Bodies who provided the trailer.
Managing director of MAN Truck and Bus Geoff du Plessis said the TGX 26.540 6x4 have notched up a string of fuel efficiency benchmarks since its release in Europe in 2008.
“Equipped with leading-edge driveline and cab technologies, the MAN TGX 26.540 EfficientLine will bring proven economy, productivity and safety enhancements to the long-haul truck transport industry operating across sub-equatorial Africa,” he said.
MORE TORQUE, GREATER ECONOMY “Powered by the legendary MAN D26 common-rail diesel engine, the 540 hp/2 500 Nm TGX 26.540 gives long-haul operators an additional 60 hp over MAN’s SA long-haul stalwart, the TGS 26.480 6x4 BLS (LX). With an extra 200 Nm of torque and a Euro 5 emissions rating, the TGX 26.540 BLS uses selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology and AdBlue to lower carbon as well as other toxic emissions, making it a bona fide next-generation long-haul truck-tractor, designed to meet the evermore stringent demands of the local market,” explained Du Plessis.
“Initial testing of the TGX 26.540 BLS in South Africa by MAN ProfiDrive has shown comparable fuel efficiency to current TGS long-haul truck-tractors. An encouraging two-litre per 100 km diesel saving compared to other local truck models was achieved and, thanks to the TGX’s extra power and torque, shorter trip times and therefore, greater productivity were achieved,” added Du Plessis.
Considering southern Africa’s mountainous topography, the ability for a longhaul truck-tractor to safely ascend and descend steep gradients at optimum speeds is a primary purchasing criterion for long-haul operators and the TGX 26.540 boasts a host of driveline technologies that enable benchmark average speeds.
Coupled to the D26 powerplant is a 12-speed MAN Tip Matic automated manual transmission that effectively keeps engine speed at optimum rpm (in the “‘green band”) without the driver having to manually change gears.
The aerodynamic design of the TGX Efficient Line cab (fitted with drag-reducing aerokits), plus a low power-consumption electronically managed compressor (APM) and an energy-efficient EcoLife alternator, bring additional automated fuel savings to the vehicle.
ENHANCED SAFETY “The TGX braking system is the latest incarnation of MAN’s BrakeMatic technology, which includes a hydrodynamic PriTarder that combines an electronically controlled engine valve brake (EVBec) with a Voith Aquatarder. This combination of braking technologies produces an extra 110 kW of braking power over the TGS 26.480 and, by blending and reblending the EVBec with the service brakes, delivers more braking capacity and better engine cooling across a wider speed range. The MAN Pri Tarder is particularly effective at slower speeds, making hill descents safe at 60 km/h under a full load,” said Du Plessis.
Additional standard safety features include a Lane Guard system (LGS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and an emergency stopping signal (ESS), along with EBS, ASR and ESP.
The TGX is also equipped with the roomiest cab ever released in southern Africa, the XLX, which boasts an extra 200 mm of width and full standing height. Extra-wide double bunks and all the latest comfort features, from air-conditioning to a hi-tech media system with Bluetooth functionality, makes the driver’s live comfortable, said Dave van Graan, head of truck sales at MAN Truck and Bus.
Driver training is undertaken by MAN’s proprietary Profi Drive programme that includes modules from “basics” to advanced and specialised applications, said Van Graan.
“An encouraging two-litre per 100 km diesel saving compared to other local truck models was achieved.”
Nduna Chari and Riaan Manser.
PHOTOS: ALWYN VILJOEN
One of the two VW Amaroks that will link the world’s social media to the long journey of MAN’s new truck in Africa.