Nine states in 56 days

MAN fights malaria and shows truck bench­marks be­low the Sa­hara

The Witness - Wheels - - TRANSPORT - GE­OFF DU PLESSIS, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, MAN Truck and Bus (SA).

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.

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