MAN Truck & Bus, one of the heavy truck divisions of the Volkswagen Group, has taken its TGE range of vans and chassis cabs to new heights with the addition of 5.5 tonne models, reports Dan Gilkes. The TGE line-up is now offered at 3.0-4.0 tonnes with front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, and at 3.5-5.5 tonnes with rear-wheel drive. Those rear-drive models can be had with single or twin rear wheels, to suit varying applications.
While all TGE vans are powered by VW’s 2.0-litre diesel engine, there are some differences relating to driveline configuration. The front-drive TGEs come with 102hp, 140hp and 177hp, while the 4×4 models are limited to the 140hp and 177hp engines. Rear-drive vans and chassis are available with 140hp and 177hp at 3.5-tonnes, while the 5.0 and 5.5 tonne models have a dedicated 122hp engine, or the range-topping 177hp diesel. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, though the 140hp and 177hp models can also be ordered with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
MAN claims that its mix of panel van and chassis cab is more heavily biased towards the latter than parent company VW’s Crafter. Indeed 21% of TGE production is single cab chassis, with a further 9% using the double cab chassis. As with all manufacturers, MAN can offer pre-bodied popular models, with 27% of its chassis converted within the factory. The remaining 73% go to approved body builders after leaving the site.
However, to make life easier for customers, dealers and converters, MAN operates a web-based Body Builder Portal, providing all necessary data, electronic interface and build information. This system has been available to truck buyers for some years, with the TGE range being added to the system earlier this year.
Externally, there is little to differentiate the 5.5-tonne TGE from its lighter stablemates. In tipper format it rides fairly high, even when fully laden, but other than the badge on the front wing its looks much like any other TGE. This will no doubt be part of the attraction for some customers, particularly those working in confined urban operations where a larger truck chassis would be unwelcome. Much like Iveco’s 7.2-tonne Daily, the big TGE provides a friendly van face to the general public, rather than looking like a big truck on urban roads.
Even with the sturdy steel three-way Meiller tipper body that is supplied in Germany, the 5.5-tonne TGE offers more than 2.5-tonnes of payload. Yet, even fully laden, the big TGE drives much like a van. Powered by the range-topping 177hp engine, there is plenty of power available to get things moving, though the truck is of course limited to 56mph and drivers will require a tacho card to use on UK roads.
Riding on twin rear wheels the TGE retains its light steering, controlled suspension and reassuring brake system, making it an easy vehicle to drive in town, on country roads and even on the motorway.
Engine upgrade on trucks
Should you require a slightly bigger vehicle, MAN has introduced new Euro VI-d engines to its TGL and TGM truck models. The TGL and TGM use MAN’s latest D08 engine, which meets Euro VI-d emissions standards through the use of Selective Catalytic reduction (SCR), but without needing Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR). Available in four and six-cylinder variants, the D08 engine comes with an intelligent alternator management system and lower ancillary power requirements, to reduce the amount of energy taken from the engine.
MAN’s 7.5-12 tonne TGL line-up is available with both the four- and six-cylinder versions of the engine, driving through a six-speed automated TipMatic transmission. The four-cylinder motor can be had with 160, 190 or 220hp, while the six-cylinder engine delivers 250hp in the TGL.
The heavier TGM range, which runs from 12-26 tonnes, is only powered by the six-cylinder engine, offering 250hp, 290hp or 320hp. All power ratings drive through a 12-speed TipMatic transmission. Service intervals have been extended on the D08, from 12 months on the previous engine to 18 months, further reducing operating costs.