MAN TGS 32.420 – Tipper truck review

Will Shiers
April 9, 2023

 Jump to: In the cab, Highlights, Specifications

Looking for a competent all-rounder for your tipper fleet? Take a leaf out of this operator’s book and invest in an MAN TGS 8-legger.

It’s with a huge amount ofguilt that we climb aboard RG & ME Street & Son’s new 19-plate MAN tipper. The beautiful, Wilcox Wilcolite-bodied TGS 32.420 has yet to be delivered to the customer, and we’re sitting in the driver’s seat with half of Moreton C Cullimore’s quarry on the soles of our boots!We have to confess to feeling slightly less concerned upon discovering that it’s up to MAN’s PR man Simon Wood to ensure that the truck is spotless again prior to the customer handover. In fact, picturing him tackling the underbody with his toothbrush, we make a mental note to test the truck’s wading capability later in the day.

The 8x4 TGS has been specified with an LX High Roof cab. It’s a twin sleeper, with the main bunk behind the seats and a foldaway hammock above it. Although still comparatively rare on a tipper, these cabs are growing in popularity, as an increasing number of operators moving aggregates and asphalt find themselves working further from home. Looking around the spacious cab, we don’t think any driver would mind doing a few nights out in this. Underbunk storage is good, and there is a pair of generously proportioned lockers above the windscreen. Instead of cramming in a small third locker on the nearside, MAN has fitted a storage net. This is where many drivers choose to mount a TV.

In the cab:

The interior’s overall ambience is fantastic, and we like the dashboard’s light, airy colours. That said, we aren’t sure the dark cloth seats work. They certainly look smart enough, but we would prefer a wipe-clean surface in a tipper. There’s no lowest-bidder plastics anywhere in this interior, and everything looks and feels incredibly well screwed together.

We’re big fans of the large, multifunction steering wheel, and find the dials and switchgear to be very clear, and on the whole, sensibly positioned. One exception, however, is the handbrake, which is located on the floor behind the driver’s left hip. Isn’t it about time this was relocated on the dashboard, and perhaps replaced with an electronic version?

Unladen tippers are never particularly comfortable, and the TGS is no exception. In fact, as we venture out of the quarry in search of a load, we keep our mouths firmly closed from fear of losing a filling or two! But things change completely with the best part of 20 tonnes of gravel in the Wilcox body, and the ride is totally transformed. Before we head out onto the public roads, we try out MAN’s steering brake, which used to be a £350 option but now comes as standard. Pressing a dash-mounted switch deploys the clever, but extremely simple, feature. With the system activated, the double-drive-axle wheels on the inside of a bend are braked. The amount of pressure sent to the drive-axle brake chambers is dependent on how far the steering wheel is turned. With the drive-axle wheels locked, the turning circle is shortened. It’s a similar principle to the independent brakes on an agricultural tractor. Seeing as the inside drive-axle tyres are effectively skidding, the system should only be deployed on loose surfaces, hence us having a play off-road.

Back on the road, we are hugely impressed by the 420hp D26 engine. On one incline the rev-counter falls to almost 900rpm, but just as we’re about to make a manual gear change, the engine digs in. There is a sudden swell of torque, and it powers up the hill. This low-revving style helps to create an unflustered and relaxing driving experience.

Full marks for TipMatic too, MAN’s version of ZF’s TraXon two-pedal transmission. It’s more intuitive than ever before and does exactly what your right foot tells it to do. We try to confuse it, but fail miserably every time. On one occasion, we brake heavily and unexpectedly on the approach to a roundabout to avoid an indecisive Volvo driver. But within a split second of being back on the gas, TipMatic has worked out what we are doing and has selected the appropriate gear.

When did you last drive an MAN? If it was a while ago, we strongly recommend that you get back behind the wheel.

We have always liked driving MANs, but in recent years our enthusiasm has grown. And we aren’t the only ones, as MAN’s UK market share is finally going in the right direction.

Everything about this truck just feels right. It’s a sensible, grown-up, choice – the thinking man’s tipper. But if you are contemplating adding a TGS 8-legger to your fleet, now’s the time to act. We know MAN will be launching a completely new range of trucks early next year, so presumably this super tipper will be replaced.

In our opinion RG & ME Street & Son made the right choice. We just hope it arrived spotlessly clean...

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About the Author

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Will Shiers

Will has been the editor of Commercial Motor magazine since 2011 and is the UK jury member of the International Truck of the Year.

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