MAN TGS 32.420 – Tipper truck review

man-tgs-32.420

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’snew 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.

Highlights

  • Well-appointed and comfortable twin sleeper cab.
  • Improved turning circle thanks to steering brake.
  • Clean and uncluttered dials and switchgear.
  • Low-revving engine leads to relaxed driving style.
  • TipMatic is quick, precise and difficult to confuse.

(Back to top)

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.

Vehicle specifications

  • Make - MAN
  • Model - TGS 32.420 8x4 BB
  • Chassis layout - 8x4
  • Cab type (as tested) - LX high-roof sleeper
  • Cab floor height from ground - 1,410mm
  • First step height - 470mm
  • Engine - MAN D26, 12.4-litre
  • Power - 414hp at 1,800rpm
  • Torque - 2,100Nm at 930-1,350rpm
  • Transmission - MAN TipMatic 12 26 DDwith Profi and rock-free software
  • Body manufacturer and type - Wilcox Wilcolite
  • Tipping gear - Edbro CX15 front end
  • Sheeting system - Wilcox Dawbarn
  • Weighing system - VPG On-board PM 1155
  • Kerb weight* - 9,197kg
  • Net body / payload allowance - 22,803kg
  • Fuel / AdBlue tanks** - 300/35 litres
  • Steering turns - 4.5
  • Turning circle - 21m (19.6m with steering brake)
  • Noise – tickover - 52.8dB(A)

*basic chassis with day or extended day cab, no driver, empty tanks **as tested

(Back to top)

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.

Visually the TGS may not have changed a whole lot over the years, but under the skin the transformation has been immense.

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...

(Back to top)

  • You can find MAN at Tip-Ex Tank-Ex 2019 from 30 May - 1 July on stand M1.

DAF CF 450 FAD - Tipper truck review

daf-cf-450-fad

Jump to: In the cab, Highlights, Specifications

This DAF CF 8-legger is that rare beast, finding approval from operator and driver, and it ticks the environmental boxes too.

It’s not often you find an 8-legger that appeals to both gaffer and driver in equal measure, but that’s exactly what this DAF CF 450 FAD does.

“We wanted to make it as light as possible, while still appealing to the driver,” explains DAF’s UK product marketing manager James Turner, who specced it for the truck maker’s demonstration fleet. In other words, despite weighing just 11,750kg, absolutely no compromises have been made in terms of driver comfort, with all of the weight-saving measures taking place at the business end of the truck.

Turner opted for an Aliweld insulated aluminium body for the first time, but it’s unlikely to be the last. “We’ve been impressed with the level of service given, but also the quality of the product,” he says. The body is deep, compensating for the additional length of the sleeper cab, and matching the height of the cab in order to aid aerodynamics.

The truck is equipped with the 11-litre MX-11 engine, at its highest 450hp rating. This represents a 200kg saving over its 13-litre sibling. Other weight-saving measures include the fitting of Alcoa Dura-Brights, shod with lightweight Continental tyres. There are discs all round, and a 340-litre aluminium fuel tank. Turner could have saved even more weight with a 220-litre tank, but reckoned this would have been annoying for drivers.

In the cab:

A growing number of aggregate tipper customers are working further afield, hence the low-roof Sleeper Cab fitted to this truck. There’s plenty of space for a few nights away, with more-than adequate underbunk storage. The bed itself is a good size, with an impressively thick mattress.

The interior is finished in brown – or “cognac” to use its posh name. It’s a great colour for a tipper, helping to hide the mud that we inadvertently bring in with us. The seats are leather, which might sound like overkill for a tipper, but are in fact well suited to this type of work. They’re easy to wipe clean

We are impressed with the top-of-therange Xtra driver’s seat. In addition to being supremely comfortable, it’s heated and ventilated too.

The truck has a decent infotainment system, with built-in sat-nav. Although we choose to pair our phone by Bluetooth, it’s also possible to insert a SIM card into the truck instead. This is proving increasingly popular these days as a growing number of hauliers forbid drivers from carrying their mobile phones in the cab.

We are big fans of the latest generation of DAF CF. It’s such a comfortable, familiar, driver-friendly place to be, and even running unladen from Moreton C Cullimore’s Ashton Keynes site to a nearby quarry to collect a load, the ride is surprisingly good.

Relocating the speed controls to the steering wheel was a great move on DAF’s behalf, as it means drivers no longer need to take their eyes off the road. Instead of engaging the cruise control, we opt for the speed limiter, setting it at 45mph with a 5mph overrun. These days the limiter works in conjunction with Eco Roll, whereas in the previous generation it would only engage when cruise control was activated.

Highlights

  • Equal amounts of driver and operator appeal.
  • ZF TraXon is an improvement over its predecessor.
  • Comfortable and well specced new generation cab.
  • Xtra driver’s seat is comfortable and easy to clean.
  • Steering wheel-mounted controls are a welcome addition.

(Back to top)

The truck is running on HVO biodiesel (hydrotreated vegetable oil). It’s been produced from vegetable fats and oils, and is a clean-burning, more environmentally friendly version of diesel that requires no modifications to the engine. Despite having lower well-to-wheel CO2 emissions than natural gas, and with today’s mix of power generation, electric too, unfortunately the fuel doesn’t benefit from a duty reduction. And despite cutting NOX and particulate emissions it won’t enable your pre-Euro-6 to avoid charges in the ULEZ and CAZs either. So, your reward for using it is purely environmental, and not financial.

Waiting to be loaded we turn off the engine, and try out the rest heat function instead. This pumps otherwise wasted warm air from the engine into the cab, and costs nothing to run. While we are sitting there DAF’s demo driver Mandy Wannerton shows us the optional tyre pressure monitoring system fitted to our truck. Blow-outs in tippers caused by under-inflated tyres are a big issue, so spotting potential problems can help lower running costs and improve safety.

Vehicle specifications

  • Make - DAF
  • Model - CF 450 FAD
  • Chassis layout - 8x4
  • Cab type (as tested) - Low-roof sleeper
  • Cab floor height from ground - 1,385mm
  • First step height - 440mm
  • Engine - Paccar MX11, 10.8-litre
  • Power - 443hp at 1,600rpm
  • Torque (Nm at rpm) - 2,200Nm at 900- 1,400rpm, (2,300Nm at 900-1,125rpm top gear only)
  • Transmission - ZF TraXon 12-speed with off-road software
  • Body manufacturer and type - Aliweld asphalt with 60/40 Autosplit tailgate, five camera recording system
  • Tipping gear - Edbro CX15 front end
  • Sheeting system - Dawbarn SS3
  • Weighing system - VPG On-board PM 1155
  • Kerb weight* - 8,823kg
  • Net body/ payload allowance - 23,177kg
  • Fuel / AdBlue tanks** - 340/45 litres
  • Steering turns - 5.5
  • Turning circle - 20.65m
  • Noise – tickover - 46.7dB(A)

*basic chassis with day or extended day cab, no driver, empty tanks **as tested

(Back to top)

Much to the shovel operator’s surprise, we are able to take 20 tonnes of gravel. Fully loaded the truck behaves impeccably, pulling exceptionally well for an 11-litre engine. It actually has the same level of torque as the previous generation 13-litre 460. The cab is impressively quiet, and we have to keep glancing down to confirm that we are really travelling at 50mph at 900rpm. These days you have to use your eyes, and not your ears, to drive a DAF CF.

Some 85% of DAF tippers are specified with the two-pedal TraXon gearbox, and we can understand why. It’s faultless both on- and off-road, and we only interfere in order to take a gear on the approach to a roundabout, ensuring that the engine brake keeps the rev-counter in the blue band. For those who want it, a 16-speed manual is available, but there is no cost saving by specifying it.

Whether you are operating it or driving it, in this specification the DAF CF makes an awful lot of sense.

(Back to top)

  • You can find DAF at Tip-Ex Tank-Ex 2019 from 30 May - 1 July on stand MC16.