Used MAN TGS Tipper: 12 common issues

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As with most modern vehicles, finding problems with MAN TGS tippers isn’t easy, and most of those we did come across have fixes available, so the important thing is to make sure these have been done. These trucks remain reliable for many years, so many issues are only present on examples that are four or five years old, and will have been caught earlier if the vehicles have been dealership-maintained.

Nevertheless, they are worth knowing about, so here’s a rundown of what operators told us they’ve experienced:

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1. Engine

It is possible a few very early TGS trucks were caught up in the widely-publicised problems MAN had with its Euro-5 EGR versions of the D20 and D26 engine, involving the EGR and high-pressure intercoolers. These engines are becoming far more scarce, and those still in circulation should have had any issues resolved, but if you do snap up a long-serving bargain, be aware.

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2. Sideguards

Complaints have been reported that vehicles fitted with FORS-compliant sideguards suffer damage both when being loaded and on entry into places with uneven gateways, such as quarries and building sites.

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3. Transmission

Complaints have been recorded that the TipMatic automated transmission is slow to engage gears at a standstill, leaving drivers stranded when trying to enter roundabouts or junctions. Although this is probably a driver training issue rather than a mechanical one, there have been some reports of gearboxes having been incorrectly set up after clutch replacement or similar work, so it’s worth having the vehicle looked at if this issue is severe.

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4. Air tanks

Instances in earlier models where centrally-mounted air tanks have become detached due to their brackets failing. These should, therefore, have been replaced with new versions – check this has been done.

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5. Hill-hold components

There have been reports of complete failure of hill-hold components. If this occurs, it will mean a full replacement will be needed.

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6. AdBlue

There have been reported problems with AdBlue systems, especially sensor failures and pump blockages.

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7. Fuel prefilter

There have been instances of fuel prefilter heating failure due to scorching on its electrical connection and relay causing damage. There is a fix for this, so check it has been done.

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8. Propshaft

Failures of the propshaft centre bearing have been reported, which tie in with two recalls – one in January 2019 for premature failure of propshaft U-joints, and another in August 2018 after a propshaft fell off a vehicle entirely. Be aware of these issues and be sure the propshaft has been carefully inspected.

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9. Brakes

Some cases of uneven brake wear have been reported. Perhaps check history to see if this has been a problem before purchasing.

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10. Parking brake

A recall was issued in November 2014 because of a manufacturing fault in the manual park brake, which could ultimately lead to cracks, loss of air, and unexpected application of the brake. Check vehicles of this age have had the component replaced.

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11. Steps

Front steps are flimsy and unusually vulnerable to damage, although we’ve heard this is actually a design feature, the idea being that this will avoid damage to more of the overall structure, in a similar way to how crumplezones sacrifice the bonnet of a car to spare the front bulkhead and protect occupants.

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12. Front corner panels

Lower front corner panels are reported to be similarly vulnerable. Look out for trucks that are spec’d with metal bumpers to avoid this problem.

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