The humble 6×2 rigid is enjoying something of a renaissance. Here, we put MAN’s latest TGS 26.360 rigid 6×2 drawbar to the test
By Steev Hayes
Photography Steev Hayes
The licence – and indeed driving test – changes have altered the road transport scene considerably. There are still many car licence holders who took their driving test before 1997 and those still have the entitlement to drive vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes. But those taking their tests after that date would need to take an LGV test to drive them. Of course, with the changes in truck licence categories, there are basically just two tests and two truck licence entitlements – rigid and artic.
Les Bishop is product marketing manager at MAN Truck & Bus and said there have been a number of significant changes in the truck market, possibly due to the introduction of the new licence category legislation, but also linked to the need for more payload and greater efficiencies in transport operations. “The figures we have between 2004- 2013 show the 4×2 market over 15-tonnes is slightly down, although has remained fairly static for some time, while the three-axle 6×2 market has grown and the 6×4 market has declined. However, the market for 8×4 chassis has been up and down during that period, but since 2009 has grown overall and is now basically back where it was.”
A lot of 6×4 chassis were used by operators hauling aggregates, and many of those have now turned to eight-wheeler chassis. Bishop added: “The 7.5-tonner market is still significant, but has declined, but the numbers haven’t transferred into the heavier truck sector. Most companies which previously used 7.5-tonners seem to have turned to using large vans (these go up to 3.5 tonnes gvw).
“Figures for the 6×2 market show that sector has doubled in the period from 2004-2013 and the reasons for that could be two-fold; it could be linked to the greater payload efficiencies over 4x2s, because costs are of the two are roughly on a par, but a 6×2 rear-steer for example offers greater manoeuvrability. Residual values are also better.”
Read the rest of this feature in the September 2014 issue of Trucking. Buy the magazine here