MAN’s new-generation TGS brings plenty to the table for payload-conscious tipper operators. We take a fully loaded 32.400 with sleeper cab for a good ride around the Cotswolds to see what it has to offer…

In an industry where payload is king, MAN’s new range of TGS tippers have made quite an entrance. With chassis options to suit all requirements, the new cabs are winning favour with operators and drivers alike thanks to their practicality, uprated comfort and improved drivability.

You may recall we tested MAN’s TGS 35.400 a couple of years ago. That truck had a toughened, more durable chassis primarily targeting off-road muckaway or construction work. This issue, MAN offered us the opportunity to try out the TGS 32.400, which is built around a standard chassis and is more geared towards duty cycles that spend more time on the road that off.

Technical overview

Our test truck was a TGS 32.400 8×4 BB CH fitted with MAN’s latest 9.0-litre, six-cylinder inline D15 Euro 6e engine producing 400 bhp and 1800 Nm of torque. This is the top engine in the D15 range, which also comes in 330 or 360 bhp flavours.

Those after a bit more power will need to switch to the bigger (and heavier) 12.4-litre D26, which can offer 430, 470 and 510 bhp.

The cab was a tall TM sleeper version (2.28 m high, 2.24 m wide) fitted with a single bunk (though two are possible). Other options for TGS are the shorter TN cab, or shorter still NN day cab.

Transmission was a 12-speed automated TipMatic. All the manufacturer’s eight-wheelers are loaded with an Offroad shifting strategy for site work and a Manoeuvre Mode for low-speed crawling.

A rock-free function is also included to help get drivers out of trouble. But since we were due to be heading out on the open road, we switched the ’box into Efficiency Mode.

MAN is also now fitting a Turning Brake mode, which basically makes the tipper act like a tank. The idea is you drive slowly forwards, stick on a full steering lock, engage the Turning Brake and the drive axle locks to aid the turn.

It feels a bit like the truck is struggling, but that’s only because it’s dragging the wheels. But the result is a much tighter turning circle which can mean the difference between making a turn or having to shunt.

This TGS chassis had a 3205 mm wheelbase with a rear frame overhang of 800 mm. First and second axle capacity was 7100 kg, while first and second rear axles were rated at 10,500 kg.

Suspension was parabolic three-leaf steel all round. It was running on Alcoa Dura-Bright EVO aluminium wheels wearing Goodyear tyres. A 250-litre aluminium fuel tank and 35-litre plastic AdBlue tank were also fitted.

Capping things off, the truck had tipper bodywork installed by PPG Fabrications.

On the road

Our base of operations for this drive was the quarry at Cullimore Mix Ltd in Ashton Keynes, just north of Swindon. Climbing the three steps into the tall TM cab, it’s easy to adjust the wheel and seat to settle in – we find the driving position in MAN’s new range pretty bang-on in terms of comfort, control and visibility.

Unlike many demo trucks we test, this TGS wasn’t spec’d to unrealistic levels – here we had cloth-covered seats, standard multi-function steering wheel and conventional glass mirrors instead of MAN’s new OptiView digital camera system (which can be spec’d for TGS, TGX, TGL and TGM).

But that’s not to say it’s lacking. This new TGS’s comfortable single bunk had a good-sized fridge underneath, MAN’s latest digital dashboard with Apple Play-compatible infotainment screen and Smart Select control dial, air-con, automatic high-beam LED headlights and an improved sound system with subwoofer.

It also had usable cup-holders, USB charging points and plenty of space in the centre console to tuck away paperwork etc.

It was also loaded with safety features, including ESP, ASR, Lane Guard Assist, reverse warning system and electronic parking brake

Payload advantage

We were running pretty much bang-on to maximum weight. Before loading, the vehicle weighed 11,540 kg empty with driver; and after four big shovel-loads of Type 1 aggregates we were tipping the scales at 31,670 kg, so we were carrying just north of 20 tonnes of material. Very respectable for a tipper with sleeper cab.

Pulling out of Cullimore’s quarry, we worked along a narrow access road on which we had to squeeze past lots of other on-coming tippers. We eventually took the A419 towards Cirencester, then the A429 towards Stow-on-the-Wold and the Cotswords.

TGS’s new mirror clusters are good, with a wide gap between the glass and the A-pillar to open up visibility at junctions. That said, the mirrors are large and still cause a right-side blindspot at roundabouts. We’re looking forward to trying out MAN’s digital versions to see how they compare.

We were surprised to see MAN’s Turn Assist system fitted to this tipper. Perhaps more commonly spec’d on tractor units, Turn Assist (also available for TGX and TGM) uses two radar sensors to detect obstacles within a radius of nearly 180 degrees on the passenger side and illuminates a long orange LED housed on the left-side A-pillar if anything is detected.

The lit part of the bar gets longer the closer the obstacle gets, and finally triggers an audible alarm should proximity become dangerous. It kicks in when speed dips below 17 mph, and it seemed unobtrusive during our test – though in fairness we didn’t do much town driving. It did light up when a cyclist passed on our left though, so it clearly works.

The road didn’t give us much chance to use cruise control, but it did put a couple of very steep hills in our way. The first was a long, gently curved descent into Fossbridge on the A429. The two-stage engine brake went on for the descent, though with 191 kW of braking power it was nowhere near enough to hold us back at 32 tonnes, so service brakes were leaned on as well. At the bottom of the hill, it levels out for a couple of hundred feet before climbing again for a long, steep ascent.

We floored it, engaging full kickdown and the TGS dug in, falling back to sixth for the laboured climb. It was slow going, but fair play to the D15 – we were asking a lot of the 400 bhp motor and it got us to the top without hassle.

The next hill came shortly afterwards, though this one caught us out with a set of red lights at the bottom so we lost momentum for the next immediate climb. But no matter – the TipMatic ’box smoothly brought us up to sixth again for the long slog to the top.

A little further along we took the A40 to Burford, then swung around for the return journey. Aside from encountering the two hills again from the other direction, the rest of the drive was uneventful – but certainly comfortable.

VERDICT

It’s no secret we’re big fans of MAN’s New Generation. At launch, the manufacturer said the range had been redesigned with drivers in mind – and it shows. The cab is comfortable, visibility is good and it’s loaded with little tweaks to make the driver’s life easier. Operators will likely be similarly impressed by the payload potential and keen pricing.

Fully loaded, New TGS gives an easy drive. Sadly, we didn’t get a chance to try out its off-road chops, but on the tarmac it’s handles confidently. The D15 motor makes a nice noise when its digging in – and while the rest of the truck may not be all that exciting, it’s very capable. At the end of the day, that’s what counts, isn’t it?

Likes:

  • Comfortable cab
  • Sprightly D15 motor
  • Great payload potential

Dislikes:

  • Mirror blindspots
  • A bit unexciting

 

SPECIFICATION

  • Model: MAN TGS 32.400 8×4 BB CH tipper
  • Design GVW: 32,000 kg
  • Chassis: 3205 mm wheelbase with 800 mm rear overhang
  • Axles: 1st: 7100 kg capacity, 2nd”: 7100 kg, 3rd: 10,500 kg, 4th: 10,500 kg
  • Engine: MAN D15 R6N, Euro 6 Step E
  • Max power: 400 bhp
  • Max torque: 1800 Nm
  • Gearbox: MAN TipMatic 12-speed automated manual with Offroad mode
  • Additional equipment: TM single sleeper cab, multi-function steering wheel, infotainment system, cruise control, Lane Guard Assist, MAN Turning Brake, MAN Turn Assist, PPG tipping body
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www.kelsey.co.uk

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