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Making a MAN to suit the customer

 

MAN vehicles form the basis for a wide range of conceivable tasks. Many customers earn their living with custom vehicle designs, which is why the body and the MAN chassis must fit perfectly and the chassis features must meet industry requirements.

Every sector has its own demands and needs – in vehicle fleets too, a concrete mixer or timber transporter are just two examples. MAN understands its customers’ businesses and works closely with body manufacturers. That’s why requirements from industries and their body manufacturers are already fed into development and hence into the configuration of MAN trucks.

For the fire service, road maintenance, construction or agriculture, trucks have very different tasks to fulfil. That’s why it is important that the chassis suits the typical body used by that industry, forming a single perfect unit. Only then can a customer work efficiently and successfully with their MAN.

Many versions are available directly from the factory. More specialist modifications are carried out by MAN Individual at the Truck Modification Center, or by qualified specialists. The same applies for small order quantities that cannot be easily integrated into the assembly line cycle.

In-depth expertise

MAN helps its customers to choose a chassis, provides advice on everything surrounding the manufacture of a vehicle optimised for their industry and also provides contacts with body manufacturers. The company acts as a 360-degree interface between market demands, body manufacturers and the MAN development department through its “Body Builder Management” department. Their in-depth industry knowledge and expertise enables our industry advisers to work together with body manufacturers to provide market-oriented  solutions that meet customer requirements perfectly.

Their expertise lies not only in development support and practical knowledge, but also in their detailed knowledge of the possibilities of MAN vehicles. Questions such as “What does this sector need?” or “Which vehicle is the right one for which purpose?” right down to “How must the drivetrain be designed for the body to work?” are answered right from the start and the right solutions are developed to suit the sector.

Thanks to their excellent knowledge of the industry, MAN experts know how chassis and bodywork form a perfect unit.

Michael Makowsky
Head of Application and Body Builder Management

Varied configuration options

By way of example, let’s take a look at agriculture as one of the sectors looked after by the department. This is a growing market for MAN, because transport routes between farm, field and storage silo are becoming ever longer. MAN trucks can handle these routes efficiently, increasingly replacing tractors. Trucks such as the MAN TGS 4x4 agricultural truck score highly here, with a high payload, low fuel consumption and high cruising speeds. The industry-specific equipment on an agricultural truck like this is quite special: all-wheel drive, fifth wheel and trailer couplings, load-sensing hydraulic system and wide agricultural tyres to protect the soil are all helpful here.

The tractor unit is fitted with permanent all-wheel drive out of the factory. Modifications such as special camera systems and light bars on the cab roof can be carried out by MAN Individual at the MAN Truck Modification Center. To ensure that the all-wheel drive tractor unit meets additional industry requirements, specialists such as external qualified conversion supplier Toni Maurer are called in. For combined use both on and off the roads, this tractor unit has been fitted with special agricultural tyres. Further equipment options here include special hydraulic systems and operator terminals with joystick controls in the driver’s cab. The benefit of MAN’s industry competence for the customer is that: everything is delivered complete and everything fits together perfectly. They no longer need to worry about all the different partners and technical interfaces themselves.

Agricultural truck on the road.
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Higher reputation: On rural roads, the acceptance of other road users towards an agricultural truck is significantly higher than that of tractors with excess width, as trucks present a familiar image in the road scene.

Suitable for year-round use

To achieve the high operating times for a vehicle as specialised as the MAN TGS 4x4 agricultural truck shown here, the expertise and skills of the specialists at MAN are key, right from the vehicle configuration stage. That’s the only way to guarantee that a specialist vehicle can fulfil a wide range of transport tasks all year round, from harvest to wintertime. As a result, the business can achieve a significantly better cost-benefit ratio with a specialist tractor unit at the end of the day. Increasing demand at MAN for custom vehicle concepts such as the agricultural truck shows that MAN recognises its customers’ needs and implements them successfully.

Text   Alexander Kuhlig
Photos   Richard Kienberger/Lothar Reichel

#Truck#CustomerService#Agriculture#TGS
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