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With MAN safely over rough terrain

 

The rough mountain paths that lead though plateau region of Asiago in Northern Italy aren’t easy terrain for a truck. Yet entrepreneur Daniele Dalla Palma regularly transports heavy loads on these routes on behalf of his timber forwarding company – and relies on vehicles from MAN to do this.

Truck during a timber transport
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Entrepreneur Daniele Dalla Palma with his MAN TGS 28.510. The truck has only been in his possession for a few months, but it is already his absolute favorite.

It’s a sunny, almost cloudless late summer’s day on the plateau region of Asiago in Northern Italy. Here, at around 1,000 metres above sea level, there is a mixture of dense pine forests and lush meadows. There are hardly any surfaced roads away from the villages. Instead, there are narrow, bumpy roads with sharp bends and steep inclinations that snake their way through the mountains. A challenge for almost any car driver, but especially for truck drivers. Nothing but routine for Daniele Dalla Palma: every day the 43-year-old owner of Dalla Palma Legnami Company, a timber merchant, safely steers his MAN TGS 28.510 through this demanding terrain. In the region’s extensive forests, he loads tree trunks that his company has acquired at timber auctions, and then transports them to his customers throughout Northern Italy and Austria. “I cover an average of around 60,000 kilometres a year”, states Dalla Palma, who a few years ago took over his father’s family business based in the picturesque village of Enego.

Two trucks in deployment

The loading and transportation of tree trunks that are up to 12 metres long is a difficult and dangerous business. The vehicles that are deployed need to be efficient, reliable and 100 per cent safe. That’s why Daniel Dalla Palma relies on MAN. His fleet consists of an older MAN TGS and the new MAN TGS 28.510, which he’s using today. “I haven’t had her for long, but she’s already my absolute favourite”, says Dalla Palma and laughs. Why is revealed during deployment in the middle of the forest. Just off the path between the pines, there’s a huge pile of tree trunks stored ready for Dalla Palma. He now has to securely load these onto his timber semi-trailer.

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 Daniele Dalla Palma introduces himself The MAN TGS 28.510 and the HiVision operating system are a real asset for his business.

Loading timber as if in a video game

“I’d usually have to get out, walk to my crane, climb aboard it and start loading”, explains Dalla Palma. Instead he remains seated in his TGS 28.510 and puts on a black visor that’s reminiscent of a VR headset. Then he grabs the joysticks that are attached to each armrest of the driver's seat – and uses them to load the individual trunks onto the trailer of his truck. How does that work? “The visor is connected to four cameras attached to the crane”, says Dalla Palma as he lifts the next heavy trunk over the loading area. “That gives me a field of view of 270 degrees horizontally and 180 degrees vertically. I use the joysticks to operate the crane and get a warning if the load ever gets out of balance. It all feels a bit like a video game.” HiVision is the name of the highly modern operating system that is installed in the MAN TGS 28.510 and makes Dalla Palma’s work a lot easier. “The fact that I don’t need to leave the driver's compartment for loading saves a lot of time and is a lot more comfortable for me.” The cab is after all equipped with air conditioning for hot summer days and a heater for when it is cold in winter. But this modern system also scores highly in terms of safety. Because clambering into the cab of the crane in muddy and icy winter conditions can be a dangerous undertaking. That’s when it’s especially beneficial that Dalla Palma can simply remain seated in the cab of his truck to load his tree trunks.

Long-term trust

It’s not just the HiVision operating system for the timber crane that makes Dalla Palma so enthusiastic about his new truck. “MAN ensured that all my wishes were met straight from the factory”, he acclaims. That extends from the manual 16-stage gearbox to the LED lighting to the parking brake on all axles. In addition to this are the salt spreader on the second drive axle and the reinforced chassis. “My job here regularly involves me manoeuvring over difficult, uneven terrain, so I need to have total trust in my vehicle”, explains Dalla Palma as he steers his fully laden truck through the mountains. “That’s why I decided for MAN.” And he’s been doing that for the last 20 years. He bought his first vehicle from MAN in 2001, the F2000. His new favourite, the TGS 28.510, is now the fifth MAN truck that Dalla Palma can call his own. And he’s almost certain that others will follow.

Text   Katrin Brahner
Photos   MAN

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