MAN Truck & Bus
The thing is too high, damn. The roof height is over four metres – the wheel loader needs to come down again. “We are 30 centimetres too high”, states Florian Brendel and folds up the ruler. The 33-year old lifts the wheel recess covers off the low loader with a colleague. He climbs into the driver's cab, gently steps on the gas and pulls the telescopic extension out of the low loader with the MAN TGX. With the covers back on, the operator Stefan Vogl can now manoeuvre the 18-ton vehicle centimetre by centimetre into the deeper gullies. It fits.
Fold away the access ramps, secure the load – and it's ready to go. Florian steers the vehicle out of the depot with the sonorous noise coming from the 15.2 litre engine.
The manual work and technology must be right when transporting construction vehicles – a speciality at Erdarbeiten Götz in Seubersdorf (Upper Palatinate). Excavation activities, container services, demolition and crushing operations: everything comes from a single source for customers in the region. From a family business where everyone gets involved. It started with a MAN Hauber tipper truck in 1946. When Konrad Götz took over the company from his father Konrad Götz Senior in 1999, the company only had three employees, today there are 15. Götz has exclusively been a MAN customer since 2013. In addition to the TGX 26.640, there are three TGS 35.500 three-way tippers and a 26,480 truck in use. A TGS 18.460 2 x 2 BB is currently under construction and will be used for container services from March onwards.
In addition to the construction business, Götz works as a subcontractor, transporting heavy equipment all over Germany. The key player here is the 640 HP MAN TGX with a low loader. The man at the wheel is always Florian Brendel. The more difficult the task, the more he likes it. In action, it makes him think of the footballer Bastian Schweinsteiger: a very concentrated gaze and confident handling of tricky situations.
It is now nice and warm in the driver's cab and Florian leans back. The narrow local road is slippery – but the fully laden 44-ton truck runs as if it were on rails, even around the roundabout. Florian strokes the dashboard almost tenderly. “It's extremely smooth-running,” he states. “For me, this is just like a very beautiful car.”
THE MAN TGX IS EXTREMELY SMOOTH-RUNNING. FOR ME, THIS IS JUST LIKE A VERY BEAUTIFUL CAR.
He sleeps in the bunk behind the driver's seat on his trips to Berlin, Hamburg or Bremen. The built-in cupboard in the cab was selected when configuring the vehicle: In this case, the comfortable bed is positioned at the bottom instead of the top and the driver can put a large amount of travel baggage in the 500 litre storage area at the top. Florian appreciates the XLX driver's cab with headroom and an independent air conditioning unit: “When I finish work early in summer, I enjoy spending time here.” A recessed refrigerator, a microwave and a coffee machine, everything is at hand: “My home from home.”
The narrow road leads down a hill, maybe an eight percent grade. Florian activates the retarder – the engine brake is vigorously applied immediately. “It saves the brakes and this way they do not get hot”, he states. The fact that Konrad Götz has now opted exclusively for MAN has to do with the design and technology – but not just that. “We have a close link with the MAN sales and service teams in Neumarkt. We always get everything from a single source from Alexander Hefele, used and new vehicles. He always has an ideal solution and takes care of everything”, states Konrad Götz. Alexander Hefele manages MAN sales in the Neumarkt area. Meanwhile, Florian's tractor unit is already expected on site in Parsberg. The boss is also on site. Team spirit plays an important role in the company. Konrad Götz: “Here, everyone looks out for each other.” The foreman, Helmut Wittl: “You can search for a long time for a boss like Koni.” Konrad Götz takes a look at what is happening on site. The colleagues have removed several metres of dolomite with the rock chisel. Hard stuff, the company used its own machine to crush the material on site. In the meantime, the wheel loader has been rolled off the low loader. With the drone of the engines, it loads the TGS tipper trucks: around 5,000 tons of gravel has to be removed quickly. It has to be transferred to the next construction site – as a base for the foundations.
Konrad Götz studies his clipboard. “Flo will drive with you to the quarry in Unterweikenhof where you will pick up the coarse limestone.” When Konrad Götz talks about his drivers, you hear his respect in every syllable that he utters. The same also applies to Florian Brendel. “Never before would someone have been allowed to drive the 40-ton low loader after such a short time”, he states. “Flo” joined the company in 2012. Soon after Helmut Wittl spoke to the boss. “Have you seen him reversing?” It was clear that Florian was a natural talent. He could be a real asset for Konrad Götz.
Yet another element that creates a strong bond between the men at Spedition Götz: the family. Florian is now the prospective son-in-law. When he met Konrad's daughter Marina, her father had no idea, it was only when the 23-year old opened up to him and her mother Claudia and said: “My new boyfriend is coming over this evening – you know him.” “It was very strange for me at first”, says Konrad Götz. “In the morning I gave him work and in the evening he sat eating dinner with us.”
Marina will join the company in April – a step that has proven to be effective in the family business. Daughter Laura, who is actually a physiotherapist, also supports the family as best she can: the third generation at Götz is good to go.
A big bunch of keys attached to Florian's trousers reveals that he is already looking after the scheduling and managing the vehicle fleet. But he sees himself primarily as a driver. He knows his TGX and uses the MAN technology extensively. For instance, the steering brake in the tractor unit. “The turning circle is greatly reduced, which is very practical in the confined construction sites today”, he explains. Or the MAN video turning system when stopping at a busy crossroads in Parsberg. “Do you see the red car there?” No chance – despite the four mirrors. However, on the screen next to the steering wheel, the car can be clearly seen in the blind spot. Around 30 cyclists die each year in Germany because they are involved in an accident caused by a truck turning – this risk can be reduced with the MAN video turning system that can be ordered from the factory. The boss, Konrad Götz, praises other safety systems in MAN vehicles: In addition to the camera monitor system, the adaptive cruise control, lane guard system and emergency brake assist are valuable additional elements that ensure an easy and trouble-free journey.
When Florian drives into the quarry, the combination of slippery gravel and a slope appear problematic. He climbs out and examines the situation. “Will I get in”, he says. He starts up the vehicle and switches on the differential lock. The vehicle hums as it ploughs up the hill with its 640 HP and the tractor unit doesn't slip a single millimetre. When driving down the hill, he activates the ABS for rough terrain: this forms a wedge under the wheels in difficult terrain and the vehicle easily copes with the slope.
The job is completed quickly at the quarry site. The quarry owner, Georg Bärnreuther, also kindly sent a CAT wheel loader to assist them: a real monster that helps with the loading. After just a few bucket loads, there is 20 tons of coarse Jurassic limestone in each truck. The loaded MAN vehicles can soon head off to the construction site with the material. Job done – thanks to the perfect technology and reliable manpower.
Transporting construction vehicles is a speciality at Erdarbeiten Götz in Seubersdorf (Upper Palatinate). Excavation activities, container services, demolition and crushing operations are the company's other areas of activity. The family business started in 1946 with a MAN Hauber tipper truck. When Konrad Götz took over the company from his father Konrad Götz Senior in 1999, the company only had three employees, today there are 15. Götz has exclusively been a MAN customer since 2013. The vehicle fleet also includes a MAN TGX 26.640 and three MAN TGS 35.500 three-way tippers, amongst others.
is the load capacity of the TGX but despite this, it runs as if it were on rails, even around roundabouts.
is what the MAN TGX with a low loader has to offer as well as a maximum braking power in the upper speed range.