MAN Truck & Bus

Ein MAN TGX im Erlkönigmuster prescht durch eine SchneelandschaftEin MAN TGX im Erlkönigmuster prescht durch eine Schneelandschaft

On icy roads


Weather conditions affect how a vehicle can be controlled. To ensure that the new truck sits well on the road and the driver is safe and comfortable in every travel situation, the MAN test drivers made their way into the bitter cold.

Each year in Sweden and Spain Rainer Miksch, test manager of the bus and truck division, and his staff test how a truck operates under extreme conditions. Around 250 employees with 50 vehicles make their way to Scandinavia for winter testing.

They use the test facilities and public roads to test the vehicles extensively at minus 45 degrees Celsius. They spent time on site with the new truck so that future drivers can travel with it comfortably and safely in winter.

Testing focused on functionality of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems as well as the low friction values on snow and ice. But the team also investigated how well the new truck's headlights and wipers function in extreme cold and snowfall. To do this they drove the truck covered in camouflage film into a trail of snow. A machine in front whirled snow from the ground into the air and onto the truck. Along with the reliability of the headlights and windscreen wipers, the test drivers were then able to assess the places where snow accumulates particularly heavily on the vehicle, and to work out a solution for this.

As idyllic as the snowy landscape looks, conditions for the test drivers are not easy on any of the test drives. They have to manoeuvre the vehicles safely on icy roads, even though these are still in the development stage. Poor visibility sometimes makes the test drives even more difficult. "This is where we rely on our most experienced staff," says Miksch.

The test drivers remain on site in Sweden for up to four weeks at a time during winter testing. The team jointly spends both working time and free time, starting with breakfast and dinner together. There are also common excursions on the programme. Winter sports fans in the team would be particularly happy about the cold conditions, says Miksch. Because remote Lapland with its virtually untouched nature and herds of wild reindeer offers the ideal location for this. "It's a unique experience," says the chief test driver.

The team took the new truck to Sweden for further development and finalisation over four years. The employees were able to present their results to the Executive Board after each of the test rounds. Because the board members travelled to Sweden every time to sit behind the wheel of the new truck themselves, to test its development status and to discuss possible improvements with the team. Chief test driver Rainer Miksch particularly appreciates this exchange: "We're working together to achieve the perfect product."

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Live dabei Werfen Sie einen Blick hinter die Kulissen und erleben Sie den neuen Truck hautnah bei den Tests in Schweden. 

Text   Tanita Hecking
Photos   MAN

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