MAN Trucks: From the First Diesel Engine to the Latest Solutions

The father of the revolutionary type of engine is known to be Rudolf Diesel, who patented his invention in 1897. But first diesel engines were extremely large and heavy and used only as stationary units in factories or for powering ships. Further development of this promising technology became one of the main concerns among machinery manufacturers. In 1919-1923 the German Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg AG (abbr. As MAN) was taking an active part in adapting diesel engines for use in commercial vehicles. The goal was achieved in 1924 when the world saw the new direct-injection diesel engine at the German Motor Show in Berlin. According to the expert public, the compressorless diesel engine from MAN was one of the most important innovations to be offered through the entire show. The series production was not long in coming. The low vehicle weight of the unit and the colossal 80% savings in operating costs (compared with the conventional carburettor engines of the time) stand for unquestionable sales points.

Such a successful automated technology boosted the evolution of trucks. In 1928, MAN unveiled its first three-axle truck, which was the predecessor of all outstanding MAN heavy-duty trucks. Further achievements, connected with the MAN brand, included the introduction of the all-wheel-drive, the first German truck engine with exhaust gas turbocharging, the motor units with electronic injection control and, finally, the innovative engine with common rail (CR) injection system. The latest Euro 6 engines are utilizing a third-generation CR system, aimed at limiting nitric oxide, particle emissions and consumption at every operating point.

Strong roots are considered to produce beautiful leaves. As for an experienced German manufacturer, it is known to offer a multitude of exquisite and practical solutions in the range of long-distance, construction and distribution transport.

Long-distance solution

When it comes to either national or international long-haul transportation, efficiency and productivity are the key factors to succeed. The MAN TGX trucks are tailor to this particular need. Their economic engine versions are claimed to be the most consumption-efficient units in the competitive market. The selection includes 6-cylinder Common Rail engines D20 and D26 with 360 to 480 hp of output as well as the 6-cylinder inline D38 with 520, 560 or 640 hp. The Common Rail high-pressure injection system is bolstered by turbocharging and exhaust gas after-treatment. Other contributions to the beneficial level of efficiency are provided by high-strength lightweight construction, aerodynamics adjustments and a GPS-controlled cruise control.

Building site solution

With respect to construction transport, special attention is paid to payload and axle layouts. The MAN's offering in this sector combines the TGS trucks. The range is represented by the 18 to 44-tonners with the choice of drive formulas. Either the permanent all-wheel drive or the MAN HydroDrive selectable front-wheel drive is responsible for the necessary transaction on the building site with its challenging road situations, while the driver is assisted by the MAN TipMatic semi-automatic manual gearbox.

Distribution solutions

Short-haul city and intercity distribution requires the most optimal combination of high payload, safety and eco-friendliness. In this regard, MAN developed even two model ranges, the TGM and the TGL, to meet every possible need.

The TGM trucks are driven by Common Rail diesel engines D08 that generate between 250 and 340 hp. The high-torque 6.9-liter engines hold their strength during start-up in short-haul distribution operations and are extremely smooth on longer trips. The TGM trucks in the 12- to 26-ton weight class combine a high payload and an impressive body-mounting capability.

Lighter variants of distribution trucks are represented by the MAN TGL lineup. The 7.5- to 12-tonners are driven by 4- and 6-cylinder engines D08 with the output of 150 to 250 hp. Thanks to their low weight, the TGL trucks are suitable for high payload and offer outstanding ride dynamics and optimum manoeuvrability.

What's next?

Engine technology has not reached its limit yet. The competition in the field never rests and lawmakers continue to put more pressure on the manufacturers regarding CO2 emissions. The MAN representatives claim that they look forward to taking on this challenge. No doubt, they can afford such intentions, as they have enough knowledge, experience, and passion under their belt.

In the meantime, there are 100 years of dynamic and productive history behind every MAN truck, produced in the 21st century. Such an advantageous background makes even used MAN trucks have a good reputation on the market.