Boldly going where no MAN has gone before

Boldly going where no MAN has gone before

MAN Truck & Bus has unveiled a van in Austria for previously unthinkable operations. The TGE 3.180 4×4 combi van is equipped with a special so-called “caterpillar drive”. This enables it to drive over snow-covered slopes or muddy fields if it needs to reach alpine grazing land, hotels or ski lifts.

“You glide along on the snow; it’s fabulous,” says Martin Zeller, branch manager of MAN Truck & Bus in Innsbruck, describing his experience with the TGE. The company worked with Tyrol-based TrackSystems – the developer and manufacturer of the track conversion kit – to create this “go anywhere” MAN.

The amazing thing is that conversion to the caterpillar drive doesn’t take more than an hour. The assembly or disassembly is done like a wheel change; it is not even necessary to visit a special workshop. An adapter plate, which is fixed with the original wheel bolts, establishes the connection to the axles. The simple conversion also makes it possible to use the van all year round if it’s required: operators can employ caterpillar drive in winter and use regular tyres in summer. The conversion adds 300 kg in weight and the width of the TGE increases to 2,4 metres.

Off-road, the caterpillar drive manages 25 to 50 km/h – usually in first to third gear. Thanks to the Seikel chassis, which is raised by around 3 cm, the Innsbruck crawler transporter also has sufficient ground clearance to perform its tasks over extreme terrain. The caterpillar drive is braked by the standard disc brakes; no adjustment is required here.

The “go anywhere” TGE is strictly an off-road van; once it hits the tar, it needs its tyres back. So, don’t expect to see one of these wondrous creations on the highway any time soon!

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Focus on Transport

FOCUS on Transport and Logistics is one of the oldest and most respected transport and logistics publications in southern Africa.
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