MAN Truck & Bus UK Ltd. has supplied a 7.5 tonne TGL rigid to the British Barcelona Club – the home of long distance pigeon racing. The ‘LX’ sleeper-cabbed lightweight is fitted with a specially designed body and trailer by Wessex Vehicle Services.
Power comes via an MAN Euro 5 D08 engine at 180PS coupled to a six-speed MAN TipMatic automated gearbox. The ‘LX’ cab is a long-haul specification boasting additional headroom over the ‘L’ cab option. A multi-function storage / additional temporary bunk is also provided.
Body and trailer is built to exacting standards including an on-board drinking system for the birds, and a TL-500 Wireless Temperature Logger to allow continuous monitoring of temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide levels via remotely located sensors.
The new TGL was subjected to extensive evaluation against competitor models before being selected for its overall package. “It was everything we were looking for,” said Club Presdient, Nigel Rigiani, “we are lucky to have a committee member who is involved in haulage, so, with his input, we know we have the right tool for the job.”
The truck and trailer has a ‘birdage’ capacity of 3,500 and is used to transport racing pigeons to destinations in France and Spain in readiness for races back to the UK. Birds are released, or ‘liberated’, and the winner is calculated on ‘proper velocity’ upon return to its loft.
Incredibly, the winner of the Barcelona race, the longest and most prestigious race in the calendar, can be worth up to £250,000. Such a bird may then be bought and used for breeding the next generation of champion homing pigeons.