MAN Trucks on Trial at AA

MAN has been given the chance to show the AA what its TGL trucks can do, through the introduction of a 12 tonne model with Boniface slide-back body and second car under-lift.

Talking about the trial, Chris Wiltshire, Fleet Development Engineer for AA Road Operations, said, “We had some MAN chassis on the fleet many years ago, and those certainly had a good track record with us, so this is a chance for MAN to show us what their modern range is all about.

“This is all part of our continual process of vehicle evaluation. We have had a long relationship with one particular manufacturer, but we always need to know what options are out there and what is available to us.”

Part of the attraction for Chris Wiltshire with the MAN TGL is the standard MAN TipMatic automated gearbox. He declared himself to be very interested in the impact it would have on drivers and ‘rescued’ members who might find themselves on the truck.

He says that current feedback is very “positive”, but was quick to add that the truck is “very different to drive from what we have had in the past and it is still early days for the trial. So far though, I’d say the MAN product package has proved popular with its users.”

A further bonus was the availability of a factory fitted crew-cab from the German manufacturer, obviating the need for any more work in that respect once the chassis reaches the body builder. The seven seat unit is a stock option from MAN on the TGL, and Wiltshire declared himself very happy with the clear cross-cab access it gives the AA drivers A key safety element of the often-dangerous conditions in which they work is the ability always to exit and enter the vehicle from the near-side on any road.

The AA runs around 300 trucks and over 3000 vans, which it renews on a rolling basis, so is a major user of the latest transport technologies. The availability of MAN’s Euro 5 EGR engine in the TGL for instance, allows them to meet current emissions standards without the added complexities and costs of AdBlue. While, in addition, the MAN will have MAN EcoStyle on board, the driver/vehicle performance reporting system now standard on all MANs. This fits in with the AA’s proven practice of closely monitoring every vehicle for fuel economy, while track and trace activity is handled by a stand-alone vehicle despatch system

The AA’s MAN TGL will be working in the southwest, around the M4/M5 junction, from where it will be maintained by local MAN branch, MAN Truck & Bus Bristol.