AFRICA's road freight industry may be dominated by mighty 6x4 truck-tractors towing semi and super-link trailers, but the long-haul trucking industry would grind to a halt without the help of
secondary distribution vehicles conducting medium-haul duties. In what is an industry-first, MAN Truck & Bus South Africa has launched a range of rigid-chassis freight carriers that roll off the factory floor already equipped with an array of truck bodies to suit a number of African haulage applications.
The steady economic growth being experienced by many sub-Saharan African countries has spurred demand for trucks that are purpose-built to meet the climatic and topographical challenges our continent poses to transport operators.
Furthermore, as business activity in Africa ramps up, transport operators are securing contracts that demand swift deployment of vehicles.
Any delays in fielding the necessary vehicles could result in the annulment of a contract and consequent financial disaster for the operator.
With this contingency in mind, MAN Truck & Bus has identified a distinct gap in the market for ready-bodied new freight carriers. MAN’s Trucks to Go program offers African operators a range of medium-haul trucks that tackle this challenge head-on.
Typically, a truck will leave the factory as a chassis-cab unit and then move to a specialist truck body-builder before reaching the customer, a lengthy process that could deprive an operator of a contract.
MAN Trucks to Go solution effectively ‘cuts out the middle man’, allowing truck buyers to deploy their new vehicles immediately.
MAN Truck & Bus has chosen specific truck body-builders to manufacture and fit bodies of good quality with favourable consignment stock terms and conditions in order to remain flexible to market trends and keep the vehicle prices as low as possible.
To kick-start the Trucks to Go program, three vehicle models have been selected from the MAN and Volkswagen stables, namely the MAN CLA 15.220 4x2 BB, the VW Constellation 13.180 4x2 BB and the VW Constellation 15.180 4x2 BB, all fitted with ‘day’ cabs and chassis-standard equipment.
All three robust derivatives are equipped with drivelines and suspension systems specifically designed for haulage duties in arduous conditions.
Linked to these models are three available body types, which include standardized dropside, cargovan and tautliner/curtainsider bodies.
These bodies range in lengths from 6.2m to 7.5m (internal) with legally achievable payloads of approximately 6.5 to 8.5 metric tons and internal volumes of approximately 36 to 44 cubic meters, which caters well for both payload and volume-type operations in the heavy commercial vehicle distribution segment.
The available mix of vehicles removes a significant amount of the complexity in vehicle and body selection for customers and salesmen alike, by providing a logical spread of complete vehicle options to meet operational requirements.
The Trucks to Go range will enjoy full support from MAN’s extensive sub-equatorial Africa dealer network.