Here’s a big one! The largest order in the 52-year history of MAN Truck and Bus SA in South Africa was celebrated this week with the handover of the first batch of a total of 215 MAN TGS 26-440 BLS-LX truck tractors to Barloworld Transport Solutions (BWTS) and its transport subsidiary Manline. Delivery of the full order of 215 trucks will be completed by September this year.
It was smiles all round as a ceremonial key was handed to Neil Henderson, CEO Barloworld Transport Solutions, by Bruce Dickson, CEO of MAN and Geoff Du Plessis, executive Chairman of MAN at a function held at Manline’s premises in Pietermaritzburg. Behind them was a magnificent line-up of TGS 26-440 6×4 truck tractors alternating in the distinctive yellow and green livery of Manline and blue of Barloworld.
According to Henderson, 32 of the new units form part of a fleet expansion programme while the remaining 183 are structured as part of a well managed fleet replacement programme within BWTS and Manline.
With a partnership that stretches back to 1998, Manline and MAN Truck & Bus South Africa have established a close-knit relationship that provided the necessary impetus for the 215-truck deal. The new truck-tractors will be deployed in three of the four BWTS business units, servicing line-haul (general freight), tipper (bulk commodities) and tanker (fuel, chemical, gas and dry bulk) customers throughout southern Africa.
Powered by the Euro 2, six-cylinder, 12.419 litre in-line MAN D26 Common-rail diesel engine, the TGS 26.440 BLS-LX 6×4 truck tractor has a power rating of 440hp (324kW) at 1700-1900rpm, with a torque output of 2100Nm at 1000-1400rpm.
As a built-for-purpose longhaul prime-mover equipped with air suspension and hypoid rear axles, the MAN TGS 26.440 has a low tare mass of 8 234kg, with a Gross Combination Mass of 65 000kg, making it capable of carrying maximum permissible payloads across southern Africa.
Enhanced driver comfort and vehicle safety are all important to BWTS and accordingly, key features of the TGS range include MAN’s TipMatic automated manual transmission and advanced BrakeMatic braking system which helps to reduce driver fatigue, improve braking performance. Orthopaedic bunks, air conditioning and a quality sound system assist in making long-haul trips all the more manageable.
Once all the new MAN TGS units have been delivered, 98% of the Manline Freight and Energy fleet of 403 trucks will comprise MAN derivatives.
At a press conference held during the event, some interesting points came up which I will leave to our next edition. In the meantime, here is an interview with Henderson and Dickson to give some idea of the rationale behind the order and what it means to MAN Truck & Bus South Africa. FleetWatch extends it heartiest congratulations to both companies on this magnificent deal. Way to go guys!