Your benefits

  • Increased traction and directional stability on soft surfaces and in winter road conditions
  • Lower fuel consumption and payload advantage compared to classic all-wheel drives
  • Optimized braking force distribution through transferring the engine braking effect to the front axle

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Hydrostatic front-axle drive: MAN HydroDrive®

Those working in today's transport business are operating on difficult terrain. Whether on unsurfaced and slippery roads in quarries, on construction sites, forest and field tracks - MAN HydroDrive®, the optional switchable hydrostatic front-axle drive, delivers more traction, more flexibility and more safety.

Additional traction for all types of terrain

For haulage companies, the most important concern is to arrive safely and on time, even is the road conditions are less than ideal. As an intermediate solution between the conventional rear-axle drive and classic all-wheel drive, MAN offers the innovative HydroDrive® hydrostatic front-axle drive, providing greater traction for road vehicles that occasionally need to travel off-road. MAN is the only manufacturer on the market to offer a HydroDrive® system both for vehicles with manual transmission and for those with an automatic gearbox.

When compared with a vehicle with conventional all-wheel drive, the HydroDrive® system is up to 750 kilograms lighter and uses less fuel. In addition, a powered front axle provides extra lateral guidance – an important safety aspect to consider in winter.

The driver decides for themselves whether HydroDrive® should provide additional power automatically or if they want to switch the system on whenever additional traction is required.


Versatile use

MAN HydroDrive® is the perfect drive for applications with occasional off-road sections and situations where increased traction at the front axle is required. Vehicles with MAN HydroDrive® are primarily road vehicles that are equipped with hydrostatic front-axle drive to extend their scope of use in terms of available functions.

Examples of typical driving situations where MAN HydroDrive® can be switched on include:

  • Unsurfaced roads, such as country lanes and construction sites
  • Slippery subsurfaces, such as mud, ice and snow
  • Route profiles with hilly topography

The hydrostatic front-axle drive can also be switched on using the rotary switch when the loaded vehicle is in motion. It switches off automatically when the vehicle reaches a driving speed of approximately 28 km/h. If the speed drops below 23 km/h, it automatically switches back on. When the MAN HydroDrive® is active, an indicator light shows on the driver’s display.

With MAN HydroDrive®, a hydropump on the gearbox output supplies the wheel hub drives at the front axle. This ingeniously simple, robust and maintenance-friendly technology is comparable with the conventional rear-axle drive in terms of fuel consumption and wear, and offers a range of advantages over the classic all-wheel drive. The distributor gearbox, a typical feature of the classic all-wheel drive, is no longer required where hydrostatic wheel drives are used. In addition, with MAN HydroDrive®, only the rear wheels are powered in road traffic, and no friction is produced by the hydropumps or wheel drives. In contrast, with the all-wheel drive, the transmission elements of the front-axle drive continue to turn, even when they are switched off.

More traction in a instant

More traction in a instant

MAN HydroDrive® is ideal for conditions in which more traction is needed temporarily on the front axle. With torque of up to 14,580 Nm, the additional drive provides noticeably more directional stability. Ideal for applications in quarries, on construction sites, forest or field tracks as well as on soft or slippery surfaces.

Fast extra power for slopes

Fast extra power for slopes

MAN HydroDrive® combined with the differential lock is your backup for routes with particularly mountainous topography. The hydrostatic drive provides significantly more traction even on slopes with loose road surfaces. In traction critical situations, a turn of a rotary switch is all you need to give you optimal drive, in forward gears as well as reverse.

Efficient braking - without fail

Efficient braking - without fail

Downhill, MAN HydroDrive® with the continuous brake engaged also acts on the front axle and thus stabilises the vehicle. Increased safety for you. Less wear on your brakes. And in combination with the MAN PriTarder®, a wear free additional brake which acts directly on the engine, MAN HydroDrive® always has the highest braking force available.

This is how MAN HydroDrive® works

With simultaneously low fuel consumption and high payload, your vehicle copes easily when used in places which would not be possible with a pure rear-wheel drive. You save valuable time as well as cash.

  1. Auxiliary drive with a coupling for pump connection - acts without delay, even during driving and under load.
  2. Tank and cooler are installed directly in the frame. This means there are no problems with space on the frame and no restriction for the side trim - a major advantage particularly for vehicles with Euro 6.
  3. Hydraulic pump with control valve block and hydraulic oil cooler with its own fan: The auxiliary drive starts up the high-pressure hydraulic pump positioned on the gearbox output. An intelligent system regulates the pressure via a control valve block and supplies this at 420 bar to the wheel hub motors.
  4. Cylinder torque in the wheel hub motors: The rotary motion of the wheel hub motors is created through pressure being applied to some of the cylinders, while the oil can simultaneously flow out at the remaining cylinders. The oil moves the pistons outwards in the cylinders which are under pressure. The piston rollers rest against the cam ring and torque of 14,580 Nm is produced, which drives the front wheels.


More traction thanks to MAN HydroDrive®: Available as optional equipment on the following models


Discover additional assistance systems

Intelligent braking management: MAN BrakeMatic

Intelligent braking management: MAN BrakeMatic

The MAN BrakeMatic intelligent braking management ensures the optimum work allocation between the service and continuous brakes of your MAN truck. This guarantees you superior, low-wear braking at all times - even on long steep inclines.

Active steering system: MAN ComfortSteering

Active steering system: MAN ComfortSteering

Easier steering thanks to additional steering torque: MAN ComfortSteering supports the driver by adjusting the steering forces to the vehicle speed.

Continuous Damping Control (CDC)

Continuous Damping Control (CDC)

An excessively rapid lane change or heavy braking manoeuvre can already cause a truck to rock dangerously. Continuous Damping Control (CDC) activates the required damping, thereby actively reducing rocking movements.