MAN HydroDrive® no. 5,000 – the success story of extra traction

MAN delivers truck no. 5,000 with hydrostatic auxiliary drive for the front axle. Customers save fuel and can deploy their on-road vehicles equipped with HydroDrive® more flexibly.

It was five years ago that the first MAN customer was able to simply turn a switch on the dashboard to activate an hydraulic auxiliary front-wheel drive on his on-road truck, which was not equipped with all-wheel drive. Since the MAN HydroDrive® was launched on the market, its advantages in terms of efficiency and safety have convinced many customers: MAN no. 5,000 with HydroDrive® has just recently been delivered. With its TGS and TGX series, MAN Nutzfahrzeuge was the first and is currently the only truck manufacturer in the world to offer this efficient variant between purely on-road drive and classic all-wheel drive. MAN offers a portfolio of six axle variants up to four axles. Vehicles with HydroDrive® are marketed throughout Europe, where the drive system has found customers predominantly in Austria, Switzerland, Germany and Scandinavia.

MAN HydroDrive® is ideal for vehicles that are usually operated on-road but occasionally require additional traction. Typical examples are driving tipper tractors or trucks delivering building materials into or out of unpaved construction sites. Or lumber trucks, fire-fighting vehicles or milk collection vehicles, which all have to be able to operate safely on unpaved roads, even in terrible weather conditions. When surfaces have been softened by rain, rear-wheel drive alone is not always enough. Manoeuvring also becomes more difficult when a fully-laden truck pushes over the front wheels. All-wheel drive is really what is required here. But should one equip all one’s vehicles with all-wheel drive when they are operated mainly on tarred roads? It is for this purpose that MAN offers the efficient MAN HydroDrive®. It provides additional traction and safety but doesn't need a transfer case, a front-axle differential or a front drive shaft. That saves fuel, day in and day out and reduces CO2 emissions.

Compared to a truck with rear-wheel drive, the on-top weight of the MAN HydroDrive® system is small. Compared to a full all-wheel drive truck, it weighs a couple of hundred kilograms less. This means that HydroDrive® vehicles are able to transport more payload. HydroDrive® thus expands the operational range of on-road vehicles: for many operators, this renders the acquisition of an additional all-wheel drive truck superfluous. MAN HydroDrive® is the only all-wheel system that can get traction onto the front axle of a normal height truck. The advantage lies in the fact that this is the only possible way to implement all-wheel drive on certain vehicles: This applies amongst others to container bodies in which standing height is necessary, for example swap-body vehicles for fire-fighting and rescue services. The key advantage is that only normal-height vehicles can carry high swap bodies and still remain within the statutory height limits. A normal height vehicle also results in more comfortable access to the vehicle and a low center of gravity, resulting in optimum driving stability. Similarly, the turning circle of MAN HydroDrive® vehicles is the same as for their rear-wheel drive counterparts.

The MAN HydroDrive® uses hydrostatic motors powered by an hydraulic pump delivering up to 420 bar to drive the front wheels. The drive can be engaged easily via a turn-switch on the dashboard, both while driving and under load – the driver can thus master gradients safely without having to stop. The additional traction is also available in reverse gear and in engine braking mode when going downhill.

MAN TGS log transporter: MAN HydroDrive® is the perfect drive for applications with occasional offroad sections and situations where increased traction at the front axle is required.

MAN TGX semi-trailer truck in Norway: HydroDrive® offers safe traction for road vehicles that have to arrive on-time even at adverse weather conditions or on unpaved roads.