Econ, a gritter, snow plough, and maintenance vehicle specialist based in Ripon, North Yorkshire, recently began a trial run for a MAN TGM 18.250 4X4 BB C cab. The company has a gritter contract hire division and is testing the vehicle out in the London borough of Barnet. The area is not only densely populated, but also features a large number of low bridges and several hills that are sometimes difficult for vehicles to manoeuvre.
One thing in particular that led to Econ’s trial of the MAN TGM 4X4 is the truck’s compact, low cab, with a roof height of only 3,119 millimetres (123 inches). And because it has the 4x4 drive system, it can handle snowy hills during the winter. The cab also features a large windscreen and side windows for enhanced visibility, which is crucial for operating in urban environments.
“Making it possible to meet the maximum height restrictions for the majority of the low bridges across the borough vastly improves operating efficiency,” says Jonathan Lupton, operations director at Econ. “This means that operators can plan a route by the least miles travelled rather than creating extended and lengthy routes necessary to circumnavigate the many bridges. Routes can therefore be covered in less time and miles, saving both fuel and exhaust emissions.”
Other Features Of The MAN TGM 4X4 Gritter
The TGM 18.250 4X4 features a TipMatic 12-speed automatic transmission, electronic differential locks on the axles, and hub reduction on the rear axle. There is the option to turn off all-wheel drive when not needed as well. It also has a PTO transfer case management system and a DIN plate mounted to the front, making it easy to add a blade or other attachment.
This particular truck features a permanently mounted spreader from Econ with a capacity of 6 cubic metres (7.8 cubic yards). The high tensile strength mild steel body is corrosion-resistant. It’s coupled with a Low Throw spreader technology that prevents salt damage to cars and ensures an even spread. There is also a Spargo Touch control route guidance system that helps the operator stay on course and be ready for low bridges and other obstacles.
Powerful & Efficient
Two other key consideration for Econ, especially because the vehicle will operate in London, are engine efficiency and emissions. The TGM 4X4 features a six-cylinder, 6.9-litre Euro 6D engine that uses selective catalyst reduction (SCR) technology to reduce emissions without the need for an exhaust gas recirculating (EGR) system. This alone makes the engine 103 kilograms (227 pounds) lighter than the previous iteration and raises the oil change interval to 18 months/80,000 kilometres (49,710 miles), up from 12 months.
“The attraction of this vehicle for this challenging operation is simple, not only is there a reduction in both emissions and serviceable parts but there is also a weight saving too. This means that we can further help our customers maximise their fleet efficiency and improve both vehicle uptime and payload,” says Lupton. “Gritters are known to have extended periods without use, however, due to vehicle duty cycles and the harsh environments they work in, the SCR only solution is ideal for this operation.”
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