A pair of new MAN TGX 26.580 prime movers have come online in recent months in Melbourne, providing another brand in the mix of OEMs McColl’s partners with nationally.
The two trucks offer a contrast between the other units in the fleet of 300 prime movers and the MAN prime movers that came before them.
“They are noticeably better than the previous model,” says Peter Shearer, McColl’s Fleet General Manager. “The bigger motor is also delivering superior fuel economy.”
The Euro VI 15.2-litre engine produces a maximum of 433kW with 2900NM of torque through a 12-Speed Tipmatic two pedal AMT. These new MAN units, at the minute, are mainly operating within the confines of Victoria. On a recent run to Adelaide, however, one of the drivers informed
Peter that the new MAN TGX was 60 litres better on a return trip from Melbourne than the forerunner which had a smaller, 13-litre engine. It certainly gave Peter something to reflect on given the current inflationary cost of fuel.
“The guys are more than happy with the performance of the new ones,” Peter says. “They did comment on the additional torque and how low the motor is revving at 100km/h. I think they’re only hitting 1300rpm. They are geared quite tall for fuel economy and that seems to be working quite well for them at the moment.”
With a higher ratio differential than McColl’s other brands, the D38 engine is doing less revs to get the same speed for better fuel consumption. Through the additional torque on these trucks being supplied, a vigorous 2,900Nm often between 930- and 1,350rpm, it’s working very well for Peter’s needs.
Milk is the main product McColl’s carries in B-double tankers. These are fully loaded at 68.5 tonnes one way and travel back empty. Semi-trailers are on mass management approvals given the high volume of ISO tanks it moves around the country. A-doubles were not so typical as the footprint is outside the wide spectrum of Performance-Based Standards the fleet currently runs but according to Peter this is set to change.
“We are applying to have the MANs added to our PBS permit for A-doubles,” he says. “If we can get that sorted, we will run the MANs on the A-doubles too, which will take it up to 85 tonnes gross. We’ve put in for a design approval. The wheelbase is different to the other prime movers we run so we’ve had to reapply.”
If he can get the MAN TGX 26.580s on PBS, providing they perform well and supply is not an obstacle, Peter might have up to 20 units running between Melbourne and Sydney by the end of the decade.
Trucks, however, may need to be ordered up to two years out from deployment to meet current PBS requirements.
“Sometimes you’re not sure what you’re going to have as far as trailing equipment and PBS units,” he says. “It’s crazy times.”