MAN's HydroDrive completes 10 years in the market

MAN Truck - MAN SEHydroDrive reduces the need for bulkier all-wheel drive trucks. (Image source: MAN SE)Launched in 2005, MAN SE has over the last 10 years extended the offerings from its HydroDrive range that offers increased traction from the front axle

HydroDrive from the German truck-manufacturer is ideal for customers who drive largely on roads but require additional traction from the front axle in some situations. Examples would include vehicles such as those used for fire service, refuse collection, construction vehicles and tankers, all of which need to respond in a timely manner even in adverse weather conditions and on rough or soft terrain. Sometimes, they also travel on unpaved forest tracks as timber transporters. The additional traction from the front axle saves customers from having to purchase another all-wheel drive truck.

Steering a fully-laden truck on a slippery surface usually requires traditional selectable all-wheel drive. Since those vehicles are mostly driven on tarmac, equipping them with all-wheel drive is not always necessary, and with its additional front axle traction, this is where HydroDrive starts to appear attractive. It provides additional traction and safety but doesn’t need a transfer case, a front-axle differential or a front drive shaft, which in turn helps to save fuel and decrease carbon emissions.

In comparison with a traditional all-wheel drive truck, a HydroDrive truck weighs around 400 kg less which also means that HydroDrive vehicles are able to transport a much greater payload. A truck with HydroDrive thus expands the operational range of on-road vehicles; for many businesses, this means the acquisition of an additional all-wheel drive truck is unnecessary.

HydroDrive can be engaged by simply turning a rotary switch, both while driving and under load, without any need for the driver to stop. The additional traction is also available in reverse and when coasting. This increases the brake output of the continuous braking systems and improves the vehicle’s manoeuvrability on slippery surfaces and therefore, driving safety. The system is compatible with normal and medium-height trucks and HydroDrive trucks also have a smaller turning radius compared to vehicles with a mechanical front axle.

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