Truckpages magazine is full of trucks built with heavy duty cranes – many of them front mounted.  It is clear that there is strong demand for this type of truck in the UK market.  These cranes mounted on a truck chassis are increasingly performing the tasks for which a large mobile crane would previously have been used. A truck is more compact, can be moved from one working site to the next more flexibly and more quickly and can be set up and dismantled more speedily.

MAN TGX 3.510 with front mounted crane & 10 tonne front axle
MAN TGX 33.510 with front mounted crane & 10 tonne front axle

MAN have spotted this gap and put together a niche package to appeal to the operators of these heavy machinery movers. MAN can now manufacture three and four axle versions of its TGS and TGX trucks with a non-driven front axle with ten ton axle load instead of the previous nine tons.

What’s the Big Deal?

In short, lifting capacity.  A 10 ton axle means a stronger, heavier crane. This in turn means lifting heavier weights higher in the air.

Unfolded and fully extended, a crane fitted on the 10-ton axe can reach a height of around 29 metres with a load of up to 650 kilograms. A comparable loading crane mounted on a MAN TGX with the standard 9-ton front axle would have a maximum lifting height of 25 metres and could lift around 420 kg up to that height. Its maximum lifting capacity of around 6.2 tons is also considerably lower than the 10 tonnes on the larger axled truck.

MAN TGX & TGS 10 tonne axle for front mounted crane
Comparing maximum lifting capacity and reach of two crane models mounted on a MAN TGX with 10-ton front axle (in red) and 9-ton front axle (in grey). (Data source: Palfinger crane PK 28.002 TEC 5 E with FlyJib PJ 075 B (for 10 t front axle) and PK 18502-SHD with FlyJib PJ 040A (for 9-t front axle); both with 88% axle utilisation)

Examples of construction and municipal use

If the beams for the roof structure have to be delivered and installed on a construction site, heavy duty loading cranes are used. A narrow access route and restricted spaces for setting up inhibit optimum positioning of the vehicle. Particularly if working over the cab is necessary as a result, the usable load capacity and range of the crane are limited. A 10-ton front axle allows the use of heavier loading cranes with larger loads. When installing the roof structure, the crane can lift heavier loads at the front or reach further.

A high front axle load capacity also plays an important role in other sectors. On snow clearing vehicles, a heavy plough or snow blower is fitted on the front mounting plate. A four axle MAN TGS with a tipping trough for filling with spoil or mineral resources in an open cast mine also benefits from a higher axle load. Some countries, for example the Netherlands, calculate the permitted gross weight from the total of the axle loads. Thus, a four-axle tipper with two 10 ton front axles has two tons more payload, a major benefit for the contractor when it comes to the transport amount.

MAN TGX Crane Truck
The new 10 ton front axle from MAN increases the load capacity and range of loading cranes when working at the front over the cab. A crane like this can lift 10 tons, which equates to an extra 650 kilograms at its maximum lifting height of 29.2 metres.

Industry-specific chassis designs on the MAN TGS and TGX

The new leaf-sprung higher load capacity 10-ton front axle with a straight or offset construction is available on 6×4 and 8×4 chassis designs in the MAN TGS and MAN TGX series with all cab versions. The range of options includes normal and medium height chassis designs.

MAN optimises the chassis for these applications. Depending on customer preferences and technical requirements from the crane manufacturer, a 9.5 millimetre thick frame and additional inserts of metal plates in the frame can contribute to an increase in rigidity and load capacity.

Fitting the side supports for safe crane operation takes up space on the frame. The exhaust system, fuel and AdBlue tanks, compressed air tank and battery box can be relocated in the factory if required. To fit an additional front support, MAN offers a front plate combined with the steel bumper. The body manufacturer fits a hydraulic supporting cylinder extending directly downwards to this. MAN Individual carries out these preparatory modifications and adaptations on a customised basis. The advantage of this is that the customer has a single contact at MAN for the industry-specific preparation of the vehicle and receives certified work from MAN with a full warranty.