Big Truck Little Truck

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How did those stickers get there?! Sorry it’s another TGL post i know!

If this is your first time reading the blog you will not know that i seem to favour an MAN TGL. No real idea why other than i ran my own 7.5 tonners for 8 years. I have often wondered about the mini artics you see foreigners running about with, such as Activ Cars from Germany. This company run mini Mercedes Atego artics on Airbus parts work all over Europe.
Activ Cars 16.09.2010.jpg

Now i haven’t been able to find out much about them in various Internet searches, so i gave up looking. At the weekend i did another search for the first time since last year, when i went to the Hanover IAA Show. This time with a tiny bit of success. The main part being it seems the mini MAN tractor unit is called an MAN TGL BLS, BLS being the key words (Big Lorry Secret? Bloomin Little Sod?? Bens Lorry Soon???). The one thing i am keen to find out is how much you can carry with one of those and what the Gross Vehicle Weight is likely to be. Both the Mercedes Atego version and the MAN version are badged as normal 7.5 or 12 tonners. But i’m sure the gross weight must be more other wise it makes it a little pointless and will leave a tiny payload. Any input on this would be much appreciated, any MAN/Mercedes employee’s reading?? email me;

On a Dutch website called , it says that a 12 ton MAN TGL 12.250 BLS can have a gross vehicle weight of 32,000 kg. This equates to a max towing capacity for the tractor of 20,000 kg (i.e. Trailer + Load). On another MAN dealership website, there is an MAN TGL 8.250,  This states the truck “has a GCW of 18,750 kg.”

This says to me, the tractor unit can pull a trailer up to 20 Tons. This makes more sense and must relate to the train weight of the unit, not the 7.5 or 12 ton specified in the model name. Come on more help/info please……


4 thoughts on “Big Truck Little Truck

  1. I fancy a TGL as well, 12tonner, 8peed box and as much HP as poss, got absolutely no use for one though…maybe a camper with me bike on the back?


  2. Mini Artics, or semi-trailers as we say in Australia, as a general rule are limited by the GCM (GTW, GCW) of the prime-mover (tractor). Of course there are exceptions to every rule and there may be factors that prevent the GCM being achieved. Examples of limiting factors could be an inadequate hitch/tow bar/turntable capacity, insufficient trailer axle load capacity, insufficient trailer braking capacity or just that the trailer has an insufficient ATM (aggregate trailer mass).

    I guess the first thing to consider when setting up a mini semi-trailer is whether the GVM of the prime-mover will be exceeded when the combination is loaded. That is, will the combined axle loads at the ground exceed the GVM of the prime mover.

    The second consideration is do the trailer axles have enough load carrying/braking capacity to cater for the remainder of the combinations weight.

    These principals are of course the same for any type of combination, from a motor bike towing a trailer to a road train, but the mini prime-mover generally runs much closer to max. GCM than some other combinations. For example most single steer tandem drive prime-movers have GCM ratings of 70 + tonnes in Australia, but if only operating with a single trailer can only have a combined allowable weight of around 45 tonnes. The limiting factor is the local road rules. Where as with a single trailer it is very easy to load a mini semitrailer to its GCM with a fairly light trailer.

    I will set out a scenario based on my vehicle:

    GVM: 10400 KGS
    GCM: 20000 KGS

    steer axle capacity: 3700 kgs
    drive axle capacity: 7500 kgs
    (but steer + drive can’t exceed 10400kgs)

    ATM: 20000kgs

    Prime-mover tare weight: 4000kgs
    Trailer tare weight: 6200kgs

    So, vertical load trailer exerted on the turntable can’t be greater than 6400kgs (10400 – 4000) so the prime-mover is not overloaded. My turntable, trailer axles and trailer ATM cannot be exceeded by loading the combination to its GCM, therefore my payload is 9800kgs (20000 – 4000 – 6200).

    The replacement of my prime-mover is imminent and the new vehicle will have a GCM of 22000kgs. The same trailer will be used, the new truck carries more fuel and has some additional equipment so tare weight will increase to approx. 4500kgs though its GVM remains at 10400kgs. Once again the turntable, trailer axles and ATM don’t hinder the load capacity in any way.

    So, this time the vertical load on the turntable can’t exceed 5900kgs (10400 – 4500) and overall payload is 11300kgs (22000 – 4500 – 6200).

    As you can see from the two scenarios above, care must be taken when positioning the load on the trailer as to not throw too much weight forward onto the prime-mover.

    If anyone would like to discuss this subject with me I would be thrilled to do so.


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