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Swiss visitors in a big MAN

Swiss visitors in a big MAN

Mar 23 2014

It must be the season for trucks to tour Australia!  I got a phone call from Heidi and Max, who are from Switzerland, because some friends who are travelling around Australia in an old Series IIA Land Rover spotted their truck, and gave them our number.  Heidi and Max (it turned out) had traveled through Asia with two of our earlier visitors: Kostya & Anna as well as Wolfgang & Carmelita.

The have a MAN truck almost the same model as ours, being a 13.280 2006 model. It has a much higher chassis than ours, at about 400mm higher floor height than our design, so it is very "tall".  Their canopy is a bit longer than ours, but due to ours being a double cab, the overall length is about the same at 7.9 metres.

They have been travelling for over 6 years, and have plans to keep going for another 4 years. In that time they have covered about 150,000Kms.


The truck has a fully internal roll cage in the front cabin, designed for the Paris/Dakar racers - hugely thick. All the external protective bar-work is in stainless steel.

Tyres are 20 inch rims unlike the Australian versions which all come with tubeless 22.5 inch rims.


One spare tyre is fitted to a rim, and the other is just a tyre carcass. The external frame moves up and down using a winch.

In Switzerland, you are obliged to have a rear "crash protector" bar so a rear end accident doesn't end up with a car wedged underneath the body.  It protrudes down quite a way, and cuts down your departure angle significantly. 



I was most taken with the design of their stairs.  They fold up flat and just slide under the body into a slot that goes under the whole cabin.

Both sides of the under-body are protected with thick aluminium bash plates.



Inside the left hand compartment is a full sized front loading washing machine!

As well as the rear suspension raising and lowering, they also have a very tricky "left/right" leveling valve which alters the air suspension on the rear to get things leveled out easily. 



Another shot from the front.  Big 4KVa Panda generator underslung. They had had quite some trouble with their muffler, as the catalytic converter clogged up. It required a new muffler, which cost around $10,000 with the new cat internals.  Am hoping that the Australian models don't have the same setup ....



Heidi and Max inside. This MAN is fitted out with SO much stuff!  It even has solid marble bench and table tops!  Under the floor-boards is a small wine cellar :)


I was very jealous of their walk-through between the cabin and the canopy.



This vehicle is extremely heavy. It has huge water and fuel capacity, and everything inside is solidly built. The table even has a motor to raise it and lower it.  Max is playing around with shock absorbers to try and reduce the body roll, which comes from a combination of the high weight in the canopy and the high centre of gravity from such a deep chassis.  He thinks it is well over 13 tonnes.

The target for mine is (hopefully) around 9 tonnes. We'll see how realistic that turns out to be in the coming months....

Edit: Just to say I got my truck weighed on a local weighbridge today, and the results are:

  • Front Axle: 4.23T
  • Rear Axle: 4,02T
  • Whole vehicle: 8.25T
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Total: 2 Comment(s)
Peter Cox
  Hello David, If Heidi and Max are hewing to Queensland, Brisbane, tell them to give me a call & we'll compare trucks! -Peter Cox
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SuperUser Account  Hi Peter - I will pass on your mobile to them.... Cheers David
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