Technology & competence

MAN HydroDrive®

Ultimately, all haulage companies are concerned about is arriving safely and on time, even if the road conditions are less than ideal. Between the conventional rear-axle drive and classic all-wheel drive, the innovative MAN HydroDrive® provides more traction for road vehicles that occasionally need to travel off-road. When compared with a vehicle with conventional all-wheel drive, the HydroDrive® system is up to 400 kilograms lighter and uses less fuel. In addition, a powered front axle also provides lateral guidance – an important safety aspect to consider in winter.


More traction instantly

MAN HydroDrive® is the perfect drive for applications with occasional off-road sections and situations where increased traction at the front axle is required. Vehicles with MAN HydroDrive® are essentially road vehicles that are equipped with hydrostatic front-axle drive to extend their scope of use in

terms of available functions.

Examples of typical driving situations where MAN HydroDrive® can be switched on are:

  • Unsurfaced roads, such as country lanes and road works
  • Slippery subsurfaces, such as sludge, ice and snow
  • Route profiles with hilly topography

MAN HydroDrive® indicator in the central display


Rotary switch for MAN HydroDrive®

The hydrostatic front-axle drive can also be switched on using the rotary switch when the loaded vehicle is in motion. It switches off automatically when the vehicle reaches a driving speed of approximately 30 km/h. If the speed drops below 22 km/h, it is automatically switched back on. When the MAN HydroDrive® is active, an indicator lamp lights up in the driver's display.

With MAN HydroDrive®, a hydropump on the gearbox output supplies the wheel hub drives on the front axle. This ingenious yet simple, robust and maintenance-friendly technology is comparable with the conventional rear-axle drive in terms of fuel consumption and wear, and offers a range of advantages over the classic all-wheel drive. The distributor gearbox, a typical feature of the classic all-wheel drive, is no longer required where hydrostatic wheel drives are used. In addition, with MAN HydroDrive®, only the rear wheels are powered in road traffic, and no friction is produced by the hydropumps or wheel motors. In contrast, with the all-wheel drive, the transmission elements of the front-axle drive continue to turn, even when they are switched off.

The advantages of the MAN HydroDrive®:

  • More favourable fuel consumption
  • Weight or payload advantage of roughly 400 kg when compared to the classic all-wheel drive
  • A high model is not required; the silhouette and centre of gravity of the road vehicle are retained
  • Greater driving safety thanks to improved traction and directional stability on unsurfaced roads and in wintry road conditions
  • Transfer of engine braking action to the front axle during coasting which leads to improved distribution of braking forces

The MAN vehicles at a glance