CC Global: 2018 Volkswagen Crafter Double Cab Flatbed Truck – Empas Hot Water Weed Control Machine

VW Crafter flatbed truck - 1

The heaviest and most powerful Volkswagen Crafter, carrying an interesting machine. I’ve passed by this combination many times, driving my car. Last Saturday afternoon, I went out for a long walk and could finally take some pictures for a write-up.

Let’s start with the Volkswagen’s cargo, an Empas hot water unit for professional weed control. The main advantage of working with this type of equipment is evident: not using pesticides.

This video gives you an impression of how the equipment works. Not only that, it’s also a great opportunity to refresh your Dutch. Sort of. The hot water unit features a 1,000 liter water tank and its whole hydraulic system is powered by a small Yanmar diesel engine. You can use the unit alone or together, with a co-worker.

VW Crafter flatbed truck - 2

Back to the carrier, and don’t call it a Transporter. The current generation of the Volkswagen Crafter was introduced at the end of 2016. Unlike the previous model, it’s not a joint Volkswagen-Daimler project. The Volkswagen Crafter and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter are not connected anymore.

VW Crafter line-up

As is always the case with these light Euro-commercial vehicles, the configuration possibilities are sheer endless. FWD, RWD or AWD. Single or dual rear wheels (RWD chassis). Panel van or chassis-cab. Single or double cab. Short or long wheelbase. Multiple rear overhang lengths. Manual or automatic transmission. Four different maximum power outputs…I’ll better stop now, because there’s simply too much to mention.

VW Crafter flatbed truck - 3

What we have here is a RWD, double cab flatbed truck with dropsides and dual rear wheels. It’s the long, 449 cm (176.8”) wheelbase chassis. Volkswagen rates this truck at a maximum GVM of 5,000 kg (11,023 lbs).

The Crafter is powered by a 2.0 TDI biturbo engine, 177 DIN-hp @ 3,600 rpm. Maximum torque output 410 Nm (302 lbf-ft) @ 1,500 – 2,000 rpm.

VW Crafter interior

Typical Volkswagen interior, neat and tidy, just like in their cars. The transmission is either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic.

MAN TGE flatbed truck

The Volkswagen Crafter is also marketed as the MAN TGE. German MAN -an old and renowned name in the trucking business- is a brand of the Traton Group, the truck division of the Volkswagen Group.

MAN truck line-up

Meet the other members of the MAN family, all cabovers with a tilt cab. The lightest truck model is obviously the MAN TGL on the right. The base engine in the TGL is a 160 DIN-hp, 4.6 liter inline-four. The series’ GVM ranges from 7,500 to 12,000 kg (16,535 to 26,455 lbs).

…Oh yes, hot water weed control machines are not used by our police force.

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