When we first tried out the winch on our HX60 it was functioning without a problem. Except when we tried to take off the parking brake: the revs would drop and no show!
So there we were: We had a fantastic Rotzler hydraulic winch but could only use it to recover other people, not ourselves. Obviously this was not why we bought the winch truck. We have been looking for a ‘fix’ for some time, so we would be able to use the winch for self-recovery.
We posted some questions in different groups on Facebook (among the MAN HX60 group) but nobody seems to have a solution – or did not want to share it?
We contacted Rotzler Winches in Germany and they were very quick and helpful in their response: ‘This is a safety that is build in for the military. Unfortunately it is not ours, you should contact MAN’.
So we contacted the local MAN dealership ROSIERVANDENBOSCH in Utrecht and talked to Pieter de Jong. He bought into the problem and said that they would come up with a solution: one way or another.
We made an appointment and with my hopes set high I drove up to the dealership.
Mechanic Walter was already waiting for me (7.45 AM) and he plugged in the computer to start looking for a solution to ‘uncouple’ the winch from the parking brake. After trying to get into the system multiple ways he said: I just cannot overwrite this, we have to find another solution.
Bummer! My hopes immediately flew out of the enormous garage door. But Walter said: ‘I will ask Gunther to have a crack at this as well’.
It turned out that that Walter and Gunther are pretty much the ‘dynamic duo’ when it comes to problem solving. Walther has a lot of computer knowledge and Gunther is a mechanical ace, so together they are a real dream team.
They started talking and philosophising about the problem, had some ‘problem input’ from RP and at one point Gunther jumps into the cab, starts the engine and is just playing around with the controls.
After some time I hear the engine rev and no handbrake on, Gunther is smiling and says: ‘It hink I have found it!’
They get another MAN truck in front of our truck, have some large wooden beams in front of the HX60 and I get the order to winch myself to the other truck. So I start winching and yes, we have lift off! The HX60 is pulled over the logs without even flinching and it is working the way it should: no parking brake!
Needless to say that Gunter and Walter are proud as peacocks with seven tales (and so they should be).
The way to handle the winch for self-recovery is:
- Transfer case in N (precaution)
- Gearbox in Neutral
- Remove parking brake
- Foot off the brake
- Engage PTO (wait for 5 seconds after shifting to Neutral)
- Engage MEM on the stalk – steering column – the revs will go up.
- Engage the winch switch
- You can winch yourself out of a nasty situation!
When this is all engaged you can use the foot brake to come to a hold (winch will still be functioning).
As we were looking for a solution for a long time we hope that this information can be of help to other HX60 -with winch – owners as well.
We will do some more winching tests in the near future and try some other stuff as well.
We had another challenge for Walter and Gunther: we wanted to fit a stronger alternator as we have a device called ‘Scotty” that can transfer up to 3000 watts to the household batteries, and the standard alternator is only 120A – 24V, so that is not sufficient for our needs.
The problem is that there is very little room around the alternator to replace it with a bigger one. I found an alternator with 150A – 24V (testreport even shows maximum 179A output) that is slightly bigger.
It did not fit at once. The guys had to alter the alternator by grinding some parts of it, just a knick, but enough to make it fit without stress.
So, we now do not only have a functioning winch for self-recovery, but also have a new and shiny alternator with 150A-24V (according to the test sheet maximum output 179A -24V).
This MAN dealer knows its business and showed us that they will go the extra mile to solve the problem(s).
A big thanks to Pieter for buying into the problem and especially Gunther and Walter for solving the problem!
We tried a Prestolite 190A alternator at first but unfortunately this did not fit. Adjustments would be too severe and weaken the body too much (the mechanics said).
So I went to the local alternator and starter motor repair shop and asked them to come up with a solution. They took a Bosch 0124655161 (as far as I know) and altered some electrics and mounted the pulley to match the original alternator.
It is slightly bigger so to make it fit Gunther had to flex the case at one spot (just a few mm) and to flex off a bracket that is not used for mounting.