Can you build your own truck as a MAN appprentice? Who else but MAN.

Whether you are an aspiring automotive mechatronics technician, production mechanic, cutting machine operator, metal worker, industrial mechanic, mechatronics technician or body and vehicle construction mechanic - everybody completing technical apprenticeship with MAN Truck & Bus in Munich, Nuremberg or Salzgitter gets to build their own miniature version of a truck. This is because our employees understand their trade.

The exciting “Build your own truck” project began at MAN in 2012. This idea was welcomed with great enthusiasm by each of our committed apprentices.

But how is it actually possible to build a 1:14 scale MAN Truck if you are just at the very beginning of your working life? It's quite simple. With us, apprentices learn step by step what they need for their occupation – and then they use what they have learned in building the small truck. This is started in the first year of apprenticeship and the truck is finished in around 12 to 18 months.

Apprentice with her finished truck model Test drive with finished RC truck models Truck model Miniature truck Special edition 100 years truck & bus Apprentice with her finished truck model

Building - a welcome challenge

There are two versions of vehicle building available to suit the different apprenticeship occupations.

Those learning the basics of metal technology in their occupation build the truck entirely by themselves apart from a few components such as the electric motor, chassis, remote control, plastic parts and tyres. Turning, milling, drilling, bending sheet metal, cutting threads - quite a few metal working techniques are needed to produce the aluminium components using the construction plans for the model. Even rims are produced by the apprentices themselves.

Just as much is expected of apprentices who do not have the basics in metal technology. They don't actually produce truck components themselves, but they do have to demonstrate the same level of skill and dexterity in assembling an original Tamiya MAN Truck kit which is provided for them.

The “young vehicle builders” can of course choose the colour of their truck themselves.

“We are building our own truck at the moment. That is totally cool.”
Jasmine Hitz, appprentice industrial mechanic

Once all the parts are there, the vehicle is professionally screwed together. There is of course no shortage of motivation to work with extreme precision when constructing the miniature truck. After all, you want your own truck to look really impressive later on.

A highlight is the handover event for the trucks.

“Wow, have you seen the red truck?” or “I like the silver one at the back the best” are the type of comments you hear. But it really is quite a spectacle when 60 to 70 colourful trucks are all lined up on parade at the official handover at the MAN site.

The apprentices are really excited. Up until then, they've only been able to talk to friends and family about their truck - but then they are finally allowed to take their pride and joy home.

Colleagues, trainers, managers and the works council are all there for the big day and want to admire the trucks made by the latest class of apprentices. The apprentices can naturally be proud if their work gets this much attention.

Trucks in the spotlight

Many of the small trucks really make it to the big time. This is because they are just too good not to be used by MAN.

The miniature versions of the trucks are perfect for MAN to use as a promotional method. It may thus be the case that one or two of them turn up again, for example on a trade fair stand, at apprenticeship shows or at an educational congress with a key advertising message on the semi-trailer. This is assuming of course that the appprentice is happy for their truck to embark on a long trip.

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