Mack Trucks has announced that a heavy-duty version of its mDrive automated manual transmission will be standard equipment on its Mack Granite model. The transmission will be included on all vehicle orders as of March.
Mack made the announcement during World of Concrete 2015 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
“Our construction customers told us they wanted a heavy-duty version of the mDrive designed specifically to handle rough jobs in tough conditions,” said Stephen Roy, president of Mack Trucks North American sales and marketing.
“We listened to them and developed a reinforced rugged transmission that will help our customers deliver power, performance, enhanced durability and improved driver satisfaction in a time when the industry is experiencing a driver shortage,” he added
The mDrive HD is designed and engineered to work exclusively with Mack MP7 and Mack MP8 engines (seen at right). The 12-speed has an automated clutch, so no clutch pedal is required. Operation of the transmission is controlled through a dash-mounted shift pad by selecting drive, neutral or reverse. For more demanding jobsite maneuvers, the premium shift pad can be operated manually to hold a gear, downshift or upshift, Mack added.
Available in overdrive and direct drive, the mDrive HD continuously monitors changes in grade (both up and down), vehicle speed, throttle position, acceleration, torque demand and gross vehicle weight. It automatically chooses the best gear for the road condition, allowing drivers to focus on the terrain rather than shifting gears, increasing safety on worksites.
Among the features of the transmission, Mack said, are:
- The mDRIVE HD is lightweight. Including transmission oil, the mDrive HD is up to 237 lbs. lighter than other transmission offerings, enabling customers to haul even more payload.
- It features reinforced internal components. With stronger gears and synchros, the mDrive HD is built to withstand more frequent shifting that is often needed in construction applications.
- The mDrive HD uses a transmission-mounted oil cooler. The oil cooler helps maintain an optimal operating temperature, despite repeated, heat-generating shifts common on a jobsite.
- Unique software packages, specific to the customer application, are available. The “Enhanced Construction” package provides optimal on/off-road capability and gives the driver full control over any terrain. “EZ Shift” delivers smoother shifts for sensitive payloads like livestock or bulk liquids.
- The mDrive HD offers a “rock free” feature. Should the vehicle become stuck, this feature allows the driver to rock the truck back and forth simply by pumping the accelerator.
- It features “grade gripper.” Working with the truck’s ABS system, grade gripper allows the vehicle to momentarily hold a hill, giving the driver time to move their foot from the brake to the accelerator pedal without rolling backward.