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Mack to focus on long-haul sleeper trucks in 2014

March 30, 2014

Louisville, KY.  Mack has been best known for its construction, refuse and regional-haul trucks, but in 2014 the company plans to direct its attention to over-the-road vehicles with sleepers, according to Stephen Roy, president of Mack Trucks North America Sales and Marketing. Roy made the announcement at the Mid-America Trucking Show, held here March 26-29. 

“Fuel efficiency and uptime will continue to be top priorities for Mack Trucks,” he said. “This ongoing focus to help reduce customer operating costs, along with recent investments in products, support solutions, facilities and the brand, has Mack well-positioned for success in the highway market.

“Customers need trucks that maximize their ROI,” Roy noted. “The best way to do that is to provide products that increase fuel efficiency and aftermarket services that keep trucks on the road generating revenue. It also means offering uptime solutions that go beyond the industry norm to support our customers when they need it.”

Today, Mack’s over-the-road Pinnacle model (offered in both axle-forward and axle-back configurations and in a 6x2 version), features a wide range of high performing proprietary engines and the Mack  mDRIVE automated manual transmission (AMT), Roy said. Mack engines are GHG 2014-certified and offer up to a 2.4% increase in fuel efficiency. The mDRIVE improves drivability and boosts fuel efficiency by up to 5% over a manual transmission.

A Mack Pedigree Powertrain combines a proprietary Mack engine, transmission and axles. A recently introduced version of the Pedigree Powertrain, the Mack Super Econodyne, seamlessly integrates a Mack MP8-445SE engine, mDRIVE AMT and proprietary axles to increase fuel efficiency by up to 3% compared to similarly spec’d vehicles. A drag-reducing roof, chassis and side fairings are also available as options.

“We’ll put our fuel efficiency up against any other OEM’s products,” Roy said. “For Mack, it’s all about positively impacting our customers’ bottom lines. That’s the commitment we’re making to them every day.”

“We are really focused on the total solution, not just the truck,” he added. “[That means excellent] products and services developed specifically for each customer’s unique needs.”

Mack’s GuardDog Connect telematics-based solution is a case in point, Roy noted. The system is designed to quickly diagnose potential issues, proactively schedules repairs and confirm that the required parts are in stock and ready to install-- all while the truck is still on the job.  

As soon as a potential issue is detected, an automatic alert is sent to Mack OneCall, Mack’s 24/7 customer support center staffed by trained specialists. The Mack OneCall team immediately evaluates the situation, a case is opened in the Mack ASIST web-based fleet service management platform, the owner or fleet service manager is contacted and the repair planning process begins through a customer-chosen dealer. The process includes verification that a bay and the necessary parts are available. Mack OneCall also electronically sends repair instructions to the dealer. The end result is that technicians are fully prepared when the truck arrives, getting the customer back on the road faster.

GuardDog Connect is part of Mack Pedigree Uptime Protection, an integrated suite of service and support solutions including Bulldog Service Management, Bulldog Parts Purchasing, Bulldog Financing and Bulldog Asset Protection.

“We are also partnering with other companies, such as Telogis and PeopleNet to provide additional productivity tools,” Roy told the MATS audience.

Mack’s service and support network, consisting of 428 Mack dealer locations and more than 5,000 additional service locations in North America, is a critical piece to the success of Mack’s aftermarket support, he added. Since 2010, dealers have invested $325 million, increasing bay capacity by 32% , Master Technicians by 150%, spare parts availability by 35%, hours available for service by 44% percent and parts department employees by 65%.

“Our aftermarket solutions and extensive support offer customers peace of mind,” Roy said. “They can be assured that Mack is taking care of them and helping save them money by getting their trucks back on the road quicker. Couple these services with our fuel-efficient products, and Mack has a total business solution for our customers.”

Mack also announced a re-launch of its iconic brand during the same press conference. John Walsh, Mack’s vice president of marketing, presented the new logo and discussed the rationale for the changes as well as the purpose and goals behind the new look.

The goal is consistency and clarity, Walsh said. “Mack is American. Mack should stand for American ideals.”  The promise the logo makes is that this is an American truck you can count on.

For those anxious about the changes being made to the well-recognized, historic brand, Walsh also offered reassurance. “This will be an evolution, not a revolution,” Walsh said. “You don’t change things with so much time and equity. The Mack bulldog has been around since 1930. [The new logo is just] more modern, more forward-looking, more in line with our purpose and goals, but it still contains our DNA. We owe this to everyone who built the brand before us, but this is our time.”

Accordingly, the new, bolder block lettering for “MACK” and the streamlined bulldog shown from the side, should be both familiar and fresh looking to Mack fans old and new.

The company also chose “Born Ready” as its new global tag line. “Mack is a distinctly American brand,” observed Walsh. “It is a proud brand that tries to speak the truth.”

About the Author

Wendy Leavitt

Wendy Leavitt joined Fleet Owner in 1998 after serving as editor-in-chief of Trucking Technology magazine for four years.

She began her career in the trucking industry at Kenworth Truck Company in Kirkland, WA where she spent 16 years—the first five years as safety and compliance manager in the engineering department and more than a decade as the company’s manager of advertising and public relations. She has also worked as a book editor, guided authors through the self-publishing process and operated her own marketing and public relations business.

Wendy has a Masters Degree in English and Art History from Western Washington University, where, as a graduate student, she also taught writing.  

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