Mack Trucks Inc. has introduced a new chassis for its Vision and CH Class 8 tractor models that is designed to accommodate the needs of 2007 engines, yet give customers more maneuverability and in some cases, less weight compared to Mack's previous chassis design.
According to Tom Davis, Mack's marketing manager for highway products, the new Advantage chassis is available in four frame rail options to better match customer application: 6 mm, 7 mm, 8 mm, and 9.5 mm. All feature increased resistance bending moment (RBM), for greater strength.
“Weight-sensitive bulk haulers will be pleased with the addition of the 7 mm rail, which has a higher RBM than our current 8 mm, but is up to 100 lb. lighter,” Davis said. “Less chassis weight mans more payload.
“We also redesigned the shape of the chassis to make room for a bigger cooling system that the next generation of low-emission engines will need.”
The new bowed front rail design of the Advantage chassis allows for a 10% larger cooling system to be installed, he explained.
The chassis also boasts up to 50-dgree outside wheel cuts to dramatically improve turning diameter. For example, according to Davis, a Mack Vision Class 8 tractor built on the Advantage chassis will have a turning radius that is almost 15 feet tighter than one built on the previous chassis design.
Steve Homcha, executive-vp for Class 8 programs, pointed out the Advantage chassis is the result of two-and-one-half years of development work and will replace all of Mack's highway tractor chassis by mid-July. He noted that there will be no up-charge to customers. “This change is cost neutral to them,” he stated.
Other key features of the Advantage chassis design include a standard front taperleaf suspension with springs spaced slightly apart to reduce friction, as well as a reduced spring rate to provide a softer ride A Hendrickson Airtek air-ride front axle-suspension combination is optional.
Cab interior noise and vibration have been reduced, thanks to an engine support crossmember, a cab mounting system, and special sound dampening material. Also, new rear engine mounts ease transmission removal.
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