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Mack gains ground, sees room for further growth


LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Mack Trucks achieved a 1% market share gain in 2016, and the company sees an opportunity to add to that this year.

John Walsh, vice-president of global marketing and brand management with Mack, told press at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) that 2017 is shaping up to be a good year for the company.

Mack’s MP8 with turbocompounding is now available for order.

“The US economy right now is on pretty solid ground,” he said. “2016 was the year of higher than preferred inventories across the economy and higher than preferred inventories of Class 8 trucks dampening orders for new trucks. The good news is, we seem to have worked through this glut. Orders are picking back up. All in all there are some pretty good tailwinds going into the rest of this year.”

Mack is predicting Canada/US Class 8 truck orders to total 215,000 units this year, down from about 243,000 last year. Mack has increased its share of that through the first two months of the year, giving Walsh increased optimism it will grow its share for the second consecutive year. Last year, Mack maintained its leadership in refuse and construction categories and grew its share of the regional haul market.

“If you add all that up we were one of the few heavy-duty truck manufacturers last year to actually grow market share,” Walsh said. “I think this is a testament to the good work we’ve been doing on the product and services and support side.”
Roy Horton, director of product strategy, attributed the growth in part to Mack’s ability to collect real-time data and use it to help customers better manage their businesses. He pointed out Mack’s GuardDog Connect remote diagnostics platform is fully “integrated and industrialized” and helping fleets reduce downtime. It has reduced diagnostic time by an average of 70%, slashed repair times by 21%, increased shop efficiency by 24% and reduced check-in times at dealers by an average of 40 minutes, Horton said.

Mack is now also offering over-the-air engine software updates and parameter programming, to further increase uptime.

The company is also seeing customers embrace its mDrive automated manual transmission. It’s being spec’d in 80% of Pinnacle axle back models, more than 60% of Pinnacle axle forward trucks and nearly 40% of Granite trucks, in which it has been an option for just two years.

At MATS, Mack introduced a new Super Econodyne Direct package, which allows customers to select a direct drive mDrive transmission as part of a Super Econodyne spec’. It was previously only available with overdrive transmission models. The direct drive option offers an opportunity to improve fuel economy by up to 1% in applications of up to 80,000 lb GCW.

Mack also announced its MP8 with turbocompounding is now available for order, offering a fuel economy gain of up to 8.8%. Turbocompounding captures previously wasted exhaust heat and converts it into 50 usable horsepower.

And if you’re in a region that allows 6×2 liftable pusher axles, Mack is now offering automatic standby mode for applications that haul out heavy and return empty. It eliminates the need for drivers to push buttons to initiate standby mode, by using sensors to automatically lift or lower the axle based on load.


James Menzies

James Menzies

James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at james@newcom.ca or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.
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