Mack makes enhancements to its Granite model trucks

by Truck West

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – With continued economic growth in the U.S. and truck sales surging, Mack Trucks announced a handful of enhancements to its products during the Work Truck Show today.

Most notable was an increase in ground clearance in six inches to the Granite axle forward model underbody scrapers.

The escalation in chassis ride height provides additional clearance enabling the scraper to have a full range of motion to move in excess of 45 degrees in both directions, making them a more versatile vocational offering for both winter and summer applications.

“In the offseason, these trucks are clearing gravel off the sides of roads, so they are multi-functional,” said Tim Wrinkle, construction product manager for Mack, during the announcement in Indianapolis, Ind. “The increased ground clearance allows for easier plow installation without the need to move other chassis components like fuel tanks and exhaust aftertreatment systems, saving the customer both time and money. The new configuration also allows for a shorter wheelbase for greater maneuverability and decreased weight, offering customers a cost savings without compromising performance.”

The increased clearance offers up to 21 inches of ground clearance for installation without relocating chassis components. It also maintains a 24-inch maximum first step height for no compromise to ingress or egress.

The Mack Granite is available with both the MP7 and MP8 engines and the mDrive HD 14-speed automated manual transmission with creeper gears.

The new heightened configuration will be available in the third quarter of this year.

The Granite medium heavy-duty (MHD) model is also getting improvements.

An additional lower horsepower rating of 330, a new under-frame exhaust system, shorter wheelbase 4×2 and 6×4 axle back or axle forward configuration, and all new interiors will be available on the vocational truck.

“Vocational customers have a wide variety of needs,” said Wrinkle. “Some require lighter weight options but still need their trucks to meet the difficult demands of the application. The MHD model delivers both without compromise.”
Wrinkle said the interior enhancements did not happen overnight.

“We spent a lot of time researching and doing driver interviews to get this right,” he said.

Coming with the Cummins L9 engine, the MHD lower horsepower option offers up to 1,000 lbs.-ft. of torque with the Allison 3500 transmission, gives customers the options for body adaptation with the new under-frame exhaust, such as tankers, flatbeds, box trucks and cranes, and can be spec’d as a Class 7 or 8 vehicle. The shorter wheelbase in the 4×2 configuration is ideal for a 10-foot dump body and provides better maneuverability.

GuardDog Connect

Mack Granite model trucks also come with GuardDog Connect, which has also seen some improvements of late.

Mack’s proactive diagnostic and repair planning system, GuardDog Connect enhancement for uptime include a 50% increase in Mack OneCall staffing to assist customers with issues, a $2.5 million investment into technology for better data analytics and vehicle data, tripling the number of fault codes monitored, improved repair information in ASIST to speed repair, and Over the Air for remote repairs and parameter updates.

“It’s a service, it is not a system,” said Roy Horton, Mack product strategy director, of GuardDog. “It’s about connecting the people with the technology.”

Remote repairs with Mack’s Over the Air software and parameter updates have seen 20 customers, or 3,500 vehicles use the service since October 2017, averaging 23 minutes for an update, and saving more than 500 days of downtime.

Horton said GuardDog Connect is the highest rated OEM uptime service in the industry, with 121,000 customer interactions last year.

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