Mack MD Series adds medium-duty muscle with Allison 3000 RDS transmission

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Mack Trucks is beefing up its medium-duty Mack MD Series with an optional Allison 3000 RDS Series transmission – a key addition for those who need to haul more payload or use a live-power PTO, including 4×2 refuse, tank and dump applications.

The live-power PTO, for example, will allow trucks to move while using the PTO at the same time.

“They can lift and lower a dump body while driving without worrying about what gear the truck is in,” said Tim Wrinkle, Mack construction product manager. The PTO can also be used by plows and spreaders.

Allison 3000 RDS transmission
(Photo: Today’s Trucking)

When equipped with the Allison 3000 RDS, the truck sees a gross vehicle weight rating of 33,000 lb. And with up to a 50% increase in available gross combination weight ratings reaching 45,000 lb., an MD Series dump truck is able to pull utility trailers loaded with small excavators.

The transmission adds to the previously available Allison 2500 RDS.

Across the lineup, Mack MD trucks can now be spec’d to a Class 6 with a GVWR of 25,995 lb. or a Class 7 with a GVWR of 33,000 lb. And the new spec’ increases the size of the potential market for these trucks by up to 25,000 units per year, said John Coll, Allison senior vice-president – global marketing sales and service.

Mack only recently re-entered the medium-duty market, and the first MD Series units rolled off the Virginia assembly line as recently as September 2020 after delays relating to Covid-19, but the OEM has produced 5,000 of the trucks overall. Last year, it ramped up from just 50 trucks in January to a 9% market share in December – ending the year with a 3.7% market share overall, said Dayle Wetherell, vice-president – medium-duty sales.

Seventy-two percent of the trucks sold were van, reefer and stake models. But the remainder were in applications and vocations that weren’t initially targeted.

Ten different body companies represented more than 500 sales, he added.

“We’ll have a better fit into the vocational segments this year,” Wetherell said, referring to uses such as construction, refuse vehicles, tankers, and dropframe beverage trucks as example.

In coming months, the transmissions will also include a new generation of Allison electronic controls, enhancing safety and cybersecurity, while also supporting over-the-air programming.

More Mack options

The transmission wasn’t the only addition to the Mack product line.

A new passenger seat for the Mack Granite will come in a full-width design, or a narrower version to accommodate body consoles. These seats bring with them three inches of increased leg room, and they’re covered in a Mordura fabric. Storage underneath can be accessed through a hatch.

A Mack mDrive dual PTO has also been added for dry and wet bulk applications.

“We have a true left and right position, which upfitters love,” Wrinkle said. “Even at the factory we can direct-mount hydraulic pumps.”

The associated two switches on the dash work independently, and there are options for DIN-mounted or SAE flange connections.

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John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking,, TruckTech, Transport Routier, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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