Mack optimizes mDrive HD for low-speed maneuverability

TORONTO, Ont. — Mack Trucks came to Truck World with two new versions of its mDrive HD transmission and a new one-box aftertreatment system.

The company introduced new 13- and 14-speed mDrive HD transmissions with creeper gears for better performance under heavy loads or at low speeds. They’ll give customers an alternative to the Allison automatic in applications where low-speed maneuverability is crucial, explained Curtis Dorwart, Mack’s vocational products marketing manager.

The new low-speed gears allow the truck to crawl along at as little as half a mile per hour, for low-speed jobs such as curb pouring, while also allowing efficient operation at highway speeds. These applications were previously Allison’s domain, Dorwart acknowledged.

“That was one of their strengths but we can match that same strength in a package that’s lighter, less expensive and is also monitored by our GuardDog Connect telematics system, he said. “We’re monitoring the transmission as well (as the engine).”

Mack also introduced the Canadian market to its one-box exhaust aftertreatment system, which Dorwart said occupies about 11 inches less frame rail space than the previous two-box system Mack employed. The single-box system is now standard on all models except the Titan by Mack. The design also uses passive heat generated by the exhaust to bathe the internal components to provide the more efficient processing of soot, requiring fewer active DPF regenerations.

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James Menzies is editor of Today's Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 20 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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