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Auto tranny highlights Mack product introductions

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Mack Trucks introduced a new Mack mDRIVE automated mechanical transmission at the Mid-America Trucking Show.




LOUISVILLE, Ky. –Mack Trucks introduced a new Mack mDRIVE automated mechanical transmission at the Mid-America Trucking Show.

The new AMT was derived from the Volvo I-Shift and retooled specifically for use in Mack trucks with Mack engines, the company announced. Mack said it can improve fuel economy by up to 1.5%.

The mDRIVE will be available on Mack Pinnacle highway tractors equipped with Mack’s own MP7 and MP8 engines. Orders are being accepted already with deliveries to commence in the early fourth quarter, the company announced.

The mDRIVE has 12 forward and four reverse speeds, with a torque capacity of 1,920 lb.-ft. and a dry weight of 615 lbs, the company announced. The dash-mounted console eliminates the shift lever altogether.

The transmission can be operated in Economy or Performance mode. Economy mode maximizes the time spent in top gear while Performance mode allows for improved gradeability, company officials explained.

Features first introduced in the I-Shift, such as a kick-down feature that provides improved acceleration in passing situations and a hill-start assist feature called Grade Gripper, have been adapted for use in the mDRIVE. The new automated transmission is available in Fleet and Premium versions.

The fleet package includes basic shifter controls with Grade Gripper (hill-start assist) and MackCellerator (kick-down) available as options.

The Premium package comes standard with Grade Gripper and MackCellerator as well as other features for greater driver control, such as manual shift inputs. The mDRIVE also offers an Easy Shift option catered specifically to liquid bulk, livestock and other applications where abrupt movements must be avoided.

Other features include: Cruise’n Brake, which limits engine brake operation while the truck is in cruise control until the cruise speed has been reached; gear selection adjustment, which allows the driver to manually choose the starting gear using the Premium shifter; low speed modulation control, which enables clutch management at low speeds when using the brake pedal to control speed, such as when backing into a loading dock; and auto-neutral, which automatically puts the transmission into neutral when the engine has been shut off while in gear or after four minutes of idling.

“Customers who have tested mDRIVE tell me this is one very smart transmission,” said David McKenna, director of powertrain sales and marketing. “mDRIVE’s intelligence, its light weight and its intuitive performance help customers achieve up to an additional 1.5% improvement in fuel economy while making drivers happier.”

Cab-mounted exhaust

Also announced at the Mid-America Trucking Show was a new cab-mounted exhaust option on all Mack Granite models. The exhaust is mounted onto the cab’s right-hand B-pillar, leaving a completely clean back-of-cab.

Econodyne

Mack also introduced a new Econodyne engine family that delivers more torque at low speeds, improving fuel economy and hill-pulling performance. The system uses a new intelligent torque management system called EconoBoost, the company explained. It gives drivers extra pulling power to maintain speed under full engine loads and reducing the need to downshift.

The new Econodyne is available now on Mack MP7 and MP8 engines in the Pinnacle highway tractor.

Rear axle carriers

Mack also unveiled new C150/151 rear axle carriers with improved rear axle ratios for highway and vocational applications, the company announced. The company said they’re lighter, stronger and stiffer than previous designs. The new carriers are compatible with all Mack’s current suspensions with rear axle rations running from 3.11:1 to 5.66:1.


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