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ORLANDO, Fla. - Mack was obviously trying to make a point when it decided to call its latest truck the Titan. This is a name that evokes thoughts of power. And in a line of trucks identified by a bull...

ORLANDO, Fla. –Mack was obviously trying to make a point when it decided to call its latest truck the Titan. This is a name that evokes thoughts of power. And in a line of trucks identified by a bulldog, it will need to prove itself as one of the strongest members of the pack.

This is the tractor that will pull lowboys with GCVWs approaching 140,000 lbs, and be put to work in severe service applications such as “light mining,” logging and the rubber railroads that are Michigan trains.

The truck hardly disappoints. The TD 713 that was recently made available for a test ride in central Florida highlights the aggressive look that will attract many buyers, complete with the finishing touches that will enhance strength and serviceability.

The state’s terrain limited the opportunity to truly push this truck to its limits.

The biggest hill in Florida is no higher than a landfill site, after all, and the Gross Combination Weight reached a mere 71,340 lbs with the payload of a politically-correct Volvo bulldozer.

But it is easy to tell that there was plenty of power in reserve as the 605-hp Maxicruise engine (offering 2,060 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,200 RPM) cruised along at 55 mph without breaking much of a sweat.

This is not all about power, however. The Titan has also maintained a comfortable ride for those who will call the truck their workplace.

The bark of the Mack engine brake was reduced to little more than a whimper inside the well-insulated air ride cab.

There has been a lot of attention to the visibility from the driver’s seat as well.

While Mack has maintained an aggressive-looking hood profile, it has been able to refine the shape enough to offer a clear look at the road below. The visor over the windshield offers some welcome protection from the Florida sun without being so big that it is a distraction.

And the windows in the doors also drop down far enough to offer an unobstructed view of the Bulldog stylized, powered and lighted mirrors.

One of the few criticisms is that some drivers may find this cab to be a little high, even for an ink-stained wretch like this writer who measures in at 6’5″.

Then again, the interior is worth the climb. The test vehicle may have been equipped with the entry-level interior rather than the upscale Rawhide options, but there was still plenty of attention to detail. Rather than using fasteners with traditional Phillips heads, there are hex heads, and gauges are framed in a brushed metal. By including a floor mat with deep shoulders, Mack has even developed an interior that should be easy to wash, keeping the embossed dog prints free of any dirt.

The upgraded bumper and driving lights certainly offer some attractive finishing touches for those who want to enhance the appearance of the truck.

The air intakes mounted outside the engine compartment -officially known as “growlers” -add to the distinctive appearance, with an aggressive squared design that is quite different than the round cylinders found on Paccar models.

Back inside, a couple of Big Gulpsized drink holders are mounted by the floor, the head liner has been reinforced to support a CB, and the basic gauge cluster is well filled.

The controls and gauges have also been well designed for easy access. The only real exception here seems to be the HVAC controls, which require drivers to reach around the gearshift.

A larger driver information display may also be available, but the standard screen that is viewed through the spokes of the steering wheel offers a clear view of all the information that the engine can provide.

The simple controls offer a quick look at everything from pending maintenance needs to fuel economy.

One of the smartest additions has been a simple “pizza slice” panel that sits on top of the dashboard, ready to be pulled off by loosening no more than three fasteners with hex heads. That will offer service teams some welcome access when installing controls for auxiliary equipment.

Since this is a work truck, storage is obviously important, and there is plenty of it in the header and the back of the cab.

Even the space behind the cup holder has been left open to serve in the role of a tall storage compartment, although it will likely be too shallow to hold much more than a pair of work gloves.

Heading outside the truck, the well-balanced hood can be easily opened with one hand, and the layout of the engine compartment has done a good job at ensuring easy access to the vital fluids.

The air cleaner mounted under the cab can also be easily accessed, while cooling is supported by everything from the multi-speed Borg Warner fan right to the clear passage for air under the cab. The appearance of reinforcement brackets, thick flange and a substantial web help to reinforce the idea that the Titan is designed for severe service, complete with a single element frame that is lined with huck bolts.

This bulldog is obviously ready for duty. Severe-duty. It should serve Mack owners well.

Truck News

Truck News

Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry.
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