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And speaking of Mack, the company in early March unveiled a new logo and tagline for its 114-year-old brand. The iconic bulldog is now positioned atop the distinctive MACK lettering, his head stretched skyward. The company’s new slogan is: Mack Trucks…Born Ready. Be prepared to see a lot of this new logo/slogan as Mack looks to become a more prominent player in the North American Class 8 (and Class 7, with its Granite MHD) market. I wasn’t at the relaunch, which took place at the ConExpo trade show in Las Vegas, because I was covering the Green Truck Summit and Work Truck Show in Indianapolis. (What was I thinking, trading a trip to Vegas for a trip to Indy)?

Well, it all worked out, because while at the Work Truck Show, I caught up with Curtis Dorwart, vocational product marketing manager for Mack. He assured me a lot of thought and planning went into developing Mack’s new identity, which looks to capture the brand’s reputation for doing business in a “simple, straightforward and honest” manner.

At the Work Truck Show, Curtis was showing off a couple Granite MHDs (Medium Heavy Duty) in various trims. The MHD was first introduced in 2011 in a dump configuration. A 4×2 version followed and now the company is adapting the vehicle to various other applications. “We’re now pushing it into some of the smaller niche applications where we think there’s good value in giving essentially a Class 8 truck with a good heavy frame system versus providing a medium-duty truck with a lighter frame system and throwing heavy axles on it,” Curtis told me.

I asked Curtis how the vocational truck market is performing. “The subjective barometer for me is, you come to a trade show like this and you talk to the folks who are buying and you get a feel of where their business is and what’s happening,” Curtis said. “We can show all the charts and graphs we want, but it comes down to what is the energy level on the show floor, and I think that it’s been getting better and better every year. It’s definitely on the upswing and the figures show that as well.”

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