Mack mixes up design to offer new look truck

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ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – Mack has unleashed a new mixer into the vocational truck market and had a demo model on display at Truxpo in September, ready to hit the open road.

“This truck is the new CTP 713 model, other than the door sleeves there’s nothing on this truck that is the same as the predecessor (the CU 713),” explained Eugene Berg, national fleet account manager with Mack, during a walk-around tour of the truck.

The cab, as Berg explained, has been completely redone.

There’s a new dash, new steering configurations and a four-inch deeper cab.

There are gains of approximately six inches of belly room and everything on the interior has changed from the HVAC to the steering column.

The light switches in the cab are accessible from the ground, so if the driver is working around the truck he doesn’t have to climb in and out of the cab to turn on his lights.

“All these changes are based on driver feedback,” noted Berg. “We did extensive clinics with fleet customers and owner/operators over 18 months to design a truck owner/operators and fleet owners wanted.”

The demo truck was also equipped with Mack’s new MP7 engine, minus the diesel particulate filter.

“This is the platform of engine that will take us to 2013,” explained Steven de Sousa, powertrain sales manager with Mack. “One has been with a customer for just over a year and we’ve had virtually no downtime and improved fuel economy. With the new oil and fuel we will even be able to extend intervals.”

The engine itself is also positioned lower in an effort to better service all the major components.

“The rear gear train on the engine is designed for better cooling and vibration dampening. The filter positioning is easily accessible, it’s a very easy engine to maintain,” noted de Sousa.

The mixer model is part of the Granite construction series and was outfitted with an air suspension in both the front and back. Air suspensions will be standard on the rear axle, but the front air suspension is an aftermarket inclusion with an additional 20,000-lb front axle.

Following the outside tour, Berg got behind the wheel and steered the mixer out of the yard and onto the streets of Abbotsford.

“You can really feel the torque in the lower RPMs and we worked really hard to improve that aspect with the new engines,” he mentioned after making our first left turn. “The operating sweet spot is at 1,500 RPM, as opposed to 1,700 RPM from the old engines.”

After a few kilometres up the road on our afternoon drive in the quiet cab, Berg steered the mixer around a traffic circle and headed back towards the Tradex Centre without any lag coming out of the 360-degree turn.

“With the old truck there is no way we would have been able to come out of that at 1,100 RPM,” he commented.

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