Mack has gone one better on its popular Granite heavy duty straight truck, with an axle back version introduced by company officials prior to the World of Concrete show in Las Vegas in January.
The Granite Axle Back is a truck company officials hope will keep the Granite series riding high atop new truck registrations for the coming years.
Given that laws governing roadway use are such that setting the front axle back can facilitate the legal carriage of more payload, the new truck provides truckers with an opportunity to maximize productivity and profitability.
Not to mention the new truck’s shorter wheelbase, which makes it easier to handle on tight job sites.
“We are very proud of our leadership position in the heavy duty vocational truck market,” said Tom Kelly, Mack vice president of marketing.
The new Axle Back Granite has all the advantages of its predecessor – including a spacious cab with plenty of leg and belly room, excellent visibility, and an ergonomically-designed electronic dash with advanced electronics.
The outside of the truck is also functional as well as visually appealing, with new flexible fender extensions to minimize damages and replacement costs, easily replaced halogen headlamps (with a hammer proof casing), availability of stylized mirrors and a distinctive Mack “M”- shaped grille.
Buyers can choose from a variety of bumper types, including flush, extended or stylized – in either painted steel or chrome.
But versatility is the key selling point of the Axle Back – the available range of frame rail thicknesses and crossmember options means you can spec it as a straight truck or as a tractor for a variety of applications, including mixer, dump, roll-off and rear loader.
As for operating costs, the Axle Back was built to reduce maintenance costs, say company officials, with easy-to-get-at air lines, electrical harnesses and air valves. Air and electrical lines are protected in brackets designed to provide support and reduce fraying. All fittings have reusable quick connects. And fewer wires and connections in general improves reliability, company officials say.
The BodyLink system available on the Axle Back includes two quick-connect electrical connectors along the left frame rail which makes it easier for body builders to wire in the truck’s electrical system, This not only saves installation time, but it also enhances reliability by reducing and/or eliminating splicing, circuit loading or other electrical system problems.
Of course the backbone of the Granite Axle Back is its Cornerstone vocational chassis – also new from Mack. The crossmembers offered on this new chassis were rigorously tested by Mack engineers. And the range of constant-height frame rail options, 300 mm tall and ranging in thickness from 7 mm to 11.1 mm, are all made from high strength, low alloy steel that’s quenched and tempered to a minimum of 120,000 psi. (Rail reinforcement liners are also available.)
But the truck isn’t just designed for durability, pointed out Mack marketing manager Steve Ginter.
“Flaring the rails up front allowed us to increase the size of the radiator – and make other enhancements to the cooling system – which makes the truck run very efficiently. To reduce driver fatigue, we incorporated a new engine mounting system that decreases noise and vibration. (The Jake brakes were surprisingly quiet as well during the test drive held in Las Vegas.) A rubber cushioning system cradles the engine and promotes a longer operating life. And a whisper-quiet fan, controlled by our V-MAC electronics system, turns on and off precisely when needed to save fuel and keep dust kick-up to a minimum,”Ginter said.
Factory-installed options include central tire inflation, which allows drivers to adjust tire pressure on the fly from inside the cab – the result is improved traction.
The truck can also be equipped with perimeter lights and an air hose to blow debris out of the cab.
The Granite Axle Back is already in production.
For more information on Mack’s Granite series and the new Axle Back, visit www.macktrucks.com