LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Mack Trucks, Inc. today unveiled an axle back version of its Granite model Class 8 conventional straight truck.
The Granite Axle Back vehicle gives truckers an additional option for maximizing the productivity and profitability of their operations, according to Mack. That’s because laws governing roadway use in Canada and in some states are such that having the front axle set back makes it possible to legally carry more payload. The axle back position also results in a shorter overall wheelbase, making it easier to maneuver around 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.
"Almost as soon as it was introduced, the current Granite model became the vehicle of choice for customers who recognized the importance of combining our traditional durability and reliability with all of the creature comforts today’s drivers demand. And the new axle back version offers an equally strong value proposition for our customers," said Tom Kelly, Mack vice president of marketing.
This newest addition to the Mack lineup combines the features of the current Granite model with a new, exterior design which includes flexible fender extensions, halogen headlamps, available stylized mirrors, and the Mack "M" grille.
A variety of front bumper types including flush, extended, and stylized offered in either painted steel or chrome, enhance the truck’s rugged good looks. The 27-inch front extension version provides protection for a front-mounted PTO. The stylized option is designed in sections, which eliminates the need to replace the entire bumper if only part of it is damaged.
Granite Axle Back is extremely versatile as well. A wide range of frame rail thicknesses and crossmember options make it possible to configure the vehicle as a straight truck or tractor for almost any application, including mixer, dump, roll-off, and rear loader.
Mack says it engineered Granite Axle Back from the ground up to reduce maintenance costs. Air lines and the electrical harness are easily accessed. All air valves including the relay valve, ABS modulators and spring brake valves are centrally located. Air and electrical lines are supported and protected in brackets specially designed to reduce fraying. All fittings feature reusable quick connects. And fewer wires and connections in general improves reliability.
Bodybuilders will also appreciate the re-engineered BodyLink system available on Granite Axle Back, Mack says. It includes two quick connect electrical connectors along the left hand frame rail that allow a bodybuilder to even more efficiently and effectively wire into the truck’s electrical system. Not only does this save valuable installation time, it also enhances quality and reliability by reducing or eliminating undesirable splicing, circuit loading or other electrical system problems.
Central Tire Inflation is a factory-installed option as well. CTI allows drivers to adjust tire pressure "on the fly" from inside the truck to improve traction.
The vehicle can also be equipped with perimeter work lights and an air hose to blow debris out of the cab. The backbone of Granite Axle Back is a new Mack vocational chassis called Cornerstone. The various crossmembers offered on this new chassis were developed and rigorously tested by Mack engineers. The wide range of Cornerstone 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 p.s.i. Rail reinforcement liners are also available.
"Take one look at these crossmembers and rails and you know right away that this is a Mack chassis," said Steve Ginter, Mack marketing manager for vocational products. "But the Cornerstone chassis isn’t just strong and tough. It’s designed to enhance profitability. 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. A rubber cushioning system cradles the engine and promotes 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 also emphasized that Mack, anticipating strong demand, is already well into actual production of Granite Axle Back vehicles.
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