Mack unleashes bulldog with over-the-air updates

Remote engine updates can be completed without rolling near a service bay.

ATLANTA, Ga. – Mack Trucks has officially begun over-the-air engine updates, just a year after unveiling the underlying technology.

So far it has performed 1,300 updates on 3,500 vehicles, supporting 20 customers, and saving 500-plus days of downtime overall. About 5,000 vehicles should be connected in the next couple of weeks.

Owners of trucks with 2017-or-later Model Year engines will annually be eligible for two changes to parameter packages per VIN — tweaking everything from fuel economy to performance without rolling into a service bay. There are six available parameter packages overall.

“It could be in a warehouse and they’re getting loaded or unloaded, it could be at a grain bin,” said David Pardue, vice-president of connected vehicles and uptime services, referring to the quick, flexible nature of the work.

The service is provided at no charge during the initial two-year base engine warranty, and customers can extend it after that.

And if a fault code is identified, a One Call agent contacts the customer before new software is transmitted. The data is transferred with the key in the on position and the parking brake engaged. Even battery ratings are confirmed through telematics and the driver before the process begins.

This is the latest in a series of features offering remote support.

Mack has invested more than $2.5 million in technology for enhanced data analytics and vehicle data, tripled the number of codes that are monitored, and enhanced repair information available through the Mack ASIST app.

“We have well over 200,000 connected vehicles. The tools we use today have to be more robust,” Pardue said.

The company now connects to customers and their equipment through GuardDog Connect, OneCall, ASIST, and 117 Certified Uptime Centers.

Older Macks and Cummins power continue to enjoy support through Mack OneCall and ASIST.

Models from 2014 onward have the benefit of GuardDog Connect, which supported 121,000 customer interactions last year alone.



John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking,, TruckTech, Transport Routier, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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