Special Coverage



Mack Highlights Fuel Economy, Driver-Comfort Features

Mack Anthem
Mack Anthem on display by John Sommers II for Transport Topics

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Mack Trucks Inc. showcased its latest efforts to maximize fuel economy and enhance safety through engine refinements, improved aerodynamics and driver-assistance features at American Trucking Associations’ 2021 Management Conference & Exhibition.

The truck maker showcased a Mack Anthem on-highway tractor equipped with the Mack MP8HE+ efficiency package, which the company said can provide up to 13% improved fuel efficiency compared with the baseline Anthem model.

That package, built around the 13-liter MP8HE engine, also includes Mack’s mDrive automated manual transmission, aerodynamic enhancements and predictive cruise control.

The Mack MP8HE engine incorporates Energy Recovery Technology, which delivers added torque to the crankshaft by recapturing waste energy from the engine’s exhaust.

“With that, along with the mDrive, we’re able to downspeed the truck enough that we’re running at 1100 or 1050 rpm,” Stu Russoli, Mack Trucks’ highway product manager, told Transport Topics. “That’s huge fuel savings. You’re relaxing the engine. You’re not working it as hard.”

Mack also has modified the engine’s wave pistons and turbocharger wastegate to further increase efficiency.

In addition, the Anthem model on display at MCE features extended chassis fairings for up to 0.5% fuel efficiency improvement as well as FlowBelow’s tractor AeroKit system, which is designed to provide up to 2.23% fuel savings by improving air flow around the tractor’s rear axles.


Mack Anthem by Mack Trucks

“This tractor in the booth is really set up as far as we can go with it today,” Russoli said.

The truck maker also announced at the show that it is offering a factory-installed, electric auxiliary power unit for its 70-inch Mack Anthem sleeper models. The Idle Free Series 5000 eAPU increases air-cooling capacity to improve driver comfort while reducing engine idling to save fuel and maintenance costs.

Russoli said fuel efficiency and driver satisfaction are his fleet customers’ top priorities. Those two issues are interconnected because fuel savings ultimately can translate to driver pay increases.

“You’re trying to make your drivers happy and keep your drivers, so maybe a bit more money goes toward them, and less toward fuel,” Russoli said.

In addition to its focus on fuel economy, Mack highlighted its latest driver-assist technology designed to improve safety and reduce strain on drivers.

One example is Mack Command Steer, which the company said can reduce driver effort by up to 85% by providing steering assistance. An electric motor on the hydraulic steering system applies torque as needed to help drivers navigate road conditions such as wind gusts, tire blowouts and banked roads with less strain while preventing overcorrecting.

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