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October 29, 2018 5:45 PM, EDT

Mack's Anthem Gets Improved Fuel-Efficiency Package

Anthem Truck Russoli speaks at the event. (Dan Ronan/Transport Topics)

AUSTIN, Texas — Mack’s Anthem truck with the HE plus package will have as much as a 9.5% improvement in fuel efficiency because of its new aerodynamic package, Mack Trucks Inc. said.

The high-efficiency Mack Energy Recovery Technology captures energy from the engine that otherwise would be wasted and feeds it back into the truck’s powertrain.

The Greensboro, N.C.-based company made the announcement of the design and engineering changes at a news conference Oct. 29 at American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference & Exhibition.

The company was comparing the improved fuel economy in the Anthem with its popular Pinnacle series trucks.

“The HE plus package gets you the fuel economy of the HE engine, so you bump up with that, then you bump up again by adding all of the aerodynamics,” Highway Product Manager Stu Russoli said. “It has the bumper spoiler, the chassis fairings, the side extensions, the extra extensions on the end, an adjustable trim tab on the back to adjust according to your trailer height and gap to get the best aerodynamics.”

He added, “With all of those things together, the HE and the aerodynamics you get a 9.5% fuel economy improvement over your base Anthem. As we see the price of diesel going up, we want to save the customer as much money as we can.”

When the company was testing the Anthem under various road and weather conditions, the truck averaged 8 to 10.4 mpg.

The Anthem is powered by the Mack MP8HE, 13-liter, 425 horsepower engine, with energy recovery technology, and it produces 1,560 pound-feet of torque.

Mack said many fleets that have purchased the Anthem model are using it as a recruiting tool to attract and retain drivers. The truck now comes with a 70-inch stand-up sleeper model, which means the cab has additional headroom and a driver who is 5 feet, 10 inches tall can stand up without bumping his or her head on the ceiling.

“This is our first actual stand-up sleeper, where from the driver’s seat you can stand up. It gives you a lot more room and a lot more comfort,” he said.

The company also redesigned and centralized the driver’s panel, moving several items onto the steering wheel, or near it, to reduce driver fatigue.