Mack Showcases Medium-Duty Trucks With Driving Event
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SHEBOYGAN, Wis. — Mack Trucks showcased its medium-duty offerings Sept. 26 by inviting reporters to test drive three different trucks.
The Mack Trucks-Kriete Truck Centers Mack MD Ride and Drive Event was held at the Road America track. Mack re-entered the medium-duty truck market after an almost two-decade hiatus with the launch of the Mack MD Series in July 2020.
“When the truck was designed, we wanted something with proven Mack reliability, proven Mack durability, but we needed comfort for the driver,” said Joe Favia, regional vice president for medium-duty sales. “And mission accomplished. We got the tilt telescopic wheel, we got the adjustable seat, air ride cabs, easy egress.”
The Mack MD trucks provided for the event covered tank, towing and portable restroom applications. The cab configurations were virtually identical among the three trucks with the exception of one designed to clean portable restrooms, which had a control to spray water.
"We wanted something with proven Mack reliability, proven Mack durability," says Joe Favia, regional vice president for medium-duty sales. (Connor D. Wolf/Transport Topics)
The trucks were started by being put in neutral, releasing the air brake and shifting into drive. During this process, the cab was noticeably quiet with just a faint engine hum.
“We still don’t have inventory sitting,” Mack Trucks North America President Jonathan Randall said. “If trucks are available, they’re getting sold. If a customer decides that they don’t want to take their full order, what they don’t take is getting sold someplace else very quickly.
“So, we haven’t seen that pullback yet, although we’re conscious that it certainly could be coming. In the meantime, as we’ve opened up the order books for next year already with Mack, we’ve had very robust order intake already for the first half.”
Mack MD Series trucks on the track show the layout of the Road America course in Sheboygan, Wis. (Connor D. Wolf/Transport Topics)
Road America held its first race in 1955 within a year of its founding. The grounds today span 640 acres, with its main track still the same shape and size as when it was first built. The track where the test drive occurred was built much later and covers eight-tenths of a mile with multiple tight turns, straightaways, sharp inclines and drop-offs. It is used for trucks and cars as well as karts and supermoto bikes.
“This kart track and purpose-built supermoto autocross — and today testing track for you guys — was built in 2001,” said Erick Heling, a programs manager at Road America.
The Mack MD Series includes Classes 6 and 7 truck models, the MD6 and MD7. They have a sharp wheel cut for enhanced maneuverability, are available in 4×2 configurations, and have a cab design that features a bumper-to-back-of-cab measurement of 103 inches.
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“These trucks are going into New York City, Milwaukee, Wis., Chicago, Ill.,” Favia said. “They need that maneuverability with a 26-foot van body with a liftgate, clear back of cab, air suspended cab ... and a standard rear window.”
Favia noted many medium-duty customers are not focused on transportation. They may just have a small fleet to support their main operations. They might not even have big shops or repair facilities, so the trucks also were designed with those customers in mind.
“They count on us when we sell them the truck to make sure that truck runs the next day,” Favia said. “We use the Cummins B6.7, 220 to 300 horsepower, Allison automatic transmissions from 2000 to 3000 series, and Meritor front and rear axles. Really proven components.”
The Mack MD Series was designed around dry van, refrigerated, stake, flatbed, dump and tank truck applications. The Mack MD6 has a gross vehicle weight rating of 25,995 pounds. The MD7 model has a GVWR of 33,000 pounds. The frame rails are rated at 120,000 pounds per square inch yield strength.
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