On Oct. 13, Mack Trucks inaugurated its new axle line at the company’s Hagerstown, Md. plant, which will be assembling the new line of axles, now available to be spec’ed.
This project was conceived in October 2013, and two years later, it is a reality. The inauguration ceremony was held at the Hagerstown plant, and was attended by representatives of local Congresspeople, to express their support of jobs created in the area. The plant builds Mack engines, transmissions and axles, as well as Volvo engines and transmissions. The new axle line, the result of a $30 million investment by the company, has resulted in 100 new jobs at the Maryland plant, and production has already begun.
The new axle line will now be the standard option for Mack trucks, though customers may opt for other brands if they wish.
“This gives us the ability to oversee all the critical aspects of the axle manufacturing process, from the inception to the creation to the development,” said Stephen Roy, president of Mack Trucks North America. “Integration is all about having the powertrain elements work together. When all the components are made by one manufacturer, it all works better.”
The new axles boast a 2.66:1 rear axle ratio, which keeps the RPMs in the 1,100 to 1,200 range, according to Mack. “This gives you good fuel economy, but keeps full torque at 1,200 RPMs, ” said Stu Russoli, Mack’s highway and powertrain products marketing manager. “So you’re getting the power you need while still having good fuel economy.”
Mack also touted improved lead times and improved service from Mack dealers and service shops, who will know each aspect of the powertrain better now that they are each developed in-house.
So how can you tell if a Mack truck has Mack-developed engines, transmissions and axles? You won’t have to look inside the engine for the answer–these trucks will be represented by a gold hood ornament of the company’s trademark bulldog, as opposed to the usual silver.