Mack Trucks President kicks off Heavy Duty Aftermarket Dialogue

Mack Trucks President kicks off Heavy Duty Aftermarket Dialogue

Jonathan Randall sees a strong 2024 ahead, with a few caveats.

In the trucking industry, the true New Year celebration starts at Heavy-Duty Aftermarket Week — a full four days highlighting the latest equipment solutions and aftermarket trends. The week kicked off in a big way with the annual Heavy Duty Aftermarket Dialogue. This year’s conference featured another info-packed agenda with some new additions, including “Talk from the Top: One-on-One Conversations with Top Aftermarket Leaders” and “How New Powertrain Technology Will Impact the Heavy Duty Aftermarket: A Look into 2035-2050” with MacKay & Co. and Schwartz Advisors. But first, Jonathan Randall, president, Mack Trucks, took the stage to talk the current state of the trucking market, an outlook for 2024 and beyond and where we stand with technology like electric trucks and autonomous technology.

Here are the biggest takeaways from Randall.

An industry in transition

“In 2019, Martin Lundstedt, CEO and president, Volvo Group, gave a presentation and his pitch to the aftermarket was we’re an industry in transition, and it’s safe to say that while there’s been many shifts throughout the years, including a global pandemic that we’ve had to get ourselves through, I would still say that we are definitely still an industry in transition,” Randall said, pointing to automation, electrification and connectivity.

“We’ve started increasing the pace of technology,” he continued. “Investments are increasing and the expertise is spread out rather than huddled in one area. The importance of our relationships with our suppliers will continue to grow again in transparency, collaboration, inclusiveness in driving performance in the future.”

’24, ’25, and ’26: Strong years ahead

“The market remains incredibly robust for 2024; we see ’24, ’25 and ’26 as strong markets in the commercial Class 8 and Class 7 segments,” Randall noted. “We’ll see what happens after we hit the 2027 emissions regulations, but for now, when customers are buying and planning, they have a plan for their three-year cycle.”

In discussing the Volvo Group’s strategic investments, Randall highlighted a commitment to the North American market, with a whopping $2 billion investment.

eMobility is coming

Randall noted the current reality of zero-emissions vehicles — that diesel engines will be a part of the industry for a long time to come, that there are EV challenges like funding and infrastructure development, but through it all: “eMobility is coming and we’re making the investments to get there.

“We’re a long way from that one-for-one replacement — electric to diesel — particularly in straight truck and refuse,” he noted. “That’s the holy grail — that one-for-one replacement. We’re not there yet, but as technology improves, battery density improves … we should get there.”

Randall pointed to Mack’s electric powertrain investments with both its Mack LR Electric, Mack’s fully electric Class 8 refuse vehicle, and the Mack MD Electric, a Class 6 model with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 25,995 lbs and Class 7 model with a GVWR of 33,000 lbs.

Fleet Equipment’s Alex Crissey had a chance to take the Mack MD Electric for a spin last fall. You can catch up on that by clicking here:

Mack moves forward

The transition the trucking industry is making isn’t solely dependent on new technology. From an OEM perspective, it’s not just selling a truck, but it’s selling a solution that supports a customer and goes beyond the rolling iron, as Randall explained:

“You see us developing solutions to drive performance with our partners — whether it’s connectivity, whether it’s subscription contracts, whether it’s powered-by-the-hour where we’re charging customers for hours of usage or miles, things along those lines to help the adoption and take out the purchase of a truck and bring in the purchase of a transportation solution. This is an industry in transition. We all love our iron, but the iron is only a piece of the equation. In order to get where we need to get, we’re going to need to partner with suppliers who can help us achieve ultimately these goals.”

Watch the video above for expanded comments from the Mack Trucks president.

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