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Mack Axle Back-Propels Trucking Forward

Mack Trucks, Inc., a member of the Volvo Group headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden, has unveiled an axle back version of its Granite model -- the number one selling heavy-duty Class 8 conventional str...


Mack Trucks, Inc., a member of the Volvo Group headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden, has unveiled an axle back version of its Granite model — the number one selling heavy-duty Class 8 conventional straight truck in the United States.

The Granite Axle Back vehicle gives customers an additional option for maximizing the productivity and profitability of their operations. In some states, and particularly in Canada, the laws governing roadway use are such that having the front axle set back makes it possible to legally carry more payload. And more payload means higher profits. The axle back position also results in a shorter overall wheelbase, making it easier to maneuver around tight job sites.

“The new axle back version offers an equally strong value proposition for our customers,” says Tom Kelly, Mack vice president of marketing.

This newest addition to the Mack lineup combines the advantages of the current Granite model — including a large, strong, comfortable cab with plenty of leg and belly room; best-in-class visibility; an ergonomically-designed electronic dash; and advanced electronics — with a new, bold exterior featuring distinctive flexible fender extensions, sleek halogen headlamps, available stylized mirrors, and the eye-catching Mack “M” grille.

Granite Axle Back is extremely versatile as well. A wide range of frame rail thicknesses and crossmember options make it possible to optimally configure the vehicle as a straight truck or tractor for almost any application, including mixer, dump, roll-off, and rear loader.

Mack engineered Granite Axle Back from the ground up to reduce maintenance costs. Air lines and the electrical harness are easily accessed. All air valves — including the relay valve, ABS modulators and spring brake valves — are centrally and conveniently located. Air and electrical lines are properly supported and protected in brackets specially designed to reduce fraying. All fittings feature reusable quick connects. And fewer wires and connections in general improves reliability.

Bodybuilders will appreciate the re-engineered BodyLink system available on Granite Axle Back. It features two quick connect electrical connectors along the left hand frame rail that allow a bodybuilder to even more efficiently and effectively wire into the truck’s electrical system. Not only does this save valuable installation time, it also enhances quality and reliability by reducing or eliminating undesirable splicing, circuit loading or other electrical system problems.

Central Tire Inflation is a factory-installed option as well. CTI allows drivers to adjust tire pressure “on the fly” from inside the truck to improve traction. The vehicle can also be equipped with perimeter work lights and an air hose to blow debris out of the cab.

The backbone of Granite Axle Back is a new Mack vocational chassis called Cornerstone. The various crossmembers offered on this new chassis were developed and rigorously tested by Mack engineers. The wide range of Cornerstone constant-height frame rail options, 300 mm tall and ranging in thickness from 7 mm to 11.1 mm, are all made from high-strength, low-alloy steel that’s quenched and tempered to a minimum of 120,000 psi Rail reinforcement liners are also available.

“Flaring the rails up front allowed us to increase the size of the radiator and make other enhancements to the cooling system that makes the truck run very efficiently,” says Steve Ginter, Mack marketing manager for vocational products. “To reduce driver fatigue, we incorporated a new engine mounting system that decreases noise and vibration. A rubber cushioning system cradles the engine and promotes longer operating life. And a whisper-quiet fan, controlled by our V-MAC electronics system, turns on and off precisely when needed to save fuel and keep dust kick-up to a minimum.”

Contact Steve Bates, Mack Canada, at steve.bates@macktrucks.com


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