Mack Trucks | mDrive Automated Manual Transmission

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Drivers operate mDRIVE with a dash-mounted shift pad versus a clutch. Mack has migrated the technology to the Granite series as automated manual transmission specs take hold across the heavy-duty trucking market.

mDRIVE HD is now standard on the Granite series. Designed and engineered to work exclusively with Mack MP7 and MP8 engines, the 12-speed transmission has an automated clutch, so no clutch pedal is required. Operation is controlled through a dash-mounted shift pad by selecting drive, neutral or reverse. For more demanding jobsite maneuvers, a premium shift pad can be operated manually to hold a gear, downshift or upshift.

Available in overdrive and direct drive, the mDRIVE HD continuously monitors changes in grade (both up and down), vehicle speed, throttle position, acceleration, torque demand, and gross vehicle weight. It automatically chooses the best gear for the road condition, allowing drivers to focus on the terrain rather than shifting gears. Among other key mDRIVE HD features:

  • Lightweight. Including transmission oil, the transmission is up to 237 lb. lighter than comparable offerings, enabling customers to haul more payload.
  • Reinforced internal components. With stronger gears and synchros, it is built to withstand more frequent shifting often needed in construction applications.
  • Transmission-mounted oil cooler. Device helps maintain an optimal operating temperature, despite repeated, heat-generating shifts common on a jobsite.
  • Unique software packages. Application-specific offerings. The “Enhanced Construction” package, for one, provides optimal on/off-road capability and provides the driver full control over any terrain.
  • Rock Free. Should the vehicle become stuck, feature allows the driver to rock the truck back and forth simply by pumping the accelerator.
  • Grade Gripper. Working with the ABS system, feature allows the vehicle to momentarily hold a hill, giving drivers time to move their foot from the brake to the accelerator pedal without rolling backward.

44 Mackic 400“A reinforced rugged transmission will help customers deliver power, performance, enhanced durability and improved driver satisfaction [at] a time the industry is experiencing a driver shortage,” says Mack Trucks North American Sales and Marketing Stephen Roy. The new Granite-grade transmission is based on the innovative design of the standard-duty mDRIVE, he adds, a proven performer Mack made standard in the highway Pinnacle series last year.

Compared to conventional automatic transmissions, Mack engineers note, mDRIVE HD requires less service, significantly reducing maintenance needs. Any transmission servicing can be performed at a Mack dealer. In addition, the mDRIVE HD is supported by the manufacturer’s Uptime services, which offer real-time monitoring and proactive repair scheduling. —


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Mack Trucks has created a body builder order manager position and support team focused on effective collaboration among manufacturers of mixer and dump bodies, dealers and customers during the ordering and installation process.45 Mackiii 400

“Mack has gained tremendous knowledge during many decades of working with body equipment manufacturers,” says Vocational Segment Product Manager Stu Russoli. “Our new body builder resources connect that insight to the order and installation process to make sure critical information is shared from the time a truck is ordered to the time it’s delivered.”

The company has appointed Gene Olenick as body builder order manager, responsible for developing and coordinating customer specifications throughout the order process—resulting in smoother chassis and body integration and reduced delivery times. The body builder support group offers prompt access to Mack product experts who can answer questions and inquiries arising during installation and after a vehicle is put into service. The group is located in the recently opened Uptime Center in Greensboro, N.C., near Mack world headquarters.

From a chassis perspective, Mack’s wide range of components and packaging options allows customers to select the optimal configuration for their specific truck body. The manufacturer offers access to electrical signals and connections via conveniently located terminal points. In addition, BodyLink and Control Link body builder electrical interface systems help simplify installation. Available online as free PDF downloads, Mack body builder manuals offer general chassis information for Granite, Pinnacle and TerraPro models built from 2010 forward. Additional electrical and programming documents have been added for 2013 and newer models.