The ambitious 1998 plans of Mack Trucks Inc. feature a campaign to increase sales in the West Coast states, expanded efforts to boost penetration of the market for over-the-road (OTR) trucks and a plan to offer customers a truck with specifications that the factory feels will do a good job in the application in which the vehicle will be used.
A parts distribution center in Reno, Nev., which opened at the end of last year, is the manufacturer’s big recent project in the West Coast development effort.
The parts center “has already enabled Mack to experience significant cost savings and increased efficiencies in servicing customers,” said Paul Vickner, executive vice president of sales and marketing.
“Throughout last year and into this year,” Vickner added, “Mack has been aggressively seeking out new strategies and business partners who can help us develop a greater West Coast presence. We can now state that the groundwork has been laid and a solid foundation is beginning to take shape.”
The early part of this year has been new dealership season for Mack Trucks on the West Coast with more than half a dozen retail facilities, some brand new and others completely renovated, showing off their new quarters to retail customers for the first time.
Roadside aid and towing
Nationwide, Mack takes pride in its 12-part program of customer support services. The company said its roadside assistance and towing plan is available 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week, providing immediate roadside aid and towing to the nearest Mack-authorized service facility during the first year of vehicle ownership.
Moves to boost Mack’s participation in the OTR market are scheduled to be expanded through this year. They will peak when a new model for this market is introduced this fall.
While discussing new programs for this year, Mack officials were careful to point out that they will not be carried out at the expense of the Bulldog line’s established efforts. The plan to grow in the West will not result in reduced efforts in the company’s “home” territory in the East and South, for instance.
Mack truck configurations
The manufacturer’s new specification program is called InteleSpec.
It is designed to offer customers a simplified way to order and receive favored Mack truck configurations built with components for specific applications.
This is another program which will take some time to fully develop. A long distance tractor with sleeper cab and a dump truck were the first InteleSpec models to be unveiled.
“While not introduced until last March 20, the InteleSpec program has been met with a high degree of enthusiasm both from Mack customers and our dealer base,” said Michael Reardon, executive director-marketing.
“As expected, we have added two more InteleSpec vehicles to the program: a Mack CH 613 Day Cab for bulk hauling and flat-bed duty and a Mack MR688S front loader for the refuse industry.
“These join a Mack CH 613 tractor and a Mack RD688S dump truck already in the InteleSpec lineup.
“Throughout the year, as we introduce at least two more InteleSpec vehicles every month, we will focus on the vocational market, offering concrete mixers, pumpers, refuse side loaders, bulk haulers and other models unique to this market.”
Vickner elaborated, “As each of these models is added to the InteleSpec lineup, we will be incorporating the very best of time-proven components.”
The initial InteleSpec linehauler sleeper, the CH 613 F119, has a 204-in. wheelbase, a Mack E7-350 E-TECH electronic engine, a Fuller 9-speed transmission, a Spicer 15.5-in. clutch, and a V-MAC III vehicle management and control system.
Also, a Mack 42-in. Millenium sleeper with cab heater and air conditioner, AM/FM cassette stereo system, tinted windshield and side windows and a Bostrom Talladega driver’s seat.
Key components include a 12,000-lb Mack front axle, a 38,000-lb Mack rear axle assembly and such other popular components as 13.2 CFM Holset air compressor, coolant protection to -40 degrees F., Horton on/off fan drive, antilock air brakes and steel disc wheels.
Looking to the future, Mack engineers have been working on two concept trucks based on models developed by the Bulldog line’s parent company, Renault of France.
One, a Magnum high cabover, long-haul tractor, has features not regularly seen on U. S. trucks, including the big Mack E-Tech 460-hp diesel, an Eaton Autoshift transmission and even a power sunroof.
The second concept truck is a low cabover Premium model, making its first visit to the U. S. Concept vehicles are presented to generate customer input on forthcoming models, Mack said.