in ,


The Mack Granite has built a strong reputation for being a leader in jobs that demand toughness and durability from a work truck. From the frame up, it is specially designed for the harshest jobsites. But even the toughest kid on the block has a soft side, and in the case of the Granite, it comes in driveability and cab comforts for the operator.
The Mack Granite—available in axle back and axle forward options—was already a favorite among many vocational fleets for its adaptability in applications, including various configurations for dump, roll-off, mixer, rear-loader refuse, and snowplow options. Now Mack has added a standard component to its Granite model that has customers even more excited—its proprietary automated manual transmission.


Earlier this year, Mack unveiled a heavy-duty version of its mDrive transmission, designed specifically for its heavy-haul and construction trucks.
“Our construction customers told us they wanted a heavy-duty version of the mDrive, designed specifically to handle rough jobs in tough conditions,” says Stephen Roy, president of Mack Trucks North American sales and marketing. “We listened to them and developed a reinforced rugged transmission that will help our customers deliver power, performance, enhanced durability, and improved driver satisfaction in a time when the industry is experiencing a driver shortage.”
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 maneuvers, it 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.
It is supported by Mack’s Uptime services, which reduce downtime through real-time monitoring and proactive repair scheduling.
Featured image: The Mack Granite is designed to provide power and performance in the most challenging work environments.
Above: Mack has added a standard component to its Granite model that has customers excited—a proprietary automated manual transmission.
Key aspects of the mDrive HD include:

  • Lighter weight—up to 237 lbs—than other transmission offerings, enabling customers to haul even more payload
  • Stronger gears and synchros, allowing the transmission to withstand more frequent shifting, often needed in construction applications
  • A transmission-mounted oil cooler to help maintain an optimal operating temperature—even through repeated, heat-generating shifts common on a jobsite
  • Availability of unique software packages specific to customer application; the “Enhanced Construction” package provides optimal on/off-road capability and gives the driver full control over any terrain, while “EZ Shift” delivers smoother shifts for sensitive payloads, like livestock or bulk liquids
  • Rock Free feature, allowing the driver to rock the truck back and forth simply by pumping the accelerator in the event the truck becomes stuck
  • The Grade Gripper feature, which works with the truck’s ABS system to allow the vehicle to momentarily hold a hill, giving the driver time to move their foot from the brake to the accelerator pedal without rolling backward

The mDrive HD is designed and engineered to work exclusively with Mack’s MP7 and MP8 engines. The Mack MP7 is an 11-liter engine boasting an impressive power-to-weight ratio with a horsepower range from 325-405 and torque ratings from 1,200 to 1,560 lb-ft. The Mack MP8 is a 13-liter engine with a horsepower range from 415-505 and torque ratings from 1,460 to 1,860 lb-ft.


Every Granite model is built on Mack’s Cornerstone chassis and can be paired with the Mack Camelback suspension or the Mack mRide spring suspension, which delivers higher ground clearance.
The Granite sports a three-piece, stylized front bumper that makes replacement easy and economical. Hood splash shields keep the engine compartment clean—extending component life—and lift with the hood to create more room for technicians to work. Isolators allow the hood to flex independently for increased durability over rough terrain. The truck’s aerodynamically designed sloped hood offers greater visibility for safety.
Collapsible mirrors fold in to eliminate door sheet metal damage in tight jobsite conditions. Heated, lighted, and motorized mirrors are available. Sculpted, self-cleaning steps and a full-size grab bar provide an extra measure of safety while getting in and out of the cab.
The Mack Granite cab is ergonomically designed for comfort and maximum driver productivity.


The Granite boasts a spacious, comfortable, and durable galvanized steel cab. Its ergonomic design gives drivers plenty of room from head to toe.
One of the highlights is the best-in-class, four-point cab lighting that reduces glare and illuminates key spots in the cab. Lighting controls can be reached from the ground to facilitate pre-trip inspections.
The dash wraps around so all switches and controls are close to the driver. The standard instrument cluster has been enhanced to include integrated gauge warning lamps, an engine oil temperature gauge, a digital voltmeter, and a water-in-fuel indicator. A large, easy-to-read, standard driver display features an odometer, maintenance indicator, hour meter, Sweet Spot indicator, and an ambient temperature gauge, among others.
The Granite features the Co-Pilot driver information display, mounted high and centered in the dash for easy reading. Drivers can easily toggle through screens using a four-button steering-column stalk. The display has 50 screens that provide real-time fuel economy and trip data, detailed maintenance and fault summaries, and supplemental sensor readings. Co-Pilot also can be equipped with specialized features, such as Theft Deterrence, the Mack Fuel Economy Incentive Program, and GuardDog Maintenance Monitoring System.
The steering column can be adjusted to numerous positions for comfort and improved visibility of gauges by simply pressing the quick-release foot pedal. The air-suspension driver’s seat is wide and comfortable, easily adjusting to fit any body size.
The cab has plenty of convenient storage bins, including a roomy overhead console divided into three compartments and a large dispatch box in the rear panel for more storage. Large cup holders are easy to reach and positioned a safe distance from electronics in case of spills.  StoryStopper-Icon


Find out more about the Granite and other Mack trucks and services, visit


Did you enjoy this article?
Subscribe to the FREE Digital Edition of Modern WorkTruck Solutions magazine.