Journalists from local stations and newspapers as well as truck journalists across North America gathered in a recently renovated manufacturing facility for an announcement that had been kept a tight secret. Cameras pointed at a stage where representatives from Mack, the Roanoke Country Board of Supervisors, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, and others prepared for the big announcement.
Mack Trucks’ announcement included the ribbon cutting of a new manufacturing facility, a government grant, and yes—a brand new truck model. Talk about starting off the new decade on a high note.
Perhaps Mack chose to make these announcements all at once because each affects the other immensely. The new manufacturing facility in Salem, Virginia, is dedicated to the assembly of the new Mack model. The government grant—$700,000 from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund—helps fund this project.
Mack Trucks invested $13 million in the facility to establish Roanoke Valley Operations (RVO). Its investment is being used for equipment, tooling, and building enhancements in the 280,000-sq-ft facility. At full production, the facility will bring in 250 workers. This location was chosen for its proximity to Mack’s global headquarters and I-85 among other reasons.
ABOUT THE TRUCK
The reveal of a new model took me completely by surprise, yet I’m glad of it. Mack Trucks hasn’t had a medium-duty option since 2002 when the Mack Freedom ceased production, and the new Mack MD is the brand’s long-awaited answer to those requiring medium-duty power in their daily operations.
The truck is two years in the making from the initial idea to the product reveal. Mack sought the input of dealers in creating the truck, and according to Mack its dealers are plenty excited to get this truck on their lots and keys in customers’ hands.
The MD comes in two models: the MD6, a Class 6 truck, and the MD7, a Class 7 truck. The MD6 has a GVWR of 25,995 lbs and does not require a CDL. The MD7 has a GWVR of 33,000 lbs. Drivers of the MD7 must be CDL holders.
Both trucks feature the Cummins B6.7, an engine that pumps out 220 to 300 hp and 560 to 660 lb-ft of torque. The Allison 2500HS 6-speed automatic transmission is standard with an option for the Allison 2500RDS for PTO.
Mack Trucks’ customers in the logging industry will now have a Mack option for their flatbed and straight truck needs. Other industries will benefit from the MD’s configurations for refrigerated, stake, dump, and tank applications.
The MD stands out among other medium-duty trucks because of several reasons starting with its design. Inspired by the Mack Anthem, the MD features a bold, heavy-duty look in a medium-duty package. Other differentiators include:
- 120,000-steel frame rails are standard
- Eight available wheelbase lengths
- Adaptable to a number of body applications
- 103-inch bumper to back of cab
- Short hood for visibility that complements the maneuverability of the truck
Mack Trucks is also partnering with Geotab’s Go Rugged solution in the MD. Go Rugged gives owners access to telematics data from their trucks using the latest GPS technology and advanced telematics capabilities. Owners can access this data from their MD through the Mack Uptime Center.
MORE TO COME
With the addition of the MD, Mack’s family of trucks now meets a variety of needs in the industry. Mack begins commercial production of the MD this summer. Once I get behind the wheel of the MD, I’ll bring the scoop back to you! Until then, I’ll keep you updated on all things Mack Trucks and medium-duty at www.mwsmag.com.