At the World of Concrete 2017 convention in Las Vegas this week, Mack Trucks introduced upgraded capabilities for its mDrive automated mechanical transmission (AMT) with the addition of two new functions: rolling start and auto neutral.
Both features will come standard on all mDRIVE and mDRIVE HD transmissions, the company said; proprietary transmissions engineered to work exclusively with Mack’s MP series engines.
Mack said rolling start allows drivers to shift the transmission into drive without pressing the truck’s service brakes; eliminating the possibility of creating a bump in the paving surface, which is a critical benefit for paving applications, the OEM noted.
The company added that its new “auto neutral” feature for the mDrive is aimed primary at construction applications, including concrete mixers, which rely on remote throttle controls.
By automatically shifting the mDRIVE into neutral when the parking brake is set, the “auto neutral” fucntion helps improve jobsite safety by reducing the possibility of the truck moving due to throttle application.
Mack also noted that the mDRIVE and mDRIVE HD are being spec’d at “record levels” for its Pinnacle Axle Back and Granite trucks sold in the U.S. and Canada, with the AMT spec’d at 80% and 20% of new orders, respectively, for those models. The OEM added that it is “on track” to double mDRIVE HD penetration in Granite model orders this year.
Mack also made two other announcements at the World of Concrete 2017 show this week:
- The introduction of WheresMyConcrete, a cloud-based and telematics-connected dispatching, analytics and customer service tool being offered through Mack’s Fleet Management Services package that is now available for Mack ready-mix customers. The program aims to help improve asset visibility, dispatch efficiency and real-time data identification of concrete loads in the delivery process and is activated via Mack’s factory-installed GuardDog Connect integrated telematics platform.
- To help support the Concrete Industry Management (CIM) educational programs, Mack is donating a 2016 Granite Axle Forward model for the group’s 12th annual CIM Auction, with all of the auction proceeds going toward the development and support of CIM’s educational program. The truck, considered the “signature bid item” of the event, also features an 11 cubic-yard Bridgemaster concrete transit mixer donated by body maker McNeilus.