For a company that’s over 100 years old, Mac Trucks seems to be in the know on how to stay relevant. With markets in North America, Africa, and Australia, plants in South America and North America, and plenty of appearances in songs, television shows, and films, Mack trucks are front and center in the public eye when it comes to commercial vehicles.
Founded in 1900, the Mack Brothers Company produced busses and trolley vehicles as well as railroad cars commercially until World War I, when their military vehicles were favored by the British for their similarities to the robust, pug-nosed bulldog, which officially became its logo in 1922. After World War II, military production ceased and Mack went back to being a civilian.
After its stint in the army, the Mack became something of a celebrity, appearing in televisions shows like King of the Hill, films like Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, Vanilla Sky, Cars, and Maximum Overdrive, songs (“Phantom 309”), and in competitions (most notably the National Tractor Pulling Association) as the “Buckeye Bulldog”.
Apart from their dabbling in the railroad business and beefing up their truck production, Mack also had a hand in producing several fire-fighting vehicles, including pumpers, aerials, and attack trucks, starting in 1911 and ending in the 1990’s. There are still Mack fire trucks going on calls today, due to the vehicles longevity, practicality, and easy repair. Mack also provides construction vehicles and refuse trucks to buyers as well as the military, highway, and firefighting vehicles typically available.
ACs, the vehicles Britain enjoyed so much they likened it to the British Bulldog, are a heavy-duty vehicle with a 4-cylinder engine. It was suitable for transferring military equipment, but has also been used for a variety of construction and logging jobs. The other two most popular vehicles in the Mack stable are probably the “B” series (medium-duty to oversize vehicles) and the “R” series, which is used on both the highway and on construction sites.
Now a child company of Volvo (who also bought Renault that same year), Mack still hasn’t changed much from its original design. The new concept, Mack Anthem, has the same stubby nose and powerful build that let to its reputation for dependability and toughness. The new engine, however, burns 9% less fuel, and the upgraded interior (complete with screens) ensures that drivers are safe and comfortable during long hauls.
There are also other newer Mack options available, such as the Pinnacle, which is so versatile it can switch between highway and off-road jobs, the Granite, which is a lightweight, heavy-duty vehicle known for its agility, and the TerraPro, which was made for refuse collection and construction jobs.
If you’ve ever been remotely interested in trucks, or gone on a super long road trip and got so bored that you started counting semis, you’re likely familiar with the Mack: a tough, comfy ride for the hard worker that keeps the economy going. Has this piqued your interest? You might want to look at a list of films featuring this big guy and see if you can spot him in action. Either that, or catch him hard at work on the road.
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