PHILADELPHIA — The Mack mDRIVE automated manual transmission (AMT) continues to take the industry by storm, recently exceeding 70 percent penetration in Mack Pinnacle axle back models and is also now the dominant transmission choice in Pinnacle axle forward models for the first time, a company executive said during the American Trucking Associations Management Conference and Exhibition here last month.
The milestones come just one year after Mack announced the mDRIVE as standard equipment on all Pinnacle models.
“The incredible growth for mDRIVE is a testament not only to the tremendous performance benefits it brings, but validation for Mack’s commitment to powertrain integration,” said Stephen Roy, president of Mack Trucks North America. “Our 115 years of integration experience tell us components designed together simply work better, giving our customers the productivity and efficiency benefits they need to be successful.”
Through its sophisticated software, the mDRIVE continuously monitors several driving variables and automatically selects the best gear for conditions to maximize driver productivity, vehicle performance and fuel efficiency, Roy said, adding the mDRIVE is designed and built with Mack’s legendary durability and requires minimal service, which can significantly reduce maintenance downtime.
Drivers control the transmission through a dash-mounted shift pad that includes a display to indicate the current gear. Mack’s Co-Pilot driver display, located in the center of the gauge cluster, is also integrated with the transmission and displays its status, including the number of upshifts or downshifts available, the current gear and the current operating mode.
In February 2015, Mack introduced the mDRIVE HD, a heavy-duty version of the mDRIVE for heavy haul and vocational applications. Featuring reinforced internal components and revised software, mDRIVE HD is built to handle tough loads and rough terrain.
The mDRIVE HD is standard on Mack Granite and Titan by Mack models.
“Our customers wanted the same benefits of the mDRIVE in vocational applications, so we engineered the tougher mDRIVE HD to meet their needs,” said Stu Russoli, Mack highway and powertrain products marketing manager. “Full production of the mDRIVE HD began in May, and we’re already seeing tremendous customer response.”
With their simplified shifting, the mDRIVE and mDRIVE HD not only improve driver comfort, but help attract and retain drivers because it helps reduce fatigue. Safety also benefits, as drivers can focus on the road ahead and not on switching gears.
Both the mDRIVE and mDRIVE HD are monitored by Mack’s GuardDog Connect telematics solution. GuardDog Connect proactively monitors critical fault codes that could result in a truck being shut down, helping maximize customer uptime.
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