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Mack debuts new Advantage highway chassis

Using The Truck Show as a venue, Mack Trucks Inc. today unveiled its new chassis, called Advantage, which the company is introducing to better serve the needs of highway customers. The new chassis will be used in all Mack Vision and CH models.

"Customer-driven innovation has always been key to our success," said Tom Kelly, Mack vice president of marketing. "And this new chassis continues that tradition. The various features we've incorporated into Advantage result in a wide range of benefits that can really have a positive impact on a customer's bottom line."

As an example, company officials pointed to the variety of Advantage frame rail options, which give customers the ability to more precisely match rail size to their specific applications.

"With Advantage, customers can choose from four rail options--6 mm, 7 mm, 8 mm and 9.5 mm--all with increased resistance bending moment, or RBM," said Tom Davis, Mack marketing manager for highway products. "The increased RBM provides greater strength. Weight-sensitive bulk haulers will be pleased with the addition of the 7 mm rail, which has a higher RBM than our current 8 mm, but, depending upon wheelbase, is up to 100 pounds lighter. Less chassis weight means more payload."

"And for customers requiring a very heavy-duty rail who to date have been opting for our 6 mm with ¼-inch inside channel reinforcement, the new 9.5 mm is an excellent alternative. Not only is it lighter, but it also eliminates the need for an inner channel, which prevents potential corrosion from occurring in this area."

Advantage also provides up to 50-degree outside wheel cuts, dramatically improving turning diameter. For example, an Advantage-equipped vehicle with a 185-inch wheelbase could have an improvement of up to 15 feet in turning diameter--a very significant number for customers who maneuver in and out of tight spaces.

Advantage offers enhanced riding and handling as well, attributable to a variety of features. The standard front taper leaf suspension has new taper leaf springs spaced slightly apart to reduce friction. And the spring rate has been reduced to provide a softer ride. An optional Hendrickson AIRTEK air-ride front axle-suspension combination not only provides a smooth ride, but additional weight savings as well.

Excessive interior noise and vibration result in driver fatigue. Thanks to the Advantage combination of a new engine support crossmember and new cab mounting system, as well as new sound dampening material Mack is using in its cabs, noise and vibration levels have been significantly reduced.

New Advantage rear engine mounts simplify transmission removal and greatly reduce the amount of time it takes to do so.

And the combination of the new engine mounts and new taper leaf front suspension allows the engine to sit lower in the frame, reducing overall center of gravity and improving handling. The debut of Advantage comes on the heels of Mack's recent introduction of a new addition to its highway lineup --a 60-inch midrise sleeper ideally suited for regional haul.

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