THE NEW Granite series of heavy-duty vocational trucks is expected to play an important role in the effort at Mack Trucks Inc to boost US marketshare to 15% this year.
Based on the RD frame, the Granite is well-suited to a variety of applications, including heating oil delivery, dump, refuse, and cement mixer. A vocational tractor version also is available.
The Granite Bridge Formula truck was introduced in March as a lightweight, yet highly durable option for those areas of North America where vehicles must conform to strict bridge formula weight regulations. It will continue to be an important weight-focused product.
Mack has been building the Granite at a rate of four to six a day since November 2000. Now that a full range of specifications are being offered, production is being ramped up to 10 to 15 a day. The Granite is being built at the Mack assembly facility in Macungie, Pennsylvania. Mack officials stressed during a press conference June 22 in Las Vegas, Nevada, that the Granite is an addition to the vocational lineup and will not replace any existing Mack models.
“We will continue to build RDs and DMs as long as we have significant customer demand,” says Kevin M Flaherty, Mack's senior vice-president of sales. “At the same time, the Granite helps enhance our leadership role in the heavy-duty vocational truck market.”
With a variety of configurations available, the Granite product line covers the complete spectrum of vocational market needs, including everything from a cost-effective basic specification truck for fleets, to the growing need for strong and weight-efficient construction trucks, to a high-end premium vehicle for owner-operators.
The Mack E-Tech engine is standard on the Granite truck, and horsepower ratings range from 300 to 460. The Mack E-Tech engine is a six-cylinder, inline electronically controlled diesel engine. Cummins' ISL Series engine, rated at 310 to 330 hp, is available as an option. The lightweight nine-liter ISL has electronic controls and a high-pressure fuel system.
Also standard is the new line of Mack Maxitorque ES transmissions, which offer a host of speeds (5,6,7,8,9,10,13 and 18-speed versions), gear ratios, and PTO options to satisfy all vocational assignments.
An important feature of the Granite series is the Body-Link electrical interface. The Body-Link concept utilizes an industry standard electrical plug system to create interfaces both outside and inside the cab. This helps simplify the work of body installers by allowing them to pre-wire body equipment and plug into the chassis when mounting without splicing chassis wires or cutting holes in the cab panels. Consequently, the Body-Link interface promises faster and higher quality body installation, regardless of application.
Body-Link offers 21 electrical pins for connection to standard electrical circuits such as remote throttle, clean power, and direct communication with the V-MAC system. Additional electrical pins are customizable to specific customer preferences for body controls, lighting, and lift axles.
The mounting locations of chassis components such as air reservoirs and battery boxes have been standardized forward of the rear of the cab across all Granite model variations. These placements result in a clean frame rail, which enables clean body installations.
Even the placement of the exhaust system helps simplify body installations. Because the system is cab-mounted, extra space is created between the cab and body to ease the mounting of auxiliary equipment. A traditional stanchion-type exhaust mounting is offered for tractor applications.
The V-MAC electronic vehicle management and control system is another important feature. V-MAC electronics allow operators to precisely control PTO speed and body status, while simultaneously providing important information such as trip summaries and histograms, driver logs, and maintenance records. The V-MAC system affords owners and truck operators the option to program more than 100 vehicle management functions. The system also allows for monitoring and controlling important engine and vehicle performance standards, such as road-speed limiting, lower gear road-speed limiting, idle time, and cruise control.
With V-MAC, truck operators can tap into the intelligence capabilities of the optional Mack Vehicle Information Profiler (VIP), which is easily reviewed on the new dash panel. VIP is a sophisticated yet easy-to-use display center that effectively ensures that the truck performs as it should. Drivers can use the vehicle information to optimize fuel economy, react to problems promptly, and schedule timely preventive maintenance service.
Moving beyond the drivetrain, Granite is a tough vocational truck. Extensive testing has verified that the cab is the strongest ever made by Mack, according to Flaherty. A new back-of-cab crossmember is Huckbolted to the chassis to meet the strength requirements of construction applications.
Providing the muscle to the Granite series are full-height frame rails from front to rear. They are available in a 3/8-inch thickness or a 5/16-inch thickness with quarter-inch inside channel reinforcement.
A variety of Mack wheelbases, axle configurations, transmissions, and carriers are available on the Granite truck, including rear tandem options with up to 65,000-lb capacity. Optional components may be specified from leading suppliers in North America. Granite series vehicles can be ordered with increased compressed air capacity to accommodate auxiliary lift axle installations, even multi-axle arrangements.