Last November, 80 customers, ?comprising representatives of ?aggregate distribution businesses, earthmoving contractors and the mining and construction industries, relished the chance to try out Mack Trucks? New Breed range.
The one day ?Weapons of Mass Construction? showcase at Sydney Olympic Park enabled them to test drive the Trident, Granite, Metro-Liner and Super-Liner trucks in three simulated construction environments – an ?indoor sand quarry?, a tight urban obstacle course and on the road. It was also an opportunity for Mack Trucks to gather its VIP customers from all around the country under one roof – the impressive surrounds of the Sydney ?Olympic Park Dome – to ?demonstrate Mack?s reputation for ?reliability, ?durability and application excellence to the market?, to emphasise its commitment to a locally designed and manufactured transport fleet (Mack manufactures its products in Wacol, Queensland), and to explain the benefits of its total service offering to the construction and related industries.
Each of Mack?s four New Breed models was demonstrated in various construction configurations and different applications. Breaking into three competing groups, each of the customers savoured the opportunity to drive the trucks themselves on all three courses. Each test drive demonstrated to the customers the increased payload, manoeuvrability, vision, cab accessories and quiet interiors of the vehicles and also brought out their competitive best.
PLAYING IN THE SANDPIT
Of most interest to quarry practitioners was the ?indoor quarry?, comprising 600 tonnes of river sand. For a day, the Sydney Olympic Park Dome – normally home to trade shows, exhibitions and concerts – was transformed into a sandpit and the Trident 6 x 4 rigid tipper with four-axle dog and the Granite rigid tipper were put through their paces, ably backed by Volvo?s trio of ECR235CL excavator, L110F wheel loader and A40E articulated hauler.
The New Breed Trident – intended for loading in the quarry – has a gross ?combination mass (GCM) starting at 55 tonnes and a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of up to 28 tonnes. Its front axle is rated to 6.6 tonnes and its rear axle to 21 tonnes of ground loading. It has a wheelbase of 5445mm and sports a 500hp (368kW), ?six-cylinder, direct injection diesel Mack MP8 engine, with application specific manual and automatic transmissions from Mack or Eaton. The payload capacity for the Trident is 15 tonnes (this does vary from State to State, depending on vehicle regulations). It features two 500 litre tanks and runs a dual exhaust system.
The Granite 6 x 4 rigid tipper, also ?designed for quarry work, has a GCM range of 45 to 90 tonnes and a GVM range of 23 to 40 tonnes. In this specific application, its front axle is rated up to 9.1 tonnes and its rear axle to 24 tonnes of ground loading. It has a wheelbase of 5085mm and is also fitted with a Mack MP8 engine starting at 435hp (324kW), with Mack or Eaton ?transmission (application specific).
Both the Trident and the Granite share the common features of Mack?s other trucks, with polycarbonate headlight lenses for longer, brighter beams and a wider fibreglass grille and shorter bonnet that has been Australian manufactured. The seven-inch round spotter mirror, built from stainless steel, is designed to eliminate blindspots and is easily retractable. For increased operator safety, the trucks sport self-cleaning, non-slip double perforated aluminium steps, three full length external grab points for climbing into the cab, and a handle on the inside lining of the cab doors for additional support. The cab features a multiplaceable, telescopic steering wheel and the ergonomically designed dash layout is fitted with a ?co-pilot display? for additional drivers. Enhanced ?insulation materials in hood linings, floor mats, firewalls and the gear lever ?contribute toimproved in-cab noise suppression, potentially by as much as 50 per cent.
The Trident and the Granite also share sleepers up to 52 inches (132cm) mid-rise and high-rise and ABS and traction ?control for improved braking and enhanced ?traction. The wheel base length on both trucks is optional and can be adjusted to suit specific construction conditions.
On the indoor urban obstacle course, Mack customers drove the Metro-Liner 10 x 4 concrete agitator and the Metro-Liner 6 x 4 water tanker. Also featured in a static ?display was a custom-built Granite 8 x 4 agitator which has been successfully trialled by Mack and Boral Concrete as an alternative to Boral?s diesel-fuelled agitator fleet. It is a strong example of how Mack can adapt its four construction models for different applications. Installedwith a Cummins Westport ISL-G compressednatural gas engine, the Granite 8 x 4 agitator has shown that it can reduce the environmental impact of Boral?s agitator fleet without imposing commercial disadvantage. In the May 2009 trial, the Granite ?agitator reportedly reduced particulate matter (soot) by 92 per cent and nitrous oxides by 90 per cent, compared with ?Australian legislative requirements (US-EPA 04 standards). Indeed, the truck is considered the first concrete agitator in the world to already meet US EPA 2010 emission levels (not expected to be mandatory in Australia until 2016).
The Metro-Liner 6 x 4 service ?module has been successfully employed in Western Australian mines. Equipped with a 7500 litre fuel tank, plus compressors, pumps, hoses and assorted servicing gear, the ?service module has been used to fuel and service fixed and mobile plant and ?earthmovers in open cut mines. For the Mack showcase, customers test drove the Metro-Liner 6 x 4 in a water cart ?configuration. Designed primarily for the contractor market, the service module is simple to operate and could conceivably be adapted for the quarry environment.
The Trident 6 x 4 tipper was also test driven on the local roads around Sydney Olympic Park, along with the Super-Liner 6 x 4 low loader. Mack?s customers could appreciate the load, skill, dexterity, perception and visibility, cab and dashboard features and reduced interior noise of these behemoths as they navigated almost effortlessly through peak hour ?Sydney traffic – arguably the most ?notorious in the country!
In addition to the test drives, the showcase also enabled Mack to inform customers ofits total service offering to the construction,mining, aggregate and related industries. Members from Mack?s engineering, product, sales, finance and aftersales departments all discussed how customers could benefit from the support of the national Mack dealer network, maintenance contracts and warranties upon purchasing a Mack truck.
Dean Bestwick, general manager of Mack Trucks in Australia, said that all the ?customers provided invaluable feedback on the day and appreciated the ?engagement of Mack personnel on the ground.??Customers informed us that it was fantastic to be able to operate the vehicles in every day ?simulations,? he explained. ?Even more so, they were delighted to have the ?opportunity to talk one on one with experts within the Mack organisation.?
Damian Christie was a guest of Mack Trucks at its ?Weapons of Mass Construction? showcase at Sydney Olympic Park on 26 November, 2009.