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Mack Trucks Inc.

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Mack Trucks Inc., based in Allentown, Pennsylvania, is one of North America's leading manufacturers of heavy-duty trucks.[1] As part of the publicly owned Volvo Group, Mack trucks are sold and serviced in more than 45 countries worldwide through a network of more than 670 dealers and service centers.[2]

Throughout its extensive history, Mack Trucks Inc. has emphasized the importance of new developments, including the manufacture of trucks with lightweight materials for reduced total truck weight; the incorporation of oil cleaners and air filters on trucks; the addition of four-wheel brakes on heavy duty trucks to increase safety; and the use of rubber isolators as a means of chassis shock absorption.

Mack products bear a distinctive bulldog logo that is recognizable worldwide.

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[edit] History

Mack Trucks Inc. was founded in 1900 under the name of Mack Brothers Co. Seven years earlier, brothers John and Augustus Mack purchased Fallesen & Barry, a carriage and wagon company in Brooklyn, New York. Shortly after the purchase of the company, a third brother, William Mack, decided to join John and Augustus in their venture.

Before long, the brothers' focus was fixed on wagons; the manufacture of carriages was phased out. Along with the focus on the design and production of wagons came an interest in experimenting with steam powered cars and electric motor cars. By the early 1900s, John's interest had grown; he was determined to manufacture the world's most powerful heavy-duty trucks and engines.

[edit] The Bus Market

With the turn of the century came the brothers' first successful vehicle: a 40 horsepower, 20-passenger bus used for sightseeing in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. The bus was used for eight years, and a million miles of service [3] before "Old No. 1" was converted into a truck.

During the early part of the 20th century, Mack Brothers Co. was incorporated in New York, with John and Augustus Mack serving as directors. This was the beginning of a 60-year era that would bring the production of various types of buses marketed under the trade name "Manhattan"; among them were school, transit, suburban, and intercity buses. There were also those used as mobile post offices, sheriff units, and x-ray vehicles. More than 20,000 models would be produced over six decades. [4]

[edit] Expansion in the First Decade

The company's growth continued after the company was incorporated when, in 1905, a new manufacturing plant was opened in Allentown, Pennsylvania. This plant was the headquarters of the newly formed Mack Brothers Motor Car Co. The same year, the new company became incorporated in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania; Mack brother Joseph became a stockholder.

1905 was a year of continued advancement for Mack Brothers. The company became one of the first to mount a cab directly over a truck's engine,[5] increasing the driver's visibility as well as maneuverability. The first cab-over-engine model to be introduced was known as the "Manhattan."

The same year, Jack Mack developed and patented a device that enabled truck drivers to shift from high to low speed without having to go through intermediate speeds in the process. For several years after this development, competing manufacturers used this Mack product in their vehicles.

Mack Brothers underwent further expansion beginning in 1905 with the manufacture of rail cars and locomotives, later giving way to the production of 40 forward control diesel rail cars.[6]

1910 proved to be an important year for Mack Brothers, as the Manhattan Motor Truck Co. incorporated in Massachusetts and opened a number of dealerships. As well, the "Manhattan" trade name was abandoned in favor of the "Mack" name. This was also the year that the company produced the first motorized hook and ladder fire truck for the city of Morristown, New Jersey. [7]

[edit] The International Motor Co.

In 1911, the Mack brothers made the decision to sell the company to the International Motor Co. This was a holding company for the Mack Brothers Motor Car Co., as well as the Saurer Motor Co. of Plainfield, New Jersey. Although the two companies continued to be run as separate organizations, the marketing and servicing of both were combined as a function of International Motor Co. A year after the acquisition, the holding company acquired the Hewitt Motor Co., a company based in New York City that specialized in the manufacture of motor trucks. Following this acquisition, directors John and Joseph Mack decided to leave the company. Two years later, in 1914, International Motor Co. discontinued the Hewitt nameplate.

[edit] The Bulldog Identity

1916 was a pivotal year for Mack trucks with the introduction of the AC model. These trucks were some of the most famous and commercially successful Mack products in the company's long history; in 13 years, 40,299 units were manufactured.[8]

During World War I, the company produced approximately 4,500 AC trucks for the United States Government, as well as 2,000 for Great Britain.[9] The trucks had gained a reputation of reliability with the "tenacity of a bulldog" and were named accordingly by British engineers testing them.[10] As a bulldog was the national symbol of Britain, the assigned nickname was considered extremely complimentary.

[edit] The International Motor Truck Corp. Acquisition

1916 also brought changes in Mack's parent company as the International Motor Truck Corp was formed. This new holding company now owned 98 percent of the International Motor Co. stock.[11] As a result of this acquisition, the International Motor Co., owning Mack Brothers Motor Car Co., the Saurer Motor Co., and the Hewitt Motor Co., became the operating organization with its main Mack manufacturing plant in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The International Mack Motor Co., set up in 1915, underwent a name-change in 1918; it was now the Mack-International Motor Truck Corp.

[edit] Establishing Mack Trucks Inc.

In 1922, Mack's parent company International Motor Truck Corp. changed its name to Mack Trucks Inc. The change was made to more closely identify the corporate name with the products. The company was concerned that their products might be identified as products of their competitor, the International Harvester Co. With this change came the adoption of the Bulldog as a corporate logo. Ten years later, a distinctive bulldog logo designed and patented by Mack's Chief Engineer, Alfred Fellows Masury, was applied to Mack products and has been used ever since.

[edit] Historical Contributions

In addition to its service in World War I, Mack Trucks Inc. had a hand in other endeavors. A notable point in the company's history is the use of its trucks in the construction of the Hoover Dam in the state of Nevada. As well, Mack Trucks supplied specialized trucks in World War II, including prime movers, personnel carriers, wrecker trucks, and tank transporters, as well as heavy-duty trucks for the Allied Forces.

[edit] The Renault Acquisition

1979 brought new changes upon the company as French company Renault Trucks first bought 10 percent of Mack Trucks' shares.[12] At this time, Mack and Renault partnered successfully to market Mid-Liner series of trucks. Four years later, as Mack Trucks Inc. became a public company, Renault increased its holding to 40 percent.[13] In 1987, Renault V.I., the commercial vehicle division of Renault, bought the Mack shares from its parent company. By 1990, Mack Trucks, Inc became a wholly owned, integral subsidiary of Renault V.I., making the company one of North America's largest manufacturers of heavy-duty diesel trucks.[14]

[edit] The Company Today

Since 2001, AB Volvo has owned Mack Trucks Inc.[15] Its sales in 2006 were reported at approximately US$34 billion.[16] The company has recently reintroduced its entire product line to include its new MP engine line. The new engines are meant to enhance performance while abiding by today's environmental regulations.

[edit] Equipment List

[edit] References

  1. Corporate Overview. Mack Trucks. 2008-09-09.
  2. Corporate Overview. Mack Trucks. 2008-09-09.
  3. History. Mack Trucks. 2008-09-09.
  4. History. Mack Trucks. 2008-09-09.
  5. History. Mack Trucks. 2008-09-09.
  6. History. Mack Trucks. 2008-09-09.
  7. History. Mack Trucks. 2008-09-09.
  8. History. Mack Trucks. 2008-09-09.
  9. History. Mack Trucks. 2008-09-09.
  10. History. Mack Trucks. 2008-09-09.
  11. History. Mack Trucks. 2008-09-09.
  12. History. Mack Trucks. 2008-09-09.
  13. History. Mack Trucks. 2008-09-09.
  14. History. Mack Trucks. 2008-09-09.
  15. History. Mack Trucks. 2008-09-09.
  16. History. Mack Trucks. 2008-09-09.

[edit] External Links