Mack adds engine developments, 6X2 enhancements

June 5, 2017
ENGINE developments and 6X2 enhancements were the focal points for Mack Trucks during the 2017 Mid-America Trucking Show held in March in Louisville, Kentucky.

ENGINE developments and 6X2 enhancements were the focal points for Mack Trucks during the 2017 Mid-America Trucking Show held in March in Louisville, Kentucky.

Mack Trucks announced that the 2017 MP8 engine with turbo compounding is now available for order, offering highway customers increased fuel efficiency.

“The new MP8 engine with turbo compounding is just one of the many engine upgrades Mack made to further enhance fuel efficiency for customers,” said Roy Horton, Mack director of product strategy. “The turbo compounding system enables an improved operating range and allows a truck to hold top gear when cresting a hill, even with the engine rpm decreasing.”

Available exclusively with Mack’s Super Econodyne downspeeding package, the MP8 with turbo compounding converts wasted energy from the exhaust into mechanical energy that is fed back to the engine. The system adds up to 50 additional horsepower, improving fuel efficiency by up to 8.8%. The additional power generated by the turbo compounding system allows the engine to maintain full torque as low as 900 rpm.

Several of the revised components and technologies found on Mack’s 2017 MP series engines—including the patented wave piston, turbo compounding, and the common rail fuel injection system—were derived from research and development work associated with the US Department of Energy’s SuperTruck program.

Mack also introduced Super Econodyne Direct, a new fuel-saving option that combines a direct drive version of the mDRIVE automated manual transmission (AMT) to boost fuel efficiency by up to 1%. “Our Super Econodyne rating was previously only available with the overdrive version of the mDRIVE, but the recent release of numerically lower rear axle ratios allows us to use the direct drive variant,” said Scott Barraclough, Mack technology product manager. “The result is up to 1 percent better fuel efficiency on top of the 3% Super Econodyne already delivered on its own.”

Despite a numerically higher top gear ratio, the direct drive mDRIVE is inherently more fuel efficient thanks to reduced parasitic losses. This is due to the fact that torque is not transmitted to the direct drive mDRIVE’s countershaft while in top gear. Instead, the transmission’s input and output shafts are essentially locked together.

Super Econodyne Direct is best suited for applications of 80,000 pounds GCW or less where drivers remain in top gear for a large percentage of time. It also works best on mostly flat terrain and when drivers remain mostly in constant speed.

Additionally, Mack announced Automatic Standby Mode, a pioneering option for its 6x2 liftable pusher axle available on Mack Pinnacle highway models. The 6x2 with liftable pusher axle offers improved fuel efficiency and productivity benefits and is designed for applications that haul out heavy and return empty, such as bulk haul. The addition of Automatic Standby Mode eliminates the need for the driver to manually push buttons to initiate standby mode, simplifying operation. Mack has also added rear air disc brakes as an option to it 6X2 liftable pusher offer.

When the ignition is off, Automatic Standby equalizes the suspension pressure, preventing the rear axle from being overloaded. The driver does not have to remember to initiate the standby mode and also does not need to remember the button sequence to put it in standby.

Three driver-selectable traction control modes are available via a dash-mounted switch:

• Enhanced Traction—Enhances low-speed traction for improved starts, docking and slippery road conditions.

• Optimized Traction—The default setting, Optimized Traction maximizes load to the drive axle. If wheel slip is detected, the system can temporarily increase load to the drive axle for 30 seconds to provide improved traction.

• Basic Traction—Lowers the lift axle regardless of suspension load and maintains a 50/50 load split between the lift axle and drive axle during loading or unloading, prolonged stops or areas that require 50/50 load splits between tandem axles.   ♦