The latest Mack range includes the enhanced Superliner, and PowerTorque takes the ‘Mack in Black’ on a road test in the Western Queensland outback. The new latest design is utilising the more advanced Anthem electronic architecture and is also offered with a sleeper cab developed from the Anthem cabin design system.
With the arrival, this year of the Anthem from Mack, the more sophisticated electronic architecture which comes as part of the package is not just in the new Mack Anthem model itself, but is also modernising the rest of the Mack offering in Australia.
The Superliner has become a popular model in the conventional heavy prime mover market, finding favour with operators looking for the high power option of the 685hp MP10, driving through the M-Drive AMT. The model combines the stability advantages of a traditional conventional with a state-of-the-art transmission capable of handling the heavy stuff.
By moving the Mack designs forward to a more sophisticated electronic set-up, the trucks can now utilise the latest iterations of the M-drive with a crawler gear option now available, the mDrive HD. This enhances startability and gradeability to enable these models to get rated at higher GCMs up towards 140 tonnes, without having to resort to fitting hub reduction drive axles.
Since their introduction, the MP10 engine and the mDrive have proved to be popular choices for the Mack faithful. This latest model takes that core driveline and introduces more flexibility and capability to the whole truck. The Anthem cab design also brings a genuine integrated cabin to the party, something which Mack buyers have needed for a long time.
After making an appearance at the Mount Isa Rodeo the Mack Superliner pulling a double road train, with two trailers branded up to publicise Mack’s sponsorship deal with the Driza-Bone clothing business, was ready for a trip around the roads of Western Queensland.
This is where PowerTorque picked up the truck for a quick two-day tour of the highways of the west of Queensland. The route headed south out of Mount Isa, down to Boulia on single track bitumen, though open dry country.
From here the truck turned North-East crossing the series of dry creek beds which feed water into the Diamantina Lakes during the summer floods, which make this area just viable enough to support agriculture. After a stopover in Winton, it was back along the Landsborough Highway to Cloncurry and then west, up and over the ranges, before dropping back down into Mount Isa.
In fact, this particular route is probably not one which would regularly be traversed by a Mack Superliner with this particular configuration, and local drivers, who we came across en route mentioned the size of the cabin as being smaller than the preferred options in Western Queensland.
This specification with an integrated 36inch sleeper is more suited to East coast running with a B-double or A-double combination. It has the power to handle the heavy tasks, but the tighter dimensions to fit into the 26 and 30 metre dimension envelopes.