Diesel News has been hearing from Mack Trucks Australia Vice-President, the effervescent Dean Bestwick on where the Bulldog Brand is heading in the future. A bulldog boy to the bone, Bestwick started by articulating what a joy and privilege it is for him to be working with the brand as it celebrates its centenary this year.
“Back in 1919 the first two AC Mack units to come to Australia were imported by the Vacuum Oil Company, forerunner of Mobil Oil Company, to transport its Plume Motor Spirit,” Dean explained. “These trucks continued in service right up until 1952 and legend has it the only time they were off the road for any length of time during that period was when they were converted from solid rubber to pneumatic tyres.”
Another significant Mack milestone was reached in mid-2018 when the 10,000th New Breed unit, a Super-Liner, rolled off the Wacol assembly line.
“One hundred years of Mack trucks in Australia didn’t happen by luck or chance, it’s due to the people we employ and the products we have,” Bestwick continues. “And particularly now that we’re part of the Volvo Group, Mack is going on to bigger and better things.”
A couple of those bigger and better things appeared on the VGA stand at the BTS. The Mack Anthem is currently undergoing exhaustive local on-road testing and is due to be put on sale next year. It represents a significant evolution of the brand in the bonneted line-haul segment.
“A big thing about the Anthem is the interior,” said Dean. “The human machine interface (HMI) is where it all happens and the ergonomics and electrical architecture of this truck are what we’ve really been pushing for.”
The stand-up sleeper cab literally enables the driver to tilt the steering column forward, stand upright in front of the driver’s chair and then turn and walk unimpeded to the bed, a strong indicator of where the Bulldog Brand is heading.
The other impressive Mack on display at the show was the prototype Short BBC (bumper to back of cab) Super-Liner. This unit is being developed to give Mack a high-horsepower contender for the linehaul B-double sector, which demands a 34-pallet capacity combination that fits into the 26-metre overall length envelope.
Signifying a full proprietary driveline package, the gold bulldog stands proud on the steeply raked hood. This package comprises the 16-litre MP10 engine with a top rating of 685hp and 2,300ftlb of torque, mDRIVE automated manual transmission and Volvo drivehead.
Looking resplendent in its Aussie themed gold-flecked green livery, the Short BBC Super-Liner concept drew plenty of attention from the masses and to many minds was the stand-out truck of the show.