Mack Trucks logo.
Mack Trucks, Inc. was founded in 1900 by Jack and Gus Mack in Brooklyn, NY, and was originally known as the Mack Brothers Company.
The Mack brothers actually entered the vehicle manufacturing business seven years earlier, when they purchased the Fallesen and Berry carriage company.
The company produced its first successful motorized vehicle in 1900. In 1905, the company moved its headquarters to Allentown, PA, where it is currently located in the heart of the Lehigh Valley. The company adopted its present name, Mack Trucks, Inc., in 1922.
The company's trademark is the Bulldog. Mack trucks earned this nickname in 1917, during World War I, when the British government purchased the Mack AC model to supply its front lines with troops, food and equipment.
British soldiers dubbed the truck the Bulldog Mack. Its pugnacious, blunt-nosed hood, coupled with its incredible durability, reminded the soldiers of the tenacious qualities of their country's mascot, the British Bulldog.
John M. "Jack" Mack takes a job at the carriage and wagon firm of Fallesen & Berry in Brooklyn, NY.
Jack Mack and brother Augustus F. Mack purchase the Fallesen & Berry factory.
William C. Mack, who had operated a wagon-building plant in Scranton, PA, joins his brothers in the business.
Carriage-making is phased-out, and the brothers focus on wagons. At about this time, the Mack brothers begin experimenting with steam and electric motor cars.
The early years of this century were years full of invention, the revolutionary effects of which we're still feeling today. In 1902, Willis Carrier introduced air conditioning; in 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright flew the first successful airplane at Kitty Hawk; and in 1908, Henry Ford introduced the Model T.
During this same time, John Mack and his brothers were hard at work setting the pace for an entirely new mode of commercial transportation. In the spirit of these other great pioneers, John Mack had a vision -- to produce the most durable and powerful heavy-duty trucks and engines in the world. The innovative designs and products he created began a tradition of innovation that has continued to this day.
John Mack had already spent years researching and experimenting with his own design for a motorized wagon by the time he and his brothers opened their first bus manufacturing plant in 1900. The work paid off the same year, when the brothers introduced their first successful vehicle -- a 40-horsepower, 20-passenger bus. The Mack bus, built for sightseeing concessionaire Harris and McGuire, operated in Brooklyn's Prospect Park for eight years before being converted into a truck. The vehicle racked up a million miles of service, the first in a long line of Mack vehicles to do so. The success and acceptance of "Old No. 1" initiated a history of truck development unparalleled in the industry, and established a company whose reputation for tough, high-quality products has since become "part of the language."
The brothers were also doing automotive repairs at this time.
Mack used a slogan in advertisements for many years, especially when we produced buses..."The first Mack was a bus and the first bus was a Mack."
The actual inspiration for building a large commercial motor vehicle truck is reported to have occurred when Jack Mack was invited for a ride in a neighbor's new 2-cylinder Winton automobile. The neighbor was Theodore Heilbron, captain of William Randolph Hearst's private yacht, who lived at 33 Third Avenue, a block from the Mack shop on Atlantic Avenue. The ride most likely took place in the fall, when the new 1902 Winton touring car was introduced. The superior performance of the new Winton soon had the two automobilists in an enthusiastic mood. And it was not long before their conversation centered on the future developments of gasoline engines and motor vehicles.
Mack Brothers Company is incorporated in New York with John M., Augustus F., and William C. Mack as the directors.
Mack Brothers Company begins using "Manhattan" as the trade name for their motorized vehicles, probably to distinguish them from the company's horse-drawn product line.
The acceptance of Mack as a rugged, heavy-duty truck led to the selection in 1905 of Allentown, Pennsylvania as the home of the main manufacturing operations of the new Mack Brothers Motor Car Company.
Mack Brothers Motor Car Company is incorporated in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. Brother Joseph Mack becomes a stockholder.
Mack was one of the first manufacturers to mount a cab directly over the engine, which increased driver visibility and maneuverability, particularly on crowded city streets. The "Manhattan" cab-over-engine model was introduced in 1905.
Gus Mack patented a constant mesh feature that protected gears from being damaged or stripped by inexperienced drivers. His brother, Jack Mack, patented the selective feature that allowed drivers to immediately shift from high to low, and vice versa, without going through intermediate speeds. Other manufacturers incorporated these patented Mack designs into their vehicles for several years.
Mack built rail cars and locomotives from 1905 until 1930. In the period 1951 through 1954, the company built 40 forward control diesel rail cars.
Mack Brothers Manufacturing Company is set up to continue the operation of the Brooklyn plant, which is still manufacturing wagons, and repairing automobiles.
Mack introduces the Junior model, a light-weight 1-1/2 ton truck.
The Mack Senior truck was right-hand steer and chain drive. The Junior was left-hand steer and chain drive.
The "Manhattan" trade name is dropped, and trucks begin carrying "Mack" nameplate.
The Manhattan Motor Truck Company incorporated in Massachusetts to operate several dealerships in that state.
Mack produced the first motorized hook-and-ladder fire truck for the city of Morristown, NJ.
Charles Mack, the fifth brother, joins Mack Bros. Motor Car Co.
In August of 1911, the brothers sold the company, and the new owners continued operation as the International Motor Company - a holding company for the Mack Brothers Motor Car Company and the Saurer Motor Company, another truck manufacturer which had a plant in Plainfield, New Jersey. The two truck manufacturing companies continue as distinct organizations, but the selling and servicing of Mack and Saurer trucks is combined as a distinct function of the holding company.
The International Motor Company's size increases with the addition of the Hewitt Motor Company, a New York City based builder of highly engineered motor trucks..
John and Joseph Mack, who'd been directors of the International Motor Company, leave.
The Hewitt nameplate is discontinued.
The Manhattan Motor Truck Company (which ran the Mack branches in New England) becomes the Mack Motor Truck Company.
The Mack AB was the company's first standardized, high volume model series, introduced in 1914. The first ABs had chain drive or worm drive. In 1920, a dual reduction drive replaced worm drive as an option. The AB filled the medium-duty role and incorporated many innovations particularly adapted to the times. Its simple, classic styling and overwhelming customer acceptance endured continuous modification and a production run extending through 1937, for a total of over 55,000 units.
The famous AC model was introduced in 1916. With its chain drive rear axle, the AC model earned an unparalleled reputation for reliability and durability, and was called on to help accomplish nearly impossible military and civilian tasks. The AC model was manufactured continuously through 1939 -- a remarkable 24 years, and 40,299 were built. The AC is not only credited with giving Mack its famous Bulldog identity, but also with achieving a degree of success and international fame that has never been accomplished by any other motor truck in history.
Mack built a military armored car on an AB Chassis for the New York National Guard. During World War I, Mack delivered approximately 4,500 AC model trucks of 3-1/2, 5-1/2, and 7-1/2 ton capacity to the US government. During that same period, Mack delivered over 2,000 units to Great Britain. These trucks did an outstanding job under very difficult conditions.
The story goes that the British soldiers ("Tommies") would call out when facing a difficult truck problem, "Aye, send in the Mack Bulldogs!" The primary, and generally universal, story is that the British engineers testing AC's and the Tommys in France said that "the Mack AC's have the tenacity of a bulldog." At that time, the symbol of Great Britain was the bulldog, and this was high praise for the trucks. American "Doughboys" expressed the same opinion of the truck.
A new holding company, the International Motor Truck Corporation, is formed; it assumes the notes payable obligations of the International Motor Company and owns 98 percent of its stock. The International Motor Company, through its ownership of the Mack Brothers Motor Car Company, the Saurer Motor Company, and the Hewitt Motor Company, becomes the operating organization, with its main plants in Allentown, PA (Mack), Plainfield, NJ (Saurer), and Brooklyn, NY (Hewitt).
The International Motor Company also owns the International Mack Motor Corporation, which had been set up in December 1915 to run most of the company-owned branches. However, by the end of World War I, the title of this company is changed to the Mack-International Motor Truck Corporation.
The Saurer nameplate is discontinued in the United States.
Mack became the first truck manufacturer to apply air cleaners and oil filters to trucks after Mack engineers discovered the fuel and maintenance savings these products offered customers.
In 1920, Mack pioneered the use of power brakes on trucks by using a vacuum-booster system.
Mack pioneered the use of rubber isolators as cushions in mounting chassis components to improve shock resistance in 1921. The applicability of this technology to automobiles was so great that the Rubber Shock Insulator Company was formed to handle license agreements with other automotive firms.
Mack played a major role in a trans-continental convoy conducted by the US Army. This project underscored the need for a national highway system.
The title of the parent company is changed from International Motor Truck Corporation to Mack Trucks, Incorporated. This change in title was basically made to identify the corporate name more closely with the company's product and lessen any misidentification of Mack products with those of a competitor, the International Harvester Company. The International Motor Company continues as the manufacturing subsidiary of Mack Trucks, Inc. until 1936.
In 1922, the company adopted the Bulldog as its corporate symbol. The first usage of the Bulldog as a symbol was on a sheet metal plate riveted to each side of the cab. It was first drawn on June 3, 1921 and was released, printed, and specified for the AB chain drive (CD) and dual reduction (DR) carrier drive trucks. The plate shows the Bulldog as two words, i.e., a bull dog chewing up a book entitled "Hauling Costs," "Mack" on his collar, and International Motor Co. of New York. This plate was used much later on M model off-highway trucks, except that the plate then showed Mack Trucks, Inc., Allentown, PA.
In the early afternoon of March 14, Jack Mack was enroute to a business meeting in Weatherly, Pennsylvania in his Chandler coupe. His car became involved in an accident with a trolley car of the Lehigh Valley Transit Company, which was crossing the road diagonally. Jack was killed almost instantly when his light car, being pushed off the road ahead of the trolley, was caught against a heavy pole and crushed like an egg shell. His body was interred in Fairview Cemetery in Allentown, just above the former Mack plant on 10th Street.
Over the years there have been few Mack models as famous as the AC model. The Mack BJ and BB models, the first of the "early B Series" introduced in 1927, represented the company's first trucks developed in response to the demand for larger capacity, higher speed haulage. The growing acceptance of trucking as a transport mode required the application of new design and engineering principles, and a variation of sizes and weights to satisfy emerging state regulations. More than 15,000 units were built through 1941.
Early in 1932, Alfred Fellows Masury, Mack's Chief Engineer, was admitted to the hospital for an operation. Masury was one of those individuals who wasn't used to his hands being idle for any period of time. During his recuperation in the hospital, Masury decided to carve a bulldog. (Some rumors indicate that he carved the first bulldog from a bar of soap; other rumors indicate the first was carved from wood.)
Whether the first bulldog hood ornament was soap or wood, we do know that shortly after his release from the hospital, he did in fact carve a bulldog in wood.
Masury applied for and received a patent for his design; that Bulldog design has adorned Mack trucks ever since!
A year of growth and building in America, and Mack Trucks, Inc. played a major role, including the building of Boulder Dam!
The name of the International Motor Company is changed to the Mack Manufacturing Corporation.
The Mack E series, introduced in 1936, were streamlined, medium-duty trucks with gross vehicle weight ratings ranging up to 23,000 lbs. The E models were available in both conventional and cab-over-engine configurations and proved themselves among the most versatile products ever offered by Mack. Over 78,000 were produced through 1951.
Mack was one of the first truck manufacturers to apply four-wheel brakes to heavy-duty trucks, increasing braking ability and safety, particularly with heavier loads. In 1938, Mack became the first truck manufacturer to design and build its own heavy-duty diesel engines, establishing the tradition of "balanced design" (in which the integration of the powertrain and vehicle design maximize performance) that continues today.
Mack was a major military contractor on a much larger scale in World War II, with more specialized products. Mack trucks served the Allied forces 35,000 strong in that second conflict, in the form of prime movers, personnel carriers, wrecker trucks, tank transporters, and more.
Mack merchandised a series of trucks under the name "Mack Jr." The vehicle was actually built by the Reo Truck Company in Lansing, Michigan. The vehicles were built according to Mack specifications and were sold through the Mack sales organization. In total, there were 4,974 chassis built during this time frame.
This was the second time in its history that Mack sold a Mack junior chassis. The 1936-1938 units should not be confused with the earlier Mack Junior; production on that version began in 1909.
During the 1938 to 1944 period, Mack built and sold a model called the "ED," which was essentially a three-quarter ton vehicle. Records indicate that a total of 2,686 ED model trucks were delivered.
During the war years, Mack built heavy-duty trucks to support the Allied forces.
And, just like other companies, Mack had its own version of "Rosie the Riveter" to help in the effort!
The Mack L series heavy-duty trucks of the 1940-1956 era exhibited clean, timeless styling and proved extremely popular. Certain models in this series combined many aluminum components with the more powerful engines to satisfy the long distance hauling needs of West Coast operators. Some 35,000 Mack L models graced the highways in their day.
The 1950s brought significant product advancements from Mack, including the G, H and B models. The G series featured an all-aluminum cab for light weight and the ability to haul big payloads, especially in West Coast applications. The H series, dubbed the "Cherry Pickers" for their very high cabs were designed with a short bumper-to-back of cab dimension to accommodate 35 foot trailers within 45 overall legal limits.
The B series, introduced in 1949, was surely one of Mack's most successful and popular products. Its pleasing, rounded appearance set a new styling standard for trucks, as did the wide range of model variations offered. There are B models still in active service today, part of the 127,786 built through 1965. The year 1953 also marked the introduction of the famous Thermodyne open chamber, direct-injection diesel engine, which established Mack's tradition of leadership in diesel performance and fuel efficiency.
"International" is dropped from the title of the main Mack sales organization; henceforth, the Mack Motor Truck Corporation handles the branch operations in the continental United States, except in New England, where the Mack Motor Truck Company operates as before.
Mack changes the titles of its manufacturing and sales subsidiaries to Mack Trucks, Inc.
The first diesel-power fire truck -- a Mack B85F model -- was sold to the city of Hamilton, Bermuda in 1960.
Mack Trucks, Inc. purchases Brockway Motor company. Brockway ceased production in 1977.
The F Model all-steel sleeper and non-sleeper, cab-over-engine trucks were introduced. This was the first model of the completely new family of COE and Conventional models to be introduced in the 60's. Following models included the R, U, and DM.
Mack Produced one Super Pumper System for the Fire Department of New York City. It was delivered in 1965 and its first fire was on August 12, 1965. It answered 2,200 alarms and was placed out of service in 1982.
The system included a Super Pumper, Super Tender, and three satellite tenders. The combinations of tender and/or satellites used at any particular fire depended on the situation.
The R series, which replaced the venerable B series in 1966, proved itself in the tradition of its predecessor as one of the worlds most popular heavy-duty diesel trucks. Shortly after introducing the R model, Macks revolutionary Maxidyne constant horsepower diesel engine debuted, along with the Maxitorque transmission.
RW model trucks were built at Mack Western in Hayward, CA from 1966 through 1981, when production was transferred to the Macungie plant.
Mack Trucks, Inc. becomes a member of the Signal Oil and Gas Company, a Los Angeles based petroleum company. In August 1967 Mack Trucks, Inc. officially became a member of a growing industrial family, The Signal Companies, Inc.
The Maxidyne engine was introduced in 1967, and provided maximum horsepower over a wider range of engine speeds than any other standard diesel engine of its day. The engines design leveled the horsepower curve and as a result, increased fuel efficiency and significantly reduced the need for shifting. It was such an improvement that a transmission with five speeds, rather than ten or more, could be used for most over-the-road applications.
The Maxitorque transmission (TRL 107 series), created in 1967, was the first triple countershaft, compact-length design for Class 8 trucks, featuring the highest torque capacity in the industry. The five-speed Maxitorque was only two-thirds as long as multi-speed transmissions, and its light weight made it a popular choice among operators concerned about gross vehicle weight.
In 1969, Mack pioneered and patented cab air suspension as a major truck ride and cab durability improvement.
Mack was the first heavy-duty diesel engine manufacturer of the day to produce its own engine compression brake -- the patented Dynatard engine brake in 1971. The Mack design was a customized, simpler brake system that was integral and compatible with the engine for top performance.
New Mack World Headquarters opens in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
The Cruise-Liner, produced from 1975-1983, served as Macks premium offering in a cabover configuration. Macungie plant opens for business.
The Super-Liner, a boldly-styled conventional designed for heavy hauling with the ultimate in driver luxury and convenience, was introduced in 1977. Its 15-year production run ended in 1993.
The MC/MR series, introduced in 1978, are the industrys most advanced low-cab-forward trucks with exceptional maneuverability and visibility for refuse, construction, and urban delivery applications.
Renault takes a 10 percent share in Mack Trucks, Inc.
Renault increases its holdings to 20 percent.
Signal reduces its holdings in Mack by 10 percent.
Mack introduces the MH Ultra-Liner model, featuring the industry's first successful all-fiberglass, metal cage-reinforced cab. The new design resulted in industry-leading advancements in cab-weight reduction and corrosion resistance.
When Mack Trucks, Inc. again became a public corporation in 1983 with a public offering of 15.7 million shares of Mack Trucks, Inc. common stock, closer ties had been established with Renault. These ties originated when the two organizations negotiated in 1977 regarding the distribution of a medium-duty diesel truck series in North America and parts of Central America and the Caribbean. Renault and Mack forged a working partnership with the successful introduction of the Mack Mid-Liner series in 1979, studying many of the key issues facing both companies on a global basis.
Renault increases holdings to 40 percent. Signal holdings reduced to 10.3 percent.
The commercial vehicle division of Renault -- Renault V.I. -- undergoes a financial reorganization, and buys out the Mack shares from its parent company.
Mack introduced the E7 series of 12-liter engines in 1988. Today, the line includes 16 different engines with horsepower ratings ranging from 250 to 454. The E7 boasts the industry's best horsepower-to-weight ratios for customers concerned with achieving maximum productivity.
Mack introduces the CH series for highway applications.
Mack Trucks, Inc. becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Renault V.I. The company became one of North America's largest producers of heavy-duty diesel trucks, in addition to major product components, and is an integral member of the worldwide Renault Group.
When coupled with the V-MAC Electronic Engine Control System - introduced in 1990 - the company's current engine line offers customers an unprecedented level of control in tailoring performance options to their specific requirements. The V-MAC system has led the industry with such innovations as cruise auto-resume and dual-PTO capability.
Mack patented a unique, electronically controlled, variable-injection timing system for exclusive use with its E7 engines. The Econovance Variable Injection Timing system optimizes fuel efficiency and lowers emissions.
In 1991, Mack developed the High Swirl/Moderately High Injection Pressure Combustion System to optimize the mixing of diesel fuel and air in its E7 and E9 engines. The system increases combustion efficiency, and in the process, improves fuel economy, lowers emissions, maintains oil viscosity, and lengthens oil change intervals.
Mack introduces the LE (low entry) refuse vehicle.
In February, Mack introduced the Vision by Mack, a new premium highway tractor. The new Vision by Mack, with its sleek, aerodynamic styling and leading-edge technologies, was designed from the ground up to give drivers the power, handling, and comfort they want -- without compromising the low operating cost, efficiency and serviceability demanded by fleet managers in the competitive transportation industry.
On December 18, 2000 the United States Department of Justice approved the acquisition of Mack by AB Volvo, Sweden. Mack celebrates its Centennial anniversary.
The Granite series construction trucks line is introduced, combining traditional Mack application excellence with modern styling and an improved driver environment.
Mack is acquired by AB Volvo.
The ASET (Application Specific Engine Technology) 12L engine family was introduced to meet the 2002 emission requirements while maintaining optimum performance. The VISION Day Cab chassis began production. This non-sleeper cab version of the Vision long-haul sleeper provided the Vision's comfort, styling, and durability to operators in more localized applications.
The production of Mack CH and VISION Model trucks was moved from the Mack Winnsboro, SC Plant to the VOLVO New River Valley Plant at Dublin, VA.
Mack renews its entire product offering to incorporate the new MP engine line designed to optimize performance while meeting stringent environmental regulations. New models include the Pinnacle highway tractor, a redesigned Granite vocational truck, and the Terra Pro cabover line.
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