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james j neiweem

CH/Vision & the demise of the Mack fleet truck

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It has always been true that Mack was a rugged construction truck until maybe lately. The common current thought as Mack tries to get back into the over the road market is that Mack is not thought of as an over the road competitor. But that was not always the case. In the 40's thru the 80's. Mack was a very popular fleet truck. They probably had 20-40 percent at times of market share. L,H,B,R,U and F's were every where. Then along came the 90's with Renault, the close of the Mack west coast operations and the CH and vision and Mack over the road sales stalled. The CH never caught on with Roadway, Overnite and other former fleet operators . It seems as though the CH was kept alive by ABF and UPS. The CH and Vision were never thought of as classic big bore trucks. Thus they lost the west and the mountain states. The CH elite tried and failed to fill the bill. The period of the 90's and 2000's was a further nail in the coffin for Mack.

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Mack lost a lot of OTR fleet sales when deregulation put a lot of the LTL carriers out of business. Then Volvo decided that Mack shouldn't compete with their own product... It's amazing that anyone buys a Mack for OTR anymore.

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I had a 2000 CH also with a 400 and 9 speed Fuller.  I preferred the R models I owned but the CH was probably the most reliable truck I had. Had just under a million miles on it when I sold it. Never much of anything ever went wrong with it.

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Enjoyed the years I spent running CH’s 93 350, ‘96 427, ‘98 355/380 fuller 10spd trucks, pulling Labatt Blue across the border.

Edited by ZDB

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The first E7 400's when the CH first came out was a solid engine. Reliable as a stone. My 2000 was about when they started getting issues.

But now all the fixes have been figured out. Too bad I still didn't have it.

I don't even want to compare it to the r model I ran before it, but I will say they both made me very happy. Unlike today's trucks, LOL.

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The CH and CL were solid and very reliable trucks. I would rather have a E6 or E7 than any of the junk that is being sold today by  any truck maker today any where.

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I absolutely loved my '94 ch when I drove OTR, 427 t-2090 4:17 on air. It was a way better truck than the fld 120 with a 60 series I had been running.

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Here in Canada....you can almost pin  the loss of fleet sales to the Mack Etech engine. Mack started to gain huge in fleet sales here with CH and E7PLN engines. Those fleets then renewed their acceptance of the Mack CH product but anything 1998 and up was Etech powered. The camshafts, plate oil coolers, sand in block castings, roller lifters, loss of fuel mileage and other inherent design issues were a disappointment to fleets that enjoyed the simplicity and reliability of the E7PLN. Sucked in a lot of fleets but lost a lot by the time of e tech. 1 fleet I worked at would buy 15-25 anually had to send 1 to 3 trucks a week out of 150 back to the dealer for warranty engine work for CHs built after 1998. This fleet hauled on avaerage 120,000gvw regularly on double framed 427hp 220wb CHs. The resale export market took a hit as well when PLN engines became scarce and Etechs were of no interest because electronic pumps couldn't be converted to mechanical. If we could get a line graph printed off, it would start in year 1.5 of post Etech roll out. 

Edited by bbigrig

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Yes and it's really too bad bbigrig, because when they ran properly they were a great engine. My 460 would pull all day long with the company 475 Cat's and Series 60 500's I ran with. Only problem is, it was like a light switch. One minute the lightning bolt light was on and it was gutless, then the next hill you hit you thought the clutch was slipping because it would light up, the revs and boost would shoot up and away you went. Then next hill it was dead again, LOL.

I got really good fuel mileage from it too.

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4 hours ago, Bullheaded said:

Yes and it's really too bad bbigrig, because when they ran properly they were a great engine. My 460 would pull all day long with the company 475 Cat's and Series 60 500's I ran with. Only problem is, it was like a light switch. One minute the lightning bolt light was on and it was gutless, then the next hill you hit you thought the clutch was slipping because it would light up, the revs and boost would shoot up and away you went. Then next hill it was dead again, LOL.

I got really good fuel mileage from it too.

If you owned the E7PLN engine before the Etech...they wernt a great engine. Besides more torque that you paid for through fuel useage....someone name me something better about the Etech versus the E7PLN...

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5 hours ago, bbigrig said:

If you owned the E7PLN engine before the Etech...they wernt a great engine. Besides more torque that you paid for through fuel useage....someone name me something better about the Etech versus the E7PLN...

Engine brake by far. 

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46 minutes ago, Dirtymilkman said:

Engine brake by far. 

Truth to that point, but fleets don't buy powertrains based on engine brake gains......id be surprised if you could come up with another ..

Edited by bbigrig

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