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Volvo Announces Medium-Duty Mack Truck Line


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Heavy Duty Trucking (HDT)  /  January 30, 2020

Mack Trucks is getting into the medium-duty business, announcing an all-new Mack MD series of medium-duty trucks on Jan. 30, with production to start in July in a new manufacturing facility in Roanoke Valley, Virginia.

The Mack MD6, a Class 6 model, has a gross vehicle weight rating of 25,995 pounds, and the MD7, a Class 7 model, has a GVWR of 33,000 pounds. Mack said the trucks will meet the needs of trucking applications requiring dry van/refrigerated, stake/flatbed, dump and tank truck vocations. 

The Mack MD Series is an all-new model range built specifically for medium-duty applications. Available in 4x2 configurations, the MD6 and MD7 models feature a sharp wheel cut for enhanced maneuverability for tough urban settings. The new trucks will be supported by Mack’s dealer network. 

Mack also announced a $13 million investment to establish its Roanoke Valley Operations (RVO), a new manufacturing facility in Roanoke Valley, Virginia, for the production of the Mack MD Series. The project will result in the creation of 250 new jobs.

“Mack Trucks is very proud to make this investment and to now offer a full lineup of Class 6 to Class 8 commercial vehicles, serving virtually every segment of the market,” said Martin Weissburg, Mack Trucks president. “With this investment, Mack is well-positioned for future success, and we’re taking orders for the new truck beginning today.”

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New MD series walk around video! MMD_walkaround_Final.mp4

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Volvo launches Mack medium-duty truck line

The Morning Call  /  January 30, 2019

Mack is back in the business of medium-duty trucks.

The truck maker on Thursday launched its all-new Mack MD series of medium-duty trucks. As part of the announcement, Mack announced a $13 million investment to establish its Roanoke Valley Operations, which will be a new manufacturing site in Virginia that will handle production of the MD series.

Production of the Mack MD Series is slated to begin in July. The project will create 250 jobs in Virginia.

“Mack Trucks is very proud to make this investment and to now offer a full lineup of Class 6 to Class 8 commercial vehicles, serving virtually every segment of the market,” Mack President Martin Weissburg said in a statement. “With this investment, Mack is well-positioned for future success, and we’re taking orders for the new truck beginning today.”

The Mack MD6, a Class 6 model, has a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 25,995 pounds, and the MD7, a Class 7 model, has a GVWR of 33,000 pounds. The new trucks could be used for applications such as dry vans/refrigerated, flatbeds and dump and tank trucks.

The announcement confirms Mack’s long-rumored re-entrance into the medium-duty truck market. Last February, The Morning Call reported that Mack was working on a project in the Salem area, near Roanoke, and hiring engineers there. Mack and its parent, the Sweden-based Volvo Group, had declined to answer questions at the time about whether the project was related to a potential medium-duty truck line.

Right now, all Mack vehicles for the North American market are assembled at the company’s Lower Macungie Township assembly plant, which pumps out semitrucks, construction and garbage trucks. The local union’s contract does not allow Mack to shift the Lower Macungie plant’s existing work.

But the operation in Virginia is a new product line.

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Volvo opens manufacturing facility in Virginia for new Mack medium-duty truck line

Jason Cannon, Commercial Carrier Journal (CCJ)  /  January 30, 2020

Mack Trucks on Thursday cut the ribbon on a new production facility in Salem, Virginia, that the company will use to build a new medium duty truck lineup.

Mack’s Roanoke Valley Operations (RVO) – a 280,000 square foot facility, representing an investment of $13 million in Roanoke County – will employ upwards of 250 people and is charged with birthing Mack’s new MD6 and MD7, Class 6 and Class 7 trucks, respectively.

Jonathan Randall, Mack Trucks senior vice president of North American sales and marketing, noted the official unveiling of RVO and the company’s expanded lineup caps a process that started two years ago.

Governor Ralph Northam has approved a $700,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund for the project. Mack’s investment will be being used for equipment, tooling and building enhancements.

“This is a great day for Salem, a great day for Roanoke County and a great day for all of Virginia,” said Brian Ball, Virginia’s secretary of commerce and trade.

Unemployment in Virginia sits at 2.6%, a full percent below the national average, and Mack Trucks President Martin Weissburg cited the local pool of potential employees as an attraction to the area, which is also strategically positioned between Mack’s Geeensboro, N.C. headquarters and its Allentown, Pennsylvania truck production site. It’s also less than an hour from sister company Volvo Trucks North America’s New River Valley truck production site.

“We’re excited about being part of being part of this community,” Weissburg said.

The operation is expected to have annual impact of $364 million across the region.

The Mack MD6 & MD7

Mack’s new medium duty entries – the Class 6 MD6 and Class 7 MD7 – unlocks new over the road segments for the truck maker.

The Mack MD6 has a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 25,995 pounds, and the MD7 model has a GVWR of 33,000 pounds. Both are exempt from the 12% Federal Excise Tax (FET).

Serial production of the trucks is set to begin this summer and the company is already taking orders.

The MD lineup becomes the first automotive project in the State of Virginia to go from prototype to production, and targets trucking applications in dry van and refrigerated segments, and stake/flatbed, dump and tank truck vocations.

The exterior is stylized similarly to Mack’s on-highway champion, Anthem, but the new MD trucks will be equipped with Cummins 6.7 liter engine and made available in a 4×2 configuration. Mack says both models will feature a sharp wheel cut for urban maneuverability and noted the MD Series cab design features a short, industry-leading, 103-inch bumper-to-back-of-cab (BBC) measurement.

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13 million bucks?  So what can you buy today for 13 million in terms of a manufacturing facility-or should I say "assembly" facility.  How about it KSC-was  this  a going assembly operation?  Also I've been reading lately about the Democratic takeover of the state and they are in the forefront of repealing any and all "Right to Work" laws.  Seems like anyone concerned about future labor costs would avoid that state like the plague.  In particular with a 2.6 unemployment rate.

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16 minutes ago, Red Horse said:

13 million bucks?  So what can you buy today for 13 million in terms of a manufacturing facility-or should I say "assembly" facility.  How about it KSC-was  this  a going assembly operation?  Also I've been reading lately about the Democratic takeover of the state and they are in the forefront of repealing any and all "Right to Work" laws.  Seems like anyone concerned about future labor costs would avoid that state like the plague.  In particular with a 2.6 unemployment rate.

Bob, they're using an abandoned facility outside Salem, formerly home to LSC Communications, and reconfigured it for truck "assembly". The Roanoke County and the City of Salem, Virginia, are thrilled.

In 2018, Camrett Logistics purchased a 280,900-square-foot manufacturing building at 6450 Technology Drive that sits on 134 acres, just outside Salem, in Roanoke County.

Volvo is leasing from Camrett Logistics, so they can bail when the truck flops.

Foreign aggressor Volvo should give thanks to the American engineers of the former Mack Trucks for that CA/CH/DH cab, who made this new model possible.

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Nice! looks nice too. Glad to see Mack in the medium truck business and using Cummins. As often discussed here they have greatly missed to while others are doing well especially the Japanese. Hopefully Mack will sell many as tow trucks too. 

Will there be a Volvo version to syphon sales from Mack intros segment?

 

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Volvo Unveils Medium-Duty Mack Truck Plant in Southwest Virginia

Transport Topics  /  January 30, 2020

SALEM, Va. — Mack Trucks opened a facility to produce a new series of medium-duty trucks in southwest Virginia.

Mack executives joined Virginia officials to unveil the plant, called Roanoke Valley Operations, on Jan. 30. The site will specialize in assembling medium-duty commercial motor vehicles. The 280,000-square-foot space, perched in the Blue Ridge Mountains, was converted from an industrial printing facility.

The company invested $13 million, a sum that covered equipment, tooling and building enhancements. The plant is scheduled to start production in July. Mack will start taking truck orders immediately.

“It’s a new product, it’s a new facility here, and it’s new jobs,” Mack Trucks President Martin Weissburg said. “We know this is the right place for this big investment.”

Specifically, the plant will be used to assemble the Mack MD series. The Mack MD6 is a Class 6 truck that has a gross vehicle weight rating of 25,995 pounds. The Mack MD7 is a Class 7 truck that has a weight rating of 33,000 pounds.

The trucks will be equipped with new lightweight chassis. Also new is the series’ air-suspended cab, which Director of Product Strategy Roy Horton said is meant to improve driver comfort and vehicle durability. The trucks are furnished with multiple grab handles, which a driver can use when entering and exiting the vehicle.

The interior of each cab features a wraparound dashboard and a flat-bottomed steering wheel. The trucks are equipped with cruise control as well as power window controls and door locks.

“For us, strength is at the very core of our image,” Horton said. “It’s a sharp-looking truck.”

The trucks will be supported with Go Rugged telematics devices, produced by fleet management company Geotab. In terms of powertrain, the trucks will have Cummins B6.7 engines, Allison transmissions and Meritor front and rear axles.

Each truck will feature a silver bulldog on its hood. The silver ornament signifies the truck contains components (such as an engine and transmission) that were not created by Mack. Gold bulldogs, which Jonathan Randall, senior vice president for North American sales, called the “purebred,” means a truck has all Mack components.

Roanoke Valley Operations is projected to create 250 jobs, according to Gov. Ralph Northam, who approved a $700,000 grant from the commonwealth’s Development Opportunity Fund to support the project.

“It is especially rewarding when we come to more rural parts of Virginia,” Northam said. “We have one of the most talented workforces.”

This series marks Mack’s re-entry into medium-duty trucks. The Mack Freedom [Renault Midlum] was discontinued in 2002.

Randall noted the MD series will translate into various applications, such as flatbeds, dump trucks, tank trucks and refrigerated loads. He said the customers who probably will find these vehicles useful specialize in something other than trucking, such as beer distributors and lumber professionals.

“This is a natural extension of our brand,” Randall said. “Now, our family portrait, we believe, is complete.”

Salem, which lies 7 miles west of Roanoke, toes Interstate 81. A major freight corridor, I-81 runs through Virginia for 325 miles. Weissburg said the new plant’s location complements Mack’s Mid-Atlantic footprint. Parent company Volvo Group has a manufacturing facility in Dublin, Va., about 45 miles west of Salem.

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Volvo unveils Mack medium-duty lineup to be built in Virginia

Truck News  /  January 30, 2020

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Mack Trucks is returning to the medium-duty truck market with a new Class 6/7 lineup that will be assembled at a dedicated facility in Roanoke County, Virginia.

Known as the MD Series, the trucks begin serial production late this summer and are available for order today.

The new Roanoke Valley Operations location represents a US $13-million investment for the OEM, 250 new jobs, and an annual economic impact of $364 million for the region. It was supported by a $700,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund.

“This is an exciting day for Roanoke County,” said Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, before joining Mack Trucks executives and other government representatives to cut a ribbon to open the plant.

The project has been in the works for about two years but was a tightly guarded secret prior to the announcement.

Medium-duty truck market

“Mack Trucks is very proud to make this investment and to now offer a full lineup of Class 6 to Class 8 commercial vehicles, serving virtually every segment of the market,” said Mack president Martin Weissburg. “With this investment, Mack is well-positioned for future success.”

“The Class 6/7 market has been historically stable, 90,000 to 100,000 trucks a year in U.S. and Canada,” added Jonathan Randall, senior vice-president of North American sales and marketing. “We have a lot of customers already in our portfolio who already run medium-duty trucks, and they’ve been asking us for a single-source solution for quite a while.”

“Now we feel our family portrait is complete,” he said.

Mack hasn’t had a medium-duty offering since discontinuing the Freedom model in 2002. Earlier offerings in these weight classes included the MC Series and Midliner.

“This isn’t new to us in any shape or form,” Randall said of the business segment. “[But] the Freedom was a heavily Renault-based truck, and this is all a North American-based truck.”

The Mack MD

The Class 6 Mack MD6 has a GVWR of 25,995 lb., while its Class 7 MD7 counterpart has a GVWR of 33,000 lb. They’ll focus on applications including dry van, refrigerated, stake/flatbed, dump and tank trucks, and be available in 4×2 configurations.

The truck will be available in eight wheelbase lengths, supporting typical bodies that run from 10 to 26 feet. A 103-inch bumper-to-back-of-cab measurement will help to load up the front axle and deliver a tight turning radius as well.

The Mack MD will come equipped with a Cummins B6.7 engine that can deliver 220-300 hp and 560-660 lb.-ft of torque, and Meritor front and rear axles. An Allison 2500HS six-speed automatic transmission will be standard, although an Allison 2500RDS is available for those who need a PTO.

“They started from a solid foundation for the chassis, for the cab, for the exterior, for the interior,” said Roy Horton, director – product strategy.

‘Strength is at the very core’

Base models will ride on a spring suspension, although a Mack Maxlite air suspension is optional. Wheels will come in a standard 22.5-inch size, but 19.5-inch wheels are also available.

“We’ve made the 120,000-psi steel frame rails standard,” Horton added, noting the industry standard is 80,000 psi. “Strength is at the very core of our image.”

The cab itself will ride on an air suspension rather than rubber blocks, and includes several features found elsewhere in the Mack product family. The grille and hood match the styling of the Mack Anthem, introduced in late 2017, while the cab is a variation on the Mack Granite.

Inside, drivers will find the same flat-bottom steering wheel used in the other trucks. Other features include power windows and door locks, cruise control, an air-ride driver’s seat, and optional two passenger bench seat with storage underneath.

Telematics support will come in the form of a Geotab Go Rugged system, offering access to the Mack Uptime Center, as well as OneCall and ASIST support.

The MD6 can be operated without a commercial driver’s licence when moving non-hazardous payloads.

Mack’s new home

The new Roanoke Valley Operations location was chosen to leverage several advantages.

“From a logistics standpoint, the proximity to global headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina was a significant piece,” said James Chenier, senior vice-president – strategy and business development. The facility itself also required few modifications.

“Proximity is important to us,” Randall said. “It fit our logistics really, really well.”

The cabs will also be painted at Volvo Trucks North America’s nearby New River Valley plant.

“This is a completely new platform, completely new product, and does not take anything out of LVO [Lehigh Valley Operations],” Randall stressed.

The newly announced jobs offset Mack’s recent decision to lay off 305 employees from the LVO plant in Pennsylvania because of a downturn in the heavy truck market. Laid-off employees will have a chance to apply for roles in the new location, he said.

“This is a great day for all Virginia,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball.

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I found a video. It's not on the Mack brand YouTube site, but rather the obscure customer center site.

I don’t care for the loud obnoxious music. I’d rather hear a confidence-inspiring voice telling me about the truck.

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I think this is a good looking truck. The "CH" cab is a solid cab, better than any other. The MD7 looks like a solid truck. Mack has needed a truck like this for long time. I will say it maybe Volvo did something good for Mack Trucks.  

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1 hour ago, TS7 said:

I think this is a good looking truck. The "CH" cab is a solid cab, better than any other. The MD7 looks like a solid truck. Mack has needed a truck like this for long time. I will say it maybe Volvo did something good for Mack Trucks.  

But there’s nothing special about it. It has nothing at all over the T270/370, which is at this late stage firmly established in the market. 
Unless they price them competitively, which Volvo never does..........

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2 hours ago, kscarbel2 said:

But there’s nothing special about it. It has nothing at all over the T270/370, which is at this late stage firmly established in the market. 
Unless they price them competitively, which Volvo never does..........

It will be interesting to see if it offers other engine and transmission options or if there will be a cab over medium duty Mack again. Hino also seems to be gaining in this market too. I see alot more on the road especially as tow and utility trucks in NY.

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Interesting that they went with the earlier CH style shallow rear wall cab, I guess to get the BBC down.   Nice looking truck but the auto shifter is straight out of a mid 90’s setup.  Also, without a crew cab option, they miss out on a lot of muni/state DOT sales.  Hopefully they aren’t priced like the Titan was.  

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Kscarbel KW/Pete is a good truck, but they do not give them away, that is for sure. There cab is small and has a cramped feeling, I think. Mack has needed a good class 7 truck for a long, long time.  Lets see where this goes. This truck could become a baby 8 tandem very easy. 

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Maybe it will generate some dollars for a new USA Superliner with big power for heavy haul/lowboy/dump trailer/ Logging etc. Needs a few chrome accessories. I like the cab and bumper, grill not so much. Need to get rid of that hideous bow tie on all of their vehicles and give the long proven vertical or horizontal grill as an option.

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How did this one slip by you guys? I saw it announced in the trade mags before I saw it here. You Mack guys are slipping! Hahahaha.

You know, I HATE the Anthem, but I like this as a medium duty. This is the first Mack that has interested me since the mid 2000's.

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The gentleman in the video says the silver bulldog means its a Mack truck because it's supported by vendors like Cummins, Allison and Meritor???

I thought a Mack truck had a pedigreed drivetrain?  We did offer vendor drivetrains for stubborn fleets like Roadway, but a real Mack truck incorporated our self-designed engines, transmissions and axles.

If having a Cummins engine means it's a Mack truck, then one assumes the Class 8 Macks come with Cummins engines........but they aren't even an option. Only the slow selling niche market Granite MHD has an ISL, and the Cummins-Westport ISX12N natural gas powerplant in select models. The Cummins X12 and X15 are not available in any Mack models.

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KS: I know a Roadway driver from the Mack era and he says they did have Mack's with Mack power during the R/U era. I am not sure how many. Obviously they had Mack power on the B's and H's. Not sure about the Mack F's and not sure if Roadway ran maxidynes. Roadway was all over the place as far as vendor model engines.  Mack Cummins Detroit. Transmissions may have been more standardized.

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4 minutes ago, james j neiweem said:

KS: I know a Roadway driver from the Mack era and he says they did have Mack's with Mack power during the R/U era. I am not sure how many. Obviously they had Mack power on the B's and H's. Not sure about the Mack F's and not sure if Roadway ran maxidynes. Roadway was all over the place as far as vendor model engines.  Mack Cummins Detroit. Transmissions may have been more standardized.

Yes, we did sell them a few pedigreed trucks in the end. But very few. As you know, most had 2-stroke Detroit Diesels and Eaton transmissions.

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