Celebrating 50,000th REMACK Carrier
Transmission Compound Shift Covers - Remanufactured
New Mack Granite Snowplow Creates Flurry of Sales
Orders Continue to Grow for Vehicles Designed with Winter in Mind
LEHIGH VALLEY, PA (February 6, 2003) - "We are very excited about these new trucks. Mack has always provided the Department with equipment that is both highly reliable and extremely durable. And now they're setting a new standard for operational efficiency and driver comfort - both key factors in enhancing the safety of snow removal operations."
That's what Charles Goodhart, Chief of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's Equipment Division, had to say recently when asked about his organization's experience with the new Mack Granite snowplow.
The snowplow application is the latest version of the highly successful Granite series of vehicles designed and manufactured by Mack Trucks, Inc. PENNDOT has already taken delivery of its first 11 Granite snowplows, and has ordered another 11 for this year. The Department has also ordered another 105 Granite snowplows for delivery next year -- the single largest order to date for any Granite model.
"Granite is the ideal platform for this application because it has everything the snowplow customer needs," said Kevin M. Flaherty, Mack senior vice president - sales. "It offers best-in-class visibility. The cab is big, strong, comfortable, and quiet. Granite is exceptionally lightweight, but like all Mack vocational vehicles, it's extremely durable. It features state-of-the-art electronics, including Mack's V-MAC vehicle management and control system. And it's a great-looking truck to boot."
In developing the Granite snowplow, Mack worked closely with PENNDOT, soliciting input from operators and mechanics around the state - the people in the field with first-hand knowledge of what snow removal is all about. The result is a design that truly meets the specific needs of the customer in this market.
"We were thrilled to be asked by Mack to be involved in the development of the Granite snowplow," Mr. Goodhart said. "No truck manufacturer had ever before invited us to participate to this degree in the design of a new chassis. They put us directly in front of their research and development people, and it was clear that they really wanted to hear what we had to say. We were very impressed by their can-do attitude and commitment to developing the best possible product."
"And the result is a vehicle that allows us to meet the needs both of our internal customers, the operators and mechanics involved in snow removal operations, as well as our external customers, the motoring public," added Ray Rugh, Section Manager of PENNDOT's Specification Division.
Key features of the Granite snowplow include a heated windshield and mirrors, which, coupled with the Granite series' aerodynamically sloped hood, Mack "Visibility" door and large peep window provide excellent visibility in wintry weather conditions. The air cleaner is located under the hood, protecting it from harmful snow and ice. And the high-strength steel in front that carries the plow and hitch is an extension of the frame rail, ensuring maximum durability.
Because snowplow drivers can be on the job for up to 12 hours at a time, and even longer during severe storms, minimizing operator fatigue is a key concern. And Granite is designed to do just that. Getting in and out of the cab is easy, thanks to optimally spaced steps. Granite's large, comfortable cab includes a steering column that tilts and telescopes, a multi-adjustable seat, and easy-to-read gauges - features that can significantly reduce driver fatigue.
Operators who have driven the truck have also commented on how well it handles. Granite's high-capacity front axles and wide taper-leaf front springs provide a smooth, stable ride. And the integrated range of rear-axle configurations delivers excellent traction and maneuverability.
The fact that all Granite interiors have been designed to resist grime with easy-to-clean materials and fabrics is also appreciated in operations like plowing snow or spreading salt conducted in sloppy conditions.
"We wanted a truck truly designed for the snowplow operator, a truck that maximizes efficiency and comfort," said Dan Wickline, Mack director of government sales. "And thanks to the efforts of the Mack design and manufacturing team, as well as the invaluable input we received from everyone at PENNDOT, we truly believe we achieved our goal."
And the excitement over the Granite snowplow isn't limited to Pennsylvania. The New York City Department of Transportation has ordered 25 Granite snowplows, and is considering between 25 to 50 more. The West Virginia Division of Highways is looking at a similar order. And the Idaho Transportation Department can't wait to receive their initial order of 37 Granite snowplows.
"We have 126 Mack CL's in our fleet right now that we use for snow removal operations," said Steve Spoor, highway equipment superintendent for the Idaho Transportation Department. "And our experience with these trucks has been tremendous. The only enhancements we ever wanted - better visibility over the hood and a front frame extension - are now standard on the new Granite. So, at least in our eyes, this is the best snowplow truck that Mack has ever developed."
One of the key advantages to both the PENNDOT and Idaho arrangements with Mack is that any not-for profit organization in these states, including hospitals and schools as well as county and local governments, can utilize these contracts to purchase Granite vehicles of their own, at the same volume discount price.
"It's a win-win situation," said Jerry Shafer, Branch Manager for Northwest Equipment in Twin Falls, Idaho. "It gives us, the Mack dealer, a powerful tool to use in selling more product. And it gives an organization like a municipal government a cost-effective way to get the trucks they require."
Dedicated to quality, reliability, and total customer satisfaction, Mack Trucks, Inc. has provided its customers with innovative transportation solutions for more than a century. Today, Mack is one of North America's largest producers of heavy-duty trucks, and MACK vehicles are sold and serviced in more than 45 countries worldwide.
Mack is a member of the Volvo Group, a publicly held company headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden. With annual sales of approximately $18 billion, Volvo business areas include heavy trucks, buses, construction equipment, marine and industrial drive systems, aerospace, and financial services. In the United States, Volvo shares are listed on NASDAQ and are traded as ADRs (symbol: VOLVY).