Have you ever looked at something and wondered how it works? Maybe taken it apart to repair it or to improve it? I know that I certainly have, and I've always been fascinated by mechanical and electrical devices ever since I can remember. My initial fascination with hands-on exploration and discovery served me well in putting together mini bikes, go karts and being the neighborhood lawnmower repair guy. Trucks always caught my eye, and being born and raised in the Allentown PA area, the home of the Mack brand, it was only natural that at some point Mack and I would meet. During my high school years I worked after school at a used truck dealer and then after diesel school I wrenched at an independent truck repair shop. It was a great learning experience having all of the hands-on opportunities on lots of makes and models of trucks. I can still recall a few part numbers and the burn from the smoke of a diesel cold start. The opportunity to join the Mack family came in 1984 when I moved my toolbox into the Mack Allentown Factory Branch, a factory owned Mack Truck dealership.
The rest is history.
It has been a great ride since those early days, albeit bumpy at times with all of the changes in the trucking industry. Who would have believed, a few years back, that we would have spark plugs to deal with (natural gas engines), and that a diesel engine could run strong, with near zero emissions and without blowing a lot of black smoke? 30 years ago if you got 300,000 miles out of and engine before an in-frame overhaul you were doing pretty well. Today the expectation is more like 1,000,000 miles. Progress has come with some cost and some weight penalties, but when you think about it, it really is amazing how far technology has progressed. Is all of this technology complicated? Well, yes, kind of, but the underlying fundamentals of how things work and the basics of operation and care are all very much the same as they were back the days of $1.00 diesel and mechanically governed fuel systems. As Vocational Products Marketing manager I get a chance to see a lot or really neat things, but I still get a big thrill out of understanding how things work and helping others to do the same.