It’s hard not to appreciate Tower One, Anselmi says, and he knows other major cities are also interested in similar units. “It’s a stunning cab and chassis,” he says. “It really is an impressive truck.”
Bronto’s engineering requirements are not exotic by the standards of Mack’s Sales Engineering Department, according to Bill Borath, commercial project engineer. Mack builds several hundred twin-steer Granites on the Lehigh Valley Operations production line every year, as well as tri-drive trucks.
This experience is helpful when it comes to finding ways to place necessary components such as air and fuel tanks on a chassis containing additional wheels, outriggers and hydraulics. Sessions says he has a wealth of options to draw upon when working with Sales Engineering during the configuring and ordering process.
Another way Mack provides in-depth technical support is through Mack’s Body Builder Support team, says David Troupe, a representative of the team. Vocational trucks like this frequently have complex parameters and programming for their engine power takeoffs (PTOs), which power the hydraulics the Bronto uses to operate the aerials. Troupe and his colleagues work closely with Tim Smith of Nextran to diagnose, troubleshoot and reset parameters during the body installation process or while the truck is in operation.
“Every truck for Bronto is a custom truck,” Sessions says. “Mack’s engineers were very aggressive about getting the chassis exactly right for the application. ‘Yes we can do that, let’s do it.’ They were as excited about the product as I was. I didn’t run into one hiccup with them.”
Even if the trucks aren’t “exotic” by Mack standards, it doesn’t make them less impressive. The six-axle Granite delivered to Bronto in June has three steer axles and three drive axles, with a steerable rear drive axle for improved turning radius. It has a 295-foot aerial mounted on the chassis and will be used on Texas wind farms, where wind power companies have hundreds of towering windmills that require routine maintenance.
Mack showed its engineering versatility for another Bronto customer, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California, which uses its Mack to maintain giant dish antennas. Sessions asked Mack to reduce the weight of that truck by 1,500 pounds, which was accomplished by using the Mack mDRIVE™ transmission and Mack axles instead of vendor components, Borath says.
Being the tallest has other advantages too. Skyway Lift Rentals looms over the competition as it keeps the New York City skyline in shape with a pair of Bronto-equipped Granites, one with five axles and a 230-foot aerial and the other with three axles and a 180-foot aerial. According to Skyway President Andrew Karelko, the units are used to wash and replace windows, as well as inspect and pressure wash building facades. New York requires buildings over six stories tall to be inspected every five years.
“We have work to do every day,” he says. The 230-foot-tall unit “opened a lot of doors for us. It was a big game changer that made us stand out from our competitors.”
When a truck like this is on the job, it needs to be utterly reliable with solid support. Nextran’s Sessions said that the more Bronto learned about Mack’s customer support capabilities, the more appealing the Granite and TerraPro became.
“They learned fairly quickly that we have a tremendous support structure with Mack’s Uptime Services,” including OneCall, Mack’s 24/7 roadside assistance, he says. “I order these trucks with five year/300,000 mile warranties. I wanted them to have the confidence that wherever these trucks go, we have it covered.”
An early demonstration of Mack’s dealer support, involving weekend diagnostics and repairs so the unit could be back on the job Monday, showed Bronto the value of Mack’s dealer network and deep technical support. “They found that Mack has the best product support network in North America,” Sessions says.
“If we have need of local, hands-on technical help, we get it very quickly from Nextran. Support has been very good from Nextran,” he says. “Customers already have good experience with Mack. I expect this good customer satisfaction will remain.”