Mack provides body upfitters with in-depth technical support

Every vocational truck needs to have a truck body or equipment installed and ensuring that happens efficiently takes an orchestrated effort among the truck maker, body builder, dealer and customer. Getting the body installed on the chassis can be a complicated process because body builders typically work on a variety of trucks and a variety of body options for customers that have unique requirements.

Truck bodies and equipment are used to accomplish virtually any type of truck application, from basic van bodies to multi-axle concrete pumpers and cranes. The large majority of the Mack® Granite® models produced annually receive bodies, as do other models, including TerraPro and the medium-duty Mack MD series.

As the leader in vocational trucks, Mack takes seriously its responsibility to support its customers. Major elements of that leadership are the Body Builders Support Group and Body Builder Portal, both of which provide in-depth technical support to the whole process behind installing truck bodies and equipment in the most efficient and high-quality way. According to David Troupe, representative, body builder support at Mack, the portal is an online interface and a good place for body builders to find reference material including installation manuals, information on installing PTOs and PTO programming, an mDRIVE™ PTO pump speed calculator, wiring diagrams and truck specifications.

“Having this information in one location decreases the time it takes from when the truck rolls into the bodybuilder’s yard until it leaves their facility to be delivered to the end users," Troupe says. “We help take one or two days off the schedule and sometimes even as much as a week.”

Tim Wrinkle, senior product manager vocational and medium duty at Mack, adds, “We want to make it very easy to install a body or upfit one of our chassis.”

Mack works with a wide variety of body companies that install a vast range of body types, each with its own requirements. To ensure the end customers get the best quality installation and the best complete vehicle, Mack leveraged its engineering knowledge to establish the portal to assure the completed Mack truck body builders deliver to customers is as optimally integrated as possible.

Even when bodies are going into similar applications — for example, dump truck bodies are a third of body installations — no two installations are exactly alike. Troupe explains that PTO programming is one of the biggest issues for body builders. “Engine speed limitations and road speed limitations when the PTO is engaged vary by customer and can be complicated.”

When problems occur with programming, the body builders can turn to the portal or they can call the three-person body builder support team for assistance. Troupe says the team can field several dozen calls a day.

Wrinkle adds, “The biggest priority is getting the truck to be functional as quickly as possible. If the body builder runs into a roadblock, and can’t figure out proper wiring, for example, the truck just sits there,” and the end customer is left waiting.

The portal and members of the support team “help free the log jam reducing that lead time to customers and increasing the quality of the product to the customer," he says.

The site is accessible to anyone needing the information. “We’ve taken a different approach than some of our competitors and made the information public,” Wrinkle says. “We did this to prioritize giving access to our end customers and body builders.”

Before the truck order is placed, the customer and their Mack dealer salesperson holds a meeting to ensure the truck is spec’d properly. The dealer is also able to use the Sales Engineering team to assist in spec’ing the truck prior to ordering. A review is done to ensure items like fuel tanks, DEF tanks, battery boxes and air dryers are in the proper location on the chassis and don't interfere with the components being added by the body builder.

Recognizing that technology changes and leveraging knowledge gained during body installations, Mack regularly updates the information on the site, so body builders and vocational vehicle customers have the latest information for a smooth integration and a truck that does what the customer wants.

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