Mack truck units are usual sights on US highway roads. The company has acquired a loyal following among business owners and truck drivers. In this blog, we’ll try to understand the brand’s popularity by diving deep into the history of Mack Trucks. 

When Did Mack Trucks Start Making Trucks?

Mack Trucks started as a family company by Jack and Gus Mack from Brooklyn, New York. Since its establishment in 1900, the company has offered numerous vehicles, such as buses, cars, and trucks. Mack Trucks produced its 40-hp, 20-passenger bus that they later converted into a truck in 1908. It was dubbed the Old No. 9, which pretty much started the entire history of truck development in the American market. 


A heavy-duty Mack truck.

In 1902, Jack Mack thought of designing their first large commercial truck after riding a neighbor’s 2-cylinder Winton automobile. However, it was not until 1905 that Mack Trucks officially released their heavy-duty truck in Allentown, Pennsylvania. 

The company pretty much started the cab-over-engine design with their Manhattan unit, which sported a cab mounted over the engine. The design was proven to increase the driver’s visibility and maneuverability, making it perfect for city use. In 1909, the brand introduced the lightweight 1-1/2 ton Junior model for city delivery services.

On December 18, 2000, Volvo acquired Mack. As of this writing, the company continues to produce some of the most renowned semi trucks under the administration of Martin Weissburg. 

What Is the History of Mack Trucks Semi Trucks?

Mack Trucks have gone a long way since 1900. To understand the current trend among Mack models, let’s take a look at the 10 truck units released in the last 30 years:

1988 Mack CH and CHN

Mack Trucks introduced the Mack CH series in 1988. It was marketed for vocational highway applications, including off-road or cross-country driving and hauling. The day cab units sported a set-forward and setback axle. The model was also popularized by its square front hood with a slightly curved and rounded front end.


1988 Mack CH. (Source: IMCDB)

The CHN unit was released in 2005 as Mack Trucks’ and Volvo’s partner offer. It formally discontinued the production of the initial CH model. However, due to market demands and emission requirements, the CHN only ran for two years before Mack Truck ceased production in 2007. 

1994 Mack LE (Updated into Mack LEU and LR)

In 1994, Mack Trucks released the Mack LE. However, due to emission requirements, the company released updated versions of the unit: the Mack LEU in 2009 and the Mack LR in 2016. The company also sold a low-cab forward option for the refuse category.


Mack LE. (Source: Trucks Planet)

The three units sported similar cab over designs with engine options of Mack MP7, Cummins ISL, ISM, and Cummins-Westport. While the cab’s interior design is not the best, the LE series was especially notable as it was made available for both right and left-hand driving options. 

1996 Mack Trucks CL

The Mack Trucks CL was released in 1996. The model was almost identical to the CHN design but with a longer front hood by 10″. Furthermore, the unit sported a Mack E7 diesel engine with 380 horsepower, 90400 GVWR, Fuller transmission, a front axle capacity of 20,000, and a rear axle capacity of 44,000. 


1996 Mack CL. (Source: Truck Country)

The CL models were highly customizable, as they could be configured with heavier frames and more heavy-duty configurations. Aside from this, it’s also made available in Cummins ISX engines.

1996 Mack MR (Updated into Mack MRU and TerraPro)

The Mack Truck’s low-cab forward option for the Mack LE unit received a huge market demand. Because of this, the company decided to modify the 1996 Mack MR series into an entire LCF series. The Mack MRU was released in 2008, while the powerful Mack TerraPro was launched in 2019.


1996 Mack MR. (Source: Purple Wave)

The MR series sported a shorter cab compared to the LE series. Aside from this, it had a slimmer cabin and taller forward glass. The engine options include the Mack MP7, MP8, and Cummins Westport L9N. These specifications give the units excellent maneuverability, making them perfect for numerous city vocational tasks such as refuse management and concrete pumps.

1999 Mack Vision

The Mack Vision was released in 1999. It was made available with one engine, the Mack E7 12.0 liter diesel. It had three designs: the day cab, raised roof sleeper, and regional sleeper. Furthermore, it could be configured for numerous vocational uses and even be extended as a tractor.


1999 Mack Vision. (Source: Mack Trucks)

In 2007, the Vision was discontinued to make way for the Pinnacle

2001 Mack Granite

In 2001, the Mack Granite was officially released to the US market. It was a highly versatile Class 8 vocational truck that replaced the CH, CHN, and CL trucks. Most business owners configure the unit into regional hauling vehicles, dump trucks, mixers, and more. 

Aside from this, the Granite cab was also equipped with driving technologies such as touchscreen dashboards, LED lighting, and even a driver assist system. 


2001 Mack Granite. (Source: Purple Wave)

Due to the model’s popularity, Mack Trucks continued the production of the Granite until today.

2007 Mack Pinnacle

The Mack Anthem is lauded for its fuel economy and riding comfort due to its exceptional aerodynamics. While its practicality is commendable, it falls short of creating an iconic look. This is what the 2007 Mack Pinnacle resolved. The unit sported a classic semi truck look with both Mack MP7 and MP8 engines.


2007 Mack Pinnacle. (Source: SOARR)

The Pinnacle is now being used for numerous regional vocational uses and is still being manufactured today. 

2008 Mack Titan

The Mack Titan was initially introduced to the Australian market in 1995. Because of its popularity, it was offered to the North American market in 2008. 

The Titan can haul up to 200 tons and be configured for more heavy-duty and off-road uses. Because of its power, it’s usually used in industries like construction, logging, mining, and regional hauling. 


2008 Mack Titan. (Source: Lectura Specs)

The unit is made available with an MP10 6-cylinder engine with horsepower ranging from 515, 565, and 605. The highest horsepower option had a torque rating of 2,060 ft-lb at 1,200 rpm.

2018 Mack Anthem

The Mack Anthem is a Class 8 heavy-duty truck released in 2018. The unit was made available with the 13-liter Mack MP8 or 10.8-liter Mack MP7 engines. The body sported a long-hood conventional design with a total loaded weight of up to 28,000 kilograms (62,000 lbs.) for the 6×2 configuration and 36,000 kilograms (80,000 lbs.) for the 6×4 configuration. 

Both engines were manufactured with Mack Trucks’ own transmission, the mDrive. The unit was made available in day cab, flat top sleeper, and high roof sleeper configurations.


2018 Mack Anthem. (Source: Volvo Group)

When the Mack Anthem was released, it only had a 2% market value compared to its competitors, especially the Freightliner Cascadia. It gradually increased when the new Bendix Wingman was placed on the Mack Anthems in 2019. This gave the unit numerous safety features, such as emergency braking, lane departure, and blind spot warnings.

2021 Mack MD

Since the early 2000s, there has been an overwhelming demand for medium-duty trucks for delivery services and local hauling tasks. Because of this, Mack Trucks released the Class 6-7 MD Series in 2021, which sported the design of the popular Anthem model. Despite being offered with only one engine, the unit gained a notable following among business owners and truck drivers.


2021 Mack MD. (Source: CCJ)

What Are the Essential Upgrades for Mack Semi Trucks?

Most Mack semi trucks are used for vocational applications. For this reason, they are configured and modified to withstand all-day hauling. This makes it important for owners to make regular upgrades to ensure the optimal performance of their units.

If you have a Mack truck, you can start by securing aftermarket semi truck parts for your HVAC systems. Mack’s HVAC units are prone to degradation with extended use. Aside from this, exposure to harsh weather conditions makes HVAC systems prone to corrosion. Note that a damaged AC system doesn’t just affect a driver’s comfort but even the efficiency of your engine.

Enjoy the Classic Feel of Your Mack Semi Trucks

With a history dating back to the 1900s, there’s no denying that Mack Trucks has secured its spot in the trucking industry. If you’re lucky enough to secure a classic Mack truck, it’s best to get premium aftermarket semi truck parts that will extend its lifespan.

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