Mack Trucks today shared additional details about Mack Connect, a suite of tools designed to help customers and drivers manage productivity and profitability. Mack made the comments during the 2018 Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky.
“Productivity translates to profitability, and our customers are always seeking the next advantage to gain an edge,” said Jonathan Randall, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Mack Trucks North America. “With Mack Connect, we’re providing the tools required for our customers, and their customers, to be successful in today’s competitive trucking industry.”
Mack Connect integrates intelligent software, predictive analytics and driver assist technologies into three pillars to boost productivity: connected support, connected business and connected driving. Mack Connect comes standard on all Mack® models, including Mack’s newest highway model, the Mack Anthem®.
No aspect of productivity is more important than the driver, and Mack Connect offers several features to improve safety, efficiency and comfort. Bendix Wingman Fusion, a camera- and radar-based driver assistance solution, is available as part of Mack Connect and is standard on Mack Anthem models. Fusion provides collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning, assisting drivers in staying safe on the highway.
New information and entertainment options, including Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio and Apple Car Play integration, allow drivers to focus on the road ahead. Drivers can also download additional applications, such as navigation, to help ease the demands of the open road.
Mack Predictive Cruise, an intelligent cruise control system, is also part of Mack Connect and is available on Mack mDRIVE™-equipped models to help improve fuel efficiency by up to 1 percent. When cruise control is activated, Mack Predictive Cruise learns the topography of the route, storing up to 4,500 hills in its memory, along with information about engine load, weight, speed and the road gradient. The next time the driver travels the route, Mack Predictive Cruise engages the industry-leading Mack mDRIVE to employ an optimized shift strategy and choose the most fuel-efficient gear.
With unplanned downtime events estimated to cost heavy-duty trucking customers more than $2,000 per day depending on a number of factors, uptime is critical to profitability. Mack Connect includes Mack’s proven telematics-based solution, GuardDog® Connect. Using fully integrated, factory-installed hardware, GuardDog Connect proactively monitors a truck’s performance.
If the system detects an issue, Mack’s 24/7 OneCall® staff at the Mack Uptime Center is automatically notified. Depending on the severity of the issue, OneCall agents will reach out to the customer’s designated contact with actionable information through Mack ASIST, an online communications and service management portal. Should service be required to resolve the issue, service bay space and parts availability are confirmed at the closest dealer, all while the truck is still on the road.
“Mack’s industry-leading approach to uptime is paying dividends for customers,” said David Pardue, vice president of connected vehicle and contract services, Mack Trucks. “GuardDog Connect has helped us cut diagnostic and repair times by more than 70 and 20 percent respectively.”
Mack GuardDog Connect is also the key enabler of Mack Over The Air (OTA), another productivity-boosting feature of Mack Connect. Mack OTA allows remote updates for software and other parameters to take place when it’s convenient for drivers’ schedules, helping increase uptime.
Customers rely on data to help drive business decisions, and Mack Connect provides several data-driven options to improve operational efficiency. Data from Mack’s GuardDog Connect telematics platform is made available to best-in-class fleet management software providers, allowing customers to choose fleet management software that works for their business, without having to rely on third-party hardware installations.
“When it comes to fleet management solutions, our approach is centered on enabling customer choice,” Pardue said. “Using our GuardDog Connect platform as the data source allows for the ultimate flexibility. And with no third-party hardware to worry about, customers can modify their fleet management services as the needs of their businesses evolve.”