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Mack GuardDog Connect Adds Telematics to Its Engine Monitoring System

October 3, 2013

By Tom Berg

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Allentown, Pa.--Mack Trucks today announced GuardDog Connect, a telematics system that executives said will speed servicing and enhance dealers’ ability to fix trucks correctly on the initial visit. Connect adds cellular connectivity to the existing Mack GuardDog maintenance monitoring system, and will begin going onto on trucks built in January.

Mack GuardDog Connect provides an integrated telematics ssystem with instant diagnostics and proactive scheduling of repairs handled by a live agent – all while the truck is still on the job.
Mack GuardDog Connect provides an integrated telematics ssystem with instant diagnostics and proactive scheduling of repairs handled by a live agent – all while the truck is still on the job.

GuardDog Connect senses up to 30 fault codes from the engine and its exhaust aftertreatment equipment and, in addition to displaying them for drivers, transmits them to fleet managers who can then decide how to deal with the problem. Codes are classified yellow or red, requiring action soon or right away, the builders’ service and marketing people explained at a press conference today in Allentown, Pa.

 The system helps managers schedule visits to dealers or, if they do their own warranty work, in their own shops. It also confirms that dealers have needed parts in stock and that technicians are ready to install them and make whatever other repairs are necessary.

Technicians at Mack’s call center, staffed 24/seven, become involved to help with diagnostics and service scheduling. The system will save one day on average, and because information is transmitted clearly, will better ensure chances that it will be “fixed right the first time,” said David McKenna director of powertrain sales.

GuardDog Connect will be standard on Pinnacle, Titan and Granite tractors and trucks with Mack engines built starting January 2, which will be titled as 2015 models, said John Walsh, Mack’s vice president for marketing. The system works only with Mack diesels, not those trucks with Cummins engines.

A retrofit kit consisting of a modem and cellular antenna will be available for Macks with on-board diagnostics, which went into production last January. It will be sold for a few hundred dollars, plus installation, through Mack dealers. The kit goes into the dashboard and is plugged into existing circuitry.

GuardDog Connect service will be free for two years, then renewal for terms of two to five years. The fees will range from $245 to $645 per term. 

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