Despite a softer-than-usual medium-duty truck market, Mack Trucks officials said they’re on target with “aggressive” sales goals for its new Mack MD Class 6 and 7 medium-duty trucks introduced last year.
In a virtual press update March 8 as part of NTEA’s Work Truck Week, Jonathan Randall, Mack Trucks senior vice president of North American sales and commercial operations, explained that in a normal year, the medium-duty truck market is usually about 100,000. Last year, however, only saw sales in the high 70,000s, and Randall said the prediction for 2021 is about 87,000.
Nevertheless, the new trucks are seeing strong order activity, he said, with good feedback from dealers and customers.
“We knew the product had potential for strong market acceptance, and the initial reception and response confirms our confidence,” Randall said.
Mack launched the Mack MD Series Jan. 30, 2020 at its Roanoke Valley Operations (RVO) facility in the Roanoke Valley, Virginia, where the Mack MD Series is assembled. Mack first publicly showed the vehicles during the 2020 Work Truck Show. The Mack MD went into production last September, and Randall said the company recently started delivering trucks that are GHG2.1 certified to meet Environmental Protection Agency greenhouse gas emissions requirements.
The Mack MD Series includes the MD6, a Class 6 model with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 25,995 pounds (meaning it does not require a driver to have a commercial driver’s license), and the MD7, a Class 7 model with a GVWR of 33,000 pounds. Both models are exempt from the 12% Federal Excise Tax (FET).
Available in 4x2 configurations, the Mack MD6 and MD7 are ideal for dry van/refrigerated, tank truck, dump, stake and flatbed applications, according to the company.
When asked about which applications have so far been the most popular for the MD, Randall said, “We see the majority of sales coming in the leasing and P&D applications. Mainly dry van and reefer configurations.”
For instance, Bruckner Truck Sales in Lubbock, Texas, currently has 180 Mack MD models on order and sees the vehicles as a strong opportunity for its leasing fleet.
“This is one of the best new product introductions we’ve seen, and it’s one we welcomed with open arms,” said Cobe Gilliam, truck sales representative at Bruckner’s. “It’s one of the easier products to sell.”
As for market share goals, Randall said, “We don’t discuss specific market share goals, however we do have an aggressive target for 2021, and so far, orders are keeping pace.”
The Class 6 model is seeing more orders than the Class 7 model, said Dayle Wetherell, Mack’s vice president of medium-duty sales.
“The industry registrations show Class 6 being about two-thirds and Class 7 at one-third. That has been the MD Series experience so far. The CDL is a strong influencer for customers, affecting their ability to get drivers.”
When asked about more options for the MD, such as a crew cab, Wetherell said, “The MD Series was introduced to address the majority of the medium-duty market segments. We continue to take inputs from dealers and customers to better understand the segments to determine where we should be looking for future opportunities.”
Customer Feedback on the Mack MD
Mack shared comments from two customers that were early buyers of the Mack MD series.
United Site Services, a major provider of portable sanitation and temporary site solutions with more than 120 locations coast to coast, ordered 137 Mack MD6 vehicles from Bergey’s Truck Centers, Pennsauken, New Jersey. Based in Westborough, Massachusetts, United has about 2,500 vehicles in its fleet (including 85 Mack Granites), 75% of which are medium-duty vehicles.
“We decided to order the Mack MD6 because, with features like the large windshield and maneuverability, we believed Mack could handle our range of applications from pumping water and waste, plus running numerous PTO outputs on the truck,” said Kevin Podmore, vice president of fleet and strategic sourcing, United Site Services. “Our medium-duty trucks need to be able to handle a broad range of environments, and we believe Mack’s reliability will enable us to see incredible results,” he said, citing Mack’s track record of durability.
Another early customer was Teinert Metals, a family owned steel supplier based in Lubbock. Teinert operates 18 trucks in its fleet and ordered the MD6 because of the positive experience the company had with the two Mack Anthem models it operates.
“The Mack MD6 rides very nicely,” said Logan Teinert, fleet manager of Teinert Metals. “It looks sharp and is well built and durable. Immediately, we received several compliments on it out in the field. Our drivers are excited about running it.”