Mack Trucks earlier this week reopened its 160,000-square-foot Mack Experience Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania, following renovation. The upgrades feature a reconfigured floor plan, facility enhancements, and additional road obstacles at the onsite test track.
“Customers and public alike will enter to learn about and experience the Mack brand, and what it means to be part of our family,” said Jonathan Randall, Mack Trucks president, during the June 6 ribbon cutting. “Mack invested $3.2 million in this facility, which allows dealers and our customers to visit so they can better learn about our trucks, our services, our solutions, and of course the Mack heritage.”
Redesign of the Mack Experience Center, which is located on 60 acres, began in December 2022. Key features inside the new Mack Experience Center are:
- A renovated lobby
- New briefing room
- New brand room
- New product showroom that includes a hydraulic lift
- Additional boardroom
“The Mack Experience Center brings the Mack brand to life through experience and education,” said David Galbraith, vice president of global brand and marketing for Mack Trucks. “The building has been modernized with design elements that enable visitors to capture the depth of Mack products and the innovation core to the Mack brand.”
He pointed out what takes place behind the scenes at the Mack Experience Center to take care of customers.
“What you won't necessarily see today are the presentations, presenters, and all the processes behind making sure that we address our customers’ needs and challenges,” Galbraith said.
He detailed the value of the briefing room, which is where Mack will host customers. The revised room features a large door and the space to bring in a Class 8 truck. The focus, he said, will be having a discussion with customers about what is most important to them in addressing their needs and opportunities.
The adjacent product showroom now features a hydraulic lift so customers can view the underside of the chassis, which is illuminated from underneath to make viewing easier.
The second boardroom offers another meeting space, which will be helpful when multiple customers are hosted at the facility. This boardroom also gives the customer the first view of their trucks. According to Mack, the truck can be pulled up to the room, and the translucent glass partition becomes transparent for better viewing.
Mack's Test Track
Visitors also will have the opportunity to drive the full lineup of Mack vehicles, Class 6 to Class 8, on the test track. The track has been updated and includes new obstacles, such as a spot to test how Mack technology can aid a truck in freeing itself when stuck on a section of the off-road portion. The on-road component of the test track features hills, descents, curves, two stop signs, and even an incline to test the Macks’ ability to tap into technology to prevent rolling backward when starting on a hill.
From the showroom and meeting spaces, a quick jaunt down through the parking lot takes customers to the test track. Randall explained how, using the example of someone wanting to experience the mDrive HD transmission, a customer can get behind the wheel to find out how a Mack truck will handle on the job.
“We'll get them stuck in the mud pit and say, ‘Okay, go in the low gears now and see how you just climb out of it.’ So what we're able to do is replicate the actual application that the customer will experience in their worksite. We can do it here, and they can see how the truck will perform,” explained Randall. “We'll have a stable of trucks that certainly we will pull from, but if there's a specific customer coming in, we'll grab one and make sure that it's got the specs that they're interested in, take it out for a spin, and they get to really experience it.”
The off-road obstacles also provides a venue to let customers experience Mack Trucks’ Command Steer steering assist system.
Mack Trucks Historical Museum
Randall also pointed out that the Mack Experience Center is a gateway leading into the Mack Trucks Historical Museum, which details the 123-year history of the company and includes a variety of vehicles on display. He noted that for 118 years of that history timeline, Mack was headquartered in Allentown.
The museum, which operates as a non-profit organization, was upgraded with a new gallery floor, graphics, and heritage displays. It will open to the public on June 12 and reservations can be made through the museum’s website. A $5 donation is suggested, per visitor, to help with the preservation of Mack Trucks history.
“The museum has received updates and has new heritage displays to show how integral Mack Trucks has been in the growth of North America, including building the Hoover Dam, things like the New York subway system, and of course infrastructure facilities or projects around the globe,” Randall explained.
After passing through the long entrance hallway flanked with photos, history narratives, and special items, guests reach the first static display, where they find a 1911 Mack Junior. The line was produced from 1905 to 1916. While this and many other trucks from many eras are on static display, all are in running condition.