Photo: Tom Berg

Photo: Tom Berg

Mack Trucks today introduced “rolling start” and “auto neutral” for its mDrive and mDrive HD automated transmissions for use in concrete mixer chassis, at the World of Concrete 2017 in Las Vegas. Also announced were a telematics-based dispatching software called WheresMyConcrete, and donation of a Granite mixer to benefit an educational program. 

“Mack’s mDrive transmissions serve a wide range of customers, including those with demanding paving and concrete applications,” said Tim Wrinkle, Mack construction product manager. “Now updated with rolling start and auto neutral, mDrive transmissions are even better suited to those tasks.”

Rolling start allows a driver to shift the transmission from neutral to drive without applying a truck’s service brakes, which has been necessary with mDrive. This eliminates the possibility of creating a bump in the paving surface, which is a critical benefit for paving, he said.

Auto neutral shifts the transmission into neutral when the driver sets the parking brake, eliminating the possibility of the truck moving under power, such as when a remote throttle control is used. Both features are now standard on mDrive and mDrive HD.  

Concrete-specific software

WheresMyConcrete, a cloud-based and telematics-connected dispatching, analytics and customer service tool, is a new addition to Mack Fleet Management Services. It’s now available for ready-mix customers seeking improved asset visibility, dispatch efficiency and real-time data identifying exactly where a concrete load is in the delivery process.

“This tool gives managers information in real-time, helping eliminate the potential for unnecessary downtime on the job site,” Wrinkle said. WheresMyConcrete is available on Mack truck models equipped with a Mack engine, including the Granite, TerraPro, Pinnacle and LR.   

WheresMyConcrete can be tailored to ready-mix customers’ needs, including those who need only GPS tracking of their trucks. Additional features can be bundled to enhance the service, including digital tickets, electronic billing, sales tracking and analytics, and driver payroll management. Ready-mix customers can access up-to-the-minute information either online or through a free mobile app.

WheresMyConcrete also allows contractors to download a free app to track deliveries with live traffic and up-to-the-minute ETAs, improving delivery precision. Contractors also can see current, upcoming and past orders, review digital tickets and signatures, and pay invoices online. Also available are detailed looks at yards/man-hours, dead time, driver performance, and contribution margin analyses.

“WheresMyConcrete helps U.S. Concrete increase the value we provide to our customers and helps differentiate us from our competition,” said Ronnie Pruitt, chief operating officer at U.S. Concrete, a test fleet. “The dispatching software increases efficiency and productivity of Mack vehicles in our fleet to improve customer service, and the Customer Interaction app provides our customers real-time data about their concrete, saving them time and money.”

Donation to CIM auction

To help support Concrete Industry Management’s educational programs, Mack donated a 2016 Granite Axle Forward chassis with an 11-cubic-yard Bridgemaster concrete transit mixer donated by McNeilus. The vehicle will be included in the 12th annual CIM auction conducted during World of Concrete show, this week in Las Vegas. All auction proceeds will go toward the development and support of CIM’s educational program.

“We appreciate the consistent support from Mack Trucks and McNeilus Company as they once again offer significant donations to the CIM Auction,” said Michael Phillips, CIM Auction committee chairman. “The truck and mixer will help ensure a successful CIM Auction, and exemplifies Mack’s and McNeilus’s commitment to the concrete industry.”

The four-year CIM program trains students in enhanced technical, communication and management skills needed to succeed in the modern concrete industry, he said. The program is offered at Middle Tennessee State University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, California State University-Chico, and Texas State University.

“We thank Mack Trucks and McNeilus for once again stepping up to the plate in their support of CIM,” said Michael Philipps, CIM Auction Committee chairman. “As the feature item, the donated truck chassis and mixer will go a long way to help ensure a successful auction and enable us to continue to develop our educational efforts.”

Members of the concrete industry donated over 150 items last year for both the silent and live auctions, raising more than $800,000 for CIM. Mack said it has participated in the CIM Auction with a truck donation for several years, most recently in 2016.