Needing a reliable truck tough enough to easily handle mooring the Goodyear Blimp, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company chose a modified Mack Granite model as a mast truck for its iconic cargo.

Needing a reliable truck tough enough to easily handle mooring the Goodyear Blimp, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company chose a modified Mack Granite model as a mast truck for its iconic cargo.

When you see the Goodyear blimp hovering above a big football game, do you ever think about how they're handled when they're not in flight?

Guess what -- Goodyear is using a truck to move the blimp in and out of hangars, as well as offer ground support when the blimp is not in the air, all while standing up to wind loads of as much as 78 knots (90 mph).

The blimps are larger than they used to be, so Goodyear needs a truck-mounted mooring system known as a mast truck. Mack recently shared these photos of a special one-of-a-kind truck built to handle the job.

The Mack Granite model used to haul the blimp is the only one of its kind, built specifically for Goodyear. Mike Bloom of Nuss Truck & Equipment, based in Rochester, Minnesota, met with Goodyear representatives at Goodyear’s headquarters in Akron, Ohio, where they discussed design options and their needs.

Goodyear chose a 2014 Mack Granite model equipped with a Mack MP8 engine, Mack 200 series carriers with inter-axle locking differentials and four Goodyear G278 MSD tires in size 425/65R22.5 on the front paired with eight G572 LHD tires in size 11R24.5 to get the job done.

The truck was built at the Macungie Cab & Vehicle Assembly facility, where all Mack models for North America and export are built. The Granite was ordered as a three-axle model but was modified by Engineered Chassis Systems, a subsidiary of the Nuss Group, which built the body, converted it to an all-wheel drive 8x8 and installed the twin steer axles. The Mack Vehicle Option Center installed the TIreboss Tire Pressure Control System on the drive axles.

"The innovation associated with the new mast truck allows us the capability to efficiently operate the airship,” said Brad Crombie, global engineer for Goodyear.

Author

Deborah Lockridge
Deborah Lockridge

Deborah Lockridge

Reporting on trucking since 1990, Deborah is known for her award-winning magazine editorials and in-depth features on diverse issues, from the driver shortage to maintenance to rapidly changing technology. 28 Jesse H. Neal honors.

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Reporting on trucking since 1990, Deborah is known for her award-winning magazine editorials and in-depth features on diverse issues, from the driver shortage to maintenance to rapidly changing technology. 28 Jesse H. Neal honors.

View Bio
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