Mack Trucks celebrates 50 years in Australia
The first Mack truck landed in Australia in 1919, but it was 1963 that really stands out as a special year for Australian Mack fans. That was the year that Mack started building trucks at a factory set up in three World War II hangars located in the Brisbane suburb of Archerfield.
Three years later Mack relocated to Rocklea, Brisbane.
The company started using shipping containers to bring in components from the US, starting in 1968. That doesn’t seem unusual, but back then most companies used less efficient wooden boxes to bring parts in from overseas.
In 1974, the Rocklea factory was flooded.
The company recovered and released its first locally made cab over in the same year.
The Super Liner was introduced in 1980 and a year later Mack opened a new plant in Richlands to produce close to 1000 6×6 trucks for the Australian Defence Force.
Fans of these sturdy rigs should note that the fleet is currently being sold through Australian Frontline Military auctions as the ADF prepares to switch to MAN trucks.
Slim Dusty gave Mack a big boost
It included the lines: “She’s a highway queen, a trucker’s dream. Married to my Bulldog Mack.”
An Australian designed R Series was released in 1987 and the Metro Liner was launched three years later.
Mack released the first Titan here in 1995.
A year later, it launched the Bigfoot, a specialist mining truck that found favour in Australian mines. It was the biggest truck Mack had built in Australia.
Sadly, it is no longer available and mines now look to Kenworth or Powertrans for big mining haulers.
Mack released the Trident in 1998, three years before the company was bought out by Volvo Trucks.
As a result, Mack moved to its current factory in Wacol, Queensland, which builds Volvo and Mack trucks.
In 2008, Mack introduced new components, selected from the Volvo family to reduce cost and complexity.
The Volvo sourced MP8 13 litre engine was introduced with the New Breed range of rigs of that year.
This engine shares much with its Volvo equivalent but runs a Mack specific tune.
In 2012, Mack released the mighty MP10 16 litre, again adidas superstar from Volvo.
This 512kW (686hp) six cylinder instantly became the most powerful engine fitted to a conventional truck (with a bonnet, not a cab over) in Australia.
Mack took an MP10 Titan to the outback and hooked up three trailers, for a total length of 53 metres, to prove how easily it handled a heavy load.
That was nothing compared with the effort of John Atkinson.
He set a new world record using a Mack Titan to tow 113 trailers, in a road train that measured an incredible 1.47km from nose to tail at Mungindi, Queensland, in 2003.