Equipment Type

Mack's Biggest Engine Powers Mack's Biggest Truck

In Greek mythology, Titans were powerful deities who ruled the earth until overthrown by Zeus and his Olympians. In Mack Trucks terminology, a Titan is a big hauler of large and dense loads.

June 01, 2009
Mack Titan heavy truck

Central Florida's flat highways and demo rig's 72,800-pound GCW were no match for the big MP10 diesel. This one makes up to 605 horsepower; other ratings are 565 and 515 horsepower.

Mack Titan Class 8 truck

Titan's big and chromey, and it's got an extra strong frame and running gear. With high ground clearance it can step over off-road obstacles, but it's comfortable enough to cover long highway miles. The tall hood's edges are rounded, so the view to the right is OK.


Specifications

Tractor: Mack Titan TD713, conventional-daycab, BBC 128 in., for heavy-haul applications, GVW 66,000 lbs.

Engine: Mack Power 10, 16.1 liters (984 cubic inches), 605 hp @ 1,600-1,800 rpm, 2,050 lbs.-ft. @ 1,200-1,500 rpm, w/Mack engine brake

Clutch: Eaton 15.5-in. ceramic

Front axle: 20,000-lb. Mack FXL on taperleafs

Rear axles: 46,000-lb. Mack S462 w/3.94 ratio, on Mack SS462 multi-leaf

Wheelbase: 255 inches

Brakes: Meritor S-cam drum, 16.5×6-in. front, 16.5×7-in. Q-Plus rear, w/Bendix ABS

Front tires & wheels: 425/65R22.5 Bridgestone M844F on Alcoa polished aluminum discs

Rear tires & wheels: 11R24.5 Bridgestone M711 on Alcoa polished aluminum discs

Fuel tanks: Polished aluminum, 72-gal. left, 93-gal. right

Trailer: Load King 48-foot tri-axle lowboy

In Greek mythology, Titans were powerful deities who ruled the earth until overthrown by Zeus and his Olympians. In Mack Trucks terminology, a Titan is a big hauler of large and dense loads. This Titan is surprisingly quiet, comfortable and civilized, confirming that it's a modern machine that's little like the heavy haulers of 20 or 30 years ago, although Bulldog fans might think it's as strong as the ancient Greek gods.

Titan is built only with a big engine, the 16.1-liter MP10 diesel, an adaptation of the D16 offered by Volvo Trucks, Mack's sister company. In a bit of one-upmanship, Mack gives its top rating 5 more horsepower and 10 more pounds-feet than Volvo's version. Like other current Mack and Volvo diesels, the 984-cubic-inch MP10 is made by Volvo Powertrain in Hagerstown, Md., while the Titan itself is assembled at Macungie, Pa.

Titan's predecessor was the long-nose CL, which used only Cummins' 15-liter ISX, because Mack had not had a big-bore engine since dropping the 998-cubic-inch E9 V-8. It sure does now, so the Cummins is gone. No Maxidyne version of the MP10 is yet available, so this one was in MaxiCruise tune, with a flatter torque curve.

Almost a year after its introduction, Mack made a Titan available for driving during an industry meeting in Orlando, Fla. Hosts were Dave McKenna, director of powertrain sales and marketing, and spokesman John Walsh. We met on a Saturday afternoon at Nextran Truck Center, the Mack dealer in the region. I quickly noticed that a Titan is both big and tall, for it's a long climb to the cab — three big steps totaling 61.5 inches, according to a tape measure. The cab sits high on the frame partly to aid air movement over the sometimes-hot engine just ahead.

Indeed, the chassis sits high to allow plenty of ground clearance as it trundles over bare earth at jobsites and rough logging and mining trails. Those are Titan's primary intended duties, and the first ones produced went to a coal hauler in Kentucky, McKenna said. The big tractor was shined up and hitched to a three-axle lowboy toting a Volvo front-end loader, because heavy-equipment hauling is another intended vocation.

A Titan can be built for gross combination weights of 300,000 pounds, but anything over 80,000 means oversize and/or overweight permits, which the Mack folks wanted to avoid on this drive. So our GCW was a mere 72,800 pounds. That was almost no weight for the 605-horse MP10, and I was hardly aware of the load, except of course for our overall length and watching where the trailer's wheels were during turns. This was on nearby highways, through the congested Disney World area, then a return to the dealership on Landstreet Road in Orlando, about 100 easy miles. McKenna was in the shotgun seat.

The gearbox was an Eaton Fuller RTLO20918B, an 18-speed that operated smoothly. I generally drove it like a 13, ignoring Low gear and shifting through 1st to 4th, then splitting 5th through 8th in High range, or like a 9-speed, ignoring the splitter switch. I tried to upshift progressively, below 1,500 in Low range and by 1,700 or 1,800 in the top gears.

The lever was a little rubbery going into the 4th/8th position, but I got used to it and then enjoyed it, floating the gears without the clutch some of the time. The tach said top-gear (18th-ratio) cruise speed was a lazy 1,360 rpm at 60 mph and 1,460 at 65, where hefty torque (as much as 2,060 pounds-feet) kept us rolling.

With the windows up the cab was very quiet —much more than I expected for a work truck. Engineers had spent a lot of time attending to noise, vibration and harshness, McKenna explained. I'd like to have heard more sounds from that big diesel, but cracking open a window let in some of the tunes from the exhaust stacks. There was enough weight on the fifth wheel to settle down any jouncing, and the cab's rear sat on a pair of air bags and shock absorbers. That and generally smooth pavement made for a smooth ride.

The galvanized-steel cab comes from the Granite vocational series. Its interior was nicely appointed in grey tones contrasted with faux wood facing on the instrument panels. All gauges and controls were well laid out and easy to see and use. The steering column was multi-adjustable and, along with multiple settings available in the comfortable driver's seat, I easily found the right positioning for me.

The high-mounted cab and large windows gave a good view of the road. I expected the tall, wide hood to block my view to the right, but it didn't. That's because the hood's edges are rounded, McKenna said. Each mirror had two panes, one of them with a convex surface, so I could effectively peer downward and to the rear. This was a daycab with a large window in the rear wall, so to run over something you almost have to do it on purpose. A short 42-inch com-partment is the only sleeper option now offered.

This Titan had a 20,000-pound steer axle and beefy wide-base tires and wheels which, with the long 255-inch wheelbase, limit wheel cut. So tight turns must be planned for or maneuvered through with a series of ups and backs, as I found out while doing a U-turn. This is a tradeoff presented by any heavy hauling truck or tractor with this type of front end.

Titan was Mack's entry in the American Truck Dealers' first annual Truck of the Year contest. Its specialized design limited the points it could win in the judging, so another tractor (International's LoneStar) won. But Titan will rule the road for anyone who hauls lots of logs, coal, dirt or rock and will spend a lot of time off the pavement, and wants a Bulldog on the nose.

 

Specifications

Tractor: Mack Titan TD713, conventional-daycab, BBC 128 in., for heavy-haul applications, GVW 66,000 lbs.

Engine: Mack Power 10, 16.1 liters (984 cubic inches), 605 hp @ 1,600-1,800 rpm, 2,050 lbs.-ft. @ 1,200-1,500 rpm, w/Mack engine brake

Clutch: Eaton 15.5-in. ceramic

Front axle: 20,000-lb. Mack FXL on taperleafs

Rear axles: 46,000-lb. Mack S462 w/3.94 ratio, on Mack SS462 multi-leaf

Wheelbase: 255 inches

Brakes: Meritor S-cam drum, 16.5×6-in. front, 16.5×7-in. Q-Plus rear, w/Bendix ABS

Front tires & wheels: 425/65R22.5 Bridgestone M844F on Alcoa polished aluminum discs

Rear tires & wheels: 11R24.5 Bridgestone M711 on Alcoa polished aluminum discs

Fuel tanks: Polished aluminum, 72-gal. left, 93-gal. right

Trailer: Load King 48-foot tri-axle lowboy

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