Mack Anthem exceeds driver expectations

David MeredithThe West Australian Richers' Anthem on the road. Camera Icon Richers' Anthem on the road. Credit: Supplied Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email Us Copy the Link

During a window between WA lockdowns, Mack Trucks brought a posse of trucks across the Nullarbor to showcase new technologies designed to bring the distinctly US truck into a competitive forum with the big Europeans.

I hitched a ride with the convoy in Adelaide and steered each of the models at some point during the 2800km drive. Star of the show was the Anthem -- not Mack's biggest or boldest truck, but a development that brought new digital features into the existing models -- Trident, Super-Liner and Titan.

Anthem sold out at release in the US, and not just because it looks like it'll murder any task thrown at it. It has the credentials, as well.

David Meredith behind the wheel of the Mack Anthem Camera Icon David Meredith behind the wheel of the Mack Anthem Credit: Supplied

Just as importantly, the all-new cab enabled features that weren't on the horizon for the older models.

As a result some of the cab technology has already been incorporated across the line-up.

Now several operators across the country are reaching milestones with the Anthem that indicate early trust has been well placed.

For Maryborough, Queensland-based Richers Transport, Mack Anthem is not only exceeding driver expectations, but paying significant fuel efficiency dividends.

Richers took delivery of one of the first Mack Anthem prime movers off the Wacol production line. Since then, it's clocked up over 200,000 kilometres and has been the reason another three Anthems have joined the fleet in recent months.

Stretching from Cairns to Adelaide, the company's routes service a diverse customer base with anything from particle board and timber, to alcohol, groceries and general freight onboard. As a result, Richers' Macks are often running at B-double weights of 64-tonnes.

Within the company's 100-truck fleet the Mack brand has by far the greatest share.

Operations manager Tom Richer explained that for the type of work they do, they're mainly concentrating on drivability, fuel economy and safety.

Anthem stands out in the Mack playlist. Camera Icon Anthem stands out in the Mack playlist. Credit: Supplied

"Fuel and running costs are extremely important in our business; it's what keeps us competitive," he said.

"We choose to go with Mack for the drivability, they're great for the drivers, for fuel economy, and are equipped with a good safety package."

Tom added that the Macks were performing from a maintenance perspective as well.

Fuel and running costs are extremely important in our business; it's what keeps us competitive.

Tom Richer

"This truck hasn't spent a day off the road that wasn't planned," he said.

The Richers Anthem consistently runs at maximum payload, with fuel economy currently averaging two kilometres to the litre, which is 0.2 of a kilometre per litre better than the previous model.

Over the life of the vehicle these kind of incremental savings "really add up."

Mack boss Tom Chapman told us that feedback from drivers is consistently positive, particularly in relation to driver comfort.

The performance, driveability and fuel efficiency are also frequent standouts.

Mack claims the Anthem, which is built in the Wacol Queensland factory, represents a uniquely Australian mix of technological advancement and rugged durability.

The addition of some of the latest digital technology brings one of the few conventional truck hold-outs into the domain of the European cabovers.

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