Mack Truck. It’s a short, simple combination of words that is loaded with meanings to a lot of people — meanings of toughness, durability, and dependability. Soon, however, Mack Truck will very likely carry another set of meanings to many of those people — clean, quiet, and technologically advanced. That’s because Mack is on the verge of releasing its heavy-duty, all-electric work trucks to the market at large, and the very first of these is an electric garbage truck that is already on its way to customer hands.
The people at Republic Services — an “industry leading” waste management company operating in North Carolina — will test the LR Electric model on one of its residential recycling collection routes. The LR Electric will be evaluated for its range, functionality, and payload capacity, while its drivers will be expected to report back on the truck’s drivability, reduced noise levels, and diesel fumes. Or, more accurately, the truck’s lack of diesel fumes!
“Mack Trucks is extremely pleased that Republic’s very first fully electric refuse vehicle is the Mack LR Electric,” said Jonathan Randall, Mack Trucks senior vice president of North American sales and commercial operations. “The LR Electric offers numerous benefits, including zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and quieter operation, and we look forward to partnering with Republic to meet their business needs through this fully electric truck.”
For its part, the electric Mack Truck features a pair of motors with a combined peak output of 536 HP. More impressively, those motors also deliver more than 4,000 (four-thousand!) pound-feet of torque from zero RPM that’s fed through a two-speed Mack Powershift transmission to Mack’s proprietary S462R 46,000-pound rear axles. That 0 RPM torque peak is critical to accomplishing at least one Mack’s missions: a quieter experience for customers on the early morning routes.
The big Mack is using four Volvo/NMC lithium-ion (Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide) batteries that can be charged through a 150kW, SAE J1772-compliant charging system (?). All the truck’s accessories — the crunchers, lifters, dumpers, etc. — are electrically driven, too, each through its own 12V, 24V, and 600V circuits. That’s worth noting, because most of the other electrically driven municipal trucks coming to market — from garbage trucks to fire engines — may use electrons to get where they’re going, but they still rely on an on-board diesel generator to power their accessories. The Mack solution is far, far more holistic in its approach to “the electric garbage truck” in general.
One of those accessories, Heil’s Command-SST, an automated side loader refuse body optimized for next generation electric collection trucks, helps efficiency with a light weight while improving durability with rust-resistant materials. The electric Mack also features an efficient hydraulic system featuring a body-mounted ASL arm, which frees up frame rail space for batteries and that only draws electric power when needed, helping to further extend battery life.
Visually, the new electric Mack truck is most easily identified by virtue of a copper version of Mack’s iconic bulldog hood ornament — and he is GLORIOUS (above). Beyond that, if you really want to know if your neighborhood garbage collectors have switched to Mack’s electric truck, you’ll just have to let the clean air and quiet, suburban mornings do the talking.
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