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The Interesting History of Mack Trucks

The name "Mack" is synonymous with the trucking industry and few symbols are as recognizable as the iconic Mack Bulldog. It is practically a household name and as much a part of our fabric as baseball and apple pie, but where did the Mack originate and why is it so popular?

The story of Mack Trucks begins in Brooklyn, New York where brothers Jack and Augustus Mack formed the Mack Brothers Company. The two had been in the carriage and wagon making business for a time, having purchased the Fallesen & Berry factory in 1893. In 1900 the Mack Brothers manufactured a 40 horsepower, 20 passenger bus that amassed one million miles of service, first as a bus and then later being converted to a truck. The legendarily reliable Mack truck was born.

The renowned Mack AC model was first introduced in 1916 and enjoyed tremendous success. This chain-driven rear axle workhorse was manufactured until 1939 and had a reputation for being tough and reliable. Over 6,500 units were delivered to the United States and Great Britain during World War I to provide soldiers on the front line with food and supplies. It was here that British soldiers dubbed it the "Bulldog Mack" because of its dependability, tenacious style, and sloping stub nose. The name stuck and in 1932 the Mack Bulldog which adorns the hood of every Mack truck was created.

After World War II, Mack continued to mature and innovate. The "B" series, introduced in 1953 was among Mack's most successful offerings. The now classic styling and a wide range of available models made it very popular.  Although production was ceased in 1966, over 127,000 trucks were produced and some are still on the roads today.

In August of 1956, Mack Trucks purchased the Brockway Motor Company of Cortland, NY. Although their production methods were oceans apart, Brockway was successfully operated as an autonomous division of Mack Trucks, Inc. for many years. Perhaps inspired by Mack's recognizable Bulldog, Brockway soon developed their own canine mascot. The Huskie would adorn the hoods of Brockway's until they ceased production in 1977.

The Mack "R" series first started rolling off the production line in 1966 as a replacement for the "B" models and soon proved itself to be just as tough and reliable. The development of Mack's groundbreaking "Maxidyne" constant horsepower diesel engine and "Maxitorque" transmission made the "R" series one of the world's most popular heavy duty trucks. Various "R" series models were produced as recently as 2005.

There is no denying the continued success and longstanding reliability of Mack Trucks. The history of Mack Trucks is not just a lesson on the past, but the validation of years of hard work and perhaps a roadmap to the future.