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International, Mack Truck Announce New Service Offerings

International has rolled out a new program for truck equipment manufacturers to make it easier for upfitters to customize trucks for customers, like this HV Series in railrider configuration. ( Photo: Brian Straight/FreightWaves )

International has rolled out a new program for truck equipment manufacturers to make it easier for upfitters to customize trucks for customers, like this HV Series in railrider configuration. (Photo: Brian Straight/FreightWaves)

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INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana. Navistar's (NYSE: NAV) International brand and Mack Trucks both introduced new service offerings for their respective customer bases on Wednesday at the National Truck Equipment Association's Work Truck Show in Indianapolis, Indiana.

International announced a new Diamond Partner Program for truck equipment manufacturers (TEM) while Mack improved its over-the-air update program by giving customers more opportunity to tune their trucks during the course of a year.

The Diamond Partner Program features International's Diamond Logic Builder and additional resources for body integration. Already offered to its largest TEMs, the program is being extended to all TEMs.

"This industry goes through TEMs and dealers, so we want to make it easier for them to do business with us," said Mark Stasell, vice president of vocational truck business for International.

The program is aimed at streamlining installation efforts, improving communication, offering body builder resources, providing spec optimization, and building stronger relationships, the company said.

Among the perks of the program is access to an application engineer that will assist the TEM through the entire process. Also included is a specification review that will help determine the best specs at the right cost. Stasell said this could include punching holes through the chassis at the factory for upfitting – a relatively easy and low-cost process at the factory, but something that can cost hundreds of dollars and many hours at dealerships.

Joint customer events are also part of the package, including the opportunity to host customers at Navistar's World Headquarters in Lisle, Illinois, and the potential for ride-and-drive experiences.

The Diamond Partner Program is offered free of charge to TEMs. Introduced just over a week ago, Stasell said more than 50 TEMs have signed up so far and he is hoping for 200 by the end of the year.

Mack gives customers more flexibility in engine parameters

Mack Trucks has been offering customers of newer vehicles over-the-air (OTA) software updates for a little over a year now. Each customer gets two OTAs per 12-month period, giving them the chance to adjust and fine-tune engine parameters. Due to customer demand, Mack is rolling out a new offering called the Mack Parameter Plus program.

The program, offered with discount pricing, gives customers the chance to adjust up to 50 engine parameters per 12-month period beyond the two they already get. Fleets can adjust settings such as road speed limits, idle time and engine fuel mapping. Parameter Plus is available on 2018 and newer models with GuardDog Connect and on previously purchased vehicles with Mack EPA 2017 engines.

The updates are made in conjunction with a customer's availability and is facilitated by Mack OneCall agents.

"We consistently seek out ways to improve Uptime for our customers," said John Walsh, vice president of marketing for Mack Trucks. "Mack Parameter Plus enables customers to bundle their parameter updates into a cost-effective package, and since it's built on Mack over-the-air capabilities, customers' valuable schedules are not disrupted while the parameters are set. Parameters help tailor the truck to the job and help customers comply with regulations such as road speed and idle shutdown."

Mack also announced that factory-installed auxiliary axles on Granite models now feature standard shock absorbers for improved ride comfort, durability and tire life. By absorbing and helping reduce excessive vibrations, the shocks help improve durability of the auxiliary axles, the company said. They also help prevent uncontrolled axle hop and increase auxiliary axle tire life, cutting tire costs for customers. The smoother operation also reduces vibration transferred to the cab to improve driver comfort.

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