Online portal for customers opens the door to fleet management data
Mack Trucks’ latest technology solution is Mack® Connect, a comprehensive fleet management portal that enables customers to digitally access information about their Mack-powered trucks quickly and easily. The all-new portal gathers critical data about a customer’s trucks, services and specific applications and transforms that information into actionable intelligence to drive improvements in fuel efficiency, safety and productivity.
The Mack Connect toolbox includes data about asset location, idle time, traffic information, fuel efficiency, safety performance and vehicle speed. Customers can access the status of their Mack® trucks through a 4G Telematics Gateway, which is factory-installed at Lehigh Valley Operations in Macungie, Pennsylvania, where all Class 8 Mack vehicles are assembled.
The portal also interacts with the Mack Integrated Uptime services so that customers can easily manage any fault events that occur and gain visibility of over-the-air updates when available. Mack Connect, along with the Integrated Uptime package, is standard on all new Model Year 2025 Mack trucks equipped with Mack MP® engines for two years.
Two heavy-duty Mack Truck customers with different operating profiles that have been piloting Mack Connect report that the portal delivers far greater management visibility into their operations and powers decision-making in real time, boosting both fleet efficiency and safety performance.
Seeing deep and wide
Hopedale, MA-based Braun’s Express, which provides freight-hauling and logistics services in the Northeast, MidAtlantic, and Midwest states, has been piloting Mack Connect on 63 of its Mack Class 8 tractors since June. The fleet fields about 165 power units and the majority, 140 or so, are Mack tractors.
Stephen Normandin, vice president of strategy, says the portal is providing Braun’s with “visibility we haven’t been able to get from third-party telematics providers. We’re able to get instant visibility across our fleet and then use that to make sure we're putting consistent settings in across our fleet. We haven't had that before. Now, we’re getting information about seatbelt use and other things that we couldn’t get elsewhere.”
According to Maddison Vincinguerra, Braun’s fleet administrator, the portal is “pretty much self-explanatory and easy to use. If I need a Mack Connect support specialist, they’ve gotten back to me efficiently, and in a timely manner. I work a lot with our safety department, where we use the portal for over-the-air updates, such as to adjust speed settings. Being able to do that, and not having to send trucks to a dealer is just so easy.”
The digital portal’s interactive map is always up to date, she continues, “so if a driver calls and they're in an unknown area, or they haven't been there previously, I like that the map shows bridges and bridge heights, and it shows where they can fuel in our network so we can easily direct them there.”
Normandin says that only a portion of the fleet is on the portal right now. “We’re definitely looking forward to when we can get our whole fleet onto the system; then it can be a more powerful tool across our organization.”
Vincinguerra advises that the portal’s safety advantage comes from being “able see the inconsistencies of the fleet, like the drivers who speed or who take hard turns or whatever the case may be. We can see that now with Mack Connect and change engine parameter settings when needed as corrective action.”
Level by level
Greensboro N.C.-based Hilco Transport Inc. is a diversified carrier with specialized divisions dedicated to municipal waste haulage, dump transport, and ammonia, liquid, petroleum, and propane transport.
Hilco has 500 power units, with Mack trucks making up half of those with more on order, and almost 200 owner-operators, according to Director of Maintenance Mike Laughead.
Laughead describes the fleet’s piloting of the Mack Connect customer portal as “so far, so good. We really like it. There are three of us using it right now. The map and the reporting capabilities are killer features.” He says throughout Hilco, the portal is being used at different levels. “I'm a data-driven kind of person. At my level, I'm able to see the reporting side of it. We are impressed with the system and it helps managers keep tabs on operations.”
“Then at the other level, the shop manager or shop level, their variables can be addressed, like when a driver calls in and says, ‘Hey, I got a light on my dash.’ Now they have somewhere they can go into and look at it,” he continues. Before Mack Connect, he says “it was kind of like, ‘Well, if you click the button and go through the dash, you don't know what the codes are. So, this is a whole lot more efficient for us. Now, we can just click on a unit and see if it's had a history of those codes.”
Hilco so far has over 200 Mack trucks covered by the new system. Laughead says the loading of each truck’s service history was handled by Mack. He also points out that the portal makes it easy to add users.
Laughead says one of Mack Connect’s top features is the map as it’s “probably the number-one item for reports and analytics at my level.” In general, he appreciates the portal’s ability to deliver information in real time so that Hilco can act quickly. Before Mack Connect, the information he requested came from corporate monthly reports, but “now I can just go and pull it. That’s a huge benefit, especially for data like idling time or PTO usage, that can be acted on immediately. Having that capability is key for us to better understand how everything is operating.”