The Mack mDRIVE automated manual transmission (AMT) is now standard on the Mack Pinnacle highway model, offering increased fuel efficiency, productivity, and safety. More than 50% of Pinnacle models sold now are equipped with the transmission.

Stephen Roy, president of Mack Trucks North American sales and marketing, made the announcement during the 2014 American Trucking Associations Management Conference & Exhibition in San Diego CA recently.

Engineered and built to Mack standards, the mDRIVE is based on proven technology, requiring minimal service and reducing maintenance downtime. With its simplified shifting, the mDRIVE also can help attract and retain drivers.

“The mDRIVE helps customers work faster and smarter by eliminating traditional shifting,” Roy said. “By removing that task, mDRIVE allows drivers to focus on the job at hand: delivering their cargo safely and on time.”

With 12 speeds, the mDRIVE continuously monitors multiple driving variables to maximize driver productivity, performance, and fuel efficiency. Sophisticated programming and precise engineering and manufacturing deliver smooth shifts and automatically select the best gear for conditions.

The mDRIVE is controlled through a dash-mounted shift pad with an integrated display to indicate the current gear. The Mack Co-Pilot driver display, located in the center of the instrument panel, displays the mDRIVE’s status, including the number of upshifts or downshifts available, the current gear, and current operating mode.

A key component of Mack’s integrated powertrains, the mDRIVE is designed to work seamlessly with Mack MP series engines. When combined with a Mack Pedigree Powertrain, the mDRIVE can boost fuel efficiency by up to 1.5% over a standard transmission.

For applications where fuel economy is a priority, Pinnacle models can be spec’d with the Super Econodyne integrated powertrain package. Featuring the Mack MP7 or Mack MP8 engine, mDRIVE, proprietary drive axles, and Mack’s custom software, the Super Econodyne package maximizes efficiency without sacrificing performance. Compared with similarly spec’d vehicles, the MP7 Super Econodyne and MP8 Super Econodyne provide fuel economy improvements of up to 4% and 3.5%, respectively.

A key feature of the Super Econodyne package is “down speeding” of the engine. “Down speeding” reduces engine rpm by more than 200 rpm at a highway speed of 65 mph, cruising at 1160 rpm versus 1380 rpm. This decrease in engine rpm reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.