ALLENTOWN, Pa. - After years of development, Mack Trucks unveiled their first production of the M917A3 Heavy Dump Truck for the US. Army, at the Allentown facility where it's made.
"Mack Trucks itself has been involved with the military since WWI, that's how we got our bulldog corporate image," said President and CEO of Mack Defense David Hartzell.
Mack and The U.S. Army have a contract for 683 of the trucks to the tune of about $296 million.
"It's a seven-year contract. Five years base contract with two additional option years," Hartzell said.
The company invested $6.5 million to create a dedicated Heavy Dump Truck production line, based on the Mack Granite with modifications, like special paint and engines that run high-sulfur diesel.
"It's a lot of work and it's the partnerships you build. Mack has figured that out. You have to talk to your congressmen, your senators, you have to be connected down in DC with the Pentagon and all the people who are making decisions," Brigadier General Mark Merlino, Deputy Chief of Engineers for the National Guard.
Merlino says the National Guard will get about 300 trucks.
"Floods, hurricanes, tornados. We will use this in our states to help the citizens of our commonwealths to help with recovery operations," Merlino said.
"On the military side, we're driving around in a lot of old pieces of equipment. 50, 60 years old."
The trucks are not only more efficient, but safer for the members of our armed forces.
"So we owe it to them to give them the best pieces of equipment that are reliable," Merlino said.