ALLENTOWN, PA. Mack Trucks, Inc. officially opened the doors to its new Mack Customer Center during the truck OEM’s World Sales Conference, being held here this week. The 59,000-sq-ft facility sited on 65 acres is designed “to provide the ultimate Mack experience for truck dealers and customers. “ It is located just 20 minutes from Mack’s production facility in Macungie, PA.

“The Mack Customer Center is an important new tool for the company,” said Mike Reardon, Mack vp of marketing. “It gives us a powerful way to immerse customers from North America and around the world in the products, history and culture of the Mack brand.”

Created within the company’s former engineering development and test center, the Mack Customer Center includes a product showroom and an 18,000-sq-ft modification center. There also is a two-lane, .73 mile oval track that allows customers to put their Bulldogs to the test. The track has multiple grades, on- and off-road durability courses, and a skid pad.

Inside, customers can meet and work in a comfortable reception area or at the “Bulldog Café.” The new facility also houses the Mack Museum and Heritage Center, which will open to the public beginning November 1st.

Also announced at the Mack World conference was the OEM’s a natural gas-powered version of its TerraPro Cabover model for the refuse and construction applications. The new model is now available with heavy-duty natural gas engines supplied by Cummins Westport. The 9-liter Cummins Westport ISL G is rated at 320 hp, can use compressed (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG), and has a three-way catalyst to meet EPA 2010 emissions standards, the company noted.

“With this new natural gas product, an industry-leading truck is now coupled with an alternative fuel option,” said Curtis Dorwart, Mack vocational products marketing manager. “The cabover design combines Mack durability with an interior aimed at driver comfort and productivity. Adding the natural-gas powered engine allows our customers to be environmental leaders in their markets and communities.”

Mack said that Republic Services, a provider of solid waste collection, transfer, recycling and disposal services, and a long-term Mack customer, recently took delivery of 41 natural gas TerraPro Cabover models. “We are always interested in new and innovative technologies to improve our operations, reduce emissions and shrink our carbon footprint,” said Roy Svehla, senior fleet manager for Republic. “With the TerraPro line, Mack has shown its ongoing commitment to meeting the needs of the customer and the demands of the industry.”

Mack’s Dorwart emphasized that the natural-gas TerraPro had been specifically engineered and built to operate on natural gas – which he said was an important advantage over aftermarket conversions. The ISL G engine is installed on the production line at the Mack Macungie Assembly Operations plant.

“Our customers appreciate that the TerraPro models are factory-built and come with factory support and warranty,” added Dorwart. “It’s all part of the Mack promise of performance and reliability.”