Mack/Prostar/Volvo

Southern Fried

Well-Known Member
Over the past few months I've driven and worked all 3 of the above. Here's my personal comparison for what it's worth.

Mack Pinocle (yes, I know): Old cab design with limited clearances for driver. Intersection between bunk and cab is heavily padded to protect contact with half-awake foreheads. Smallest storage of the 3 with only 1 under bunk storage area accessible from outside. Fair to good bunk controls for heat/ac/lights. Seating: Simpson seats that are a bit better than standard Mack (Mack never did make a comfortable seat) but not by much. Lots of troubles with lumbar support, etc.

Powertrain is Mack/Volvo with the 12 spd I-shift "automatic". Real Mack drivetrain is an extra-cost option. Decent enough power but engine/trans do not seem to be well matched and tend to"hunt" on a pull.

Handling/ride: bit choppy. But in an application like ours where we load/deliver in tight spaces it's maneuverability is pretty good.

Biggest drawback? The dealership network. Anybody that dealt with the old Mack system will just shake their head at the "new" version. Everybody in the shop back then knew Macks from the tires up and they actually carried parts for them.

Today..... well not so much. Let me give you an example; the one I drove had the "check engine" light on for 2 friggin years. Mack got it to stay out for 4 hours, one of our mechanic holds the record at 6 hours. Mack's answer? Drive it until something breaks and then we'll know what it was.

Score... 3 out of 5

Prostar. Best storage. So-so comfort.

Drivetrain is Maxfarce with 10 spd auto..... which flat-out sucks, especially in tight quarters. Thing acts like it's got a centrifugal clutch like a snowmobile, requires a rev of the throttle to engage. This is dangerous when doing things like an offset backup with only inches to spare on each side. Gets the liquid load working (slosh) which adds to the problem. To be fair, I've driven both a Pete and Freightshaker with the same trans and they had the same issue.

Maneuverability is less and it tends to wander more on the road (same tires on all).

Score: 1.75

Volvet: I've only had this 3 weeks so it's still us getting used to each other. Pretty good cab, 2nd place on storage. But..... wierdest layout/functions of controls I've ever seen. The "operator's manual" is no better. Of course we all know about Volvo "electrics" problems . I get random "warning lights",etc but when you go to diagnostic you get "no issues". :foreheadslap:

Power and handling are the best so far. Maneuvers good with the 12 spd. Don't care for the little "shifter" on the side of the seat though. Haven't figured out how to "upshift" in the Manual mode yet.

Biggest "peeve" so far is the fuel tanks. The fillers are located behind the cab "extender" fairings which requires pulling just about that much further ahead at the fuel island to reach em. Plus, the passenger side filler is located almost directly below the hot exhaust pipe. Not a good idea to me. :dunno:

Score,: 2.25 so far.

There you have it. :D
 

GAnthony

Methuselah
Supporter
well the next time some so-called college "kid" comes here and asks our opinions on truck design and what not, give him a piece of yer mind.

i highly doubt any one that is a designer actually listens to what we say. they have a budget, maybe even time constraints, maybe even factory closings/layoff's to deal with, and listening to what we want, is to only appease us that they give a shyte...

Freightliner laying off about 800 N. Carolina workers
 

Duck

Quack
Supporter
well the next time some so-called college "kid" comes here and asks our opinions on truck design and what not, give him a piece of yer mind.

i highly doubt any one that is a designer actually listens to what we say. they have a budget, maybe even time constraints, maybe even factory closings/layoff's to deal with, and listening to what we want, is to only appease us that they give a shyte...

Freightliner laying off about 800 N. Carolina workers
The college perfessirs probably think it's like the auto industry... The owners are the drivers.... Build what they want. They teach engineering, not marketing...

So their students are sent to interview truck drivers as a homework assignment but they get lazy & do it online.

When they enter the workforce they find out their customers are actually a bunch of old rich guys who own big fleets. Their concerns are only about fuel economy and dumbing down the job so they can hire more retards to crash them into fuel pumps. They don't give a crap about comfortable seats and storage space because "it costs money and those disgusting slobs will just find something else to complain about".
 

Sinister

Supermodel
Staff member
Supporter
Mack and Volvo are pretty much the same now. I have no idea why or when this happened, but it's true.

Back in the 90's I drove a VN Volvo, and utterly hated it. I loved the engine/trans combo with an N14 and 13 speed, but driving the thing was horribly uncomfortable, and all that huge glass in the cab just let all the sun and heat in and you baked in the damn thing all summer with the AC on 4.

THEN...it had this little LCD display that told you various things. Like when the washer fluid was low.

...over and over and over again...

Then last week, almost 17 years later I'm driving this Mackomatic, and the washer fluid goes low...and the little LCD display tells me it's low. So I hit the ESC button, and it goes back to my digital speedometer for like 2 seconds, then goes back to telling me the washer fluid is low.

Seriously...who the hell thinks washer fluid is that important that this is necessary for almost 20 years now...

I'll say now, about this Mack, the very same thing I said about Volvo back then: Too much technology, not enough truck.

The manueverability is good though, I will say that, and the ride is decent enough. The seat in mine is terrible because I think I inherited this truck from a 900 pounder who destroyed it by their sheer obesity.

Storage is a joke. Nothing under the bunk in the cab, though I do have 2 side boxes, which is where I keep all my fittings and straps and my 3 gallon buckets. In the sleeper I have q desk with slideout drawer, and storage inside via a flip top thingy, two shelves along the sides, and a small closet. There's a blank space where a fridge should be in the desk, but somehow isn't big enough for my 40 qt cooler, which ends up sitting on the sleeper floor.

Overall I give it a 3/5.
 
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