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Clockwise, from above: Handsome Super-Liner sports the vertical intake and exhaust systems of a classic conventional model; detail touches like drawbar steps and well-guarded access ladders are features of the Transport Trailers work; cab access is compromised by offset steps and limited grabhandles; even the AdBlue tank is smartly presented

Sitting as it does on the Mack heavyweight scale between the Titan and the Trident, the Super-Liner is a bit of a Goldilocks model...just right for a range of applications. In its turn, the test truck is fitted with the more standard or midrange options available for the model, in the form of Mack FXL 14.6 steel suspension front axles (heavier-rated FXL 16.5s are also available) and midrange Meritor RT46-160 rear axles combined with Mack’s AP460 air suspension. The PowerLeash engine brake that’s unique to Mack is a superficially simple, two-stage system that in fact hides a few subtleties in an operational protocol that’s different from many others. For instance, it has a setting in which it doesn’t kick in until the service brake is lightly applied – useful for urban/suburban applications where you don’t want it constantly coming in and out as the accelerator is varied to match traffic flow, yet where extra braking comes in handy at traffic signals and approaching roundabouts. Another setting, chosen via the AMT control pad, sees the transmission cooperate to ensure maximum retardation. In this mode, light application of the service brake results in standard engine brake response, but a heavier push on the pedal triggers a downshift through as many ratios as will bring the engine speed up to the 2100-2200rpm where the 34 | Truck & Driver

PowerLeash is at its strongest. NZ Truck & Driver tester Trevor Woolston is at the wheel as the Mack heads out of Parkburn with its next load – 14mm aggregate destined to be cover for underground fuel tanks in a commercial development at Frankton, adjoining Queenstown Airport. Like Rhys Jones, he finds the performance and ride qualities of the fully-loaded combination through the sometimes demanding Kawarau Gorge to be outstanding. See his full impressions in the Goodyear Trevor Test, on Page 36. Later on, reflecting on the Super-Liner, Rhys reckons there’s very little he could think of that he’d prefer to be different: “I haven’t found anything yet I don’t like about it. The driving position is brilliant, all the ergonomics are great, with everything easy to reach. The automated gearbox is so easy to use. The vision out is brilliant – even though the screen is a two-part one, the central pillar doesn’t interfere. “Looked at overall, it has everything I need...plus quite a few other very handy things that I never even realised I needed!” He reckons the Super-Liner offers the best of two worlds: “Every driver wants the classic looks of a big bonneted model. But though we mightn’t admit it, we secretly want comfort and quietness as well...and it’s got them too.” T&D

NZ Truck & Driver Dec/Jan 2018  
NZ Truck & Driver Dec/Jan 2018