Behind the Scenes of Mack Truck

Photo: A row of a variety of Mack trucks

A row of a variety of Mack trucks still on the line being assembled.  The Macungie plant is massive, covering 283 acres in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania.  The Macungie plant has attempted to "green" its production process.  Between 2005 and 2009, there was a 40 percent reduction in landfill waste.

Photo by NGT / Francis Cordero Ramirez

Francis Cordero, Associate Producer

Filming a show about Mack truck was definitely one of the coolest gigs I've had. There are hundreds of people involved in the making of this truck in three main facilities. We filmed at all three locations, the first at the Macungie Assembly plant where the trucks drive off the line. The second facility was the Powertrain center where the Mack engines are made. The last location we filmed at was the Customer Care Center where Mack trucks are test driven on a closed course.

My favorite part about working on this show was the people. I couldn't believe how kind everyone was. The very first day of shooting at the Macungie Assembly plant I bonded with Duffy. He is a "striper," he outlines the unique paint customizations requested by clients. We struck up a conversation about TV and general life and immediately he had me laughing with his jokes. He's the kind of person that gets his pleasure from other people's smiles. On the last day he gave me a big hug and I really felt I made a good friend.

All the people at the plants were like Duffy. It was an inviting and open environment filled with positivity and Mack pride. After two weeks my Nat Geo crew and I had decided, if our career in film didn't work out we'd apply for a job at Mack without a second thought. A close second was driving a Mack truck. Mack's customer care center in Allentown, PA has a museum and a test track. Jerry, the manager, took us through the full experience. He showed us one of the refurbished Mack buses built in the early 20th century and he showed us a variety of Mack vehicles for their clients that they have in their showroom. For the finale he let us drive a Mack truck. Luckily this big rig was equipped with an automatic transmission so I didn't have to shift 18 gears. The truck had a trailer loaded with a 60-ton payload so I got the full effect of pulling a Mack truck. The power on this fella was pretty cool but I will admit I choked on the hill. With the automatic transmission a driver can stop at the steepest incline on the hill without worry of rolling back. Well, I got a little scared and decided not to stay too long and quickly went over the hill.

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