Looking back at the history of Mack

Mack is one of the most beloved truck brands in Australia with a history that stretches back 124 years


Mack Trucks, or the Mack Brothers Company as it is known at the time, is founded by Jack and Gus Mack in Brooklyn, New York. It also produces its first successful motorised vehicle this year.  


The Mack brothers sell the company, and the new owners continue operation as the International Motor Company. Mack begins producing equipment for fire departments, which continues until 1990. 

  • Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter to receive the latest news and classifieds from Australia’s transport industry.
  • Don’t miss a second and subscribe to our monthly Deals on Wheels magazine.
  • Sell your truck with Australia’s #1 truck classifieds


The company’s first standardised, high volume model series, the Mack AB, is introduced. The first ABs had chain drive or worm drive.


The famous AC model is introduced, earning international acclaim and a reputation for reliability and durability. 

The famous AC model was introduced in 1916

During World War 1, Mack delivers approximately 4,500 AC model trucks to the US government, and over 2,000 trucks to Great Britain. 

Mack trucks earn their nickname, the ‘Bulldog’, during the war, when the British government deploy AC Macks to bring troops, food and equipment to the front lines. 

The blunt-nosed bonnet of the trucks, combined with their tenacity, remind the soldiers of their country’s mascot, the British Bulldog. 


Australia has its first encounter with Mack trucks when an AC model is specially ordered for use in the oil industry. 


The company adopts the bulldog as its corporate symbol. 

The company adopted the bulldog as its corporate symbol in 1921


Mack BJ and BB models, the first of the “early B Series” are introduced in response to a growing demand for larger capacity, higher speed haulage. More than 15,000 units are built up until 1941.


From 1929 to 1944, Mack produces 2,601 semi or full trailers. 


The name of the International Motor Company is changed to the Mack Manufacturing Corporation, and the Mack E Series is introduced. These are streamlined, medium-duty trucks with gross vehicle weight ratings ranging up to 23,000lbs. 


Mack becomes the first truck manufacturer to design and build its own heavy-duty diesel engines.


Once again, it’s time for Mack to step up production for the war effort. During World War 2, Mack trucks serve the Allied forces in the form of prime movers, personnel carriers, wrecker trucks, tank transporters and more. 

During WW2, Mack built heavy-duty trucks to support the Allied forces


Mack introduces the B series, which sets a new styling standard for trucks with their attractive, rounded appearance. This year also marks the introduction of the more fuel-efficient Thermodyne open chamber, direct-injection diesel engine. 

A typical B61RT, complete with water bag on the bullbar

The G series and H series are also introduced during the 1950s. The G series features an all-aluminum cab for a lighter weight and the ability to haul big loads, while the H series is dubbed the “Cherry Pickers” for their very high cabs. These are designed with a short bumper to back-of-cab dimension, to accommodate 35-foot trailers within 45-foot overall legal limits. 


The F Model all-steel cab-over-engine trucks are introduced. This is the first model of the completely new family of COE and Conventional models to be introduced in the 60s. 


Mack Trucks Australia is founded, with its operations and headquarters based in Archerfield, Brisbane. It focuses on building and adapting trucks to suit Australian conditions.


The R series replaces the popular B series.

1966 The introduction of the R series – seen here in its initial Australian “Flintstone” (steel bonnet) form, set the scene for the Super-Liner


Mack debuts its Maxidyne horsepower diesel engine, along with Maxitorque transmission. 


Mack releases the Cruise-Liner – the brand’s premium offering in a cabover configuration. 

1977 Mack in the US recognised the need for a premium high performance conventional and launched the Super-Liner in 1977


The Super-Liner is released in Australia, replacing the R700 models.


The Richlands manufacturing plant opens its doors in Brisbane. 

The first Super-Liner – a Cat 3408-powered RW700RSX delivered to Cleary Bros in Feb 1979.


Mack Trucks, Inc, becomes a subsidiary of Renault V.I. That same year, Mack introduces the V-MAC Electronic Engine Control System. 


The first Metro-Liner is launched in Australia. 


The Titan enters the Australian market. 

The Super-Liner 1980 model


The Largest Mack Truck in Australia is released – the Big Foot mining truck.

The largest truck in Australia, the Big Foot Mining Truck


Mack is acquired by AB Volvo, and celebrates its 100th birthday. The Granite series construction trucks line is also introduced. 


Mack Trucks Australia moves production to Wacol, Brisbane. 

Mack Trucks celebrated 100 years in 2000


The ASET (Application Specific Engine Technology) is introduced to meet 2002 emission requirements. 


Mack renews its entire product line, incorporating the new MP engine line. New models include a redesigned Granite vocational truck. 

The same year, a Titan truck pulled by John Atkinson in Clifton, Queensland sets the world record for pulling the largest road-train – it’s 113 trailers and 1.474km long.

In 2006, a A Titan truck set the world record for pulling the largest Road-train – 113 trailer road train (1.474 km long) – John Atkinson in Clifton.


The Mack Customer Centre is introduced, boasting a showroom or new products alongside a relocated Mack Museum. 


Mack introduces the Mack Granite Medium Heavy Duty model, designed for shorter runs and lighter-duty work. 


Production begins on the natural gas-powered Mack Pinnacle Axle Back model. Mack also brings in the mRIDE spring suspension for the Mack Granite and TerraPro refuse models and Twin Y Air Suspension for the on-highway Pinnacle Axle Back and Axle Forward models.


Mack’s GuardDog Connect telematics solution is launched, improving communication between the truck, driver, customer and dealer. Mack also celebrates 50 years of building trucks in Australia, and launches the Southern Cross limited edition range this year. 

The Southern Cross Limited Edition range launched in Australia in 2013


The new Mack Anthem arrives in Australia. The Anthem launches Mack into the future with the latest electronic architecture, which enables all of the state-of-the-art safety equipment, telematics and other technologies to be integrated into the truck itself.

The new Mack Anthem arrived in Australia in 2021


Mack celebrates 60 years of manufacturing in Australia by unveiling two new prime movers at the Brisbane Truck Show: a Mack Super-Liner with a fully-integrated walk-through 70-inch sleeper, and an optimised spec Mack Anthem 36-inch sleeper. 

The company also breaks a world record by creating a full-sized Anthem truck out of more than a million LEGO bricks. It takes professional LEGO builder Ben Craig about two months to build, and features a functional door, steering wheel and seat that fits a driver. 

Mack Trucks marked six decades of Australian manufacturing in 2023 with the unveiling of its latest Super-Liner


Mack remains one of the most popular truck brands in Australia, with sales up a whopping 45 per cent in 2023 compared to 2022. The brand still enjoys a reputation for durability and reliability, and classic Bulldogs are some of the most beloved older rigs at truck shows around the country.


Send this to a friend