Mack Trucks founders John “Jack” and Augustus “Gus” Mack were inducted into the American Truck Historical Society’s (ATHS) new American Trucking and Industry Leader Hall of Fame (ATIL Hall of Fame) as part of its inaugural class.
Located at the ATHS headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, the ATIL Hall of Fame focuses on honoring trucking professionals and their contributions to the industry and society.
Acquiring the Fallesen & Berry carriage company in 1893, Jack and Gus Mack launched the Mack Brothers Company in Brooklyn, New York, and began experimenting with steam and electric vehicles. The Mack brothers produced their first heavy-duty vehicle in 1900, a 40 horsepower, 20-passenger bus. Built for sightseeing, the bus operated in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park for eight years before being converted into a truck.
Following strong acceptance and growing demand for rugged, heavy-duty Mack trucks, the Mack brothers moved the company in 1905 to Allentown, in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, and incorporated the new Mack Brothers Motor Car Company.
The early 1900s yielded many Mack innovations, like a truck cab mounted directly over the engine to help improve driver visibility and maneuverability, especially in crowded city settings. Gus Mack also patented a constant mesh feature to protect the transmission’s gears from being damaged by inexperienced drivers.
Mack’s introduced its famous AC model in 1916. Equipped with a chain drive rear axle, the AC model earned its “Bulldog” moniker while supporting the front lines during World War I. That Bulldog image followed the Mack brothers’ products as their popularity expanded beyond the United States to markets with heavy-haul applications and challenging terrain, like the Northwest Territory in Canada. Similar market demands brought Mack to Australia, where Mack established a presence in 1963, and to Central and South America in the early 1940s.
Jeff Oldham, vice president for Mack Trucks’ central region, delivered remarks at the American Trucking and Industry Leader Hall of Fame induction ceremony for Mack Trucks founders Jack and Gus Mack: “The Mack brothers represent many qualities that I admire – entrepreneurial spirit, leadership, a bit of risk-taking, pride in their work and innovation.”
Jack and Gus Mack’s legacy spans the globe, as Mack Trucks operates in more than 20 countries in the Americas, the Caribbean, and Asia/Pacific regions. Throughout its history, Mack vehicles have been on the jobsites of countless projects, like the building of Hoover (Boulder) Dam, the Panama Canal, Boston’s subway system, the Trans-Canada Highway, and countless others.
2021 marks Mack Trucks’ 121st birthday, its 100th anniversary in Canada, and a return to its early roots with the launch of Mack’s Class 8, zero-emission, battery-electric refuse truck, the Mack LR electric.
Other inductees joining Jack and Gus Mack in the American Truck Historical Society’s American Trucking and Industry Leader Hall of Fame inaugural class are Cummins Inc. founder Clessie Cummins, radio host Dave Nemo, and the Owner Operator Independent Driver Association (OOIDA).