The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company chose a specially-built Mack Granite to handle mooring the latest generation of its world-famous blimp. The truck-mounted mooring system replaced the previous system, designed for Goodyear’s older, smaller blimps. The Granite’s strong frame, Mack noted, is well suited to handle the work.
SPECS: Mike Bloom of Nuss Truck & Equipment, based in Rochester, Minn., met with Goodyear representatives at Goodyear’s headquarters in Akron, Ohio, where they discussed design options and needs. The truck needed to move the blimp in and out of hangars, as well as offer ground support when the blimp is not in the air, all while standing up to wind loads of as much as 78 knots (or 90 mph). Goodyear chose a 2014 Mack Granite model equipped with a Mack MP8 engine, Mack 200 series carriers with inter-axle locking differentials and four Goodyear G278 MSD tires in size 425/65R22.5 on the front paired with eight G572 LHD tires in size 11R24.5.
The truck was built at the Macungie Cab & Vehicle Assembly facility, where all Mack models for North America and export are built. The Granite was ordered as a three-axle model but was modified by Engineered Chassis Systems, a subsidiary of the Nuss Group, which built the body, converted it to an all-wheel-drive 8×8 and installed the twin steer axles. The Mack Vehicle Option Center installed the TireBoss Tire Pressure Control System on the drive axles. “The innovation associated with the new mast truck allows us the capability to efficiently operate the airship,” said Brad Crombie, global engineer for Goodyear.