Have you ever heard the phrase ‘Built like a Mack Truck’ and ever wondered where it came from. Maybe you are a truck mechanic who is replacing heavy-duty truck parts on a Mack truck and you thought about where the saying came from. Or you could be a commuter who noticed a Mack truck on the road and was curious about its history. At some point in time, I think everyone has heard the saying and probably was curious where it came from.

Mack Trucks have been an American staple since the 1900s and is one of the first big-name truck manufacturers to have sustained success for more than a century. Kenworth began a business in 1912, Freightliner was developed in t

he 1930’s and Peterbilt was established in 1939.

heavy duty trucks parts

Who made mack trucks?

If you want to know the history of mack trucks, you have to start with the creator.

John M. Mack, known as “Jack” and his brother Augustus purchased the wagon company that John worked for in 1893.

The following year, their brother William joined operations. The brothers began experimenting with steam-powered and electric motors.

Inspired by the Wright Brothers-Orville & Wilbur, Willis Carrier, and Henry Ford’s inventions, John Mack had a vision about producing heavy-duty trucks, engines, and replacement parts.

history of mack trucks


The “Mack Brothers Company” was founded in 1900 and the company opened its first bus manufacturing plant the same year. A sightseeing company had placed the first order.

Mack’s first truck was manufactured in 1907.

During World War I, Mack delivered over 6,000 trucks to the American and British military for use during the war. Rumor has it that the British soldiers were so impressed with the Mack Trucks durability, toughness and reliability they gave them the nickname of “Mack Bulldogs” after their own British Bulldogs.

Mack truck logo history

mack bulldogThe history of mack trucks logo?.

In 1922, “Mack Brothers Company” changed its name to Mack Trucks and the bulldog was accepted as the company’s corporate Logo.

The bulldog was first portrayed on a steel plate mounted to the side of the truck, the hood ornament appeared approximately 10 years later. These trucks with a gold plated bulldog indicate that the truck is made entirely of Mack parts, while built with another manufacturers’ transmission, engine, rear axles or suspension are given the chrome-plated logo.


Mack Trucks made a name for themselves by being tough and reliable trucks.

But they offered many advancements to heavy-duty truck engines and their parts as well.

In 1918 they became the first manufacturer to apply air cleaners and oil filters to their trucks.

In 1920 became the first truck with power brakes.

Also became the first manufacturer to produce their own diesel engines in 1938.

Engines history

Jumping ahead to the 1960s, vice president of product and engineering, Walter May, had developed the Maxidyne high torque rise engine, first as an inline V6 and later a V8. The development was an industry-changing event, as it allowed a Class 8 heavy-duty engine to operate with a 5-speed transmission. Previously trucks would have 10 gears’ or more.

Mack Trucks is a top producer in the vocational “on-road-vehicle” Class 8 through Class 13.

They are also among the most popular manufacturer of heavy-duty “off-road” trucks in America. Are also sold worldwide in 45 different countries.

Their main assembly plant is located in the state of Pennsylvania and has the capability of manufacturing all known heavy-duty Mack Truck Parts.

For more than a century, Have been prominent on American roads.

Their durability to withstand world wars, rising competition, and the test of time is a testament to the brothers that first had a dream and made it come true.

Do you know of anything that is ‘Built like a Mack Truck?’