Goodyear Blimp Tied to Mack Granite
GREENSBORO, NC — Tire makers Goodyear called on a Mack Granite for a big job: to secure their world-famous blimp.
“Mack prides itself on being easy to do business with, and our sales force is known for working in tandem with the customer to develop the needed specification for any application,” said Stu Russoli, Mack vocational segment product manager.
The truck has to move the blimp in and out of hangars and offer ground support when the blimp is not in the air, all while standing up to wind speeds of as much as 78 knots; or about 90 mph.
The Granite is custom-built for Goodyear. Its formal job title is mast truck. Older mooring systems tied the blimps to the ground rather than a truck.
Brad Crombie, global engineer for Goodyear, commented: “The innovation associated with the new mast truck allows us the capability to efficiently operate the airship.”
Goodyear chose a 2014 Granite with a Mack MP8 engine, with inter-axle locking differentials and four Goodyear G278 MSD tires on the front paired with another eight G572 LHD rear tires.
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 8x8 and installed the twin steer axles. The Mack Vehicle Option Center installed the TIREBOSS Tire Pressure Control System on the drive axles.