As Lower Macungie’s largest employer, Mack Trucks has roots in Lehigh Valley, PA dating back to the early 1900s. When rumors started that they were potentially eyeing other locations for their operations, the community was understandably on edge. But leaders of Mack’s Lehigh Valley operations made a bold stand to contradict the hearsay, publicly announcing that they would not only remain in Lehigh Valley, they would also expand their facilities to be bigger and better. The move would strengthen their ties to the local community and commitment to their customers.
The truck manufacturing company embarked on a $71 million investment project to upgrade and expand its existing plant. With a corporation as large as Mack Trucks, key stakeholders had no shortage of ideas on how to make better use of the facilities, modernize them, and improve operations. Involving Bohler early in project discussions let our team help build stakeholder consensus, identify and overcome development challenges, and enable Mack to deliver on a new product line. The project communicated a clear message to the local community and the world at large – Mack Trucks was here to stay and stronger than ever.
The 84,000 SF expansion project consisted of three additions to the existing building, a new audit building, and expanded facilities for truck parking and loading. Bohler provided master planning, civil engineering, permitting, and landscape architecture services.
Early Engagement Brings Big Ideas
Joining the project team early in the planning process, Bohler had the opportunity to hear from stakeholders and understand their overall objectives before starting design. Mack’s vision for the upgraded facility was to boost efficiency and customer service by increasing production and broadening product lines.
Bohler partnered with Mack to analyze their ideas, prioritize improvements, and optimize their development budget. During these planning sessions, our team identified ways to make the biggest impact on improving overall site circulation and parking layout, resulting in a more streamlined operation for all departments.
Creating a master plan that incorporated these upgrades, Bohler also strategized and accounted for future site improvements. This further reaffirmed Mack’s commitment to remaining in Lehigh Valley while minimizing the potential for duplicate efforts in the years to come.
Improvements Translate to Accelerated Growth
With a solid master plan in place, Bohler and the project team continued to identify opportunities for improved site efficiencies as the project progressed into the design phase. Bohler simplified the stormwater management plan by consolidating multiple systems into one, saving time, costs, and space for future development.
Our engineers redesigned the loading dock layout, truck parking, and traffic circulation. This improved Mack’s ability to get large trucks into, out of, and around the 140-acre site, and significantly enhanced their overall distribution capabilities.
Within the plant, the building expansions enabled the company to reconfigure internal assembly lines in time to meet production deadlines for a new product. With well-organized plant operations now delivering more products, Mack Trucks successfully accomplished their initial project goals while reasserting their commitment to the local community.
Mack’s Lehigh Valley operations continue to excel. Experiencing accelerated growth, the company is now moving forward with two more building additions and a parking expansion. These phases will enable Mack to add a new assembly line and once again grow their product line.
According to Project Manager George Hartman, “The key to [our success] was building relationships with Mack’s stakeholders during those early meetings. It was important for us to listen to them, engage in conversation, and really understand what they wanted to accomplish in the long run. This resulted in a design that fulfilled their current goals and positioned them to be successful in accomplishing future ones.”