Vintage Trucks: Mack LT – Mack’s Big And Burly West Coast Truck

Given the vastly different operating conditions and regulations on the West Coast back in the 1940’s and 1950’s, like most of the big truck manufacturers, Mack had a special truck designed and built to meet those conditions, the LT. The basic cab was shared with the smaller and shorter L-Series, which was a hugely successful truck on the eastern half of the country. But the LT has dual rear axles, longer wheelbases, and a bigger and longer hood, along with other unique elements.

The LT was a hit out west, with long haul truckers as well as loggers, thanks to Mack’s legendary ruggedness and durability. Here’s a few shots of these handsome trucks when they roamed the wide open spaces and forests of the West, starting with this one that has a most suitable name on its trailer.

As a frame of reference, here’s an L-series Mack, in a typical configuration with what is likely a 35′ trailer to meet the restrictive overall length limits in most of the states east of the Rockies. Both the L and Lt first arrived in 1940. The LT was built through 1956.

There were numerous variants in the LT line, mainly having to do with light weight aluminum components to maximize payload.

Straight trucks with trailers were a popular configuration out west.

Loggers stall wax eloquently over their LT’s, thanks to their durability. Engines were either Mack’s own diesels or gas, as well as Cummins diesels.  In 1953, the new Thermodyne diesel replaced the previous Lenova indirect injection diesels.

Here’s some wonderful snapshots by Joe Wanchera, a trucker and photographer, shot on a long car trip out West.

This one is sporting some serious home-brew modifications, including an apparent turbocharger. What a beast!