When the Discovery Channel was looking for a company to feature in its new television series, “American Loggers,” it turned to Gerald Pelletier Inc., a family-owned and operated business that’s been working the rugged and remote North Maine Woods for three generations. When the Pelletier family needed new trucks that could not only handle the rigors of its day-to-day operations but also look good for the camera, it turned to Mack Trucks Inc. Because the work they do and where they do it is so brutal, it was time to call on the biggest of the Bulldogs.
Cue the Titan by Mack, its 16-L Mack MP10 engine snortin’ and snarlin’.
This season marks the second for “American Loggers” and the Pelletiers. Airing on the Discovery Channel on Friday nights at 10 p.m., the series tells the story of these seven brothers and their sons who harvest timber in some of the deepest wilderness imaginable, then haul it out on unpaved, usually ice-covered logging routes. It’s a demanding, sometimes dangerous way to make a living.
“We’ve been at it for years, and obviously know it’s tough work, but a TV show about us? Didn’t see that coming,” said Eldon Pelletier, the company president.
Eldon oversees all operations of the company, but said he most enjoys being just one of the crew.
The idea for the show came from Sean Gallagher, producer for Half Yard Productions and a native of Bangor, Maine. Gallagher was familiar with other Discovery Channel programs “Ax Men” and “Ice Road Truckers.” He also knew of the Pelletiers and the extreme challenges they face in their family-run operation. Gallagher called Eldon to pitch the idea of a show. After discussion with the rest of the family, the Pelletiers agreed to do the show. The first season was a huge success, and production of the second season is well under way.
About the same time the Pelletiers were looking for new trucks, Mack introduced its Titan by Mack model. Built at the company’s Macungie Assembly Operations plant outside Allentown, Pa., the Titan by Mack is a modern-day workhorse that delivers the attitude and performance required for the heaviest of heavy hauls. The 16-L Mack MP10 engine at the heart of the truck delivers 600-plus hp and a massive 2,060 lb.-ft. of torque — and does it without gulping fuel, according to the manufacturer.
“We were ’all-Mack’ for many years, and still have quite a few of those tough old Macks in our fleet working every day, so we know where the phrase ’Built Like a Mack Truck’ comes from,” Pelletier said. “We were very pleased to see them come out with a new model that has the big power we need in the woods. We expect these new Titans prove to be as tough as the ones we’re used to.”
Given the important role the Titan by Mack model will play in the show — not to mention their day-to-day operations — a visit by the Pelletiers and the “American Loggers” video crew to the Macungie plant was in order.
The American Loggers production crew recorded Eldon and his brother Jeff as they toured the plant Nov. 19 to see how the Titan’s strength and power comes together on the assembly line. They saw the skill and attention to detail the Macungie workers bring to every truck. They learned how Mack’s century-plus experience of building tough trucks is reflected in each Titan by Mack. And the passion that Macungie employees have for building Mack trucks came through loud and clear in conversations on the production line, according to the brothers.
The Pelletiers left with two Titan by Mack models added to their fleet.
A Discovery Channel video crew also visited Bangor Truck, the Pelletiers’ Mack dealer in Maine, to shoot preparation and delivery of one of the two Titan by Mack models they’ve purchased.
“It was a lot of fun having the crew here,” said Eric Dysart, salesman of Bangor Truck. “They were very happy with the truck. It’s a beauty and a workhorse at the same time. We certainly thank the Pelletiers for their business. We’re sure these Titan by Mack trucks can more than handle what they have in store for them. And to see it all play out on the Discovery Channel will make it that much better.”
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