Zenon C.R. Hansen

Inducted 1983

Distinguished Service Citation Award 1968

Developed the revolutionary tilt-cab design for trucks

Accepted leadership of the financially troubled Mack Truck Company and restored it to profitability

Plain speaking and decisive action were the hallmarks of Zenon Hansen’s character. Hansen had a long and distinguished career in the trucking industry even before he became known as Mack Truck’s “Mr. Bulldog”. He earlier served International Harvester as controller of its Swiss affiliate and then became Chairman of the Diamond T Motor Truck Company. In 1951, while at Diamond T, Hansen pioneered the tilt-cab design that was adopted by several other manufacturers because of its versatility and serviceability. In 1965, Hansen was asked to take over the leadership of the failing Mack Truck Company. “I’m going to make it growl again,” Hansen said. He boosted employee morale by promoting only from within the company and he improved relations with unions through more effective communications. Hansen implemented a major expansion program and retooled production facilities. A year later, sales improved and the Bulldog indeed began to growl again. Hansen’s no-nonsense attitude was evident in his advice: “When you’ve got something to say, then say it…The next thing is to do something about it. Have the courage of your convictions.”

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