Pinnacle of Performance
There’s the usual storage in the header and rather stylishly trimmed door pockets. The cab floor had a thick, fitted-rubber mat that no doubt contributed to the low noise levels in this Pinnacle. We spent no time in the sleeper since this trip was all about getting the truck to Allentown as quickly as possible, while experiencing the Pinnacle’s drive and comfort. However, a quick peek revealed useful shelves that would accommodate duffels and sleeping bags fitted high on each side with a provision on the passenger side for a television and other electronics. Beneath this is a wardrobe, and there’s copious storage under the bunk.
The driver display is designed to give the driver, technician and owner all the necessary information simply and intuitively. I had assumed, because the control stalk was the same as Volvo’s, that the rest of the system would be too, but it’s an entirely different interface and it’s even easier to use than Volvo’s.
Other factors that will appeal to drivers are back-of-cab access via the driver-side steps. I was surprised the cab access was not as convenient, lacking a low-mounted grab handle at the hinge side of the door opening.
Engine access is good, even with the added complexity of today’s EGR systems. In fact, the new engines are considerably cleaner, externally, than the earlier E7, and components that might need service are easily accessible.
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Rawhide option for tradition-minded owner-operators
Drivers who prefer traditional styling appreciate Mack’s Rawhide edition of the Pinnacle. Identical in all mechanical respects, the Rawhide has a set-forward front axle and a new hood to get the more aggressive, tall-fronted appearance.
Introduced in 2008, the Rawhide features extra chrome in addition to the big square grille. A Texas-style bumper, undercab and sleeper stainless panels, big stainless visor and four chrome air horns all add to the Rawhide’s luxury. Stylized chrome heated and lighted mirrors — each mirror with a raised bulldog emblem — make a Mack statement.
The 7-inch bullhorn exhaust stacks mount between cab and sleeper in the established “large car” position, making the Rawhide unique in the Pinnacle lineup. Other models mount exhaust at the back of the cab.
“The Rawhide edition combines classic styling with all the technology benefits of the Pinnacle model and the next generation of luxury and comfort,” said Mack Product Marketing Manager Jerry Warmkessel at the truck’s original launch at the Mid-America Trucking Show in 2008. “This is definitely a truck that will draw attention.”
Warmkessel added in a recent interview that “fleets are looking toward the Rawhide as a ‘rewards’ truck. Drivers who lead in company contests for fuel economy or personal performance get to ride high and mighty in the Rawhide.”
The truck is available in three cab configurations: 60- and 70-inch midrise sleepers, plus daycab.
The Rawhide interior features soft, luxurious button-tuck Ultraleather and two-tone embroidered seats, complemented by a sleek dash housing Mack’s Co-Pilot driver display. Interior color choices are Slate Gray, Vintage Oxblood, Deep Copper and Classic Buckskin. Accent strips on the cabinets match the dash panel’s brushed nickel. The two-toned pattern in the seats is continued in the sleeper in button-tuck. The cab headliner has four-point lighting, serving both the driver and passenger.