Truck Spotlight

John Baxter | February 01, 2010


Tough truck pays homage to the old West


The Mack Pinnacle Rawhide with set-forward axle.

This special edition tractor has interior features that recall the days when Mack built their own Western-styled trucks with wider cabs and bigger hoods.

“The Mack Pinnacle Rawhide is the only Mack truck with a cab-mounted exhaust behind the driver and passenger doors with a 7-inch bullhorn exhaust pipe,” says Jerry Warmkessel, Mack’s highway product manager. “When the truck has a sleeper, it’s mounted between the cab and sleeper.”

This model doesn’t skimp on polished metal. It has a 13-inch chrome sunvisor, a large, stainless Texas-style bumper, stainless treatments around the headlights and door hinges, four chrome air horns, stainless hood latches and stylized chrome heated and lighted mirrors – each mirror with a raised bulldog emblem.

The polyurethane floormats have stainless diamond inserts. You can also order carpet floormats with similar inserts. Chrome is abundant on the polished nickel-finished dashboard, as well, with a shiny ring around every gauge.

Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the truck is its Rawhide logo, a longhorn bull’s skull and horns. It’s embossed into the rear wall of the sleeper and embroidered into the seat backs. The cab ceiling is made of button-tucked Ultraleather. The seats are Ultraleather, too, which “feels just like leather but has the positive attributes that it can be wiped right off and does not crack with age,” Warmkessel says.

The seats have been popular with drivers at Gribble Transport of New Lexington, Pa. Owner Nancy Gribble says her fleet has two 2006 Rawhide Pinnacles with 485-hp Mack ASET engines.

“The drivers like everything about them, especially the quiet ride and comfortable seats,” she says. “We have one driver, Larry Baker, who wears a hearing aid and had to turn it up so loud in earlier vehicles to hear over the road noise that he needed to charge the battery every other day. He now drives one of our Pinnacle Rawhides and the battery lasts much longer.”

The Pinnacle Rawhide's skull and horns logo is embroidered into both seat backs.

Gribble’s Pinnacles have the all-Mack powertrain and now have about 300,000 miles with few problems. They have the entire available aero package and get over 6 mpg – impressive considering they run less-than-truckload.

The Pinnacle Rawhide is an axle-forward design, with options for heavy haul and construction. The front suspension is a Mack taperleaf spring suspension, while air suspension is standard on the drive axles.

The Mack MP8 engine is standard, with up to 505 hp and 1,650 lb-ft. of torque. Its sweet spot is 1,400-1,450 rpm, helping guarantee good fuel economy. Like most new heavy-duty engines, the MP8 relies more on selective catalytic reduction than exhaust gas recirculation to reduce emissions.

“With SCR, we’ve been able to throttle back on EGR, which reduces stress on the engine components,” Warmkessel says. A very slight reduction in injection pressure with no decrease in performance or increase in emissions helps guarantee fuel system reliability. n strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.