June 2012

Overdrive Magazine | Trucking Business News & Owner Operator Info

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/85437

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Page 31 of 85

TES T DRIVE is delivering 40 percent of North American trucks units with its I-Shift Smooth A With further aero refinements and an intuitive transmission, the Pinnacle proves its lofty name is well deserved. PHOTOS AND STORY BY STEVE STURGESS utomatic transmissions are making inroads in the North American truck market. Volvo automated 12-speed in the driveline. Partner company Mack has done them one better in the Pinnacle, with more than 40 percent of produced units featuring Mack's mDrive, an automated 12-speed that is smart and Driving this Pinnacle across the Appalachians was a breeze with mDrive's selection of gears according to road grades. 30 OVERDRIVE JUNE 2012 AND SMART slick. That's particularly evident after my 700-mile March haul in the driver's seat of a Pinnacle, grossing nearly 80,000 pounds with a loaded flatbed. From the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., we crossed rugged West Virginia mountains to get to Mack's Customer Center in Allentown, Pa. I shared the driving with David McKenna, a 32-year Mack veteran. The Pinnacle is not new. In fact, it goes back to the launch of the Vision in 1999, and in its basic cab structure back to the launch of the Mack CH in 1988. But the Vision was a complete redo of the earlier truck with more room for the driver, a total aero package and the "M" shape added to the grille. The Pinnacle's 2006 introduction coincided with the launch of the MP engines for the 2007 and later emissions systems. At the 2011 MATS, Mack Product Marketing Manager Jerry Warmkessel said the Pinnacle had been through

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