Last week I drove a Mack Pinnacle with the company’s newest engine rating, the MP8 505C+, which delivers 1,860 lb.-ft. of torque in every gear. You could call it the little engine that could. This 13-litre performs like a 15-litre and the new rating was custom-built for Canadian haulers, those needing maximum pulling power for heavy payloads and steep grades.
James Menzies tries to keep warm on a chilly November day.
My drive was Nov. 18. If you live in Southern Ontario, you remember the day. It was the day winter came roaring in seemingly overnight. It was a blustery -19 C with the wind chill and you can tell by the photo that I was a little chilled. But hey, this is a Mack truck. It’s built to work in these conditions and worse.
I got the chance to deliver an actual load of blend aggregate from a James Dick Construction site to a Lafarge plant in Brampton. The payload was 32 metric tonnes, so it was a decent-sized load.
Here’s what I liked about the Mack Pinnacle with MP8 505C+:
Excellent pulling power
A surprisingly capable engine brake
The smooth mDrive automated manual transmission
Good sightlines and visibility over the hood
The modern-looking brushed nickel dash
A responsive engine that, especially when Performance mode is activated on the mDrive gets up to road speed quickly
A comfortable seat, and this goes for the fixed passenger-side seat as well
A quiet ride, especially for a day cab
The truck hauls ass
Yeah, I liked it. I’ve said before and I will repeat it here, the Mack Pinnacle is an underrated highway tractor. Its exterior styling is a little dated and that won’t change for 2015, but when it comes to comfort and drivability, this is a fantastic truck. And the MP8 505C+, when mated to the mDrive transmission, will challenge what you think you know about the limitations of a 13L engine in Canada’s most rigorous duty-cycles. You can read my full review, in which I go into far more detail on this truck, here.
James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies. All posts by James Menzies