Plus Rizzuto also wanted the Mack mDRIVE™ automated manual transmission with the crawler gears.
“I had always said if I spec’d a new truck, it was going to have an automated manual,” he says. “I was done shifting. It was another reason I wanted a new truck. I really wanted the mDRIVE with crawler gears, to be able to creep around if I wanted to. A lot of the marinas I deliver to have really steep roads.”
The Anthem’s aerodynamic design also appealed to Rizzuto, as all the trucks he drove as an owner-operator had aerodynamic design. He spec’d chassis fairings with ground effects and cab extenders for reduced drag, but he left out the roof fairing and trim tab since he was hauling a non-aerodynamic load on a flatbed.
Finally, Rizzuto wanted a 6x2 configuration, with a single drive axle and a liftable pusher axle, plus a non-torque-reactive rear suspension. This setup allows for adaptive loading while also preventing the suspension from raising up as the truck starts from a stop, thereby preventing tire wear and loss of traction. The 6x2 also reduces overall weight and permits the tag axle to be raised when the truck is deadheading, again reducing tire wear and improving fuel economy.
“I’d been looking at that for years on my old [competitor] truck,” Rizzuto says. “I actually have the very first Mack truck with non-torque reactive suspension.”
Once Rizzuto had the perfect truck spec’d for his work, it was time to start making phone calls. “I knew I wanted to spec it way outside the normal, so I had to find that dealer who would work with me to spec outside the box,” he says.
It turned out his local dealer, Bruckner’s Truck Sales in Fountain, Colorado, was more than willing to help him get the truck he wanted, the way he wanted it. “I got a salesman (Nick Sewell) who was fantastic and would do whatever was in his power to help me.”
Shane made one spec choice that he had less insight about, but which had caught his attention, Mack’s Command Steer electronically assisted steering system.
“I’ll be honest, I didn’t know what to expect with Command Steer when I spec’d it, but I liked what I saw from the advertisements.”
Now that he’s driven Command Steer, he raves about it.
“I have to say I was blown out of the parking lot. I love, love, love my Command Steer,” Rizzuto says. “You have to get used to it at first because it’s so easy to steer compared to any truck I’ve ever driven. The tight maneuvering I have to do at some of the marinas I deliver to and backing into tight spaces at truck parking lots—it makes it so much easier. It’s made the job way easier.”
When you’re running 150,000 miles a year through 49 states and Canada, anything that means an easier job is a good thing. And a comfortable truck is also key, both while driving and while off-duty.