As part of my series of articles on major truck manufacturers and the vehicles they offer haulage companies, in this article I’ll be looking at DAF and especially focusing on their XF, CF and LF models.
DAF is a Dutch-owned company that has plants primarily in Holland and Belgium. Some of the company’s models are built in the UK by British Leyland at their Farington plant in Preston.
DAF started out in 1928 when it began producing trailers. Before the Second World War, the company began the conversion of Ford 4x2 trucks to 6x4 drive vehicles. After the war, the company began producing busses, trucks and trailers and cars.
By 1959 DAF had developed and begun producing the world’s first continuously variable transmission car. Since 1975, however, when the company’s car division was sold to Volvo, the company has concentrated solely on the production of lorries and trucks.
XF Euro 6 – With an ever-increasing need to meet environmental regulations both in the UK and Europe, the XF Euro 6 is an excellent choice that combines great engineering and design, versatility and adaptability and strict adherence to Euro 6 regulations.
- Design & Comfort – inside and out, it’s obvious that the XF has been designed to look and feel good. The cab, available in two versions, provides the driver with a great driving environment and a comfortable space to rest when on those long journeys.
- The Ride – Suspension on this truck is excellent. Even when carrying a full 44-tonne load, the ride and handling are a driver’s dream.
- Power and Torque – the XF comes with a number of engine options based on the PACCAR MX-13 and 11 engines which have been developed for maximum efficiency, high performance and low operating costs.
- Pros & Cons – I asked several XF drivers for their opinions on the truck. Overall, reactions were very favourable with almost all praising the large, comfortable cabin which made driving a whole lot easier and comfortable.
On the down side – many seemed to think that the mirrors generated to much noise when travelling at speed and that the eco roll system could do with a tweak or two.
CF Euro 6 – Yet another excellent DAF truck. This truck is perfect for almost all haulage companies, offering a range of customisations that give the company flexibility and the driver a perfect driving environment.
- Design & Comfort – As with all DAF trucks, the CF range looks good and feels good. The cab is available in three spacious options all of which provide the driver with the space they need to concentrate on their driving while still being comfortable when taking a well-earned break.
- Safety & Technology – Using the latest technologies, the DF series is safer than ever before.
- The Driver Performance Assistant helps the driver maximise efficiency. It supplies information that ranges from fuel consumption to braking information and even suggests the best time to change gear.
- Silent Models: unique software governs the transmission and engine to reduce noise levels to as low as 72 decibels – ideal for night-time deliveries in an urban environment.
- Other safety features include a reinforced cab body with crumple zones at the front and rear and an advanced suspension system that slides the cab backwards in a head-on collision. An electronic brake system, brake assist, and anti-slip prevention are standard feature on all models.
- Engines – Choose from three Euro 6 engine options – the 6.7-litre PACCAR PX-7, the 10.8-litre PACCAR MX-11 and the 12.9-litre PACCAR MX-13. DAF recommend the PX-7 for distribution work and the MX-11 for applications where low fuel consumption and weight are critical. With power outputs of 410hp, 460hp or 510hp, the MX-13 is ideal for the most demanding jobs, needing servicing only every 150,000km.
- Pros & Cons – The cabs have to be one of the CF’s best features. Add on the safety features and the generally lower price of DAF trucks and you have a winner. Some drivers have reported that the engine noise can be a “bit strange” – but this isn’t really a problem.
LF Euro 6 – The LF is a truck designed for distribution work and offers haulage companies a range of options that allow the truck to be customised to meet specific needs and environments.
- Design & Comfort – The LF’s cabin shows the same high standard of quality as the XF and CF. Three options are offered: a 160cm-long day cab, an extended 200cm day cab with a single bed, and a 200cm sleeper cab. Specs include fully-adjustable seats, an easy-to-read instrument panel, a multifunctional steering wheel with integrated controls, a first-class heating and ventilation system and ample storage space.
- Engines & Gears – DAF offer four and six cylinder engines. These include the 4.5 litre PACCAR PX-5 four-cylinder offering 112 kW/152 hp to 157 kW/213 hp and the six-cylinder 6.7 litre PACCAR PX-7 with outputs from 172 kW/234 hp to 239 kW/325 hp.
The LF offers a manual 5- or 6-speed gearbox as standard. A manual 9-speed gearbox is available for the more powerful engines. The outstanding 12 speed auto AS-Tronic gearbox with manual override is available for the PX-7 engine.
- Pros & Cons – Overall the CF range is excellent value for money, offering operators of distribution services great versatility and economic operation. Some drivers have said that it took them a while to get used to the vehicles apparently small footprint.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage companies with jobs in road transport and haulage work. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe ‘wholesale’ environment.