The DAF truck manufacturing company has been setting trends in the trucking industry for the better part of a century. Established in 1928 by Hub Van Doorne and his brother Wim in Eindhoven, Netherlands, the DAF brand has become well known for developing innovative clever trucking solutions and setting new standards ahead of the field. The company is a leader in diesel engine development, driver comfort and truck handling. DAF is also committed to developing eco-friendly solutions and is among the first truck production companies in Europe to comply with the ISO 14001 environmental care standards.
In 1996, DAF was acquired by PACCAR, an American Fortune 500 company, making it part of a consortium of truck production companies including Leyland, Kentworth and Peterbritt. Despite this acquisition, DAF trucks N. V. maintained its identity staying true to its foundational concept of pushing boundaries in design and innovation. The entrance of PACCAR strengthened the DAF existing interests in Europe and expanded its reach making it a global brand before the turn of the century. In addition to the original factory in Eindhoven (Netherlands), DAF now boasts production facilities in Leyland (UK), Westerlo (Belgium) and Ponta Grossa (Brazil). In addition to these production centres, new and used DAF vehicles, truck spare parts and other products are distributed and serviced by a global a network of more than 1,000 independent dealers in Europe, Africa, South America, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
Lifting Pusher Innovation
True to its pioneering nature, DAF has introduced the new LF 6X2 truck in Australia which is the first of its kind in the country. A 6X2 configuration means that the truck is has 6 wheel ends with drive power only going to two of them. The truck’s primary innovation is the placement of an active drive axle at the back of the truck and a dead axle directly in front of it. With this configuration, the truck is referred to as a pusher. DAF has taken the additional step of making it a lifting pusher which means the axle can be lifted off the road when it is not needed. This unique feature allows the LF 6X2 truck to switch from a 6X2 to a 4X2 configuration depending on the weight it is carrying.
Trucks in the 6X2/6X4 field are not common Down Under because of regulations that set the front axle mass limit to 6.0 to 6.5 tonnes. Moreover, the few trucks in that range that exist with lifting axles have been lifting tags that have been faced with the challenges of overhang lengths. The DAF team specifically introduced the LF 28 6X2 into the Aussie market to take advantage of this challenge. This truck is able to fit into a gap in regulations that makes it attractive for the Australian truck buyer by playing on the strengths of the 6X2 and 4X2 configurations. The truck can carry a load of up to 23.5 tonnes with the 6X2 configuration and when the load is below 6.5 tonnes; the pusher axle is lifted making it compliant with the national regulations.
Advantages of the DAF LF 6X2
The main benefit of the LF 6X2 retractable pusher system is that the user gets two trucks in one. When carrying heavy loads the trucker enjoys the added strength of a six-wheeler without the extra expense of hiring a separate vehicle. On the other hand, the 4X2 configuration is easier to maneuver and with fewer wheels on the road at a time, the truck uses less fuel and experiences less tyre wear.
The truck also comes with several unique features designed to enhance driver comfort. The multifunctional steering wheel has a wide array of buttons giving the driver unhampered control of the radio and Bluetooth phone receiver, cruise and climate control as well as the engine brake. Furthermore, there is a new Driver Information Panel that works with the DAF Driver Performance Assistant (DPA) that gives the driver economical and efficient driving tips.
Finally, since the truck size is suited for use in cities and urban areas, it was fitted with an incredibly silent engine. The truck has the latest PACCAR PX engine that boasts extremely low emission rates with a special compact design making it very quiet especially when idling. This makes it very popular for urban areas especially in functions that require it to be used in residential areas at night or in the city during office hours.
The DAF team has placed a winner in the Australian market that has its own unique spot on the shelf. Get ready to see a whole lot of new light-duty six wheeler DAF trucks silently going about their business in the busy streets of Melbourne as the LF 6X2 trucks start jumping off the shelves in the coming months.