Clever engineering at heart of new DAF models

Transport News Brief has been to the Ardennes to see what the new CF and LF ranges from DAF have brought to the ring.

We’ve already seen how DAF’s new truck offerings stack up from the driver’s seat, now we’ll look at how DAF has worked to maximise value in the development of its new trucks.

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New skin

New models in the truck sector don’t come cheap. If you do a clean sheet job and renew a vehicle to the core, it’s going to be expensive.

When developing the new XF, DAF’s pragmatic approach to maximising value was to concentrate on driveline and chassis developments, not to build a new cab from the ground up.

It has taken the same route with its new CF and LF models, but all three ranges are a testament to what can be done without digging up the foundations.

Exterior panels are all new and the pair have a distinct ‘family’ appearance. Raoul Wijnands, Project Manager for the new models told TNB, “A larger grille isn’t just cosmetic, a larger area is needed to take in more air for the increased cooling requirements of Euro 6.”

Cab interiors are also new, with better driver information systems, a better dash and they’re also quieter. Nice, but the big money has been spent between the chassis rails.

New skeleton

The CF and LF both have new chassis for haulage and construction models, and Euro 6 has presented challenges for chassis layout, especially for tractors, where space is at a premium.

The ubiquitous 6×2 tractor doesn’t have a lot a spare room to start with, and the after treatment boxes that need accommodating have led DAF to offer fleets a wide range of options on the CF, depending on their needs.

Wijnands explained, “The selective catalytic reduction (SCR) equipment and diesel particulate filter (DPF), batteries and the tanks for fuel, air and AdBlue can all be moved around inside the chassis, according to axle and fuel needs.”

The highly flexible options are worth spending some time poring over when it comes to buying – fleet engineers could easily miss a trick in getting the best configuration.

The weight penalty of all that extra paraphernalia has been offset by a 32kg lighter front axle and lighter rear suspension where anti-roll bars and reaction rods are a combined 60kg more svelte.

A new 13-tonne rear axle saves another 40kg, partly due to reduced oil capacity, which also cuts churning losses.

Better quality oils have opened the door for this improvement. Front suspensions have new three-leaf (nine tonne), two-leaf (eight tonne) and single-leaf (7.5 tonne) designs with, the new option of air suspension allowing two drive heights.

New heart and lungs

For engines, the technology seen in the 12.9-litre MX-13 last year has trickled down into the 10.8-litre MX-11. Both engines are found in the XF long-haul and CF heavy-duty, medium-radius distribution chassis. The CF also gets the new 6.7-litre PX-7, which gives it the biggest choice of power outputs in the revised DAF stable.

The LF has quite a reach too. Using the PX-7 and the new 4.5-litre PX-5, it manages to cover the spread from a 7.5-tonne rigid to a 28-tonne light tractor.

These four ranges either abut or marginally overlap power outputs from 148bhp to 503bhp. If you want a 600bhp or 700bhp machine, look elsewhere.

The Euro 6 solution is a high efficiency SCR system, supported by a DPF with passive regeneration and common rail injection with a 2,500 bar capacity. Exhaust gas recirculation is used, but it takes a back seat.

As persistent market leader, DAF is sticking with the winning formula of value engineering.

TNB also drove the new LF and CF models.